TheatreWorks’ newest show, Mark Twain’s River of Song, is a laid back look at the world depicted in Mark Twain’s novels and memoirs, as narrated by the author himself. The production features three musicians on stage as part of the story who play a mix of old spirituals and new songs written for the show. Held together by only the loosest of plots, the play feels like a relaxed ride down the Mississippi River that Twain loved so much.
Overall, this is a show that I wish I could love. It’s full of great theatercraft and remarkable performances. But at the end of the day, I just can’t get over my disappointment about the way the show is written. It’s funny and entertaining, but that comes at the cost of the mystery, which ends up taking a backseat to the gags.
Funny, heartfelt and painful, The Language Archive speaks to truths that are more complex than any language can describe.
TheatreWorks is beginning its 50th anniversary season with a thoughtful show that features many of the key elements that have made this local theater company great. Unfortunately, The Language Archive also exhibits a certain degree of hopelessness which ultimately prevents this good show from becoming a great show.
Smart, moving and unexpectedly hilarious, Archduke tells the story of the three men that assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, arguably sparking the conflict that became World War I. TheatreWorks’ newest play highlights all of the reasons why this local theater was honored with a Tony Award this year.
Clever, heartfelt and moving, Hershey Felder’s newest show tells both his own story, and that of French composer, Claude Debussy. A Paris Love Story is deeply emotional and hauntingly beautiful. It is not a show to miss.
When you think of the current political news climate, you may not immediately connect it to the 1970s. TheatreWorks’ production of Frost/Nixon will change your perspective.
Despite the fact that the show was first performed in 2006 about a (then) 30-year-old event, the story feels achingly poignant to our times. The play serves to explain the psyches and circumstances that lead to the turbulent downfall of President Richard Nixon. This culminates in a show that feels like it could be easily happen in today’s world and will shock you with its timeliness.
TheatreWorks’ holiday show this year, Tuck Everlasting, is an emotional roller coaster that will force you to consider the cycle of life and death in a way that may surprise you. The showtells the story of Winnie Foster and her unusual relationship with the Tuck Family.
The musical is better than I expected it to be. It stays very true to the emotional heart of the story, creating ample opportunities for both laughter and tears. The actors are all superb and the set is very well done. While the music and lyrics are good, they’re not particularly memorable. Still, the production as a whole is fun and moving with big show-stopping numbers and quieter, more emotional moments.
Sweet, hilarious and all-too realistic, TheatreWorks’ second play of the season, Native Gardens, is sure to be a smash hit.
Native Gardens is about a Hispanic couple, Tania and Pablo, who are moving into a fixer-upper house and expecting their first child. The young couple moves into a neighborhood largely populated by older white families including their new neighbors, Frank and Virginia. When Pablo invites his entire office over to their new house for a barbeque, the couple scrambles to get the backyard presentable. However things get complicated when they discover that the fence on one side of their property is two feet from the property line and the new fence needs to go right through Frank’s award-aspiring flowerbeds.
Hold These Truths is surprising and delightful while also delivering a sobering message about our country’s history. The one-man show tells the story of Gordon Hirabayashi who went to the Supreme Court protesting the Japanese internment during WWII.
FINKS is a deep dive into the thoughts and emotions of New York’s actors, comics, writers, dancers and producers. Although not ideal for someone without a basic understanding of the problem, the show is well written and excellently performed, another must-see historical play from TheatreWorks.
Based on the playwright’s parents, Madeline and Jack Gilford, FINKS depicts the trials of being blacklisted and standing up for yours beliefs from a very intimate perspective. Recent movies like Trumbo and Hail, Caesar! have begun to explore the impact of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) had on the film industry of the 1950s. What has not been considered as much is the similar problems faced in the New York Theater scene.