Category Archives: Theatre

‘Cole & Will’: Missed opportunities

The latest show at the Victoria Hall — the third for the fledgling Victoria Hall Theater Company — affords an opportunity to hear nearly 30 of Cole Porter’s songs, from the familiar (“Anything Goes”) to the obscure (“After You, Who?”). The sheer delight in the music is only matched by the witty lyrics that seem to bubble up effortlessly, song after song.

Unfortunately, in “Cole & Will (Together Again)” they are framed by a wooden play that serves little but to make the songs a welcome respite from the goings-on.

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Yee–haw, m’lord: A rawhide Shrew makes merry at Fess Parker’s place

A Wild West version of “The Taming of the Shrew” has been so popular in recent years (I counted at least five nationwide on a quick Internet search) that it’s nearly deserving of its own sub-genre.

For those who love the play’s rowdy, rough-and-tumble attitude but are a bit queasy over its sexual politics, the lawlessness of the frontier offers a broad canvas and several ideological escape routes. Dress up Katherine as Annie Oakley and you’re already halfway toward a character. And the transitory nature of the West makes all outcomes liable to change without notice, unlike the established Padua of Shakespeare’s original.

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Lost in memories in The Lady and the Clarinet

Michael Cristofer’s play “The Lady and the Clarinet” is less a straightforward romantic comedy and more like a mysterious chocolate candy. The outside is sweet, but the inside is bitter the more you chew — and by the end you’re not sure if the outside was really chocolate to start with.

Mr. Cristofer earned a Pulitzer Prize for his earlier play, 1977’s “The Shadow Box.”

“The Lady and the Clarinet” dates from 1984, and was at one point an off-Broadway hit for Stockard Channing. Director Maggie Mixsell has resurrected the play and brought it to Santa Barbara City College’s Jurkowitz Theater for a three-week run, where it becomes a star vehicle for its leading lady, Katie Thatcher.

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Review: UCSB’s The Cherry Orchard

It all seems like so long ago. In fact it was a week. At last my Cherry Orchard review has been posted.

UPDATE: As the Goleta Valley Voice was bought out by the NewsPress and then shuttered, the article is no longer online. Here’s the archive:

Chekhov’s ‘Cherry Orchard’ – the right play at the wrong time?
By D.M. Terrace, Special to the Voice

Mention the playwright Anton Chekhov and the word “slapstick” doesn’t necessarily come to mind. But there it was on stage at the Hatlen Theater Friday night: pratfalls, slip-ups, mistaken identities. Given, Chekhov always saw The Cherry Orchard – his last play, written as tuberculosis ravaged him – as a comedy, a wry look at the inability of the landed gentry in Czarist Russia to see the change that was happening under their own feet.

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