Share this article

print logo
Gusto

What nonsense. What total, delightful, ridiculous nonsense! "Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery," a romp of a rewrite of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous detective stories, is bouncing around Shea's 710 Theatre this weekend and next in a production designed to knock off any lingering gloom from the overly long winter season. "Baskervill…

Gusto

This is the first time I’ve mentioned this in a review, but it’s most relevant in the case of Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians,” the striking new satirical drama at Road Less Traveled Productions. It has to do with the performance you decide to attend. Every performance of live theater is unique, of course, and privy to a host of factors. I’m not speaking to this productio…

Gusto

You can't quite restage the sexism out of "The Phantom of the Opera," but you can certainly distract us from it with retina-burning pyrotechnics. That's pretty much the gist of Laurence Connor's darkened, coarsened and reshuffled version of "Phantom" that opened Friday night in Shea's Performing Arts Center to an adoring crowd. It was, true to its promise, as gaudy and …

Gusto

Who needs actors to put on a play? Certainly not Torn Space, the experimental theater company that acknowledges no boundaries, follows no rules and hews to no conventions except those of its own inscrutable design. To that end, the company this weekend will mount an original production called "Security," featuring about 10 actual security guards recruited from a small B…

Gusto

Some stories seem inextricable from the eras in which they were written. The cast and creative team of the Lancaster Opera House's production of "The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd" did their best to thrust this fusty period piece into the present. But despite its clever contemporary framing and fine performances, the anachronistic tone and heavy-handed…

Gusto

"School of Rock," the latest musical-from-a-movie to arrive at Shea's Performing Arts Center, is a jamming celebration of the fact that girls (and boys) just want to have fun -- even the kids at one of the country's most exclusive fictional private schools. So, when a substitute teacher arrives with no lesson plans, and really no plans at all beyond his dream of being a…

Gusto

In 2018, the year of "Time's Up" and #MeToo, the patriarchy is under renewed assault. "Toxic masculinity," the current term of art for the defining feature of America's white, male ruling class, is once again being put on notice, even as it retains its stubborn grip on American politics and culture. And although some may think of this movement as a recent ideological…

Gusto

Junie B. Jones is back, and going through a rough patch. She’s lost her favorite fuzzy mittens. The black ones that give her comfort, that she wears proudly, that she uses to gain the attention of friends and romantic interests. But now they’re gone, and her carefree kindergarten days just aren’t the same. With “Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook,” the latest from Theatre…

Gusto

The rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” has always belonged to Judas, and never more so than in the sold-out production being presented this Easter season by American Repertory Theater of Western New York. Much more than Christopher Teal as Jesus, Anthony Alcocer’s Judas brings the passion to this now-classic version of the passion of the Christ. Along with his acting c…

Gusto

Amir Kapoor believes he is on a lifelong journey away from his faith. But he has no idea the path he has chosen is a circle. In an effort to distance himself from the traditions of his Islamic background, Kapoor has changed his name and social security number. He has married outside his culture and religion against the wishes of his family. And, as another character in …

Gusto

Caryl Churchill’s “Far Away” is a modern day Greek drama in all the best ways. Her spare dystopian tale of a society and world at war with themselves has echoes of Aeschylus and Euripides, still, after thousands of years, addressing issues of morality, hypocrisy and mortality. Even with those ancient echoes, “Far Away,” now onstage at Torn Space Theater, has a distinctl…

Gusto

Roland isn’t a bad guy, but he isn’t much fun to be around, either. His negative attitude borders on the cynical, and he does all he can to keep people at arm’s length. In fact, he can be so condescending it’s a wonder anyone will talk to him. Luckily for him, in “Beginning Again,” playwright David Alan Brown introduces Roland to people who recognize his irritable…

Gusto

Philip Akin does not believe in "magic black people." So the plays he directs for Toronto Obsidian Theatre Company, the Shaw Festival and elsewhere avoid the simplistic characterizations of black men and women so common in Hollywood or on Broadway. "I call it the 'magification problem,' " said Akin, whose sterling 2016 production of Athol Fugard's play "Master Harold…

Gusto

It never gets any easier to watch, to absorb the horrifying reality depicted in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Anne’s story, and felt both worry and awe. Each time, it rattles a nervous bone, and by lights down, it strengthens my spine a little more. And yet, the fear of redundancy, of complacency or, worse, irrelevance lingers. So whe…

Gusto

There is a bit of a feeling of falling down the rabbit hole when you are sent to review the opening night of a play about the cast and crew of a play who are nervous wrecks about having the opening night of their play reviewed. Consider it "Jitters" squared. The popular 1979 comedy by Canadian playwright David French has just opened in the intimate performance space of …