Mini Reviews – The Language Archive and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – City Lights and SBMT

Time is short, but these shows are worth short shout outs…without further delay…mini reviews!

The Language Archive – City Lights Theater Company
 Through June 29th at the City Lights Theater in San Jose.

It may seem overly obvious that a play about language would speak to the inner poet, but the way in which this quiet, tender, contemporary piece whispers its own inspired truths and draws one’s own poems out from the covers of the subconscious, is surprising beautiful. Layered with heartbreaking, weighty themes and such clever, complex phrasing it still somehow manages to permeate a light and surprisingly upbeat surface ambiance. Each of the characters are equally flawed, but humanly so; genuinely and sweetly, resulting in a bond with them from the start. We love and root for all of them. The performances are touching, funny and even the final piece of music leaves you contented in just the most unexpected way. A different show worth the experience. 4 ½ jewels out of 5 in the review tiara!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels South Bay Musical Theater
Through June 14th at the Saratoga Civic Theater.

A huge fan of the movie I was dubious how it would translate. As it turns out, this show is so very bizarre, but decidedly, in the good way. So much of the humor and songs really feel random to me. Bawdy and yes, downright dirty in places, I wasn’t sure what this show wanted to be or was. What I do know though is, as random as it is, the individual performances are very good and once I gave up trying to figure it out I was able to just roll with it. Some extremely good triple threats deliver on the production dance numbers, singing and especially the comic delivery. Aside from cumbersome and frequent scene changes (which I don’t know how’d you’d avoid with all the locations and short scenes) and some unnecessarily excessive lighting, I liked this show. I think. Yeah. Weird, yes. Entertaining, absolutely. A refreshing deviation from this group’s normal theatrical offering also worth trying on for size. 4 jewels out of 5 in the review tiara!

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