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Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Adrift in Macao" @ Broadway Rose Theatre

"Adrift in Macao" struck as what it might be like had the writers of "Airplane!" penned a musical. This is a good thing. Add in the film noir setting, and you have a show tailor-made for many of my tastes. "Adrift in Macao" is my favorite type of Broadway Rose show, they have the musical-mystery down to a science. One of my favorite elements of this particular one was the lighting by Phil McBeth. Expressive lighting is essential to creating the film-noir look. In fact, it is the mood and design of the show that impressed me most. So much so, that my choice of production photo is the one I feel captures it best:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dave & Phil Alvin @ The Aladdin Theater

My ears are still ringing from Dave and Phil Alvin's incredible and incredibly loud show at the Aladdin Theater last night. The volume of the show was somewhat unexpected given the first section of the performance, which was relatively subdued. This only served as build-up to the indescribably energetic songs later in the night. One song featured such a long interlude that Dave Alvin remarked from the stage that the audience could go for a meal and return before it was over. There was also an unbelievable drum solo by a female, which made me smile because my twin sister is a drummer and I thought of her. Another stand-out was a song about their brotherly feud. I do not know what started the bad blood between them, but I am very glad it has ended. The Alvin Brothers are one of the best duos in music today.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Marc Broussard @ The Aladdin Theater, 9-19-15

Marc Broussard never disappoints. His performance style always serves as an embodiment of why I love music. He puts every ounce of himself into a song. He performed many songs from his newest album, "A Life Worth Living," my favorite after his best-known album "Carencro" His songs are bayou soul at its finest. A Broussard show is the musical equivalent of a Charismatic Revival. It is truly something to behold. Au Long De La Rivere" a song that is as of now only available on the recording "Live from Full-Sail University" and just cries out for a studio-version.

Everyone should join me at his next show. I can almost guarantee he will become one of your favorites.

"Our Town" Portland Center Stage

"Our Town" is the kind of show you hear about all the time, but seldom see because there is a prevailing feeling that everyone has done it. Sort of like "Inherit the Wind," which I have read but have yet to see. "Our Town" is the story of life in Grover's Corners and follows its characters from birth to death. The image that has stuck with me since seeing it is the set in the Third Act, in which many actors sit in suspended chairs, in a version of the afterlife. It drew an audible gasp and its own applause from the audience.

I enjoyed the show, but I must agree with the two gentlemen I overheard, who lamented that something edgier was not selected instead, given that this was the Season Opener. Still, it is a truly ambitious undertaking, and worth your time.

Monday, September 14, 2015

"The Understudy" at Artist's Rep

"The Understudy" is a play about theatre and acting. This made me wary.  Sometimes writers writing about their own world isn't always exciting. "The Understudy" however is hilarious, though it must be noted that quite a bit of the humor is of the insider variety, including a brilliant off-handed takedown of Jeremy Piven and his dubious departure from "Speed-the-plow" due to mercury poisoning. The play could probably be described as a satire, but the word suggests viciousness, and "The Understudy" is very much a love-note to theatre. In fact, my favorite moment is the dance sequence at the end, a silly and yet elegant metaphor for the value of doing art for its own sake. I also conversed with someone after the show who said that in the script the only instruction is "they dance," which makes the unabashed goofiness of the dance all the funnier. If you are interested in watching what it takes to put on a show, and having a few laughs while you're at it, you will enjoy "The Understudy"