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items tagged with Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse

Laurey, Curly, and Mo’: "Oklahoma!," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through July 21
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-06-06 09:29:21

Cristina Sass, Adam Clough, and Autumn O'Ryan in Oklahoma!I'm tempted to say that the high point of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Oklahoma! comes in the show's first minute, when Adam Clough's Curly enters singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" in a thrillingly rich, powerful baritone. Such a statement, however, might indicate that the rest of the actor's performance is somehow less of a thrill. Put simply - and with no disrespect meant to director Jay Berkow or the show's other participants - this Oklahoma! works because of Clough.


Read More About Laurey, Curly, And Mo’: "Oklahoma!," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through July 21...


Get Off the Horse and Pick Up a Shovel: Jay Berkow Finds the Reality in Circa ’21’s "Oklahoma!"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2007-05-30 08:33:30

Jay Berkow As the director of music theatre performance at Western Michigan University, Jay Berkow is well aware of the historical significance of Oklahoma!, which he is currently directing for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse.

"It is kind of the grandfather, or the progenitor, of the contemporary musical-theatre piece," Berkow says, referencing the work's fame as one of the first "book musicals" in American theatre, wherein songs are fully integrated into the drama, and the lyrics and score are as essential to character understanding as dialogue.


Read More About Get Off The Horse And Pick Up A Shovel: Jay Berkow Finds The Reality In Circa ’21’S "Oklahoma!"...


Arachnophabulous: "Charlotte’s Web," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through May 12
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-04-25 08:18:48

Lauren Van Speybroeck & Janos Horvath in Charlotte's WebWhen the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse produced Charlotte's Web in 2003, I was lucky enough to perform in the show opposite Janos Horvath's Wilbur, and I vividly remember being amazed that someone could give such a touching, wholly credible performance while wearing a rubber pig nose.

The theatre has now revived the production, and luckily for audiences, Horvath and his adorable pink honker are back, too. Yet with all due respect to Horvath - who's as marvelous in the role now as he was then - this version of Charlotte's Web is currently being stolen by someone else entirely. And she's only in fifth grade.


Read More About Arachnophabulous: "Charlotte’S Web," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through May 12...


Minnesota Nice: "Church Basement Ladies," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through May 26
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-04-04 08:24:38

Being raised Lutheran, I easily recognized the Lutheranisms on display in director Curt Wollan's Church Basement Ladies, currently playing at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse. (Growing Up Lutheran, in fact, is the title of the Janet Letnes Martin & Suzann Johnson Nelson book the show is based on.) And as written by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke, with music and lyrics by Drew Jansen, this comedy smartly dissects the customs of its Minnesotan characters, is filled with gently sly references, and is spot-on in revealing our sect's unique brand of hostility, in which insults are casually tossed off as conversation. (Handing the phone to her pastor, one of the title characters gets in a veiled, pointed jab with "It's your new wife.")


Read More About Minnesota Nice: "Church Basement Ladies," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through May 26...


Tragi-comically Single: "Bad Dates," at the Nighswander Theatre through April 1
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2007-03-28 08:29:19

Lora Adams in There's a scene in Theresa Rebeck's one-woman comedy Bad Dates - currently being produced by New Ground Theatre - in which our protagonist, Haley, is seen trying on clothes. Actually, nearly every scene features Haley trying on clothes, but I'm referring to the opening sequence, in which she's preparing for the first date she's had since ditching her good-for-nothing husband in Texas and moving to New York. With the audience cast as Haley's confidantes, this single mom and restauranteur tells us of her divorce and her 13-year-old daughter and her recent experiences at a Tibetan Buddhist book benefit, and all the while she tries on skirts, blouses, and lots and lots of shoes; no ensemble, it seems, is working for her.

Finally, Haley finds an outfit to her liking - complete with a shoulder wrap that looks vaguely like a piñata - and steps in front of the (imaginary) full-length mirror to gauge the effect. "This," she states, "is a total disaster."


Read More About Tragi-Comically Single: "Bad Dates," At The Nighswander Theatre Through April 1...





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