Review

Reviewed by George Basler By the time the KNOW Theatre production of True West ends, it looks like a bomb has gone off in the pristine Southern California home where the action takes place. Beer cans liter the floor; food has been dumped on the rug, and the kitchen has been trashed. The physical destruction is symbolic for the emotional explosion that has taken place during the play as two brothers engage in a mutually destructive face-off that leaves their lives blown to pieces. True West is one...
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Reviewed by George Basler The recipe for a good farce is a simple one: Put some outlandish characters in outlandish situations, and mix well. Pulling it off, though, is no simple task. Get any of the ingredients slightly wrong, and the soufflé crashes, and the pudding doesn’t set. Alan Ayckbourn’s 1979 farce, Taking Steps, which opened last weekend (Feb. 2-4) at the Cider Mill Stage in Endicott, is a case in point. The production, presented by the Clocktower Theater Company, has its share of chuckles and laughs. But, despite a...
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UPDATE: A performance has been added at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 25). Reviewed by Tony Villecco SRO Productions III is giving Southern Tier residents a great big gift for having to endure a long, cold spell of nasty weather. A word of advice, though: Get your tickets immediately, because this production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods is that good. A capacity audience on opening night Friday ( Jan. 19) was treated to some exceptional local talent mastering the musical’s very complex score. How does...
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Reviewed by George Basler Watching a performance of A Christmas Carol at the Cider Mill Stage in Endicott is a little like sharing a bowl of Christmas punch with an old friend whom you haven’t seen in a while. First performed in 1979, John Bielenberg’s adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic is more than a stage production. It’s a holiday tradition that has played to thousands of patrons over the years. After a one-year absence, it’s back at the Cider Mill this year thanks to Brad Morgan,...
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Reviewed by George Basler Tommy Iafrate said he wanted to take a non-traditional approach in his staging of The Wizard of Oz,which opened this past weekend (Nov. 10-11) at Binghamton University. And the university’s director of musical theater certainly did that. The Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow are played by female, instead of male, actors. The Wicked Witch of the West is played by a male actor in drag. The Wizard himself, or should I say herself, is played by a female actor. And don’t expect...
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Reviewed by Sherri Streichman Glory Denied, an opera in two tableaux by Tom Cipullo,tells the story of Major Jim Thompson, the longest-held American prisoner of the Vietnam War. Based on a book by Tom Philpott, it employs two singers as the younger and older Thompson and two singers as the younger and older Alyce, his wife. Performances began last weekend (Nov. 10-12) and conclude this coming weekend (Nov. 17 and 19) at Tri-Cities Opera's Opera Center, 315 Clinton St., Binghamton. I’ll ask my usual question first: Is it...
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