Essay: A Noble and Dirty Business

By Bill Eadie | August 2, 2012 |

Seeing San Diego REP’s excellent season-opening production of Zoot Suit left me wondering about the role of politics in theatre and theatre in politics. It’s doubtful that the theatre will impinge much into the upcoming presidential race (though President Obama held a fundraiser on Broadway recently and has seen at least a couple of Broadway shows while in office, while Governor Romney has avowed that he’d like to see The Book of Mormon when he has some free time). Even so, a revival of the late Gore Vidal’s play, The Best Man was still running at the time of his…

Kathy Brombacher Scores a Fiddler Hit

By Bill Eadie | July 26, 2012 |

Fiddler on the Roof has all the qualities of a great musical: a timeless story, hummable tunes, the opportunity for exciting visual moments, and a charismatic leading man. And retiring artistic director Kathy Brombacher has taken advantage of each of these elements to create as her final production a genuine hit that can be enjoyed by the all-ages crowd the her company, Moonlight Stage Productions, likes to attract. The timeless story comes courtesy of Sholem Aleichem, the pen name of Solomon Rabinovich, a Russian Yiddish author who wrote about hope despite poverty in the Jewish shtetls at the turn of…

Essay: Globe Summer Festival is Steady as She Goes

By Bill Eadie | July 25, 2012 |
Cast of As You Like It

It’s gratifying to see that the Old Globe’s Shakespeare Festival continues under Adrian Noble’s steady leadership.  I  also find it interesting that the common theme in this summer’s Shakespeare Festival at the Old Globe is oppression.  What’s most interesting is that this theme uplifts audiences when treated with a light touch even as it hammers audiences into grudging submission when confronted directly. This summer marks Adrian Noble’s third as artistic director of the outdoor Shakespeare Festival, and he has proven to be a stabilizing force during a time when the Globe has been undergoing leadership changes.  Mr. Noble, a former…

Cygnet’s La Mancha: Faithful But No New Insights

By Bill Eadie | July 23, 2012 |
Sean Murray, Erika Beth Phillips, and Bryan Barbarin

Audiences dreamed the impossible dream when “Man of La Mancha” opened in 1965. Despite his recent assassination, John F. Kennedy’s Camelot era still ruled both the national mood and the Broadway stage. The cynicism that accompanied a prolonged war and battles for civil and other rights would not set in for a couple of years yet.  Memory of political repression during the post-World War II era was keen, however, so a musical about Miguel de Cervantes, aka Don Quixote, a cockeyed idealist set against the Spanish Inquisition resonated strongly and was widely cheered. That era came and went quickly and…

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