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items tagged with Ann Nieman

Oh Boy: "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through March 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-01-20 12:00:00

James Fairchild, Dalen Gunn, and Collin O'Connor in Buddy: The Buddy Holly StoryFriday’s performance of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse left me wanting more – specifically, more of Kiarri Andrews’ and Nina Waters’ Apollo singers and Collin O’Connor’s Ritchie Valens. Andrews and Waters brought some much-needed energy to the first act, adding attention-worthy moxie and a whole lot of fun to their one scene. (Waters' character also sparkles, literally, with the help of costume designer Gregory Hiatt’s gorgeous pink column gown with watteau train.) Meanwhile, O’Connor, with his suave demeanor and smooth pelvic gyrations, whet my appetite for a Ritchie Valens musical, if for no other reason than to see the actor enjoy more stage moments as the singer.


Read More About Oh Boy: "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through March 8...


Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Santa?: "Miracle on 34th Street," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 30
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-11-12 12:03:00

Grace Moore, Laila Haley, John Payonk, Katie Casel, and Krianna Walljasper in Miracle on 34th StreetThe Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse opened its presentation of Miracle on 34th Street on Friday, and if you’re familiar with the 1947 film classic this musical version is based on, you should know that Laila Haley, who portrays Susan Walker, isn’t on a par with the movie’s Natalie Wood. She’s actually so much better than Wood that it’s not even funny.


Read More About Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Santa?: "Miracle On 34th Street," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through December 30...


Kind of Smooth, Kind of Sticky: "Grease," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through March 3
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-01-16 12:00:00

Lisa Carter and Aaron Alan in GreaseI adore the movie version of Grease, and think it's one of the few musicals in which the film is an improvement on the original stage version. The theatrical musical is less cohesive in terms of the timelime's flow, forcing the audience to fill in the gaps between scenes, and I kind of hate that about it – unless a stage production transcends the script's weakness, in which case, like the movie, I love it. However, while I did not hate Friday's performance of Grease at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, I didn't exactly love it, either.


Read More About Kind Of Smooth, Kind Of Sticky: "Grease," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through March 3...


Jumping the Shark: "Happy Days: A New Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through June 4
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-03-28 12:00:00

Laura Miller, Courtney Crouse, and Andrea Moore (center), and Laurie Sutton, Liz J. Millea, and Maeve Martin in Happy Days: A New MusicalIf the goal of Happy Days: A New Musical – making its Midwestern debut at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse – is to have the feel of the 1970s TV series, then playwright (and series creator) Garry Marshall and songwriter Paul Williams are working against each other. The book is reminiscent of the sitcom, with similar character dynamics and situations, but it comes across as a caricature of the TV show – purely wholesome, without the slight edge and hints of rebellion present in its televised incarnation. Williams’ songs, meanwhile, don’t suggest the series at all; it’s as if the tunes were taken from some other 1950s-themed musical, and plopped into an episode of Happy Days without consideration for whether they fit the characters.


Read More About Jumping The Shark: "Happy Days: A New Musical," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through June 4...


Let Yourself Go: "All Shook Up," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through March 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-01-17 12:00:00

Jennifer Weingarten and Michael Karraker in All Shook UpGood God, is the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s All Shook Up fun. The high energy on stage kicks into overdrive with the first song, “Jailhouse Rock,” and barely lets up as the cast sings, dances, and emotes its way through many of Elvis Presley’s hits. I was thrilled with the opening-night performance, and my lingering excitement has me still smiling as I write this the day after seeing the jukebox musical.


Read More About Let Yourself Go: "All Shook Up," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through March 19...





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