Competent Crimes

 

show_crimes_of_setup1_sb

I would like to see a play about Southerners that I liked and Crimes of the Heart is not it.

Presented for one more weekend at Hanover Tavern, this dated play revolves around the relationship of three sisters and how they deal with the brainless, violent act committed by the youngest. Most of the characters are contemporary Southern stereotypes (the helmet haired social climbing cousin, the silky smooth lawyer, the sacrificial spinster, etc) and there is a reference to white-Southern pride that made my stomach turn.

It could be my disdain for the script but I was not so impressed by this show. The cast was good and consistent across the board with only one stand-out performance put in by Tyler Stevens as Barnette Lloyd, the aforementioned lawyer. His perfect drawl floated over the ears like warm honey to hypnotic effect.

All production elements and Steve Perigard‘s direction were also good, and executed with professionalism.

In summary: It is a solid production and worth the trip for the sake of seeing such. But as a person who wishes to raise the level of racial consciousness in our society,  plays like this must go by the wayside. It seems innocent enough but the white privilege underlying it is just what needs to be obliterated in order for the ethnicities of our society, particularly African-Americans, to gain real equality. If you want to better understand why I feel this way about Crimes of the Heart feel free to ask.

Advertisements

Big Hand to Hand to God

36555981_1910788562274660_4432541150099800064_o

I adore provocative, in your face theatre and the collaborative production of HAND TO GOD by 5th Wall and TheatreLab is ALL that and more!

The plot revolves around Jason and his mother, Margery and how they are coping with the loss of their respective father/husband through a puppet ministry at their church. Sounds innocent enough but when Adam’s puppet turns demonic and Margery lets down her guard things get WILD!

The cast is amazing! Adam Turck (Jason/Tyrone, the puppet) has mastered the art of the rapid fire character switch. Adam Valentine (Timmy) is sublime as the teenager with a MILF crush. Anne Michell Forbes (Jessica/Jolene) milks the most out of her short stage time and also does the incredible puppet character switch thing. Kimberly Jones Clark (Margery) is a badass at playing these naughty girl types. Fred Iacovo (Pastor Greg) Um, a little over the top for my taste. (Ouch. Sorry, Fred, I love you as a person.)

Gary Hopper’s direction is so flawless in this show that one might wonder if he was possessed by a mysterious power himself.

This is a play for people who like dark comedy and serious social satire. No weenies allowed.

If you haven’t seen this show – lucky for you it has been extended.

For more info click here.

 

White Devils and all

Rene Thornton, Jr. in The White Devil at ASC

Rene Thornton, Jr. in The White Devil at ASC

Tonight, hopefully, I will achieve a goal by seeing the fifth play in the American Shakespeare Center’s Renaissance Season, Daniel Webster’s The White Devil.  And if this play is as good as the season’s other offerings, it should prove to be a good time to be had by all.  By “all” I mean the audience AND the actors.  This particular troupe seems to have gelled quite well (on stage at least as I am incapable of guessing what the behind the scenes situation is) bringing a wonderful sense of fun to The Taming of the Shrew (big shout out to Allison Glenzer for being such a fabulous Kate), Aphra Behn’s The Rover (love, love, love the play and particularly Lauren Ballard and John Harrell’s performances in this show xoxoxoxo), Every Man in His Humor (Patrick Midgley- you are soooo funny when you want to be), and Mother Bombie (not my favorite of the season but they do a good job with it).  Michael Amendola who plays a bunch of parts throughout the season (as does everyone in the troupe), turns every part he “touches” into gold.  His sense of humor is impeccable and I think he is perhaps the best comedic actor I have yet to see tread the Blackfriars recreated boards. And Nathan Crocker goes down smooth as an aged Scotch in every role he depicts.

I was tardy in my report on this season and I apologize but you can still catch all the Ren Season over the next couple of weeks. Plus you will have your chance to catch the cable ASC Touring Company when they return home to roost on April 8th with Hamlet (taking a group of Tibetans with me to see that with me- should prove to be interesting), Doctor Faustus, Much Ado About Nothing and Wittenberg.

See you at the theatre!

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection for February 23rd – March 1

February wraps up with a theatrical world premier in Richmond, a collection of Chekhov shorts (not to be confused with a collection for shorts for Chekhov – spring IS coming after all) in Charlottesville and an art show in Staunton.

To learn more about these events you can click the links provided or play a podcast of this week’s WNRN Culture Connection by going to wnrn.org> features>culture connection.

The World We Know:

http://www.firehousetheatre.org/this-world-we-know-world-premiere/

Vodka Variations: An Evening of Chekhov Shorts:

http://tickets.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=4042

Mixed media art show:

http://saartcenter.org/

THIS WORLD WE KNOW

THIS WORLD WE KNOW

Have a cultured week!

Best,

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection for Feb 16 – 22

One play, on ballet and some art on display.  Thus is this week’s WNRN Culture Connection- A musical version of Jane Austin’s Mansfield Park, the ballet version of Don Quixote and portraits by Lucian Freud.

To learn more about these featured events, click on the link below.

Don Quixote:

http://www.richmondballet.com/event/don-quixote-feb-20-2015-7pm/

Lucien Freud:

http://www.virginia.edu/artmuseum/exhibition/lucian-freud

Mansfield Park:

http://svu.edu/news/2015/professor-writes-directs-original-musical-mansfield-park-feb-13-14-19-21/

imgres

Enjoy the week and… get out there and get cultured.

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection for Jan 19 – 25

Its January and loosing weight is on many people’s minds so now is a great time to learn about GMO’s via a film at the Central Branch of the Library, work off some calories biting your nails at Arena Racing or give it up altogether and have a great meal and watch a funny play.

For more information on the featured events, click on the links provided.

Arena Racing:

http://richmondcoliseum.net/events/

The Drowsy Chaperon Dinner Theater:

http://roberteleehotel.com/

GMO-OMG: Film at the Library:

http://www.jmrl.org/cgi-bin/calendar.pl?view=Event&event_id=4860&datestring=20150122

 

Arena Racing Champion

Arena Racing Champion

If you know of a cool event coming up, shoot me an email at culturemaven@wnrn.org.

Also, on Saturday you can witness the production of seven, ten-minute plays created less than 24 hours earlier when Live Arts presents: 24/7.  More at livearts.org.

Have a culturally fabulous week!

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection December 8 – 14

Tiz the season of a hundred parties but if you can squeeze some other fun in I suggest :An interactive game of clue, Monticello after dark and We Three Lizas (an Oh, So FABULOUS spin on A Christmas Carol where the three ghosts are three versions of Liza Minnelli) – my picks for things to do in the WNRN listening area this week.

To learn more about these events click on the links provided below.  To hear a podcast of this week’s WNRN Culture Connection, click on the “play” button at the bottom of the page at http://www.wnrn.org/2014/12/culture-connec…-december-8-14/.

Interactive Clue Game:

http://threenotchdbrewing.com/events/

Monticello after dark tour:

http://www.monticello.org/site/visit/tours/holiday-evening-tours

We Three Lizas:

http://www.rtriangle.org/

A scene from We Three Lizas at Richmond Triangle Players

A scene from We Three Lizas at Richmond Triangle Players

Have a fantastic week!

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN logo

WNRN Culture Connection for Nov 17 – 23

This week I have picked an exhibit of treasures from the Forbidden City, A film festival and the theatrical version of one of my favorite stories, Little Women – just the thing to get you cultured up for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

To learn more about these events, click on the links provided.  To hear a podcast of this week’s Culture Connection, go to wnrn.org and click on the “features” tab then on Culture Connections.

If you know of a cool event coming up in the next month, shoot me a text at culturemaven at WNRN dot org and help me to help you make a WNRN Culture Connection.

Forbidden City Exhibition at the VMFA:

http://vmfa.museum/exhibitions/forbidden-city/

Little Women:

http://www.fourcp.org/SitePages/currentseason.aspx

Super Gr8 Film Festival:

http://www.valleyarts.org/films/

imgres

Have an awesome culture filled week!

Mary

The Culture Maven

WNRN Culture Connection for Nov 10 – 16

Ahhhh November.  The month that ushers in  the sugarfest that is commonly referred to as “The Holidays”.  This week I have sweets on the brain and have curated three plays that have some sweet related thing about them.  The first is Edward II at the Blackfriars in Staunton. King Ed has an obsession similar to a sugar addiction which ruins his reign.  Then aptly titled, The Sugar at Live Arts in Charlottesville, is all about a woman trying to kick the glucose habit just when her world seems to be falling to pieces. Lastly but definitely not least, Clay Chapman brings his Pumpkin Pie Show to Richmond.

For information on the featured events, click the links below.  To listen to this week’s Culture Connection, go to wnrn.org, click on Features then on Culture Connection.

Header_Graphic

Edward II:

http://www.americanshakespearecenter.com/v.php?pg=1746

The Sugar:

http://www.livearts.org/

The Pumpkin Pie Show:

http://claymcleodchapman.com/performances/the-pumpkin-pie-show

So get your sweets fix without the calories this week and have a cultured good time.

All the best,

Mary

The Culture Maven

PS: Caught Fed Up at the Virginia Film Festival this past weekend and am working on a blog post about it on culturenuts.wordpress.com.

WNRN Culture Connection for Oct 27 – Nov 3

It is the week of Halloween and La Dia de los Muertos so I chose some events that are appropriate for the season (including a ballet for those of you who are uninterested in Halloween activities for whatever reason).  There’s Carmina Burana at Richmond Ballet, a series of blaxploitation horror films at the Jefferson School in Charlottesville and Trick-or-Treating for the little monsters in your life in Lexington.  As for me,  I will be at the Tandem Friends School enjoying one of my favorite shows of all time- Spamalot.

If you would like information on the featured events in this week’s WNRN Culture Connection, click on the links provided.

Binge Film Sessions: Blaxploitation Horror films:

http://jeffschoolheritagecenter.org/events/2014-fall-events/calendar-2/

 

 Carmina Burana:

http://www.richmondballet.com/season-tickets/performances/carmina-burana/

 Tricks-or-Treats in Downtown Lexington:

http://events.lexingtonvirginia.com/events.php?view=d&id=6589&m=10&y=2014&d=31

Image from Charlie Brown Halloween

Image from Charlie Brown Halloween

 Have a howling good week.

Mary

The Culture Maven

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.