In spite of all the snow and ice I managed to see twelve plays in February!
Jess Darnell did his one-man presentation Zero: A Clown Show at Montgomery Bell Academy. Jess is a senior whom I first met at The Theater bug where he was helping the children find their dreams on stage. I was at the dress rehearsal of Getting Sara Married at Encore Theatre Company, Mt Juliet. It was a fun show examining what can happen when a rich aunt decides to interfere and get her niece a husband. I finally saw The Vagina Monologues, a Music City Theatre Company presentation at Vibe. I had heard about this several times before but never got to a performance. February 14 was a two-play day. Actors Bridge Ensemble and Belmont University collaborated on a production of Henrik Ibsen’s classic work, Hedda Gabler, study of a woman whose desires for social standing cannot be financially supported by the man she marries. Then I caught the evening performance of The Beaux’ Stratagem at Vanderbilt University Theater. It was charming. This 1707 piece was updated in part by Thornton Wilder and later finished up by Ken Ludwig. At The Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro, I finally saw all of A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Way back about 1975, I went to a performance with three friends who decided to leave at the intermission and I was not driving!
I saw Ashland Falls at Lakewood Theater. Jackson Palmer, who told me his name was Andrew (it’s his first name), was very good doing a bit about not being able to do improv. February 28 was another two-play day with a movie in between (Orson Well’s The Trial at the Belcourt). After a week at the Kennedy Center in D.C., Nashville Children’s Theatre opened Jack’s Tale: A Mythic Mountain Musical by Scot Copeland and Paul Carrol Binkley. The words and music sound as if they might have been written a hundred years ago rather than in the last dozen years. It’s runs until March 8. Later that night I saw Cultural Millennium: A Poetic Journey through 1000 Years of the American Experience by Michael L. Walker, a Dream 7 Productions presentation at the Darkhorse Theater. The piece originated twenty years ago. While it consists of scenes from the black experience, all cultures can benefit from the exploration of maintaining identity within a bigger society. At the beginning of March, I saw a fun production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr at Murfreesboro Little Theatre.
What’s coming up that I’m looking forward to:
With rescheduled performances (due to weather) on Saturday, March 7 and Thursday and Friday, March 12 and 13 at 7 p.m., the Hume Fogg Academic High School presents Avenue Q (School Edition). It’s part flesh, part felt (people and puppets).
Running Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8, it’s Honk! at the Bravo Creative Arts Center at Father Ryan High School. I saw this at Cumberland County Playhouse several years ago and loved it.
Opening Friday, March 6 and running through March 22, don’t miss Tennessee Women’s Theater Project’s production of Voices of Nashville by Christine Mather and Sara Sharpe at Z. Alexander Looby Theater. This is a revival of 2013’s story of immigrants to Nashville. I have seen it more than once and will see it again. (Ed. Note: See our interview with Sharpe in a previous blog post).
Also Don’t miss Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson, an ACT1 production at Darkhorse Theater, running March 6-14.
Nashville Repertory Theatre presents Arthur Miller’s classic, Death of Salesman, at the Andrew Johnson Theater at TPAC, March 12-28. The first Thursday and Friday are previews.
Big River is one of my favorite musicals, and comes to the Nashville School of Arts March 12-17. I have been to this venue once but I didn’t really go in and out of the ‘official’ doors. If it’s your first time, be sure to check on getting there.
Also of note:
- Memphis: The Musical comes to Street Theater Company at its new location, Bailey Middle School, 2000 Greenwood Avenue Nashville, March 13-19. The entire 2015 Street Theater Company season will be pay-what-you-can.
- The Hillsboro Players presentation of Hairspray, March 13 through March 16 at Hillsboro High School Auditorium.
- The Circle Players perform Picnic by Willim Inge, March 26 through April 4 at Hillsboro High School Auditorium.
- On Saturday, March 28, at the Actor’s Bridge Studio on Charlotte Avenue, it’s the Act Like A GRRRL Spring Break Intensive Final Performance
- Thursday, April 2 through Sunday, April 5, it’s A Night of One-Act plays by Tennessee Williams directed by Leah Lowe at Vanderbilt University Theater.
- Coming up in April are the Belmont University Senior Capstone productions and The Music City Theatre Company’s production of The Normal Heart.
For a more comprehensive list of theatre events in Middle Tennessean, be sure to visit the NowPlayingNashville.com Theater listings.
Until next month!