Showing posts from August, 2018

Phoenix Theatre ends its turbulent 2017-18 season with "Cry It Out," a comedy-drama on motherhood

In the vaunted American trinity of "God, motherhood, and apple pie," sometimes it seems as if fruit pies and the Lord Almighty have better prospects than that third partner, which is honored with elaborate lip service but substantially unsupported. Molly Smith Metzler' s "Cry It Out," which opened Friday night in a Phoenix Theatre production, plants its feet squarely in defense of modern motherhood by shedding light on the host of challenges it faces. Products and practices, philosophies and excruciating binary choices, the cost-benefit calculus of love and need — all come into head-spinning play. The Basile Theater's black-box setting puts the audience in the side yard between the homes of new mothers Jessie and Lena, whom we first see nervously checking their baby monitors to ascertain where it's safe to meet and talk. The neat, modest exteriors of their houses, summed up in opposite corners of Daniel Uhde's set, belie the stress of measuring

Sunstruck 'Coriolanus': IndyShakes stages its last production at White River State Park

Learning mutual respect: Aufidius (left) and Coriolanus hone their rivalry in war. Not known for either frequent productions or lots of famous quotations, "Coriolanus" has one line that's oddly lodged in our cultural memory. It's also characteristic of the prickly warrior hero in its plainness and absoluteness. "There is a world elsewhere," says Shakespeare's ancient Roman general publicly in abandoning his hometown. It turns out the world he looks toward extends no farther than the nearby tribal state of the Volscians, with whom Rome is at war. The prideful turncoat cannot foresee how badly such a move will end. He sets the political tone of the tragedy: Foresight is rare among people who can't look beyond their pride and immediate desires. In times of social turmoil, living in the moment has scant survival value. This is reinforced right up through the repeated final line — a touch by which Robert Neal, director of the Indianapolis Shakespe