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The Hanslick Girls

"Three is company, safe and cheery" -Stephen Sondheim

Tag / storefront theatre

The World On Fire: Haven Theatre’s “The Total Bent”

Compared to the raucous live performances throughout the evening, Dania couldn’t help but feel the slightest tinge of letdown when the pre-recorded 1960s hits came through the speakers as the house lights rose. She longed for a version of the songs with the same raw power as the songs in The Total Bent had possessed –– but admitted to herself that perhaps that was impossible to capture on record.

“What a gutpunch,” Dania said, glancing up to the illuminated cross at centerstage. Around the stage, musicians were just packing up their instruments, scattered around the stage. Only the two keyboard players –– Frederick Harris and Jermaine Hill –– were listed as members of the cast, but it has been difficult to divorce the remaining quartet of band members from the narrative.

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Book By Its Cover: Broken Nose Theatre’s “Plainclothes”

“What is this new trend of plays with projected title cards?” Dania asked, pointing at the projected footage of Chicago. Moments before the bows, the words “THE END” had flashed onto the screen –– complimenting the projected “PLAINCLOTHES” that had followed the first scene in the play.

“Is it a trend?” Gwen asked. “In The Canyon did that, but I can’t think of another.”

Indecent had a title projection. So did Hir last summer.”

“I believe Indecent‘s projections are in the script.”

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Sharpen Thy Wit: Babes With Blades’ “The Lady Demands Satisfaction,” with Denise Yvette Serna

Press Opening was the natural time for a post-show speech. Gwen was desperate to get out of the theatre and into the night air – and she could tell Denise wouldn’t be too far behind her – but they’d sat on the opposite side of the theater from the door, and any attempt to leave might be seen as bad form, against the older man now standing onstage, holding a plaque.

“The writer of this play is the winner of last year’s Joining Sword and Pen competition,” the man crooned. “To create pieces of theatre with strong stage combat opportunities, centered on sturdy female roles. This is his third victory. If he’d like to come down to the stage, please.”

A second man, with a twirled moustache, emerged from the applauding crowd. The two men shook hands at center stage, and Arthur Jolly looked at his name on the plaque.

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City Blown Away: Theatre Evolve’s “Twelfth Night”

It was Dania who had convinced the others to sit in the front row. Gwen typically preferred at least a row of distance between herself and the action, especially in a blackbox as small as the McKaw. But Dania was insistent.

“They wouldn’t put chairs out if they didn’t want people sitting there,” she said, excitedly bounding to the chairs just by the edge of the stage. “Come on, Gwen.”

Eleanor, impartial, followed Dania, and so Gwen tagged along. It meant she had to crane her neck upwards to see Olivia, when Chelsee Carter held court from her chair on the platform. But for most of the action of the play, the actors remained in the sweet spot at center stage.

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