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items tagged with Fred Carmichael

Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Old: "The Robin Hood Caper," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-07-13 16:04:28

Don Hazen, Robert Grueskin, and Jackie Patterson in The Robin Hood CaperThe opening scene in the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre’s The Robin Hood Caper is one you’ve likely sat through, in different iterations, in numerous stage comedies over the years. It introduces us to the young, flummoxed journalist Richard Collins, who, as his conversation reveals, is dealing with all manner of personal crises: shaky finances; an underhanded mayor with plans to shutter Richard’s newspaper; a fiancée demanding a wedding date. Richard’s Aunt Flora, meanwhile, takes this all in with a sympathetic ear and an occasional, dotty reminiscence of her own, and routinely shifts her focus back to her needlepoint.

It’s easy to watch this scene and think you know the score: Poor, put-upon Richard is our befuddled leading man, and Flora is the lovable supporting eccentric who’ll randomly pop in for warmhearted laughs, or for other characters to pelt with exposition, or both. Consequently, it’s a pleasant surprise – in a production boasting pleasant surprises galore – to see that author Fred Carmichael is one step ahead of us. It’s actually Richard (Ernest Toutant III) who vanishes for large portions of The Robin Hood Caper, and Flora, played by the delightful Jackie Patterson, who emerges as the show’s heroine.
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Kind of a Drag: "More Than Meets the Eye," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 15
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-07-09 12:00:00

Molly McLaughlin, Wayne Hess, and Alex Klimkewicz in More Than Meets the EyeI quite like the tone of the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's More Than Meets the Eye, as director Joseph R. DePauw’s production brings a natural feel, and a welcome lack of affectation, to a play that kind of screams for affectation. Instead of overplaying the plot’s cross-dressing humor, Friday night’s performance offered a softer, more realistic approach to its comedy that rendered the jokes more subtle, but still laugh-out-loud funny. Unfortunately, the laughs in author Fred Carmichael’s play are, if not few, fairly far between (though when the jokes do hit, they’re good ones), and it doesn’t help that DePauw’s pacing is a bit on the slow side, lengthening the wait between punchlines.


Read More About Kind Of A Drag: "More Than Meets The Eye," At The Richmond Hill Barn Theatre Through July 15...


Killing Time: "Any Number Can Die," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-05-10 12:00:00

Bill Bates, Diane Greenwood, and Lisa Kahn in Any Number Can DieAs I watched Friday's performance of Any Number Can Die at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, I tried to remember that there was (probably) a time when Fred Carmichael's script was considered hilarious. As a spoof of murder mysteries of the 1920s, this 1965 work may originally have been fresh, poking fun at the plays that audiences were used to seeing. Now, though, with so many comedies poking fun at murder-mystery clichés - and with one seemingly presented each year by Playcrafters - the jokes at the expense of the clichés have themselves become cliché. Still, Carmichael's script and Playcrafters' production of it are amusing enough to make the show at least tolerable.


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The Playwright Did It:"Out of Sight ... Out of Murder," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre Thru September
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-09-20 04:47:56

"Out of Sight, Out of Murder" Offhand, I can think of no type of play more annoying than one that won't stop insisting on how clever it is.

The latest production at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre is the comedic mystery Out of Sight ... Out of Murder, and it should have made for a happily lightweight diversion; beginning with the title, nothing about the show takes itself too seriously, and the cast is filled with game performers looking to provide, and have, a good time.

But, in all honesty, I found the production hard to sit through, and for reasons that go well beyond its bloated two-and-three-quarter-hour running length. With playwright Fred Carmichael thwacking us in the head with his every "clever" comic observation, Out of Sight ... proved the opposite of lightweight - I found myself depressed by the heavy-handedness of it all.


Read More About The Playwright Did It:"Out Of Sight ... Out Of Murder," At The Playcrafters Barn Theatre Thru September...





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