dots (all lower case) was born in 2020 when three scenic artists decided to seek greater agency in their careers. To find it, they joined together to operate as one, a model with little precedent in the theatrical landscape.
Known for her wistful voice and originating the role of Sonya on Broadway in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Brittain Ashford, the once-front woman for the band Prairie Empire, has released a new album of original music under her own name. A follow-up to 2019s Drama Club, a collection of musical theatre songs run through a David Lynch filter, Trotter (which shares her late fathers surname) sees Ashford looking back at a period just after her Broadway debut. In true Ashfordian form, the crooner of melancholy manages to find strange optimism in the grieving process.
I have never felt the slightest inclination to go to a high school reunion, but apparently many people do in America, and thus a subgenre of film and theater has been created. The premise is that no matter how miserable high school was or how bad your relationships were, you will return to spend a few intoxicated hours with those special people from long ago. Branden Jacobs-Jenkinss riff on this genre, The Comeuppance at Signature Theatre, showcases his ease with dialogue as he keeps the action going in a continuous gabfest, seamlessly and artfully directed by Eric Ting, at the pre-party leading up to the reunion.
Since Rents 1996 Broadway debut, Michael Greifs gritty-polished production has been mimicked in high schools, community theaters, and regional houses across the country. At Paper Mill Playhouse, Zi Alikhans rendition immediately distinguishes itself. Yes, there are still baggy sweaters and colorful folding chairs, but as a production this Rent is as much elegy as it is musical.
Grief Hotel, commissioned by Clubbed Thumb, is a black comedy. Its also a container for all the ways in which no one knows how to carry sorrow. And itsfor the multiple relationships depicted withina liminality, that sneaky moment when no ones sure whether the tide is coming in or going out.