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Jennifer Underwood News

BWW Review: ADMISSIONS Highlights The Good, Bad, And Ugly Of White Liberalism Photo BWW Review: ADMISSIONS Highlights The Good, Bad, And Ugly Of White Liberalism
by Lacey Cannon Gonzales - Sep 26, 2019

At the core of the play is a family examining what it means to benefit from white privilege in a racially biased society. Director, David Jarrott succeeds in turning Joshua Harmon's words into an accelerant that forces white progressives to reexamine themselves and where their allyship stands. This production starkly displays the characters' problematic views and statements while still leaving room for audiences to relate to the family's dynamic. In the end, the play is left unresolved and open-ended leaving plenty of room for discussion post-show.

BWW Review: THE MAGIC FIRE Is Wise, Witty and Wonderful Photo BWW Review: THE MAGIC FIRE Is Wise, Witty and Wonderful
by Frank Benge - Jan 16, 2019

THE MAGIC FIRE, by Lillian Groag, is a 1997 memory play set in Buenos Aires during the 1950s regime of Juan Peron. This cross cultural immigrant family finds their personal refuge from the fascist politics of Argentina in art, theatre and opera. Events eventually bring them to the point where they are forced to confront not only politics, but also, their own moral obligations. The play first premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and still contains a powerful message that mirrors some of this country's current disturbing political trends.

THE MAGIC FIRE Opens This Week At Different Stages Photo THE MAGIC FIRE Opens This Week At Different Stages
by BWW News Desk - Jan 11, 2019

Different Stages continues its 2018- 2019 season this week with The Magic Fire by Lillian Groag. The Magic Fire is a wonderfully warm and amusing play about a young woman growing up in a family of European immigrants who surround themselves with a 'magic fire' of art to fend off the unpleasant realities of Juan Peron's Argentina in the years after World War II.  Argentinean-American playwright Lillian Groag explores the connections among memory, history, and art through the eyes of a child, revisited from the perspective of adulthood. By turns funny, loving, and politically alarming,  The Magic Fire weaves a spell of tango and opera, treasured memories and hidden truths.     Watch an interview with the director:

THE MAGIC FIRE Opens This Week At Different Stages Photo THE MAGIC FIRE Opens This Week At Different Stages
by A.A. Cristi - Jan 9, 2019

Different Stages continues its 2018- 2019 season this week with The Magic Fire by Lillian Groag. The Magic Fire is a wonderfully warm and amusing play about a young woman growing up in a family of European immigrants who surround themselves with a 'magic fire' of art to fend off the unpleasant realities of Juan Peron's Argentina in the years after World War II.  Argentinean-American playwright Lillian Groag explores the connections among memory, history, and art through the eyes of a child, revisited from the perspective of adulthood. By turns funny, loving, and politically alarming,  The Magic Fire weaves a spell of tango and opera, treasured memories and hidden truths.     Watch an interview with the director:

BWW Review: MRS. MANNERLY is a Sweetly Comic Story of Youth
by Frank Benge - Mar 27, 2017

MRS. MANNERLY, a memory play by Jeffrey Hatcher, takes inspiration from the playwright's memories of a childhood etiquette class that he took at the tender young age of ten. Walking with an etiquette book balanced on your head, learning complex table settings with a confounding array of flatware and stemware, and dropping a quarter in a jar each time you interrupt...those were the ways of Mrs. Mannerly's classes in 1967. Mrs. Mannerly (Jennifer Underwood) has high standards; so high, in fact, that not one student in her thirty-six years of teaching proper deportment has ever achieved perfection. Young Jeffrey (Suzanne Balling) wants to be the first and he has a trick up his sleeve that he thinks makes him a shoe-in to achieve that sought after goal... he has discovered Mrs. Mannerly has a secret past.

Different Stages Continues its Season with MRS. MANNERLY
by BWW News Desk - Feb 13, 2017

Different Stages continues its 2016 - 2017 season with Jeffery Hatcher's Mrs. Mannerly.

BWW Review: 4000 MILES is Warm, Wise and Wonderful
by Frank Benge - Mar 21, 2016

4000 MILES is a dramedy by Amy Herzog. It ran Off-Broadway 2011 - 2012, was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 2012 Obie for Best New American Play. The play is a affectionate look at dealing with loss, aging and love told through the relationship of a lost young man making a cross country bike trip and his 91 year old grandmother. What makes 4000 MILES interesting is the subtly incisive dialogue and the fascinating lead characters Herzog has written.

BWW Review: TERMINUS - A Work of Great Power and Beauty
by Frank Benge - Jan 18, 2016

TERMINUS, now in a World Premiere engagement at The Vortex, is a new play by Gabriel Jason Dean. This intricately layered family drama is the latest chapter in Dean's cycle of plays about the Georgia working class, The Attapulgus Elegies. TERMINUS examines a family haunted by the traumas of race and class in the South both in the past and in the present. This projected seven play collection covers a twenty plus year span and chronicles the disappearance of a small mill town.

BWW Reviews: Different Stages' THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE Explores Expressions of Love
by Jeff Davis - Jan 26, 2014

At the top of the second act of The Language Archive, a skilled linguist named George (Trevor Bissell) gives the audience a lesson in Esperanto, a universal language created in the late 1800s. In the span of about 2 minutes, we learn the Esperanto translations of 'I am loved,' 'I was loved,' and 'I have been loved,' among others.

BWW Reviews: Different Stages' ARSENIC AND OLD LACE Is Murderously Fun
by Jeff Davis - Dec 10, 2013

When December rolls around, it's customary for theater companies to scramble around for Holiday-themed fare. As beloved as Holiday shows are, it's refreshing when companies like Different Stages mount something decidedly in opposition of the trend. With its strong and hysterically funny production of Arsenic and Old Lace, Different Stages essentially defines how to successfully pull off counter-Holiday programming in Austin.