Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dave's Dithyramb

Posted by Bruce Miller

Richmond currently has two major theatre critics—Susan Haubenstock at the Times-Dispatch and Dave Timberline at STYLE Weekly. I don’t mean to diminish the importance of Mary Burruss (Dave’s colleague at STYLE), Joan Tupponce (writing for both and, sometimes, WCVE-FM), John Porter (sharing the WCVE-FM beat with Tupponce), Jerry Sober (Petersburg Progress-Index) and/or other scrappy scribes at smaller or more distant papers throughout Virginia. And I’m not intending to overlook the blogs.

But in today’s media environment, the T-D and STYLE still rule the roost. Because of publication schedules, Susie’s review in the T-D almost always hits the streets first, and Dave’s opinions appear in STYLE usually a week and a half later. Lucky are we that Dave somehow managed to beat the deadline this time. His review lit up the pages of STYLE yesterday, and it’s another RAVE. Looks like we’re off to the races!

Under the headline “Broad Comedy,” David Timberline begins his review as follows:

“The sexes may share equal billing in the title of the classic musical Guys and Dolls, but the show focuses more on the male side of the equation. Nothing makes that clearer than the scintillating, showstopping number, Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat, that comes near the end of Barksdale’s Broadway-caliber production, playing at the Empire Theatre.”

“The always-amiable Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Jason Marks in excellent voice) leads a ragtag bunch of shysters, hoodlums and lowlifes in a rollicking song of sin and potential redemption. It’s an exuberant, testosterone-fueled high point in a show filled with exceptional ensemble scenes expertly assembled by director and choreographer Patti D’Beck.”

And in what follows, the glow grows even brighter. There’s even a great, half-page color picture of the craps game taken by our Marketing Director Sara Marsden, because our photographer was out of town last week!

Here are quotes we’ll be excerpting from Dave’s review:

Barksdale’s Broadway-caliber production
Scintillating! Rollicking! Exceptional!
Heartwarming and highly amusing
Barksdale seems determined to make
Summertime Sizzle!"

The phones are ringing off the hook every day at our box office, so please consider joining the throng and reserving your tickets now. I think this is, in several important ways, a “Broadway-caliber production.” I’m proud as a peacock to be associated with all the wonderful artists who are thrilling our audiences night after night.

So far, we've had standing O's at every performance. Call for your tickets TODAY! We look forward to seeing you at the theatre!

--Bruce Miller


Dave T said...

Dithyramb?! Wow, Bruce, you made me scramble for me dictionary for the first time in a long time. To save some others the trouble: it means a wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing.

Credit for the review getting in this week goes to the hard-working editors at Style. Blame for the mispellings in the print edition (corrected online), however, must fall solely on my head. Sorry, Patti and Rachel!

Anonymous said...

Methinks Bruth doth show off his skills with a thesaurus.