Thursday, December 3, 2020

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Posted June 06, 2017in Center online exclusive

Zesty and full of hairpin turns

The biggest takeaway is the brilliance of the lyrics. “The Last Five years” uncorks 15 songs in 90 minutes, all by the Tony-winner Jason Robert Brown, and any one of them can snap your head back with some startling combo of wisecrack and heartbreak. A few even toss in something

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Posted May 18, 2017in Center online exclusive

Shock and awe

StageWest is going out with a bang. The fireworks of “Hir” put an exclamation point on the company’s final year, before it’s absorbed into the larger Iowa Stage Company. This comes after 20 years of “bold, challenging” work, as called for in StageWest’s mission. Always frank, often very funny, and

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Posted March 20, 2017in Center online exclusive

Chock-Full O’Nuts

Everyone knows Mel Brooks made some of the funniest movies ever, and “Young Frankenstein” may rank right at the top. But when you see the stage version at the Playhouse, if you can stop laughing long enough to think straight, you realize the man was also crazy for musicals. No

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Posted March 06, 2017in Center online exclusive

The Game of Thrones, with whiskey and pills

When I say one of the best moments onstage was incomprehensible, I mean it as a compliment. Director Matthew McIver has brought off a wow of a show in “August: Osage County,” wringing the recent Pulitzer winner for every last hoot of laughter and gasp of horror. Often these erupt

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Posted February 03, 2017in Center online exclusive

‘Well played, old sport’

Benjamin Sheridan has delivered the sort of supporting performances that put the leads in the shade. Last fall, in “Death of a Salesman,” his turn as the title character’s older son — first worshipful, then scornful — sketched a tragic, emotional journey that those who saw it won’t soon forget.

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Posted November 18, 2016in Center online exclusive

Agony and magic

The excitement that lights up “Ugly Lies the Bone” takes many forms, but it all starts with the script. Playwright Lindsey Ferrentino, though still in her 20s, has already picked up several awards and armloads of critical praise. She keeps every encounter unsettled, yet entertaining, so that the laugh lines

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Posted October 31, 2016in Center online exclusive

Girls gone wild — and wrinkled

The opening night of “Calendar Girls” was sold out, and some of the reasons were obvious. The comedy makes for an amiable night, like its source, a date flick from 2003, starring Helen Mirren. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing “women of a certain age” getting rowdy and baring their souls —

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