For me, it was GODSPELL. I had no interest in theater. I was a sports kid, played football since I could walk. Lettered in soccer and basketball in high school. One fall a soccer teammate said I should check out this show he was doing. He was a senior and I, a lowly sophomore, idolized him and figured I’d see what he was on about. Shortly after the lights went down, I heard as clear as a bell from the back of the gym/theater, the a-cappella strains of “Prepare ye, the way of the Lord…” the iconic opening refrain from GODSPELL. As I strained to see who was singing, I was shocked to see it was my teammate. Dashing, athletic, and the best center halfback I had ever seen, he also had a stunning,

New v. Classic

I was in the midst of graduating college when the New Coke marketing disaster happened. I had other things on my mind so wasn’t really paying attention. The high-profile roll-out has become an object lesson for how NOT to enhance a major brand and the near-immediate reversal has been touted as how to make lemonade out of lemons, in the billion-dollar retail sense. This weekend had an interesting dichotomy in the local theater world as the high-profile world premiere RIVER DITTY opened at Virginia Rep while Richmond Triangle Player rolled out the classic drama THE NORMAL HEART. The seminal Larry Kramer AIDS play debuted in 1985, the same year New Coke hit stores. That’s about where the parall

I-C-All of Us?

This is going to be a short post because my message is a simple one. The ideas behind it are not totally formed and maybe too messy to make total sense. But here goes: We had a great talkback at Firehouse on Thursday. Our production that just closed, AN OAK TREE, was inspired by a conceptual art piece first displayed in the 1970s. So it seemed like a good idea to hear from someone who understands visual art and we got great insight from professor Holly Morrison from VCU. We had some great conversation about how our theatrical piece intersected with the conceptual piece, how it differed, how it extended the ideas, etc. It was heady but exciting stuff. It occurred to me that there is also an i

An Unreview

We’ve had conversations around the theater about whether a real review can be written about AN OAK TREE. These conversations pivot on what a theater review is supposed to be. The arguments run broad and deep on all sides of that issue and probably aren’t worth getting into. The key problem in writing a review is that there is no way to know exactly what is going to happen in AN OAK TREE. The cast has two actors but one of them changes every night. Can you really give readers a complete sense of what they are going to see when half the cast is unknown? Our production has received two very well-considered and positive reviews by accomplished local critics Julinda Lewis and Jerry Williams. I ad

Rising or Falling?

Have you watched the new TV show, Rise? One of its stars is Richmond native Taylor Richardson so we locals are obligated to check it out, right? I resisted for a while but eventually gave in. I’m a sucker for theater stories so I couldn’t really stay away for long. And honestly, it’s kind of horrible. If you haven’t heard about Rise, it’s a new hour-long network drama about a high school theater program with topline stars Josh Radnor (the least appealing member of the How I Met Your Mother crew) and Rosie Perez. It’s kind of like a much more earnest and clumsier version of Glee. I do love all of the songs from SPRING AWAKENING -- those songs and the performances of some of the young cast are

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

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