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items tagged with Ann Nieman

Gang Busters: "West Side Story," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through March 24
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-01-24 08:26:31

Mishi Schueller and Kimberly Willes in For West Side Story to really work, the actors portraying Tony and Maria have to be marvelous, and in Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's new presentation of this beloved musical updating of Romeo & Juliet, Mishi Schueller and Kimberly Willes are even better in these roles than you'd hope they'd be. The duo is so touching, so emotionally expansive, that director/choreographer Ann Nieman's production is an absolute dream whenever they're on stage, so allow me to begin by discussing Schueller's and Willes' contributions, which should underscore how great this West Side Story is, and perhaps help explain why it should've been greater still.


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Surprising Surprises
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-12-20 09:06:00

"Grease"I got pretty choked up at Quad City Music Guild's production of It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical, especially when George started yelling at his kids. (They were so cute!) I was truly affected by the anguished performance of John VanDeWoestyne in the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

But, in 2006, do you know what area production made me cry like a little girl?

Freakin' Grease.


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Ich Bien ein Berliner: "Irving Berlin’s White Christmas," at Circa ’21 through January 6
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-11-15 08:26:59

"Irving Berlin's White Christmas" ensemble Friday's performance of Irving Berlin's White Christmas at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse was so joyous, so committed to giving audiences a good time, that it easily transcended its opening-night technical gaffes. Hell, the sound system could've exploded and the set could've come crashing down - knock knock knock - and the cast still would have sold the show.


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The Pretender: Things You Should Know About – and From – the Area’s Best Actor, Tom Walljasper
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-05-24 05:33:53
"I think my forte is storytelling. I just like to pretend. And any experience that I have where I believe the actor or actors are as close to pretending as possible? That's what gets me off, man. To me, that's what acting's all about." -- Tom Walljasper
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Revenge of the Nerds: "Grease" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-01-18 00:00:00
The most telling moment in the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s splendid re-imagining of Grease is a minor one, and – like most of this production’s finest moments – nowhere to be found in the original script. (It’s actually an invention of director/choreographer Ann Nieman’s, designed to cover a scene change.) Danny (Jeremy Jonet) and Cha-Cha (Nicole Polzella) have just won Rydell High’s dance competition, yet instead of relishing the victory, Danny runs off to re-claim the heart of his true love, Sandy (Cheryl Hoffman). As the decorations come down and the stragglers depart, Cha-Cha – who has even been rebuffed by the nerdy Eugene (Mark D. Lingenfelter) – finds herself alone, and she takes a beat, gazes at the suddenly meaningless trophy in her hands, and quietly, sadly walks off stage.
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