Look for Christmas miracles at Tabard this holiday season

tabard-miracle-3By Ande Jacobson

Thanksgiving is over, and it’s December. Many folks spend time with family and friends enjoying holiday entertainment and festivities during this part of the year. Before the television age, LUX Radio Theatre followed certain movie releases with live radio presentations of particularly compelling stories. Four years ago, in a tribute to that bygone era, Tabard Theatre Company brought us a stunning production of It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play. This year, they’ve done it again as they return us to the WBFR radio studio to present another holiday classic – Miracle on 34th Street – a Live Radio Play, adapted by Hayley Lovgren from the 1948 LUX Radio Theatre script. Continue reading

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Dragon’s stage is haunted this Halloween

dragon-woman-in-black-2By Ande Jacobson

The Woman in Black, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt, is an impressive ghost story set in a small Victorian theatre and currently haunts the Dragon stage. Susan Hill’s 1983 horror novella of the same name was the source for this stage version, a play that has been running in London’s West End since 1989. It’s tough to tell an effective ghost story on stage, but this one is riveting. The plot follows Arthur Kipps, a man haunted by a terrible secret from early in his career as a London solicitor. He hires an actor to help him reenact the events that have haunted him so his family and friends will finally understand the horror that he’s been living with. Then he hopes he can bury the past and move on with his life. Sounds simple, right? Continue reading

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”

MGL FamilyBy Ande Jacobson

As she was researching shows for this 13th season, the title Making God Laugh jumped out at Tabard’s executive director, Cathy Spielberger Cassetta. Intrigued, she started corresponding with the playwright, Sean Grennan. As she says in her program notes, she found “merit, wisdom, and folly in it” and decided to add this little yet-to-be-published gem as one of the “Twists” to the season. Grennan describes his play as a “dramedy that takes place in four scenes at a family home, each ten years apart.” First is a Thanksgiving dinner in 1980 and the play continues with one scene per decade until spring of 2010.  Grennan too has a program note and says “all playwrights have to write their Family play.” This is his, and Grennan’s characters are each familiar in some ways. The script is very funny, and he uses several pop-culture references both in musical quotes (e.g., “Jet Song” from West Side Story, “Everything’s Comin’ Up Roses” from Gypsy, Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind”) along with some period-specific failures (e.g., AMC’s Pacer, Yugo, Enron) to help hammer home the points he’s making. Continue reading