Friday, December 11, 2009

Will Call: Tips & Tidbits for the Theatrically Inclined

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Sister
  • Sister
This is usually the time of year when I throw my hands up in defeat because there's nothing out there for a theatergoer who doesn't want to have the milk of human kindness rubbed in his or her face. Seriously, A Tuna Christmas is often the most provocative show going, which means it's time for me to go to my room and hide like a gun-shy pup on the 4th of July. That's why I'm so happy to report that Santa left three early gifts underneath this pesky critic's tree: A black comedy, a true oddity, and a variety show with everything, including Sister Myotis.

Voices of the South's annual Pre-sent Pres-ent opens this weekend and it promises to be a hot ticket. VOTS, a growing company of theater professionals devoted to producing original work with a Southern accent, has really come into its own in recent years. Their success has been aided in no small part by Pre-Sent Pres-ent, an unorthodox holiday show blending modern dance with music, storytelling, and all manner of surprises. This is the show that introduced Steve Swift's incredibly popular character Sister Myotis Crenshaw to the world so heed my sound advice: If you think you might want to attend, it's a good idea to reserve seats in advance.

If you prefer something a little more devilish Circuit Playhouse's flawed but still quite wonderful production of The Seafarer continues through Dec. 20. But this week I'm pushing Souvenir at Theatre Memphis. It's a strange and wonderful valentine to Florence Foster Jenkins, an eccentric tone deaf soprano whose devotees included Noel Coward and Cole Porter. It's an offbeat joy featuring an exceptional performance for Memphis songstress Jude Knight. Yes, I smell Ostrander.

Check the Flyer's theater listings for details

Now, for something completely different, here are some pictures from Langston Hughes' Black Nativity at The Hattiloo Theatre.

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Originally titled "Wasn't it a Mighty Day," Hughes' "gospel song play" which opens with the classic "Go Tell it on the Mountain" has become a cultural institution. TBN's selection of traditional gospel-ized carols makes it a great choice for anybody hoping to get the spirit while getting in the spirit.

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Also, don't forget about New Ballet Ensemble's Nut Re-Mix, a unique re-telling of The Nutcracker blending ballet with elements hip hop. Details here.

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