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Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

John Patrick Shanley’s romantic comedy about two urban castaways who find solace together begins in a bar and ends in a bedroom. In this Slimtack Theatre Company production, both settings are part of director Michael Rice’s apartment–to make scene changes, the actors and audience move from one household area to another. Since this salon-theater show […]

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Absolute Macbeth

The Polarity Ensemble Theatre’s debut production, a drum-driven Macbeth, aims none-too-subtly at the “purging of a tyrant” and “redemption of a nation.” But surprisingly, the show’s hippie-agitprop-shaman elements–interpretive dance, ritual song, bloody sacrifice–are its tightest, cleanest, and most effective. The able and eager acting, however, isn’t quite a match for the demands of Shakespeare’s blackest […]

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Two Grooms and a Mohel

The puppets, size-27 psychic waitress, and physically violent counselor for gay couples all suggest that playwright Jay Paul Deratany is aiming for absurdity. But this show’s unbelievable central story line and superficial characters rob it of any truth: Deratany consistently glosses over anything of substance to get to the next (occasionally funny) joke. Ryan is […]

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Gang of Four

Entertainment!, Gang of Four’s 1979 debut, took the classic elements of rock ‘n’ roll–bass, drums, guitar, vocals, and songs about desire–broke them into jagged pieces, and reassembled them into something that rocked fiercely even while challenging the genre’s conventions. Bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham played stiff funk grooves at punk velocity; guitarist Andy […]

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The Age of Consent

MOB Productions makes its debut with Peter Morris’s 2002 play, structured as alternating monologues for a tacky showbiz mom and a young man serving time for a notorious murder he committed as a child. Though Morris tends to moralize on his themes–fame gained and innocence lost–the play proves a sensible choice for a brand-new cash-strapped […]

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Taraf De Haidouks

It’s been four years since the last dispatch from this brilliant Gypsy ensemble from the remote Romanian village of Clejani. Their live album, Band of Gypsies (Nonesuch, 2001), captured them in excellent form: they played high-velocity grooves that reeled like a bum loopy from slivovitz mixed with strings played by virtuosos who didn’t consider knockout […]

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Breakbone DanceCo.

Atalee Judy’s brave new One, a revised multimedia dance-theater piece, is ambitious, passionate, and carefully executed. Clearly she aims to connect with the audience in this “series of dark, romantic, voyeuristic visions”–but her thoughts are all too plain. Video snippets set in castles or dilapidated modern buildings repeat without building in intensity, and the structure […]

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Thornetta Davis

Detroit singer Thornetta Davis began her career in the 80s singing in cover bands and blues groups. In 1991 she became a backup vocalist for MC5-influenced rockers Big Chief, and the band used her keening wail to good advantage on three albums before breaking up in the mid-90s. Their power chords and spiky metal-infused funk […]

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Major Dundee

Director Sam Peckinpah went over budget during production of this 1965 epic western and was fired, so this restoration, based on a scholarly assessment of his intentions, can’t really be considered a director’s cut. But it’s 12 minutes longer, its story is easier to follow, and its score is closer to what Peckinpah had in […]