Stage Left: The PORGY & BESS Controversy

For those who don’t follow theatre news (so…quite possibly a lot of you), one story is currently dominating coverage, and it’s got a number of complicated aspects to it. I am referring, of course, to the kerfuffle over Diane Paulus’ mounting of Porgy & Bess at Boston... Read more »

Stage Left: "What Did I Clearly Say?": Transgression and Punishment in INTO THE WOODS

Like many fairy tales, at least in the retellings we recognize today, a very strong theme of Into the Woods is morality—actions that are right and actions that are wrong; rewards for the former and punishment for the latter. What’s interesting, though, and what I want to look at... Read more »

Stage Left: The Long-Promised Post on Liking Problematic Media

I am going to be talking about something that pretty much everyone I know has struggled with: feeling like a bad feminist/activist/organizer/person because you like a piece of media that has really problematic elements. Lord knows this is an internal battle I’ve fought, and continue to fight. Read more »

Stage Left: On NINE and Manpain

I like Nine. I like it for its score, and I like it for the traits an observer can impart to the women. There are many female characters, and the silver lining to their being incredibly underdeveloped is that it is simple to impose one’s own headcanon, to imagine their internal lives... Read more »

Stage Left: Getting to the Theater

Alright, so, we are now halfway through my stint blogging here at Bitch, which, by and large, has been wonderful. But there is an important aspect to writing about live theater, one I mentioned briefly in my opening post, that I think I need to expand upon. Read more »

Stage Left: Thoroughly Modern Racism, or, the problem with MILLIE

Thoroughly Modern Millie has all the makings of what could be an incredibly charming, silly film: it has tap-dancing in elevators, inexplicably well-choreographed impromptu dances, and Carol Channing making what may be the greatest entrance in movie history. However, what it also features... Read more »

Stage Left: Age on Stage in Stephen Sondheim's Follies

Perhaps no show serves as a better celebration of the older actress than Follies. The show is set at a reunion of former Follies showgirls in the theater they once performed, which is about to be torn down. The core cast features numerous older women “recreating” the numbers that, in the... Read more »

Stage Left: Mental Illness and Treatment in NEXT TO NORMAL

As a mentally ill musical theatre fan, depictions of characters who share that trait with me typically fall into one of two categories: they a) don’t exist or they b) make me rage. next to normal comes closer than most shows to getting it right, in a lot of ways. But where it fails,... Read more »

Stage Left: Flipping the Script on "One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man"

I am in a fairly light mood today, so I thought I’d match that with a pretty light post. One of my favorite things to do is to play with music or other media by mentally flipping the script, changing the context in which it operates. Today I want to flip the script…WITH FEMINISM Read more »

Stage Left: "Die, Vampire, Die!" Reflections on Self-Doubt and Advocacy Work.

The part of [title of show] that resonates most closely with me is probably the song I’ve included in this post—”Die Vampire, Die!”. This song is, within the context of the show, about defeating doubts and obstacles to creative-sector work—writing, painting, singing. But I think the... Read more »