Time to say goodbye

Today’s a day I never thought I’d see – the day I’m stowing away my critic’s shingle and hanging up my critic’s hat.

As of today, I’m giving up this blog and leaving theater criticism to others. Continue reading

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Stay tuned — the songs of Alexander Sage Oyen

I was making my way into my almost-last Fringe show this past spring (Captain Discovery: The Edible Musical) when I was accosted, among the throng of eight or nine people crowding into a closet otherwise known as the Jamie Mykins Theater, by a young man wearing what looked something like a centurion’s helmet.

“I’ve got something for you,” he said, and he reached into his backpack and handed me a CD.

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Broadway actor Barbara Walsh gives a master class

Barbara Walsh

Broadway leading lady Barbara Walsh, who originated the role of Trina in the Broadway production of Falsettos in 1992 and played the acerbic Joanne in the 2007 revival of Company, comes to Orlando Sept. 10 and 11 to give a concert and present two master classes, for high-schoolers and adults, at Tim Evanicki’s Starving Artist Studios.

Walsh, 56, has played a host of interesting roles, both on Broadway and in major regional theaters: Francesca in the first Broadway production of Nine; Mrs. Baskin, the main character’s mother, in the 1996 Broadway version of Big; Desirée in A Little Night Music at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse; Mother in the Chicago production of Ragtime; Edith Beale and Little Edie in Grey Gardens at Washington, D.C.’s Studio Theatre; Maria Callas in Master Class at Baltimore’s Center Stage.  She is married to Jack Cummings III, artistic director of the New York theater company Transport Group, who also will give two master classes at Starving Artist Studios Sept. 10.

Walsh talked to me about studying and teaching theater and about the roles that has meant the most to her. Here’s an edited version of our talk:

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Theater review: ‘The Understudy’ at Mad Cow

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

Michele Feren, Brian Brightman and Josh Geoghagan in 'The Understudy' (photo courtesy of Mad Cow Theatre)

There’s something more than a little Kafkaesque about The Understudy. And it’s not just that, in the play-within-a-play at the center of Theresa Rebeck’s 2008 comedy, the scenery has a way of rolling in and out for no apparent reason and the sound and lighting have a way of switching on and off of their own free will.

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Orlando Rep offers part-time job

Here’s a job notice from the Rep:

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Opera auditions: Florida Opera Theatre’s ‘Il Barbiere di Seviglia’

Here’s an audition notice from Florida Opera Theatre:

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IceHouse reconfigures its season

The IceHouse Theatre’s renovations — largely an expanded lobby and other public space — won’t be done by the end of the summer as the theater had planned. So the theater’s 64th season will start in November. Here’s news on the changes:

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Teachers needed for kids’ classes

Here’s a job notice from Breakthrough Theatre:

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Book review: ‘Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein’

When playwright Wendy Wasserstein died in 2006, a lot of theater-lovers grieved. Many of them were people something like me – a woman, a baby-boomer, a product of the same kind of New England women’s college that Wasserstein attended and just a year younger, almost to the day, than Wasserstein herself.

So it was easy to believe that Wasserstein’s plays, especially her Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy The Heidi Chronicles, were about me and the people I knew.

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‘La Nouba’ offers summer/fall discount to Florida folks

Cover of

Cover of La Nouba

In the dead of summer, what better to perk you up than a discount to La Nouba? Once again, Cirque du Soleil is offering the popular discount to Florida residents, beginning today and running through Oct. 29.

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Theater review: ‘Legacy of Light’ at Mad Cow

Steven Lane (Voltaire) and Heather Charles (Émilie du Châtelet) in Mad Cow Theatre's 'Legacy of Light.' (Photo courtesy of Mad Cow Theatre.)

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

There’s a spark in the eye of Karen Zacarias’s women. You can see it in Émilie du Châtelet, the 18th-century mathematician and physicist at the heart of Legacy of Light, the smart, tender little comedy at Mad Cow Theatre. You can see it in Olivia, the modern-day astrophysicist who’s trying to live her life to the fullest while she has the chance. And you can see it in Millie, a young woman who goes to unusual lengths to build herself a different kind of life.

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Opera auditions: Florida Opera Theatre youth programs

An audition notice from Florida Opera Theatre:

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Theater auditions: ‘Looking for Normal’ at Breakthrough

An audition notice from Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park:

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Theater auditions: ‘Art of Murder’ in Melbourne

Here’s an audition notice from Melbourne Civic Theatre:

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Theater auditions: ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ in Cocoa Beach

Here’s an audition notice from the Surfside Players in Cocoa Beach. Note: This is for a movie presentation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, not for the musical-theater version:

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Mad Cow announces Sondheim opener for new theater

'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,' by Georges Seurat

Mad Cow Theatre is just hinting at what will make up its 15th season, which will start out in the two current theater spaces on Magnolia Avenue and move, in January 2012, to 54 W. Church St.

But they’ve opened up about one thing, and it’s a biggie: The musical opening the new theater spaces, from Jan. 27 to Feb. 19, 2012, is Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park With George.

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Theater auditions: Two plays at Orlando Shakes

Here’s an audition announcement for three really wonderful roles at Orlando Shakespeare Theater:

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Encore Cast and Choir concert to benefit Dr. Phillips Center

Disney’s Encore! Cast and Choir is at it again, and this time it’s to benefit the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (now under construction — and isn’t it great to be able to say that?).

Every year the Disney cast members who make up the Encore! Cast and Choir perform a concert to benefit a local nonprofit. This year it’s the Dr. Phillips Center, and the concerts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios begin this Friday night. Tickets are $20-$30, and you don’t have to pay theme-park admission to see the show. Here are all the details:

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Auditions: MicheLee Puppets for anti-bullying show

Here’s an audition announcement from MicheLee Puppets:

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DeLand theater needs two ‘Peter Pan’ costumes

Can anyone help director Craig Uppercue with this request?

The Sands Youth Theater Company is looking for two costume needs for our production of Peter Pan.  We are looking for: Nana (the nurse dog costume) and the crocodile.  Anyone who has it for borrow or rent can contact Craig@AthensTheatre.org.