Arts » Theater


Thunder Knocking on the Door; Sin

Thunder Knocking on the Door.
Presently docked at the Great Lakes Theater Festival, Thunder Knocking on the Door is a gaudy showboat, a blues musical paddling its way to Broadway with the ferocity of a heat-seeking torpedo. Colored lights frantically blink each entrance and exit like a Christmas tree having a nervous breakdown. Swivel-hipped actors/blues singers take turns gobbling their musical exaltations like privileged Thanksgiving turkeys disguised in peacock feathers to avoid the slaughter. Inevitably, it all starts to blur and crumble like an aged reel of nitrate film. We begin to wonder how an event that started as sleek as Lena Horne at the Copa could turn into a 300-pound floozie. Perhaps it's too eager to please, has too many feathers, strives for too much synthetic joy, and is determined to light every darkened corner with sunshine. Too much sugar turns the blues pink. Through October 31 at the Ohio Theatre. Reviewed October 21.

This Bad Epitaph Theater production by Wendy MacLeod is a clever sleight of hand, updating and gentrifying the old morality play Everyman as reimagined by the writers of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Here that symbol of eternal humanity is Avery Bly (Sarah Morton). Instead of the long-ago pastoral landscapes, we are taken through 1989 San Francisco. Director Roger Truesdell causes his cast to sizzle and reach new highs in their careers. Morton gives a performance of pure oxygen: She's a WASPy variation on Woody Allen. Equaling her in charismatic intensity is David Hansen. Thomas Cullinan, last year's Hamlet, turns anal retentiveness into a trendy new spectator sport. Sly magic makers have transformed this old period piece into a spin on the latest Disneyland thrill ride. Sin. Inside gallery. Through October 31. Reviewed October 14.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.