Featured photo for A Hammer A Bell review

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.

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Wendy Maples

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…

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Musical

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…

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The first thing you should know about Altar Boyz is that it’s fun.  The second thing you should know is that it’s fun.  The third thing you should know is that not much else matters. Noah Longton’s production at the Diversionary Cabaret (which means that the show is not an official Diversionary production and the…

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Producers Fran and Barry Weissler have made a lot of money doing what’s called “stunt casting.” They take an appealing show, front it with a “name” celebrity they think audiences would pay to see, surround the star with a cast that can sell the show, and then if the star bombs the rest of the…

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