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Egan Millard

As with many plays, the title of Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is a microcosm of the work itself. It’s rambling, mismatched and humorous for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious. As such, it’s also a signal that the play is not, as it is often advertised, a gut-busting screwball comedy. It’s an unusual -- and, at times, unsettling -- pastiche of one-liners, minor tragedies, Chekhov references, stage antics and genuine reflection on our swiftly changing world. It’s difficult to wrap one’s mind around, even when staged well...

Egan Millard

In her column in Wednesday’s Alaska Dispatch News , Elise Patkotak­ rails against unnamed Christians ­who she claims are defying Jesus’ teachings – some by yelling viciously at refugee children, some by not using their positions of power to denounce those protesters. However, even a passing glance at the facts reveals that the exact opposite is true: Christian individuals and groups are leading the effort to care for the migrant children caught in the middle of the border dispute. Sadly, in her rush to decry Christians as hypocrites and bigots, Ms. Patkotak engages in hypocrisy and bigotry herself, insulting the very people who are doing the most good in this situation...

Egan Millard

Those of us with hypercritical minds might walk into NETworks’ touring production of “ Memphis ” at the Center for the Performing Arts with a few questions weighing us down. Is a feel-good, dance-driven musical the best way to explore America’s complex history of racism? Do we really need another story about racial persecution told from the perspective of a white person? And isn’t this just a blatant ripoff of “Hairspray”?

For now, forget those. You’ll have plenty of time to debate them over a pint at Humpy’s after the show. And once the powerhouse opening number, “Underground,” starts, you’ll have trouble even remembering them...

Egan Millard

Those of us with hypercritical minds might walk into NETworks' touring production of "Memphis" at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts with a few questions weighing us down. Is a feel-good, dance-driven musical the best way to explore America's complex history of racism? Do we really need another story about racial persecution told from the perspective of a white person? And isn't this just a blatant rip-off of "Hairspray"?

For now, forget those. You'll have plenty of time to debate them over a pint at Humpy's after the show. And once the powerhouse opening number, "Underground," starts, you'll have trouble even remembering them...

Egan Millard

When a thunderstorm clears the steamy Southern air near the end of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," it releases most of the pent-up tension and aggression the characters have been bristling with the entire play. And one could feel a cathartic collective exhale from the audience in the Sydney Laurence Theatre, where Perseverance Theatre is staging its production of the Tennessee Williams classic...

Egan Millard

You've probably heard the famous quote that's been attributed, over the decades, to Steve Martin, Frank Zappa, Laurie Anderson, Martin Mull, Thelonious Monk and many others: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." If that's true (as I would agree it is), then writing about dance is an even more absurd endeavor -- like sculpting about psychiatry, perhaps. You get the point: Language falters when trying to describe an art form intended to relay truths too intangible for words...

Egan Millard

In the opening moments of UAA's production of "M. Butterfly," we see three synchronized performers doing an elaborate Kabuki-style dance. We see their precise, enticing movements. We see their otherworldly robes, masks and makeup. We see a scene of poise and delicacy...

Egan Millard

Anyone attempting to recreate the hyper-energetic dazzle of a Bob Fosse show certainly has big shoes to fill. Or, perhaps, big sequined evening gloves.

The renowned writer, director and choreographer, the creative force behind such hits as "Chicago," "Damn Yankees" and "All That Jazz," spiced up musical theater with his dynamic dancing style, uncanny knack for staging huge musical numbers and, yes, liberal use of jazz hands...

Egan Millard

As pretty much anyone expecting to see "The Frozen Ground" in an Anchorage theater can attest, we often get shorted by which movies come up. But for the past 12 years, the Anchorage International Film Festival has brought a lot of foreign, art-house and independent films that wouldn't be seen here otherwise.

"There are so many great films out there from all over the world," said programming director James Parker. "I think we're doing a service to the community by presenting films from all over the world, because that reflects Anchorage."...

Victoria Barber,Egan Millard,Erika Kelsey

In a small private room at Mexico In Alaska Restaurant, 13 people gathered around a table with mugs of Mexican hot chocolate, bowls of bean soup and plates of chips and salsa. Name tags and Sharpies were passed around as warm introductory chatter filled the room. An Aztec warrior brandishing a spear glared down from a mural on the wall, and multicolored plastic flags hung from the ceiling. A stranger wandering in would've had trouble guessing what was going on. An A.A. meeting, perhaps? A birthday party? A singles group?

One woman got up and shut the door; the conversation faded. "Welcome," she said, "to Death Cafe."...

Egan Millard