Bob Abelman covers theater and cultural arts for the Cleveland Jewish News. Follow Bob at Facebook.com/BobAbelman.3
Most people can think of better ways to spend three hours than watching four-acts of Eugene O’Neill’s emotionally wrenching “A Moon for the Misbegotten.” But those who attend Ensemble Theatre’s production will be glad they chose none of them.
Just a few months ago, Nicole Sumlin was performing her musical revue “Sing It All” – a personal journey of her life as a performer that traces her roots in gospel and jazz, her training in the classics, and her experience in musical theater. It was just her, a microphone and some live music…
The prolonged, ear-splitting sound of cicadas during “Appropriate.” The spooky Civil War-era house with its creepy dead-eyed doll collection in “John.” The political and profane provocation that is “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.”
A large part of the pleasure derived from Agatha Christie plays and the novels on which they are based is attempting to figure out for ourselves who the murderer might be based on the same clues and manipulative sleight-of-hand offered to her marvelously conceived master detectives.
When we hear the name Tennessee Williams, our thoughts gravitate toward his award-winning classics “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” But the playwright’s talents were first recognized in his one-act plays.
“Once” is a romantic piece of storytelling so unassuming that “Once upon a time” is too pretentious a preamble. And its melancholic tale of star-crossed love is so universal that the young, working-class dreamers at its center are identified only as “Guy” and “Girl.”
Best known for writing serious stuff, including the music for Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning “Next to Normal,” composer Tom Kitt also has a history of rescuing the occasional lightweight stray.
In “An Iliad” – an OBIE and Lortel Award-winning play conceived not long after the United States invaded Iraq and produced off-Broadway in 2012 – playwrights Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare offer a compressed, contemporized and intensely compelling take on Homer’s nearly 3000-year-old epic po…