Post tagged with


This Weekend, Last Chance to See ‘Worst Director’s’ Movies On Stage

ed wood bride of monsterCourtesy DMT Lt. Dick Craig (Joshua Schwartz) and
Janet Lawton (Lindsey Carter) in “Bride of
the Monster”

This weekend, you’ll want to jump on your last chance to catch Frank Cwiklik’s madcap stage adaptations of the works of Ed Wood, widely hailed as the worst director of all-time.

Using minimal sets in the Red Room theater, Mr. Cwiklik ingeniously deploys music, dance, projections, video screens and many entrances and exits to elaborately block his very skillful actors through Wood’s unintentionally bad dialogue. They seamlessly carry the plots and garner many laughs along the way.

“Downtown Theater is all about motion in small spaces, with limitations and low budgets just like Ed Wood did,” said Mr. Cwiklik, a prolific writer, director, and producer who is drawn to Wood’s works along with those of Shakespeare. “They tackle every genre,” he said of the two auteurs. “They come from the heart and are concerned with entertaining their audiences first.“

Mr. Cwiklik previously wrote and directed a popular S&M version of “Macbeth” called “Bitch Macbeth.” Since 1999, his company, DMTheatrics, has staged more productions than most put out in decades. Which, of course, brings Wood to mind. Read more…

At The Red Room, ‘Lines’ Tangles With Race, Religion, and Football

Emily Bennett, Jeff Sproul, Annelise Rains, & John Hardin Photo by KL ThomasK.L. ThomasEmily Bennett, Jeff Sproul, Annelise Rains and John Hardin in The Horse Trade Theatre Group’s “Lines”

When was the last time you went to a play where you were asked to sign a petition to release a political prisoner before getting to your seat? “The play deals with human rights, so it makes sense that we would be here,” the woman from Amnesty International explained to me. “The script is very powerful.” With these words and director Heidi Grumelot’s introduction emphasizing the play’s interest in social justice, “Lines” was framed: I was ready to have my mind blown by some political theater.

And yet, if I hadn’t been told the play was about human rights, I’m not sure I would have known.

“Lines” is set in an imaginary country where an actual line has been drawn, segregating blacks from whites. On one side of the line is white funeral director Doc; on the other is Bullet, a black football coach. Their lives get intertwined in scandal when a young black man, Keys, dies on the “white” side. Doc’s decision to bury Keys, which breaks the town’s segregation laws, leads to a series of mix-ups and subplots — some funny, some somber. Read more…