Arts Read of the Week 3/21/14

Les Misérables opened March 23, 2014 at the Imperial Theatre in New York.

What is particularly strong about this review is that its critic, Charles Isherwood, does not bog his readers down with too much exposition and explanation about the show. He assumes (and rightly so) that most of his readers are at least somewhat familiar with the music and story of Les Miz, due mainly to the fact that the movie was so popular. 
Instead, he focuses on the history of the show and the jobs that the particular actors did in this production.

This specific passage was especially strong: “What’s that French saying? Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. “Les Misérables” does not provide a director much leeway to tinker with its firmly typed good-guy bad-guy characters and its heaving, melodramatic plot. Casting and matters of crowd control are of paramount importance.”

In this part of his review, Isherwood sets up his critique of the acting/action of the play as well as the casting. He provides his readers with contexts of the actors. He talks about Ramin Karmiloo and where audiences may recognize him.

“This boisterous celebration of iniquity and greed has always been one of my favorite moments in the show. Here as ever, it’s the dramatic equivalent of a double espresso, providing the necessary jolt of caffeine to keep us alert for all the singing and all the suffering to come.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/theater/les-miserables-returns-to-broadway.html?ref=arts&_r=0

SMUST presents…AM I BLUE

SMUST presents...AM I BLUE

SMU students perform in Am I Blue, a one-act play written by SMU theatre alumna and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Beth Henley.

2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the play’s premiere.

On a rainy blue bourbon night in 1968 in the New Orleans French Quarter, two troubled teens from two very different walks of life come together by a chance meeting and share their stories. Together, and with a blue drink in hand, they face their dreams, their fears, their misgivings, their struggles, and eventually, are able to face their realities. Written by Henley in her sophomore year (1972), the play makes its return to Meadows 40 years later. Henley’s second play, Crimes of the Heart, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the award for Best American Play of 1981 from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle.

WHEN:
Friday, March 28 @ 10:30 pm
Saturday, March 29 @ 10:30 pm
Sunday, March 30 @ 7 pm

WHERE:
Meadows School of the Arts
Room B150 (Meadows Basement)

For more information, visit http://mcs.smu.edu/calendar/event/am-i-blue-beth-henley

Meadows Dean José Antonio Bowen to leave SMU

Dean of Meadows José Antonio Bowen will become president of Goucher College in Maryland on July 1, 2014. Bowen served as Dean for the past eight years.

During his time at SMU, he launched several programs and initiatives, including the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), the Meadows Scholars program, the Meadows Prize project, as well as programs in arts entrepreneurship, fashion media and creative computation.

Read more about Bowen here.