Manual Amelia and the Storyteller (A cautionary tale)

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All that being said, plenty of my expectations were, if not entirely subverted, then at least complicated. Though there is that classic boys-versus-girls dichotomy observed in nearly every scene, the strong casting here allows for truly equal weight and importance to be given to each half of the equation.

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Sometimes you want to watch attractive superheroes saving the world for the umpteenth time; sometimes you want to watch attractive performers singing catchy songs for the umpteenth time. There are, after all, worse things you could do. Grease runs through June 16th. But magic, on the other hand, may also bring to mind Gob Bluth and his demands to be taken seriously. Billy Kidd is that kind of entertainer.

Her showmanship is exquisite and her connection with her audience is direct and genuine.

A Cautionary Tale Lyrics Video - Original Broadway Cast of Mean Girls

I was more than willing to go along whatever odd, unpredictable, and magical path she chose to take us down. Suffice it to say that it starts and ends with a monkey named Charlie, and along the way it involves a variety of common props a balloon, a wine glass, a jacket, and, of course, decks of cards used in uncommon ways. Kidd uses her wardrobe to as great an effect as her props: she looks like a latter-day Dickens character, complete with newsboy cap and fashionable brogues.


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Her onstage persona has a puckish quality that must have taken years to hone but feels absolutely effortless. Liberty Magic offers a pleasant, sophisticated evening from start to finish, providing not only an excellent theater-going experience by any measure, but also the often-too-rare opportunity to see magic performed as the art it truly is. As the show progresses, their lives are first juxtaposed, then increasingly intertwined, in a story of heartbreak, loss, joy, and redemption.

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But above and beyond any consideration of the material is the fact that this production is excellent across the board and serves as a resounding endorsement for Front Porch Theatricals: every aspect is presented with a clear enthusiasm matched by talent. The orchestra led by conductor Douglas Levine and featuring the bluegrass trio of Marina Pendleton, Bryce Rabideau, and Jim Scott expertly provide the musical fuel required to make the show really hum, and they make it look easy. The graceful direction Nick Mitchell , gorgeous lighting Andrew David Ostrowski , and elegant sets Johnmichael Bohach make admirable use of the New Hazlett space, combining in a fluid minimalism that provides an uncluttered scaffold for the story.

For ticket information, visit their site. Young brings to her performance vulnerability and likeability in a Zooey Deschanel mode, deftly navigating earnestness and pertness without becoming cloying. With just herself and her ukulele, Young tells the story of how she met, courted, married, and was divorced by her unnamed ex-husband, the eponymous Jesus though, as Young points out in one of her many excellently-deployed asides, another, more muscular, actor played Jesus in a daily reenactment of the crucifixion—in a separate tableau, her ex played Jesus merely delivering a sermon.

The story is punctuated throughout by short, peppy tunes that serve to highlight the themes or expand on a point of comedy i. And just as he changed, so did Young herself—her story concerns not only the divorce, but its considerable aftermath and its role as a catalyst for positive transformation in her life. The songs are sometimes used to excellent effect to comment on the action, though they just as often interrupt it, pulling the focus away from heavy emotional terrain right as the story hovers at a point of catharsis. When the Queen requests a meeting, Claudette seizes the opportunity to promote her business, and to return home.

In her sophomore novel, Oliver Before I Fall presents an intriguing but disappointing thought experiment, set in a dystopian future in which American borders are sealed and civil order is enforced by regulation, vigilantism, and "the procedure," a coming-of-age lobotomy that excises amor deliria nervosa, or love. Nearly 18, Lena Haloway welcomes the prospect; her mother underwent three unsuccessful procedures and eventually committed suicide, so Lena deeply believes that love equals suffering.

Still, there's a subversiveness to her thoughts and actions, from nurturing the motherless child Gracie to reading Romeo and Juliet because it is "beautiful," not the cautionary tale it's presented as. When a strange, handsome boy begins to intrude on her life, strictly against the regulations, the "beauty" of that tragic trope begins to play out swiftly and relentlessly. The prose is accomplished, and the Portland, Maine, setting wonderfully evoked. However, Oliver's nightmare future lacks a visceral punch, primarily because of the weakness of the world-building.


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