January 3, 1986 |
Our Stage Beaters , who assiduously beat the bushes and back alleys in search of good theater, here give us their Best of 1985 to salute 1986. The question for Equity-Waiver theatergoers has always been: Who can you trust out there? In 1985, that question remained foremost. Weeks of Waiver-watching went by this year with hardly a breath of fresh air, let alone plays that made you sit forward and listen. There were a few.
January 1, 1988 |
Enthusiasm. If stage artists don't have it and send it out, audiences won't pick it up. What audiences will drop faster than you can say "Equity Waiver" is forced, calculated enthusiasm--that byproduct of desperation that was palpable almost anywhere you looked in smaller theater this year. You could hear it approaching the box office: Love us, please . The plea is especially loud if you're a critic and the theater depends on your review.
January 23, 1987 |
Johnny Ace, the first rock 'n' roll star for whom teen-age girls put up little altars in their bedrooms, carried the promise for other black musicians trying for a pinnacle of stardom unknown even to jazz giants. The promise lived on, past his death by Russian roulette in 1954, and haunts the characters in Martin Jones' richly evocative "West Memphis Mojo" at the International City Theatre. Johnny's been dead a year when the action begins in Teddy's Barber Shop and Records.
May 12, 1989 |
For such a resolutely non-verbal form of theater, corporeal mime tends to bring out the message-maker in its practitioners. Mime Thomas Leabhart has used the method, first developed by Etienne Decroux, for very caustic commentaries on our buy-and-sell society. Now, the Zeta Collective, led by William Fisher, is making very pointed remarks about American media and Reagan-era "news-spin" in a three-part piece, "Freedom of Information" (first work in a series titled "Myths of Freedom")