VITAL Archives

  • Trouble in Mind

    By Matthew Konkel Are all people the same no matter the color of our skin? Yes, but no, is the conclusion of Alice Childress in Trouble in Mind. The year is 1957 in the backstage area of a Broadway theater. It’s the first rehearsal of a new play and the characters of Trouble in Mind […]

  • Witness

    Small town Vermont in the 1920s conjures images of a simple, idealistic way of life. America had won the Great War and patriotism was at a high. However, First Stage Children’s Theater’s production of Witness, by John Urquhart, adapted from the book by Karen Hesse, showcases a different side of America during the first quarter […]

  • Roll out the derby!

    DERBY VODCAST: VOLUME 2! You know it’s a derby match in Wisconsin when the stands are filled with fans despite the frigid temperatures – and when the half time show features the Beerleaders dancing a polka with audience members to the oom pah pah-powered sounds of “Roll out the Barrel.” Polka hits were provided by […]

  • The Bra Project

    Over 500 bras complement the weekend production of Danceworks Performance Company’s The Bra Project, which incorporates an A to Z litany of names for the feature of the female anatomy that fills this garment, including the word “Carambas.” As an important but politically and sexually charged garment, the bra provides one clear definition of femininity. […]

  • The Dig

    Renaissance Theaterworks is certainly known for its provoking plays that quite often challenge standards set by society. Their first show of 2009 certainly falls into these categories. Written by Resident Playwright Marie Kohler, The Dig explores the relationship between a brother and sister from childhood to their adult lives. It also sifts through the interconnection […]

  • I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

    Since the creation of Adam and Eve was there ever a perfect love? The Sunset Playhouse’s presentation of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change celebrates the beginning of 2009 and the glory of love by trying to answer this question. Through 20 delightful comedy and musical sketches, this humorous and often poignant play examines […]

  • Dogpark

    The Musical

    It’s yuppy hour! This sums up the first 2009 selection in The Rep’s Stackner Cabaret, Dogpark: The Musical. The tag line drolly reflects the production written by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner, a husband and wife team, and Michael J. Hume. The night is spent ascertaining the love lives of “two-legged” canines in this premiere […]

  • This is Fearless

    By Amy Elliott, Brian Jacobson, Erin Petersen, Erin Wolf Introduction by Jon Anne Willow, photograph by Erin Landry The idea of leadership has been receiving a lot of play lately, not only in the media but also in the conversations of everyday people. Too often, in the last several years in particular, the term “leadership” […]

  • Crooked X

    With the demise of Atomic Records looming, now’s as good a time as any to re-examine the myriad problems that have beset the music industry as a whole: downloading, the collapsed economy, and most relevant to this review, the lack of quality in most major label product. With things so tough all over, I can’t […]

  • The Gourds

    Considering that Haymaker! is the Gourds’ 11th release in just 11 years, I’d say that these fine Texans know a thing or two about making hay while the sun is shining. That’s not saying that this recording is merely more product, though … oh no. This outing is much more streamlined stylistically than last year’s […]

  • Service, art and self-expression

      In these troubled economic times, the news reports are full of dire predictions about the fate of non-profits of all types, from the organizations supported by United Way to arts organizations of all descriptions. The Baltimore Opera recently declared bankruptcy and the New York Metropolitan Opera has been having a tough year. Here at […]

  • Ben Nichols

    Ben Nichols, frontman for gritty rebel rockers Lucero, presents his first solo release, Last Pale Light In the West, a self-dubbed “mini-LP.” The mini LP is seven story-songs, pulling their tales from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (1985), a bleak, violence-ridden novel, packed full of historical and religious references. Each song Nichols pens in Last Pale […]