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items tagged with Annie

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: "Annie" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-12-20 00:50:41

Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Rose Byrne in AnnieANNIE

Sony’s last-remaining grab for the holiday box office, the much-downloaded reboot of Annie, opened this weekend, and it must be said that as a musical – especially as a musically faithful interpretation of the stage show – it kind of sucks. The choreography’s a shambles and the mixing is poor and the original numbers are terrible, while familiar, enjoyable Annie tunes such as “Little Girls” and “Easy Street” are merely sampled, their melodies and lyrics awkwardly woven into new pop and hip-hop arrangements. (Three of the film’s myriad producers are Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, so I guess we should just be grateful that the titular orphan is played by Quvenzhané Wallis and not Willow. Or Jaden.)


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"Tradition"-al Family: "Fiddler on the Roof," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through July 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-27 12:00:00

Marc Ciemiewicz and Rachelle Walljasper in Fiddler on the RoofI’m willing to admit that I had significant reservations when I heard Marc Ciemiewicz would be playing Tevye in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Fiddler on the Roof. While I’ve enjoyed every performance I’ve seen from the actor, I wasn’t sure he could pull off this particular part – and I confess this hoping that my praise is all the more significant: Ciemiewicz knocks the role out of the park. Sporting a beard and using a deep baritone voice to speak and sing, and significantly changing his physical demeanor, this person I normally adore for his cutesy charm and spunk completely disappears into the character of Tevye, all the while maintaining his adept comedic skill. I will never doubt Ciemiewicz's acting range again.


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L'Chaim!: Marc Ciemiewicz Tackles the Role of a Lifetime in "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-05-14 12:00:00

“It was third grade,” says actor Marc Ciemiewicz, recalling his stage debut. “I went to Catholic school, and it was the Christmas pageant, and I was given the solo for my class – ‘I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas.’ And my mom, to this day, still tells the story of the gentleman in the audience who tried to give me a standing ovation ... but his wife pulled him back down.”


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All the Worlds of Stage: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2011
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-12-15 17:53:34

Tom Walljasper, Kristin Gilbert, and John Payonk in HairsprayThe Reader's chief theatre reviewer, Thom White, saw and wrote about 52 area stage productions in 2011. I saw 39 and reviewed 12. Obviously, during our second-annual breakfast chat on the Year in Theatre, there was a bit to talk about.


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The Moppet Takes Manhattan: "Annie," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 7
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-08-01 12:01:00

Mackenna Janz and Allison Winkel, alternating performances as AnnieThe Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's Annie feels like a show I've never seen before, even though I'd seen it many times prior to Thursday night’s performance. While the musical’s characters are portrayed in familiar ways, director Patrick Stinson's work seems new, mostly because of designer Kenneth Verdugo’s sets. As odd as that sounds – the idea that a set could change the feel of an entire show – it’s true, because the design not only affects the look of the production, but also how the stage space is used, and what elements are highlighted as a result.


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