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Showing posts from May, 2019

Bucolic

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A show called Bucolic was presented this month by Maul Face LLC in Judson Memorial Church in Washington Square. The promotion calls it a “immersive dark comedic musical”, and the website calls it a “dark comedy musical”. It’s not a musical. It’s a musical review with six performers or, as the website also calls it, “a good-natured stand-up act.”
At opening a priest enters through the audience and tells us “Sit. down! Quiet down! Here it is - your senior year!” We are, for the moment, in a Catholic high school in a small Nebraska town. And I suppose that by the standards of a small Nebraska town, the show’s pretty good.
The prime mover, who created and composed the show, is Lauren Maul. She addresses us with an amiable, relaxed stage presence. She also sings and plays the piano for the other singers. The premise is that her unnamed home town in Nebraska was rife with murders, and the show has a mild, delightful, macabre humor as she and her cast relate through song and narration the stor…

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

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Cooper Bates photography
What a terrific performance Burt Grinstead gives us as the eponymic characters - character - in Blanket Fort Entertainment’s production of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde! The show is a 70-minute-long adaptation of Robert Louis Stephenson’s famous 1886 book Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It’s played exclusively for laughs, and Mr. Grinstead is a marvel of a comic actor. As the good Dr Jekyll he pushes his hair back, cleans his glasses and lets his voice break. As the evil, cruel, malignant, hateful, reprehensible Mr. Hyde he sticks his tongue out, growls and lets his hat fall over his eyes so that we never really see his face. “This is freedom, Jekyll, freedom!” he cackles, dripping with camp villainy. And “If a man wants to kill, he should kill - shouldn’t he?.” He menaces the audience as he whooshes up the aisle.
He has a worthy partner in Anna Stromberg, the only other performer. She plays no less than 14 roles (okay, some of them only a few lines) includin…