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A. J. Shively

The Suitcase Under the Bed

August 27, 2017

Exquisitely produced by the Mint Theater, Jonathan Bank’s direction is leisurely and slow, which undercuts the theatricality of all but the last and the most satisfying one, 'The King of Spain’s Daughter," originally given four separate stage productions at the Abbey from 1935-1939 and two in London in 1939. Using a company of seven, the actors appear in varying combinations while all appear in the third play, "Holiday House. " Two of the plays end too abruptly calling out for a more substantial length, while one of the plays seems to go on too long. [more]

On The Town … With Chip Deffaa .. April 4, 2016

April 8, 2016

it’s significant that Steve Martin has won five Grammy Awards for albums he’s made–two in the category of “comedy,” and three in the category of “music.” He loves to play the banjo (an instrument, incidentally, that has a prominent role, along with the fiddle, in the music we hear in “Bright Star.”) He’s collaborated with Edie Brickell on two albums. And their ongoing musical collaboration has provided the foundation and inspiration for this engrossing musical play. [more]

Bright Star

March 30, 2016

"Bright Star," the new bluegrass/country music comedy-drama, rises—just barely—above Hallmark Network romance level thanks to its energetic score by the Hollywood star, Steve Martin (music and book) and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell (lyrics) and an astonishing, charismatic performance of Carmen Cusack in her Broadway debut. [more]