There is theater that entertains, theater that makes you think, theater that touches the heart and stirs the soul, and every now and then, there’s a work of theater that achieves all of that, and in a way no other art form can.
Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, they fall in love and go on to live happily ever after. End of story, right?
The first of four performances of short works offered by the 10th anniversary Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival provided a little more than an hour of an eclectic variety of modern dance Friday night.
It is hard to imagine a more perfect show for southwest Michigan at the beginning of March to stave off the dreary doldrums of winter than “Once On This Island.” Visually warm and lovely, with music and performances this delightful, it’s impossible to not be transported to the French Antilles for a little over an hour in The Kalamazoo Civic’s excellent production of this mystical, marvelous tale.
Many moving parts work together to make a complete theatrical production, but one of the most subtle arts is the lighting.
Family arguments are, for the most part, unavoidable. Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, playing at Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids this month, portrays a small family dynamic that takes those arguments from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds.
Life as a teenager can be tough enough without throwing a full-time commitment in the mix, but when it’s your passion, the effort is beyond worth it.
“Mahalia, A Gospel Musical” is so much more than a biographical musical about the great Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel. Full of the gorgeous church hymns and old spirituals she sang with her tremendously soulful and powerful voice, it does, indeed, tell the story of her rise to fame in the 20th Century. But in so doing, it also elucidates a crucial piece of American history.
Cari Scholtens and Jil Farheart look pretty much the same: they’re both tall, lean brunettes. But Farheart has a scar on her cheek. And while Scholtens owns a plastic sword and axe, Farheart’s sword and axe are necessarily steel; she’s a bounty hunter, and uses them when she has to. In a world of dark cults, vicious monsters, and the ever-present threat of violence, “when she has to” is pretty often.
When John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer and Tony Award winning drama “Doubt: A Parable” came out amid the first of Catholic priest sex abuse revelations 15 years ago, it was powerful and shocking.
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