2014-15 Season at Syracuse Stage.
2012, 2011, 2009, 2002, 1987 and 1972.
(REVIEW) Two one-act comedies at the Syracuse University Warehouse Theater
Syracuse Shakespeare Festival, Ronnie Bell’s company that puts on free plays at Thornden Park during the summer, moves indoors during the cold. Winter is also a time to move away from Bardolotry to consider some other theater from 300-plus years ago, while also giving different directors a chance to take charge. For the two one-act comedies at the Syracuse University Warehouse Theater, The Suitors and Commedia (running through Sunday, April 13), two women are calling the shots. Veteran actress and director Judith Harris guides the little-known The Suitors, while Lynn Barbato-King helms Commedia, in which new, anonymous material is arranged in Renaissance format.
(REVIEW) Syracuse Stage’s ‘The Glass Menagerie’
It does not really matter that Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie ranks high on the list of the greatest American plays of the last 100 years. More importantly, it is the most loved. Teachers cannot kill affection for it by making it assigned reading. That’s why this is the third Syracuse Stage production, after 1979 (directed by Arthur Storch) and 1999.
STAGE: LeMoyne’s Boot and Buskin Group presents ‘The Master & Margarita’
Many critics cite Mikhail Bulgakov’s surreal, anti-Stalinist satire The Master & Margarita as one of the top 100 novels of the 20th century. As tweaking the regime was then a hanging offense, Bulgakov (1891-1940) had to work on it furtively, and the work was thought lost until it was widely published in 1967. Although only 384 pages in the vintage paperback and a fairly easy read, Master is so filled with allusion it could easily occupy an undergraduate literature class for two weeks. Not only does it draw deeply from European culture, especially the Faust legend, but several characters in the story were written to skewer specific Soviet personages.
STAGE: The Good Woman of Setzuan
Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan, one of the 200 most celebrated stage plays of the 20th century, is being produced the second time in two decades by the Syracuse University Drama Department. Only this time it is not on the Storch Theater stage, the usual venue, but is instead presented upstairs in the Loft Theater, a black box. The smaller space, which puts the action in the faces of people in the front row, evokes the kind of stages Brecht had to use while developing his influential theatrical aesthetic back in Berlin during the Weimar Republic.
STAGE: Lungs at Kitchen Theatre
Just words and movement. According to Lungs playwright Duncan Macmillan’s wishes, “No scenery, no props, and no mime.” The two performers are clothed in this production at Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre Company (running through April 13), and Lisa Boquist is credited with providing costumes, but both look as though they wore just anything to attend a rehearsal. Other than that, nothing: just a black, raised rectangle with lines marking off 12 quadrants and two dozen transparent bulbs high up in the flies.
Porgy and Bess ‘resonates musically within our culture,’ says singer in upcoming Syracuse Opera production
First premiered in 1935, it took until 1976 for Porgy and Bess to be largely accepted as a legitimate opera, when the Houston Grand Opera mounted a critically acclaimed production. And it wasn’t until nine years later that New York City’s Metropolitan Opera first performed the work. Fast-forward to 2014, and the piece is still one of the most popular, well known and powerful in opera.
Teen-beat flourishes from 1980s John Hughes cinema inform the Redhouse’s revamp of Shakespeare’s Hamlet
John Hughes’ 1985 movie The Breakfast Club was a profound and shaping experience for many creative people now in their mid-30s to late 40s. Together with such style-setting TV shows as Miami Vice, it defines the 1980s as discrete good old days of garish colors and let-it-all-hang-out emotion. Redhouse Arts Center director Stephen Svoboda has embraced the Me Decade effusively in his provocative and arresting adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, running through April 5.
Central New York Playhouse delivers the dramatic goods with Arthur Miller’s evergreen Death of a Salesman
In its short history, Central New York Playhouse, the little company in Shoppingtown Mall, has undertaken two mid-20th-century masterworks of American drama, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire a year ago and now Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Guided by the surprisingly steady hand of first-time director Kasey McHale, this Salesman, running through March 22, is well thought out, runs smoothly at a crisp pace, and includes several bracing scenes with an assortment of well-cast supporting players.
The company opened its doors November 2012.
Lights hanging from the ceiling. Two transformable stages that linger with the freshness of performing talent. Props and costumes strewn about on tables and floors. This is the Central New York Playhouse the night after a show. The spirit of the theater remains even after the show is done. And just to add an unusual touch, this all took place in a mall.