Get ready for some random:
A storefront Piazza
Theo Ubique announced that it will produce The Light in the Piazza — one of my absolute favorite shows — in their 60-seat cafe setting. I’m confident this group can pull it off, as artistic director Fred Anzevino has more than enough experience staging epic musicals in tiny spaces (you should have seen what he did with Chess). The biggest challenge will be pairing down those sumptuous arrangements. For example: while I loved Marriott’s production a few seasons ago (saw it twice), the tinny orchestra almost did me in. Piazza will run March 11-April 29, 2012.
Writers’ Theatre to offer A Little Night Music
Again, another sweeping musical in a teensy venue. In May 2012, Writers’ Theatre will present A Little Night Music, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, directed by William Brown. Unfortunately, getting to Glencoe has proven a significant challenge for me (as in: I haven’t been there since I saw A Minsters’ Wife a few seasons ago), but I’ll figure it out to see this production.
Mortar Theatre gets a big break
Only in their second season, and Mortar Theatre has announced that Dana Lynn Formby’s play, Corazón de Manzana, which explores the femicide crisis in Juárez, Mexico, will debut at DCA Theatre in August. Landing this high-profile venue is a major step forward for the daring storefront company, so way to go, gang! I got the chance to speak with Formby back when this play was in its early development — read that interview here.
Drag Race update
Looks like my earlier predictions are (mostly) coming true. Still team Raja all the way. And while I get that people strongly dislike Shangela, I gotta say: while she’s rough around the edges in the looks department, she’s a charmer and has loads of personality when the lights and camera are on her. A queen can learn the makeup and padding tips, but natural charm is money in the bank, baby.
Sara Palin is an idiot
We know this. But this comment by her, declaring that the National Endowment for the Arts is “frivolous,” is not only ignorant, it’s scary.
Sutton Foster releases new live album
I’ve always admired Ms. Foster’s work since she burst onto the scene in Millie, but when I saw her launch the opening of Broadway Playhouse with a one woman concert last September, I fell in love. She recently released a new solo album recorded live at Cafe Carlyle, which essentially captures that concert, and I highly recommend it. Plus, she sings “And I’m Telling You (I’m Not Going)” as an encore, so how awesome is that?
No more CTA Index
Only a few months in, and I’ve done away with the public 10-point rating scale I had included in past reviews. And I should have known better: I’ve always felt rating systems over-simplified the opinion process, so I’m not sure why I even started a 10-point scale to begin with. Oh, that’s right — I wanted to keep better track of my viewing habits so I could have a more coherent grasp on shows I’ve seen throughout the year. So: I’m keeping the scale to myself in a super-secret spreadsheet, which tracks all the shows I’ve seen and my rating. Then, at the end of the year, I can sort by points to remind myself what shows made the biggest impact. Whereas before I was relying on memory — and that’s never a good idea when you’re me.
Donate to Red Cross
If you can, give your money today.