Posted inTheater Review

Celtic conflicts

Ann Noble’s play about an Irish family decompensating after the mother’s death had its premiere in Chicago nearly 30 years ago, and it’s showing its age. There are plots and subplots and Irish-lit tropes like a storytelling session apropos of nothing, but none of these achieves warp, or even tarantella, speed. As the dutiful daughter […]

Posted inTheater Review

A big-hearted Little Women

First Folio Theatre planned to produce the world premiere of Heather Chrisler’s adaptation of Little Women back in spring of 2020, but COVID took that production out just as surely as scarlet fever ended Beth March. (Calm down: the book is over 150 years old, so spoiler alerts don’t apply.) Though of course one never […]

Posted inTheater Review

Manservant and manchild

Fourteen years ago, First Folio Theatre presented Jeeves Intervenes, the first in what would prove to be a reliably crowd-pleasing series of adaptations by Margaret Raether of P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves and Bertie” stories. (Jeeves Saves the Day was the last show the company presented before the COVID-19 shutdown.) So it makes sense that they’d kick […]

Posted inTheater Review

Secret, but saggy

Note to would-be play adapters: Agatha Christie’s second published detective novel, The Secret Adversary (1922), is in public domain. That means you can pretty much do whatever you want with this text, and still call it an “adaptation.” This is pretty much what First Folio executive artistic director David Rice does here. Extremely loosely based […]

Posted inTheater Review

Putting the pieces together in First Folio’s The Jigsaw Bride

Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier has a history of taking largely forgotten, sometimes nameless characters and putting them in the dead center of the iconic tales they support. It’s a potentially grim business, digging up backstories (and futures) for (no)bodies the world only knows as incidental to someone else’s story. But anyone passingly familiar with the commercial/critical […]

Posted inTheater Preview

October ushers in bride of Frankenstein story at First Folio

Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier is a maker of monsters, a horror artist who retells classic tales with an emphasis on what makes these constructs human. First Folio Theatre, which has produced five of Zettelmaier’s plays in the past (including horror tales The Man-Beast, The Gravedigger, and Dr. Seward’s Dracula, along with two non-horror pieces, Salvage and […]