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John Porter

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WCVE Public Radio Theatre Critic John Porter can be heard during NPR’s All Things Considered. He is also the co-host of Time for the Blues.

Articles by John Porter

Hot Leftovers 2015!

We hope you will join us this Saturday night (11/28/15) at 11:00 p.m. on Time for the Blues as Henry and I bring our own unique spin to the Thanksgiving Holiday, the annual “Hot Leftovers” show. It’s a show that takes a year to put together and only an hour to enjoy, but it won’t mean much if you’re not there to enjoy it with us. Even our pic here is leftover from last year's show! (If you're going to do 'em right!)

“Christmas On The Rocks”

It’s an intriguing concept to take seven different acclaimed playwrights and give each the assignment of writing a short one-act sketch to take place in the same place – a bar – with the only characters being a bartender and a childhood Christmas icon. I’m not talking Santa Claus icon, but those kids we’ve seen in Christmas plays, movies, and television shows who have grown up and have to reconcile their pasts with the present.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill

The year 1959 was one of profound transition in the United States as we passed from one major epoch into the next. It was also the year that jazz singer Billie Holiday died. Holiday’s passing was just as likely to be reported on the pages of the police blotter as the front page, as her various narcotics charges and wild ways were scandalous to many in that era.

But thanks to the healing distance of time, we can evaluate just how profound her influence was, and can only wonder what might have been had she received the kind of treatment that she needed rather than incarceration.

Jimmy Burns, Dave Weld, Tommy Castro and Allen Toussaint Tribute!

We  hope you will join us this Saturday Night (11/21/15) as Time for the Blues howls at the late night moon and brings you some great blues for your listening pleasure. Henry and I have been cooking up a fun little show and we think you will enjoy it so much you’ll want to bring along your friends.

Here’s the most obvious statement you’ll encounter today: Henry and I make a lot of mistakes.

Equus Races In For Cadence Theatre

Even before language existed as we know it, stories were told. They may have been acted out, they may have been danced out the way bees tell how to get to the best pollen fields, but they certainly had a place in primitive societies. As civilizations grew and speaking became the preferred method of communication, stories became an integral part of societal interaction. And the best stories take bits and pieces and weave them into a totally new narrative – often combining elements of horror, humor, and the humdrum in order to make a more powerful statement.

Halloween Remix Mashup 2015!

We hope you’ll join us on Time for the Blues this Saturday night (10/31/15) at 11:00 p.m.--yes, Halloween night, and hopefully long after the last trick or treater has rung your doorbell looking for a sugary handout, and you’ve settled back to relax for the first time in weeks. Maybe you’ve taken a couple of minutes to rifle through your kid’s candy looking to scope out your favorites.

Surely the little ghosts and goblins won’t miss just one lousy candy bar, right?

Theatre Review: American Buffalo

Sometimes my job is very easy. I get to go see theatre and tell you all the great productions to go see. Right now it’s my pleasure to tell you that if you want to properly invest your time and resources, you will want to check out David Mamet’s American Buffalo, the latest production for Quill Theatre being held at TheatreLAB’s basement theatre (300 E. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219).

Theatre Review: Buyer & Cellar

The oldest form of theatre starts out with the phrase, “Let me tell you a story.” For me, that’s where it all begins. The story dictates the characters, the story is the action, the story defines the conflict.

When I hear that we – the audience – are going to witness a one-person show, I admit I am excited by the possibilities. Whether it is a one-character show like The Belle of Amherst written from the point of view of poet Emily Dickinson; or a multi-character more recent work by Danny Hoch or John Leguizamo, I can’t wait to see it.