I’m still processing MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET that has just closed today out at Virginia Rep’s Hanover Tavern venue. If you didn’t see it, you missed something special. It was incredibly well acted by some of Richmond’s finest and directed without fuss but with great care by Debra Clinton. Among the many minor critical reactions I had was that Terrie Powers’ set was exceptional in the way it was completely organic and welcoming, a situation where a great deal of work went into making something that ends up easily overlooked. Back to the processing: MIRACLE’S story could be taken in simply as entertainment -- a family full of interesting and well-rendered personalities deals with a fu

Gotta Have Faith Faith Faith

This is old news for many in the local theater community, but there was a bit of a holiday miracle last weekend. Last Friday, Mallory Keene, an actor playing a supporting role in MARY POPPINS at Virginia Rep, was called on to step into the title role. Headliner Stacey Cabaj had fallen ill and Ms. Keene was suddenly expected to be “practically perfect.” I was lucky enough to attend the performance and, though I hadn’t seen Ms. Cabaj’s portrayal to compare, I was incredibly impressed with Keene’s work. She was prim, proper and demanding but with a strong undercurrent of warmth. I noticed a couple little hiccups, e.g., a hat stand almost toppling over, but nothing that betrayed the production m

What Is That?

I had a couple people tell me that they didn’t like FUN HOME, the musical that Cadence Theatre Company produced this past fall, but that they weren’t criticizing the production. They just don’t like musicals. A little poking around via Google shows that this kind of aversion is not uncommon; there is even a musical about hating musicals. But when you consider a show like IN THE HEIGHTS that Virginia Rep did last season or HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL that we did here along with TheatreLAB: these shows managed to cover intense topical issues, had plenty of moments of just sheer antic entertainment, creating all sorts of transformative theater magic. I find it hard to believe that there are really pe

More Is Better

As of this past week, there is more Firehouse out in the world. If you go to the Firehouse Forum web page, you’ll see that our new podcast is now live. In its premiere episode, I interview Jessi Johnson, currently starring in MARY C. BROWN AND THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN; Deejay Gray, newly elected president of the RVA Theatre Alliance; and Kerrigan Sullivan who is set to direct WINGS here in February. You’ll also see a link to something teased last week: our first course offered through VCU’s Commonwealth Society. It’s going to be five Thursday afternoons starting February 1st where we’ll not just talk about WINGS but see the production develop from page to stage. So more is better, right? Well, I’v

Do I Look Like a Guy With a Plan?

In last week’s blog post, I talked about working to convince more Richmonders to come out to see locally-produced professional theater. So what does that work actually look like? Well, we’ve got ideas galore around here and they are starting to coalesce into actual plans, consumables, gatherings, things that we hope will start generating more interest in the local scene. Here are a few of them: You’re looking at the first one! It’s just a blog but it’s going to act as the wall that ideas get thrown against. Watch out for free-ranging brainstorms! ​​Later this week, we’ll drop the first episode of the Firehouse Forum podcast. I taped it last week with Firehouse’s audio whiz, Ryan Dygert, and

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Firehouse Theatre / 1609 W. Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220 / 804.355.2001 /

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