Review: 'Seller Door' strong but goes too far

John Phythyon

The tricky thing with art — the hard part, if you will — is knowing when to quit. When have you made your point well, and when have you gone too far? Larry Mitchell’s “Seller Door,” which opened at the Lawrence Arts Center on Friday night, doesn’t quite hit that ...

Review: 'Over Here!' a top-notch production but misses boat on nostalgia

John Phythyon

A trip back to World War II through the music of the era sounds like a delightful vehicle for a musical revue. But without any of the actual songs that were popular during the time period, Kansas University Theatre’s production of “Over Here!” feels strange as a nostalgia piece. Written ...

KU concludes theatre season with trip back to the 1940s

John Phythyon

Kansas University Theatre concludes its season with a trip down memory lane, when it opens “Over Here!” Friday night. The 1974 musical with a score by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman and book by Will Holt goes back to the early days of World War II to explore life ...

Review: Strong performances, direction make 'Gatsby' a must-see

John Phythyon

An American classic comes to life on the Theatre Lawrence stage in Simon Levy’s adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.” Strong performances, sure-handed direction, and clever sets make for an engaging evening at the theater. Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, the play tells the story of Jay Gatsby (Garrett ...

Review: Bold and experimental, 'The Other Shore' doesn’t satisfy

John Phythyon

Sometimes, you can reach too far. Such is the case with Kansas University Theatre’s production of “The Other Shore” by Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian. Surreal, abstract and high-minded, both the play and the production are bold but don’t quite make for a satisfying evening of theater. The show begins with ...

Review: KU Theatre delights with 'Much Ado'

John Phythyon

Go to see Shakespeare anymore, and you can almost certainly count on it being set at some other time than during the 16th century, when it was written. Kansas University’s latest production of “Much Ado About Nothing” follows this trend, bringing the witty comedy all the way to the present ...

Review: 'Other Desert Cities' moving, powerful

John Phythyon

For some time now, Theatre Lawrence has taken an annual break in March from Broadway musicals and light comedies, and offered a weighty drama often covering difficult issues. Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities” is the company’s latest production in this tradition, and it’s a deeply moving, powerful play that ...

KU offers 'Much Ado About Nothing' that is both fresh and timeless

John Phythyon

Say “Shakespeare” and you conjure worry in the minds of many — in audience members, who fear they may not get it; in actors, who think it may be too hard; in directors who worry it may be too dated. You won’t get any of those reactions from Peter Zazzali, ...

Review: Young directors deliver thought-provoking Black Box Project at KU

John Phythyon

Everything old is new again seems to be the theme of this year’s Black Box Directing Project at KU’s University Theatre. Student directors brought fresh visions to Anton Chekhov’s “The Boor” and the biggest classic of them all, Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” “The Boor,” under the direction of senior theater major Brian ...

'The Addams Family' creeps its way onto Lied Center stage

John Phythyon

Say “The Addams Family” and the first thing to pop into your mind is likely the macabre TV show from the 60s. Failing that, it’s probably the two movies from the 90s starring Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston and Christina Ricci based on the show. Regardless, the music you likely associate ...

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