Meadows Theatre Season Continues with Shaw’s Classic “You Never Can Tell”

February 24, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Elizabeth Lowe
elowe@smu.edu

(Photo courtesy of Meadows Division of Theatre)


Audiences will not be able to tell what Meadows Theater is trying to pull this season with “You Never Can Tell” – and that’s OK.

Is it a comedy? A romance? A call to progressives? Who knows. Either way, Meadows is testing the timelessness of George Bernard Shaw’s so-called “pleasant play.”

The production first hit audiences in 1896 and has since been revived times over as a timeless comedy. Meadows does not disappoint when it comes to capturing the feel of a turn-of-the-century seaside England, especially with Tony-award winning set designer John Arnone in house. Although the scenery will delight, audiences may question wether the revival is finally outdated.

“You Can Never Tell” was tested by Broadway nearly a century after the play’s original debut. The 1989 production received mixed reviews from both audience members and critics, not only for its seemingly lack of genre but also its ability to amuse audiences in the late 20th century.

Meadows’ take on Shaw’s comically light play is enjoyable, but don’t expect anything profound. At best the production disproves Shaw’s comment that “You Never Can Tell” is an “actor proof” play. Several cast members exhibit excellent comedic timing that makes even the outdated punch lines laughable. For instance, the brother-sister duo of Philip and Dolly Clandon as played by Donny Repsher, B.F.A ’12, and Katherine Bourne, B.F.A. ’12, is pure wit.

The show opened Wednesday night to an undersold house, but perhaps the show was a little underrated. “You Never Can Tell” showcases several talented Meadows students and is sure to be enjoyed no matter your stance on the genre, by theatre patrons.

“You Never Can Tell” by George Bernard Shaw continues its run in Meadows under the direction of Patrick Kelly through this weekend. Show time is 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26, with matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26 and 27, at 2 p.m.

Meadows Opera Theatre Delays Opening Night of “Orpheus”

February 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Bridget Bennett
brekow@smu.edu

(PHOTO COURTESY OF SMU MEADOWS OPERA THEATRE)

Thursday’s opening production of the “Orpheus in the Underworld” has been cancelled due to hazardous weather conditions.

As of now, the Meadows Opera Theatre will open the show on Friday, February 4th, at 8 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theater. The show is also scheduled for Saturday, at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Ticketholders for Thursday night’s show will be able to attend any other performance. According to an update on the Meadow’s website, ticketholders will be receiving the “best available exchange seats,” at the performance of their choice, as same seats cannot be guaranteed.

Patrons can check the Meadow’s website for updates on Friday night’s performance, as weather may still play a role in the production.

The Meadows School of the Art’s version of “Orpheus” was written by Kelley Rourke explicitly for SMU. The Meadow’s production took Jacques Offenbach’s original work first performed in Paris in 1858 and added modern electronics and references, love scandals, and modern romance. Offenbach’s original “Orpheus” production features the Orpheus myth involving Greek gods, the underworld, and true love. SMU’s rendition also features gods and hades, but again, making them more relevant to today.

SMU’s production of “Orpheus and the Underworld” is directed by Hank Hammett, the director of Opera at Meadows. The production will also feature live accompaniment by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. Paul Phillip, choreography by Danny Buraczeski, scenic and costume design by J.J. Wickham, and Lighting Design by Joshua D. Cutler.

Stay tuned for additional information regarding tomorrow’s opening night performance.

VIDEO: CEO and Editor In Chief of Texas Tribune talks to Future Journalists

September 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Andy Garcia

Evan Smith, the CEO and Editor In Chief of The Texas Tribune, spoke to journalism students on campus today. Smith talked about how student reporters have the opportunity now more than ever to prepare themselves for the changing world of media.

VIDEO: Evan Smith Talks To Future Journalists from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

“Our Town” Is Your Town in Meadows Season Opener

September 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

By Elizabeth Lowe
elowe@smu.edu

Thornton Wilder’s classic play allows for a variety of imaginative stage and scene settings. From full costume and set to complete black and pantomime, “Our Town” is performed in both classic and edgy tones.

However, few productions are as transparent as the “Our Town” Meadows presents this season. Rhonda Blair and her cast definitely challenge Wilder’s built-in artistic license.

The production was distractingly transparent for many audience members.

Within the first three minutes of opening night, one audience member sitting on the front row – on the same plane as the actors on stage – decisively left her spotlight seat. Act I was tough to endure. The lights are up in full, fellow audience members directly across the stage, and quick interruptions of scene-setting fly in and out.

It’s “Our Town,” but with the entire skeleton on the play on stage. In fact, you – the audience member – are on stage.

After the first intermission, a few audience members had abandoned ship.
But if you can make it through the first act, the logistics of the stage set-up seems to disappear.

The transparency of the stage layout becomes in itself transperant, allowing Wilder’s timeless, powerful message to shine through.

The family dynamics created by Blair and her cast were authentic with true chemistry. Mr . Webb, played by Grant Reynolds, was a pure delight.

In the end, Meadow’s production keeps “Our Town” in its most raw form. The seemingly extreme choices of the director and crew only highlight the extreme realism of the Wilder classic.

“Our Town” will continue to run through Sunday Oct. 3.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

UPDATE (1:51 p.m.): The production is SOLD OUT except for the weekend matinees.