THE 2015 HOUSTON THEATER AWARDS

27 Aug

It’s always great fun at the end of a season to look back and recall which performers, directors, technical artists and theater companies impressed the most. Besides being a good litmus test for the creative health of a theatrical community, it gives me a chance to relive some of those magical moments that make watching shows a joy rather than simply a job. This was my first full season as a critic in Houston and I’m pleased to say that there were many “wow” instances in a year that introduced me to the full breadth of the theater scene in the city. As a Canadian transplant, the other thing this season of reviewing showed me is that I’m ALMOST used to spelling it “theater” instead of “theatre”. Old habits die hard, eh?

The question I get asked the most from friends, artists and critics all over the world is, “Does Houston actually have a decent theater scene?” For my sanity and to the benefit of everyone in Houston, the answer is yes! Sure I would love to see a higher volume of new work produced and wish there were more non-black box space performances. And I do tremendously miss having a full-fledged, weeks long Fringe Festival jam-packed with dozens of theatre offerings from around the world. But, I’m a critic. I will always be pushing the theater community to up the ante and reach higher, embrace more risk and further allow an audiences’ intelligence to be tickled. That’s in the DNA.

But for now, instead of what I wish for, I’m happy to celebrate what was. Together with my colleagues at Houston Press, I give you the 2015 Houston Theatre Awards.

http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/the-2015-houston-theater-awards-the-winners-under-the-lights-7697664

 

Not Mad – Houston Press Review

3 Aug

There's Risk but Not Enough Reward in Not Mad

(l to R) Kathleen Teodoro and Emma Rae Hightower. Photo by Giovanni Yousef

 

Not Mad

Created by: Hune Company

Text by: William Shakespeare

Directed by: Matt Hune

Company: Hune Company

Starring: Emma Rae Hightower, Elizabeth Martinsen, Regina Ohashi, Billy Rosenberg, Kathleen Teodora and Maggie Wintz

Run dates: July 30 – August 8, 2015

 

Read my review of Not Mad for Houston Press at http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/theres-risk-but-not-enough-reward-in-not-mad-7638878

 

The Whale; or, Moby Dick – Houston Press Review

31 Jul

 

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 Photo by Brooks Cruzen of Blueprint Creative.

The Whale; or, Moby Dick

Conceived by: Phillip Hays

Written by: Timothy N. Evers

Directed by: Jacey Little

Starring: Phillip Hays

Company: Horse Head Theatre

Run Dates: July 29 – August 15, 2015

 

Read my review of The Whale; or, Moby Dick for Houston Press at

http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/the-bar-has-been-set-with-this-creative-whale-of-a-tale-7623155

Guys and Dolls – Houston Press Review

20 Jul

What These Guys and Dolls Need is More Rehearsal Time

Kyle Ezer and Blair Wingfield in Guys and Dolls. Photo Credit: Bayou City Theatrics Staff

 

Guys and Dolls

Music and Lyrics by: Frank Loesser

Book by: Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows

Directed by: Colton Berry

Choreographed by: Luke Hamilton

Starring: Kyle Ezer, Blair Wingfield, Josh Green and Victoria Riley

Company: Bayou City Theatrics

Run Dates: July 17 – August 2, 2015

 

Read my review of Guys and Dolls for Houston Press at

http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/what-these-guys-and-dolls-need-is-more-rehearsal-time-7602282

 

 

 

 

The Drowning Girls – Houston Press Review

17 Jul

Context Is Thrown Out With the Bathwater in a Stylish The Drowning Girls

(l to r) Miranda Herbert, Patricia Duran and Courtney Lomelo. Photo Credit: Gentle Bear photography

 

The Drowning Girls

Written by: Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalic 

Directed by: Jon Harvey

Starring: Miranda Herbert, Patricia Duran and Courtney Lomelo 

Company: Mildred’s Umbrella

Run Dates: July 16 to August 1, 2015

 

 

Read my review of The Drowning Girls for Houston Press at

http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/context-is-thrown-out-with-the-bathwater-in-a-stylish-the-drowning-girls-7592894

 

 

The Foreigner – Houston Press Review

14 Jul

the_foreigner_186

(clockwise l to r) Annalee Jefferies, Paul Hope, Jeremy Webb, Elizabeth Bunch and Jeffrey Bean in The Foreigner. Photo credit: John Evrett

 

The Foreigner

Written by: Larry Shue

Directed by: James Black

Starring: Annalee Jefferies, Paul Hope, Jeremy Webb, Elizabeth Bunch, Jay Sullivan, Chris Hutchinson and Jeffrey Bean

Company: Alley Theatre

Run Dates: July 8 – August 9, 2015

 

Read my review of The Foreigner for Houston Press at:

http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/calling-alley-theatre-s-the-foreigner-good-may-be-pushing-it-but-it-is-fun-and-stuff-7588762

 

First Date – Houston Press Review

16 Jun

hou_stage_20150618_first_date

The cast of First Date. Photo by Christian Brown, Courtesy of Theatre Under The Stars.

 

First Date

Book by: Austin Winsberg

Music and Lyrics by:  Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner

Directed by: Marley Wisnoski

Starring: Jessica James, A.J. Shively, Dylan Goodwin, Brooke Wilson, Adam Gibbs, Mark Ivy and Kathryn Porterfield 

Company: Tuts Underground

Run Dates: June 12 – 21st, 2015

 

Read my review of Firsr Date for Houston Press at http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/first-date-has-biting-humor-tenderness-quirk-and-a-strong-cast-7513592

 

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