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The Chain Theatre

What Passes for Comedy

October 31, 2022

G.D. Kimble’s "What Passes for Comedy" depicts the fascinating era of early live television talk shows and the racism and anti-Semitism which was acceptable in those days. However, it also hints at hilarious comic interludes which it does not deliver. A much better play is hiding in this material and a rewrite could make it a much more successful evening. Its lack of focus camouflages its real intentions which are quite admirable. The play is also hampered by its conventional structure which requires a good many unnecessary exchanges. Nevertheless, this is an admirable attempt at something a little different from the usual run of historical plays on the stage, an absorbing evening even when it is not clear exactly where it is going. [more]

macbitches

August 21, 2022

It is not until the last 15 minutes of Sophie McIntosh’s new play, "macbitches," that a dramatic event takes place. Up until then the play is mostly the chit chat of acting majors talking about productions they have been in, eccentric directors they have worked with at the college, rehearsal horrors, and theater experiences elsewhere. While this has some interest for theater buffs, it goes on too long and tends to be more and more of the same. If you know such shows as "The Drowsy Chaperone," "The Crucible," "Hedda Gabler," "Antigone," "Guys and Dolls" and "Macbeth" very well you may be able to follow the gossip. If not, you may grow very bored by all the anecdotes. There is some talk of the toxic environment of male-run academic departments but very little of it makes much of an impression. We never hear what the male acting students think of the department or its practices, only their bad behavior in rehearsal. [more]