Evan Henerson is a longtime arts and features writer who lives in Southern California. He is the former theater critic for the Los Angeles Daily News and has written for such publications as American Theatre, Playbill Online, Stage Directions and Backstage.
As Denzel Washington, Kenny Leon and Co. usher in the umpteenth renaissance of Lorraine Hansberry's A RAISIN IN THE SUN, across the country, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is mounting a 50th anniversary revival of the only other work the Hansberry- who died at 34 - lived to see produced.BWW Reviews: WATER BY THE SPOONFUL at Oregon Shakespeare Festival April 22, 2014
It may take a few minutes for a viewer to get his bearings within the world of WATER BY THE SPOONFUL. The canvas laid out by playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes stretches from Puerto Rico to San Diego, from Philadelphia to Japan. Characters go by their chatroom handles, and their relationships to each other - even among family members who meet face to face - are complicated and are not immediately made clear.BWW Reviews: THE TEMPEST at Oregon Shakespeare Festival April 22, 2014
Feats of magic are at an end, resolutions have been made and Ferdinand and Miranda are bound for a world far braver and newer than what they've experienced on this magical island. That's when Jeffrey King, as Antonio, turns to face his brother Prospero whose Dukedom Antonio usurped lo those many years ago. Prospero has forgiven him, and what does Antonio do?BWW Reviews: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS at Oregon Shakespeare Festival April 22, 2014
The throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-pray-for-laughs approach to low comedy is a staple of live theater, and certainly, of William Shakespeare's plays. None play would seem to invite a shtick-fest - beg for one even - than the hugely ridiculous THE COMEDY OF ERRORS. At the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, alas, Kent Gash's free-for-all staging of Errors exposes the play's lameness rather than celebrates its lunacy. For ninety non-breezy minutes, every actor on that stage is mugging (or frugging) his or her collective buns off. Some of the players are quite deft and, indeed, the production has its share of laughs. Too often, though, the jokes don't land, the pace slows and the endeavor is dead in the water.