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Friday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 10 Aug 2012 8:00 AM

Today in the roundup: Reviews of Theatre Arlington’s Hollywood Arms, ICT MainStage’s Urinetown and Theatre Three’s Present Laughter.


Let’s get you caught up on some current theater shows:

HOLLYWOOD ARMS: Theatre Arlington’s Hollywood Arms is based on Carol Burnett’s memoir, One More Time. And though it’s written by a comedian, it’s not exactly a comedy as it delves into Burnett’s difficult life. “The thin line between humor and sadness is crossed and recrossed with artful, at times aching poignancy in Hollywood Arms,” Perry Stewart writes on But Punch Shaw was less than impressed. “If you are a die-hard fan of Burnett, you may be curious about this show,” he writes on “But be aware that your curiosity will be rewarded with a well-acted and directed, but ultimately ordinary, suds-fest of butt-numbing duration.” Hollywood Arms runs through Aug. 16.

URINETOWN: In Urinetown, a city outlaws the use of private toilets, forcing everyone to pay to use public toilets. That crazy concept leads to a fun musical that earned 10 Tony Awards. And it sounds as if the fun has transferred seamlessly to ICT MainStage’s production. “With a show like this, the director and cast must get the humor to apply it effectively, and director Chris Robinson and the cast get it,” Kris Noteboom writes on “It’s not definitive, but ICT still impresses with a challenging musical,” Mark Lowry writes on “Considering the timing in this political climate, Urinetown is more of a privilege to see than ever.” Catch the show through Aug. 18.

PRESENT LAUGHTER: In Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, an actor about to head out on tour must deal with a series of farcical problems before shipping out. Farce is one of the things Theatre Three does best, and it shows in this production. “Coward presents the laughs deftly as if at one of his marvelous parties, and Theatre Three’s cast delivers on the promise,” Mark Lowry writes on “Director Bruce R. Coleman’s production emphasizes the comedy’s debts to Oscar Wilde, for its blasé and debonair attitude, as well as to French farce, for its frankly silly structural reliance on hiding people offstage in spare bedrooms and home offices,” Lawson Taitte writes on Present Laughter runs through Sept. 1.