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Reviews for Current Shows

by Frederick Knott
Presented by Contemporary Theatre of Dallas
Runs through 9/7/2014

Reviewed by Chris Jackson,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

“’Cause this is thriller…And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike.” - Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

A blind woman has something that a really bad guy wants to take from her. Well, it’s a little more convoluted than that, but It’s still not hard to pick sides. You’ve got to wait until the dark for the big outcome, but if you saw Audrey Hepburn in her Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated performance, you know that good always triumphs over evil - at least that’s what we like to think.

The play’s long first scene of exposition explains in great detail how Susy’s husband came to be in possession of a doll stuffed with heroin, thinking he was doing a woman a favor. ...

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by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder
Presented by African American Repertory Theater
Runs through 9/7/2014

Reviewed by Charlie Bowles,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Take IH-20 east out of Dallas for about nine hours, turn south at Demopolis, and drive deep into the bend of the Alabama River. There in the cotton fields you can step back in time to the days when working plantations ruled the area, which gave way in the 1930’s as sharecroppers learned to live independently. You can see the effects of oppression and struggle in the fight for civil rights. Gee’s Bend is the name of that turn in the river and the place where the ferryboat lands to reach nearby Camden. Gee’s Bend is a community, the descendants of Joseph Gee’s and then Mark Pettway’s slaves who grew up proud and strong in a land that all but forgot them.

Gee’s Bend became an artistic phenomenon but it started during ...

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Book by Ben H. Winters and Erik Jackson Music by Neil Sedaka Lyrics by Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield and Phillip Cody
Presented by Plaza Theatre Company
Runs through 9/13/2014

Reviewed by Eric Bird,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

What do you get when you combine two young, single Brooklyn women in search of romance, a Catskills resort, Labor Day weekend, and talented singers performing the works of the classic Neil Sedaka? The answer is simple: you have Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, currently being masterfully performed at Plaza Theatre Company.

Neil Sedaka rose to early fame during the late 1950’s when he left The Tokens, the band formed by Sedaka and a few of his classmates. Following those early years of success Sedaka went through almost sixty years of ups and downs, ranging from great success to a decline in popularity. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do showcases nineteen Sedaka songs, including “Where the Boys Are”, “Sweet Sixteen”, “Betty Grable”, “Stupid Cupid”, and of ...

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by Ronnie Claire Edwards
Presented by Theatre Three
Runs through 9/14/2014

Reviewed by Kristy Blackmon,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

In Candy Barr’s Last Dance, actress and playwright Ronnie Claire Edwards tells the story of the infamous Dallas stripper who had torrid affairs with Mickey Cohen and Jack Ruby, shot her second husband, and spent the first part of the 1960s in the Goree State Farm for women outside of Huntsville serving a sentence for drug possession after a police raid on her apartment discovered four-fifths of an ounce of marijuana hidden in her bra.

Edwards uses three aging former strippers to tell the story of Juanita Dale Slusher, better known as Candy Barr, who left home at the age of thirteen to escape childhood sexual abuse and wound up headlining in burlesque shows from Dallas to Hollywood. The three friends have gathered in stripper-turned-revivalist Corky Latrelle’s kitchen before Candy’s funeral ...

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by Bruce Graham
Presented by Circle Theatre
Runs through 9/20/2014

Reviewed by Angela Newby,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Can one have a second chance at love? In the romantic comedy Stella & Lou, the audience is graced with the comradery of Stella, a regular at a bar, and Lou, the bar owner, and a glimpse to see if love can happen a second time. In the midst of the night, we see what is really important and if the journey is worth all the risk. As the two deal with the decisions they now face, they reflect on their pasts and look ahead to the future.

Stella & Lou premiered in 2013 at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago. Directed by B.J. Jones the cast featured Ed Flynn (Donnie), Francis Guinan (Lou), and Rhea Perlman (Stella).

Clare Floyd DeVries did an amazing job setting up this neighborhood bar. ...

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by Christopher Durang
Presented by Stage West
Runs through 9/28/2014

Reviewed by Zach Powell,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Beyond Therapy is a comedy that centers on the lives of Bruce, a bisexual man, and Prudence, a heterosexual woman, who meet through a newspaper dating service. Initially, their date derails as they find flaws within each other, but fate finds a way to draw these two back together again. As they try one more time to find romance with each other, they both must navigate through previous relationships to find some semblance of normalcy in their lives.

Mark Shum plays Bruce, an emotional man seeking a way to fill the void within his life through therapy and dating. Throughout the play, Bruce is subject to many crying spells, pulling out his handy handkerchief to wipe away tears. Shum does fake cry well; his face contorts with the emotion but sobbing ...

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