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Showing posts from July, 2015

Songs for the Fallen

Songs for the Fallen
book by Sheridan Harbridge
Lyrics and Music by Basil Hogios and Sheridan Harbridge
directed by Shane Anderson
with:
Sheridan Harbridge
Simon Corfield
Garth Holcombe
Marie Duplessis, French, lived in the mid-19th-century. It’s the old story: poor girl becomes a courtesan, climbs the social ladder and then dies of consumption. Sound familiar? She was the inspiration for La Traviata, the movie Moulin Rouge! and any number of other works. Alexandre Dumas, fils, based La Dame aux Camélias (first a novel, then a play) on Marie, and since then she’s been found in – according to the program for Songs for the Fallen – 19 films, 16 plays, three ballets and “an endless list of musicals”
Songs for the Fallen is the latest in this endless list. It’s a cabaret musical – elaborate as a cabaret, simple as a musical. It comes from Australia, and it’s just been produced by The New York Musical Theater Festival. Running 80 minutes without intermission, it’s an outrageous burlesque, f…

Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask
by Feng BaiMing and Huang WeiRuo
adapted and directed by Chongren Fan
presented by Yangtze Repertory Theater
Behind the Mask, by Feng BaiMing and Huang WeiRuo and from the American company Yangtze Repertory Theater, presents us with a troupe of actors in China. They’re rehearsing a play based on a myth, well-known to the Chinese, about a cruel king who orders his sword-maker executed after he’s forged his strongest sword.
16 years after the swordmaster’s death, his young son sets out to avenge his death by killing the king. But he’s too timid to do it. After failing in his attempt, he finds himself in the company of a compulsive assassin who wants to decapitate the king – he has such a nice neck, after all – but in order to gain access to him he needs the boy’s head. It’s an interesting conundrum. The two of them come to an agreement, the boy sacrifices himself, the assassin kills the king – and then himself.
The script alternates between showing us the characters as “rea…