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Wednesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 11 Sep 2013 7:47 AM

It’s an all-theater roundup, with stops at Lyric Stage and the Undermain, plus Regina Taylor’s newest effort.


Let’s go with an all-theater roundup, shall we?

BIG SOUND: Lyric Stage kicked off its new season with The Sound Of Music. And, this being Lyric Stage, that means a full, lush sound courtesy of a 34-piece orchestra. But the thing the reviewers seem to be focusing on most is Bri Sudia’s Maria. “She belts the famous songs like ‘My Favorite Things,’ rather than warbling them,” Lawson Taitte writes on “A tomboy, though beautiful in a wholesome way, she zings punch lines almost under her breath and lands the joke every time. If you’ve ever wondered what Ellen DeGeneres would be like as Maria, Sudia might give you a glimpse.” Lindsey Wilson also picked up on the tomboy element. “Julie Andrews is virtually impossible to replicate. Lyric’s Maria, Bri Sudia, smartly doesn’t even try,” she writes on Front Row. “Her take is more awkward, ungainly tomboy, a choice that initially feels odd but succeeds more and more as the show progresses.” Check it out through Sunday.

REGINA RESURFACES: Regina Taylor made a big splash locally back in 2010 when the Dallas Theater Center staged her Trinity River Plays, which Jerome thoroughly dissected. And now she’s back, this time in New York for her new play, Stop. Reset. It’s set at a struggling Chicago publishing company that must decide which employees to keep and which ones to let go. It got a big review in The New York Times, but that’s not always a good thing. “It would have been nice to be able to press pause to ponder a particularly confounding monologue, or rewind a little, the better to process one of the busy streams of video flashing on the high-gloss set by Neil Patel,” Charles Isherwood writes. “But theater takes place live, in real time, and as Ms. Taylor’s drama whirls by in a confusing blur, it’s difficult to salvage much enlightenment — or entertainment — from its obscurities.”

QUOTABLE: “I’ve known about [Undermain] for many many years because when I was in graduate school and just starting out, you look around and think to yourself, ‘Gosh, where are my affinities? Who seems like they might be interested, could potentially one day be interested in me based on who they produced?’ And Undermain always stood out to me for that reason.”

– Playwright Slyvan Oswald, whose play Profanity makes its world premiere this week at the Undermain. There’s more from Oswald on Front Row.