Let’s face it. 2012 was by no means a great theatre year. Even so, there was good work that went on in San Diego and elsewhere, despite a disappointing overall result.
On the surface John Doe is about a man (Michael Nieto) who ends up in a hospital emergency room with no identification and apparently in a coma. He is cared for by one nurse in particular (Rachel Propst), who takes a liking to him without knowing anything about him. Also hanging about are five fairly stereotypical and one-dimensional men who are not seen by the staff but who watch the goings on from a set of waiting room chairs. A sixth character (Jane Lui), who it turns out, is John’s wife, flits in and out like a mental case, clinging to one or more of the men.
Last January’s version was clearly an “audience show,” with a fair amount of sing-along to what has become familiar music, mostly of the folk variety. All of the cast members were solid, but Mr. Crossland, a newbie to theatre, impressed with his tenor lead vocals – not surprising, as Mr. Crossland’s mentor was San Diego native John Stewart of the Kingston Trio. Somehow, though, the moment has passed. In January, we could empathize with a cast that had been assembled for a Pete Seeger tribute (Mr. Armstrong even looks a little like Mr. Seeger) and then had to revise suddenly when Mr. Seeger withdrew his support. We could root openly for the sympathetic comments about the Occupy movement. We could watch with studied horror as the Republican Party tried out an ever more conservative, anti-protest, set of presidential favorites.
The opening number of Pippin, Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hinson’s 1970s-era musical, is titled “Magic To Do.” Invoking magic in the opening number sets a high bar to jump, and Diversionary Theatre’s production, while solid, doesn’t rise to the level of magic. It has become fashionable to re-think Pippin, whose score by the composer […]
If you enjoyed MixTape, which just started its third year of performances downtown, or if you liked Mamma Mia, the ABBA sensation that’s still going strong in New York and on tour, you have a good chance of liking Intrepid Shakespeare Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Some of you are undoubtedly scratching your […]