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Improv masters Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood bring their wackiness to the Landmark on Saturday
When the British improv TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway? migrated across the pond to ABC in 1998, it became a Drew Carey-hosted free-for-all that vaulted two of its stars, Canada’s Colin Mochrie and America’s Brad Sherwood, to the top of the make-em-laugh pack. The series was largely unappreciated by ABC brass, which used it as low-cost spackle to fill any gaping holes in the network schedule, although it lingered for nearly 200 episodes before the network canceled it in 2003.
Marital discord in the 1950s provides a soap opera of sorts in Trouble in Tahiti
If you want to sing about the joy of new love, romance or passion, composers have infinite resources at their command. When the subject turns to disaffection, distress and anxiety, they call for another tune. Or maybe no tune at all. That’s what was on Leonard Bernstein’s mind when he composed his first modernist opera in 1952, the ironically titled Trouble in Tahiti, long assumed to be a portrait of his parents’ unhappy marriage. Outwardly little happens in the hour of action: a husband wins a handball trophy; a wife misses her son’s recital. But like the Gentleman Caller who left the Wingfield’s apartment earlier than expected, the resonance from each emotion runs deep.
The Springside Inn pays tribute to the late Broadway choreographer Thommie Walsh with a threesome of tunersDonna McKechnie: Dazzled at Springside Inn with her one-woman show.
When Auburn’s city fathers balked at naming a street after the late Thommie Walsh, his sister Barbara Walsh decided to put on a show. Actually three shows, all featuring Broadway performers linked to Walsh. A local boy turned well-connected Broadway star, Thommie Walsh died of lymphoma at age 57 in 2007. The trio Barbara revived for the “Broadway Series” dinner theater weekends at Auburn’s Springside Inn, now refurbished to look like the glory days of 20 years ago, were directed by Thommie Walsh in their original runs.
Syracuse Stage juggles its standard formula and adds box-office bang for its upcoming 2010-2011 slate
Tim Bond: Producing artistic director of Syracuse Stage breaks from the norm for the upcoming season.
Syracuse Stage’s just-announced schedule for 2010 and 2011 turns out to be the season that smashes templates. Remember that feel-good musical in the December slot, co-produced with the Syracuse University Drama Department, and a tradition of 11 years? It’s gone. And the 2-year-old model of parallel December productions, with the smaller one a solo show performed in the Storch Theatre around the corner? That’s outta here, too.
Couples collide with love in Syracuse Stage’s comic anthology Almost, Maine
Getting sacked: David Mason and Alexis McGuinness in Syracuse Stage’s Almost, Maine. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
Syracuse Stage’s current production of John Cariani’s Almost, Maine did sellout business at Rochester’s Geva Theater, and given its sweetness and surface good humor it is sure to be warmly embraced here. The plainspoken ordinariness of its many characters (all played by four actors) will disarm naysayers. The many jokes about snow and cold will bring nods of recognition from local audiences. This is also a show where characters are likely to kiss members of the opposite sex at the drop of a mitten. Underneath all this, as in Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls, lies a recognition of disappointment and loneliness. Cariani, another sunny Italian, helps us to overcome the gloom.
A manic pace provides the key for laughter in SU Drama’s Room Service
Guest pests: Brad Koed, Amos VanderPoel and Charlo Kirk in SU Drama’s Room Service.
Broadway audiences of the 1930s got a lot for their money. When John Murray and Allen Boretz’s Room Service opened in May 1937, the thousands streaming into the 500 performances could hear 14 speaking roles, see several trunkloads of costume changes, and watch frantic action roll over three acts, stopping just 10 minutes short of three hours. That’s a long time to try to keep ticket-holders laughing. The try-anything gag writing yields a fair share of groaners, but not to worry. If one fails (“Tapeworm? Ah, you’re eating for two.”), another piece of shtick, often physical comedy, will pop up in a few seconds to bring back the guffaws. That’s just what happens during the current revival from the students of the Syracuse University Drama Department.
A dangerous vamp puts the moves on a museum guard in Rarely Done’s The Shape of Things
Appleseed celebrates the works of Israel Horovitz with a pair of one-acts
A trio of high school misfits raise a ruckus in Speech & Debate