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items tagged with Brad Lyons

Abra Cadaver: "Tom, Dick, & Harry," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through July 22
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-07-19 04:29:08

tomdickharry_thumb Most theatregoers have at least one genre that they simply can't get on board with. Some can't abide tragic plays - "I get enough drama in life" is their common refrain - and some don't like musicals, and there's an untitled genre that many people, sadly, seem to be petrified of: Shows I've Never Heard of Before.

The latest presentation at the Timber Lake Playhouse is entitled Tom, Dick, & Harry, which is a play that I'd never heard of before, but which also falls under the category of my least favorite genre: the slapstick farce. More often than not, shows of this ilk all seem the same to me: 20 minutes of protracted exposition and character introduction, an hour-plus of forced wackiness resulting from a series of misunderstandings, a few moments of maudlin sentimentality - to make us care about these people? - and a tidy wrap-up, with "naughty" double entendres and obvious, ba-dum-ching! punchlines sprinkled throughout. Many audiences love this stuff; I generally find the relentless bonhomie of it all depressing.

So it's no small praise to say that I really enjoyed Timber Lake's Tom, Dick, & Harry, even though my reasons for enjoying it don't have much to do with Tom, Dick, & Harry.


Read More About Abra Cadaver: "Tom, Dick, & Harry," At The Timber Lake Playhouse Through July 22...


Number One: "Urinetown," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through Sunday, July 9
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-07-05 04:37:07

"Urinetown" ensemble In the second act of the magnificent musical parody Urinetown, the character of Bobby Strong - a novice revolutionary, and the show's ostensible leading man - sings "Run, Freedom, Run," a rousing call-to-arms to his fellow oppressed. The number, a sort of "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" from Guys & Dolls as seen through a Les Miserables filter, is one of those guaranteed show-stoppers designed to leave audiences cheering. At the Timber Lake Playhouse's Saturday-night performance of the show, however, this production number led to something even more thrilling.


Read More About Number One: "Urinetown," At The Timber Lake Playhouse Through Sunday, July 9...


Old-Fashioned Entertainment with the "Modern" Touch: "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at Timber Lake
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-06-07 05:30:48

Erin Childs and Seth LieberFrom the Quad Cities, a trip to the Timber Lake Playhouse will take roughly 80 minutes. But I was so happy to be returning to Mt. Carroll, Illinois, for its 2006 season opener, Thoroughly Modern Millie, that I don't think I stopped smiling once during the entire trek. The theatre's 2005 presentations of The Full Monty and The Hunchback of Notre Dame were, for me, two of last summer's absolute high points - both shows beautifully staged and refreshingly risky - and the venue itself, nestled in the woods, is large and inviting, with its productions boasting terrific design and costumes and a game, go-for-broke ensemble. It was a thrill to be returning after 10 months.

 


Read More About Old-Fashioned Entertainment With The "Modern" Touch: "Thoroughly Modern Millie" At Timber Lake...


Notre Damn! An Extraordinary New "Hunchback": "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Timber Lake Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-08-03 00:00:00
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, currently being presented at the Timber Lake Playhouse, is a little bit Jesus Christ Superstar, a little bit Frank Wildhorn, and a whole lotta Les Miserables, but it has a narrative structure and momentum that’s all its own, and it’s continually surprising – I can’t recall the last time I felt so alert at the theatre. (It helps that this musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel is unfamiliar to most of us, having been produced only once before – at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre – in 1994, and having gone through extensive revision since then.)
Read More About Notre Damn! An Extraordinary New "Hunchback": "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame" At The Timber Lake Playhouse...


A Fully Satisfying "Monty": "The Full Monty" at the Timber Lake Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-07-06 00:00:00
By the time the amateur male strippers perform their exuberant, baring-it-all finale in the Timber Lake Playhouse’s The Full Monty, it might take all your will to not leap from your seat and join them. The high spirits generated by this show are a little overwhelming; with the possible exception of the Clinton Area Showboat’s current production of Ruthless, The Full Monty is the best time I’ve had at the theatre in two months. It’s joyous, technically dexterous, thrillingly performed, and, best of all, absolutely fearless. (You’re aware of this by the end of the overture, when a bare-assed stripper, hounded by female groupies, races across the stage.)
Read More About A Fully Satisfying "Monty": "The Full Monty" At The Timber Lake Playhouse...





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