Terms of Engagement Are Tender, Tricky

Remember that old Dylan song, “Somethin’ is happenin’, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?” In the opening first scene of the two-person play, coming2terms, at the Vineyard Playhouse, we’re all Mr. Joneses as we try to figure out what a particular attractive couple is up to. They’re coming across with everything long-term couples tend to do. Bickering? Check! Avoiding larger issues? Check! Sharing their day? Check!

Before Streetcar Came These Desires

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) was born in Columbus, Mississippi, with all the proper psychological accoutrements to become a great writer. His family was abysmally dysfunctional, his mother a narcissist with a streak of snobbery, denial and grandiosity (much like the mother in The Glass Menagerie), and his father an often-absent, smalltime businessman with a temper, active fists and an aversion to his delicate son, who, as we all know, was destined to grow up to be a homosexual, a tough row to hoe in the deep South.

Comedy Delights as Lost Boys Reunite

First, let it be said that on the evening this critic attended the Vineyard Playhouse’s outdoor performance of The Comedy of Errors, Friday, July 22, when the weather was so warm it felt as if the entire Island was holding a Bikrum hot yoga class (for those unfamiliar with the workout, the purpose is to reproduce a boiling afternoon in Calcutta), the heat itself became a starring character.

Sassy Start to African American Theatre Festival at Playhouse

Not to start on too bossy a note, but do go out and catch all five plays and musical productions of the African American Theatre Festival being performed, mostly, at the Vineyard Playhouse and running this week through early September.

The festival began this past Wednesday with Root, a one-woman play written and performed by Vanessa German and directed by Heather Arnet. The play travels from 1980s Los Angeles to the Civil Rights marches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to drug-saturated Juarez, Mexico to a battered and drenched New Orleans.

And He’ll Do it His Way, Yes His Way

He never thought of the era when he wrote TV comedy as the Golden Age. For him that honorific was reserved for the earlier epoch of Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner. But Marty Nadler, staff writer and producer in the 70s and 80s of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Chico and the Man, The Odd Couple, Perfect Strangers, Valerie, and Amen, was part of a time in Hollywood entertainment that, hands down, is considered Most Funny.

Mojo Is Knowing When to Stay, When to Let Go of a Love Lost

Remember that old 1950s TV show that posed the question, “Can this marriage be saved?” presenting his story, her story and a wrap-up by an expert? Most marriages hit rough spots, and when the subjects share their gripes, the listener find himself or herself silently asking the above question.

Short Plays Showcase Diversity of Talent

Short plays, like short stories, have never caught on with the popular culture to the extent to which they so richly deserve. And yet they offer such a better return, really, for the public’s entertainment dollar. More stories, more sets of characters, more writers, directors and all of the other creative elements that go into live theatre for the same single ticket price.

Reading Stands Up for Gay Marriage

This coming Monday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m., the Vineyard Playhouse will present a staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays. And they will not be alone. At the same time there will be simultaneous readings of the play worldwide.

Reading Stands Up for Gay Marriage

This coming Monday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m., the Vineyard Playhouse will present a staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays. And they will not be alone. At the same time there will be simultaneous readings of the play worldwide.

Gothic Tale Suits Young Thespians

By HOLLY NADLER

In a word, atmospherics. Theater director Donna Swift knew she had to hold her junior high school players’ attention, and keep it held. But how?

Scour the old books and find the most Gothic fairy tale possible and bring it to life.

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