The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing in Happily After Ever

After seeing a new play, I like to give myself a little time to digest the piece. I do not like knee-jerk reactions. They are usually shallow and oversimplified. Instead, I like to give myself a little time to let the play work on me. I go about doing other things (yard work, painting, hanging out with the family, etc) while in the background my brain processes and finds meaning. Usually, I uncover a richness in the play that I did not see right away. Sometimes the flaws of the play become more visible. Either way, I know I can expect, after time, for the play to start to make some sort of sense to me. I start to “get it.”

Well, it has been almost 36 hours since I have seen Happily After Ever, Bloomington Playwrights Project’s newest production, and I find myself no closer to “getting it” than when the house lights went up after the show. This is not to say it is incomprehensible. In fact, I understand what the play attempts to do from a theater critic mindset. I also found some of the depictions to be not only stimulating but also relevant. Yet, I think I am getting ahead of myself. It’s easy to do with a play as confusing as this one. Read more

On Stage This Week: April 10-16

Hello all,

Despite a super busy schedule, I’m trying to make Bravo, Bloomington a bit more active. For this reason, I am starting “On Stage This Week.” On Monday or Tuesday of each week, I will post a list of the shows being performed during that week. As of now, I am focusing mainly on theatrical performances, but I am more than happy to promote any and all local performances and productions here on the site. If you want your event added to the list, please feel free to message me or comment here.

Are you a fan of musicals, then this is the week for you to go to the theater! This week is musicals week in Bloomington, or so it seems. Check out the listings below, go see a show, and sing along to some fun musicals. It’s the perfect cure for whatever ails you.

Enjoy,

Jen

Calling all Kates

Book by Emily Goodson
Music & Lyrics by Jeremy Schonfeld

Marc gets dumped by his fiancé, Kate McBride, right before their wedding and honeymoon around the world. He’s now single and left to travel the globe alone since his plane tickets are non-transferrable and non-refundable. In an act of desperation, Marc posts an ad online for the only companion who could legally join him… someone with the exact same name as his ex-fiancé. Set loose in a bunch of different foreign countries, strangers Marc and Kate must get to know one another and learn to get along in the wake of Marc’s heartbreak. Will they fall in love? Probably not. Will they have a heck of a good time? Definitely. (musical)

Produced by the Bloomington Playwrights Project on Thurs 4/13-Sat 4/15

Buy Tickets Here!

 

The Drowsy Chaperone

Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison

Gangsters-turned-pastry-chefs, seductive Spaniards, and a well-oiled chaperone will have you roaring like the 20s! In this “musical within a musical”, IU Theatre icon George Pinney takes the stage to share his talent one last time, as the melancholy “Man in Chair”. As he listens to his favorite record, his drab apartment gives way to the sparkling sets and lavish costumes of The Drowsy Chaperone. (musical)

Produced by the Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance on Fri 4/14 – Sun 4/16

Buy Tickets Here!

Flower and Sword

By: Ma Sen

Flower and Sword is the story of a Child returning home to visit her father’s grave. The Child is met in sequence by their Mother, Father, and Father’s Friend. A deadly love triangle is revealed as masks drop and characters merge into each other. Is the Child doomed to the same deadly fate as their parents? Taiwanese playwright Ma Sen’s one act play questions the boundaries between love, family, fate, and gender. (play)

Performed as part of the China Remixed festival Mon 4/10 – 4/12

This is a FREE event. Find out more information here!

 

The Music Man

By Meredith Wilson

One of the most joyous family musicals ever! Professor Harold Hill’s a slick but charming con man who’s got the perfect get-rich-quick scheme. First, get the folks of Iowa’s River City to invest in a marching band for the kids, complete with instruments and uniforms. Then, take the cash and skip town before anyone figures out that he doesn’t know a note! But figure him out they do—especially lovely Marian the librarian and the hard-nosed mayor. Does tragedy ensue? Of course not, because the flimflam man turns out to have a heart, romance blossoms, and that mythical band turns out to be real after all! (musical)

Produced by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music on Fri 4/14 and Sat 4/15

Buy Tickets Here!

 

Touching History in BPP’s Row After Row

We have all heard the phrase, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Philosopher George Satayana’s oft-quoted (and oft-misquoted) phrase has become so cliché and so overused that it is both overflowing with and devoid of meaning, yet it is one writers, philosophers, and politicians all like to use to emphasize the need for remembering. Forgetting the past hinders our progress toward a “more perfect” future, but can the process of remembering do the same thing? Do our reconstructions of history replace the lived reality of historical event? Can remembering also condemn us to repeating the past?

My mind has been full of questions like these since seeing the Bloomington Playwrights Project’s production of Row After Row this past weekend.  Row After Row is a short play (run time of 1hr and 10mins), but a lot of funny jokes, character development, and historical layering occurs during that short time. The play takes a close look at the world of modern day Civil War reenactments. As someone who loves performance, I have always been intrigued by the men and women that dedicate numerous hours and an insane amount of money to participating in this large-scale performance, and this play provide a nice little glimpse into that world. Read more