Stage Notes is a weekly aggregate post about theater, classical music and stage news, events, reviews and other pertinent information.
Review: Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus by Kitchen Dog Theatre
Honestly, I don’t know where to begin with this show. Playwright Taylor Mac’s absurdist comedy is for sure a roller coaster ride but nonetheless hilarious and captivating. You may ask yourself at the end “What just happened?”
In the program notes, Mac mentions the brutality of the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus that results in “14 killings, nine of htem on stage, six severed members, one rape, one live burial…” You get the picture. Mac’s play centers on the aftermath and basically who’s going to clean up this massive bloody mess.
The answer to that is Gary (Randy Pearlman) a clown who is thrilled to have been hired as a maid he sees as an upward career move. He has to work with expert maid Janice (Karen Parrish) who knows exactly how to exhume the insides of the corpses and organize the situation for maximum efficiency in cleaning out the mess before tomorrow’s inauguration.
The two bicker and banter over their approach to work but then find common ground in their poking fun at the aristocracy by donning jewels and garb and imagining themselves in higher social statuses.
Throughout their own revelry, they meet Carole (Brandy McClendon Kae) a midwife who had survived an attack and the loss of a baby she was trying to save. The character also opens the show with a bloody prologue.
The three-actor cast were deep into their characters which what made it both successful and palatable. The premise and the setting were outrageous. The cast was equally so. Director Tim Johnson led the cast deftly among their mostly comedic moments but also some impressive dramatic monologues and mime action.
While Pearlman played the titular fool of the story, it was Kae who delivered a hilarious performance coming in at the halfway mark. Her caricature of a voice and comedic and physical timing was top notch. Pearlman and Parrish were ideal adversaries and pals. He was lighthearted with something to say which balanced her grumpy seriousness and both really brought out each other’s depth of character.
Kudos to the design team that included Justin Locklear, Aaron Johansen, Amy Poe, Claudia Jenkins Martinez and Cindy Ernst Godinez. Technically, the show was a marvel to watch because of them and the rest of the production staff.
The backdrop was a pile of bloody corpses that hid stairs and entrances which added a touch of surprise throughout the show. Sound effects and lighting added amazing layers to the entire shows. The biggest moment came toward the end which was a massive spectacle filled with penises, dictators and pom poms. I won’t give too much more away because, truly you have to see it to believe.
Gary was many things: funny, confusing, dramatic, bizarre but for sure it was an incredible achievement for KDT in the Trinity River Arts Space.
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus runs through Sunday.
Undermain streams The Punk Pan Indian Romantic Comedy
The theater will stream this music-themed talk and performance from its WGTA 2022 festival earlier this month. Perfomed by indigenous artist Gregg Deal, the show gives focus to music that impacted his life and its power of healing. Both dramatic and funny, the show follows Deal’s life from youth to his blossoming as an artist.
The show streams through April 3. Tickets can be purchased here.
ICYMI: Dallas Summer Musicals has changed its name
See the new season of productions and the new name of Dallas Summer Musicals here.
Anything Goes at The Firehouse Theatre
Firehouse presents this de-lovely shipboard romp as the first mainstage show for the 2022 season for three weekends in April. A big classic musical with music by Cole Porter, including iconic show tunes such as “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “You’re the Top” and of course the title song. The show is directed by Doug Miller with musical direction by Hans Grim, choreography by Leah Flores and Megan Kelly Bates.
“I’m thrilled to be directing Cole Porter’s classic musical, Anything Goes. This charming, provocative, timeless musical is just what we all need. I believe in the poignancy of Anything Goes and its ability to bring renewed joy to audiences after some trying times,” Miller said in a press release. “Audiences will be amazed by our fearlessly talented cast and artistic team, and a tap number that will blow the roof off the theatre. I hope you will set sail with us. Bon voyage!”
The show runs April 7-24 with an opening night champagne reception April 8. Tickets are available here.
Second Thought Theatre postpones next week’s season opener
The theater was to open Dry Powder on Wednesday but released the following statement:
As an arts organization, Second Thought is committed to providing the community theatrical experiences that are unique, intimate, and most importantly, safe. While we seek to empower our artists to take creative and artistic risks, we do not believe those risks should apply to their health or the health of our patrons and constituency.
To that end, we’ve committed to implementing rigorous safety protocols to address the enduring COVID-19 pandemic, which includes regular PCR testing for everyone involved with in-person rehearsals. It came to our attention recently that these tests returned a positive result from one of our artists between rehearsals for Dry Powder. So, in an abundance of caution and in accordance with STT and Equity protocols, we suspended in-person rehearsals to prevent the spread of the disease, which has delayed the production process by seven days.
As our priority is to the safety and creative freedom of our artists and collaborators, we have decided to delay the opening of Dry Powder by one week, pushing the show’s run to April 13-30.
All subscription and individual sales tickets sold for shows outside the new run dates will be honored at the holders’ convenience. We appreciate your understanding and patience, and we encourage our patrons and supporters to maintain their own health and safety measures as the community continues to manage this public health issue. We will continue to do all we can to provide unique and challenging theatrical experiences to the local community and empower our artistic collaborators in a safe, creative environment.
Please feel free to contact us on Instagram (@thinkstt) or email us at email@example.com with questions or concerns.
Opening this week:
On stage now:
— Rich Lopez