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items tagged with Greg Hiatt

Jumping the Shark: "Happy Days: A New Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through June 4
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-03-28 12:00:00

Laura Miller, Courtney Crouse, and Andrea Moore (center), and Laurie Sutton, Liz J. Millea, and Maeve Martin in Happy Days: A New MusicalIf the goal of Happy Days: A New Musical – making its Midwestern debut at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse – is to have the feel of the 1970s TV series, then playwright (and series creator) Garry Marshall and songwriter Paul Williams are working against each other. The book is reminiscent of the sitcom, with similar character dynamics and situations, but it comes across as a caricature of the TV show – purely wholesome, without the slight edge and hints of rebellion present in its televised incarnation. Williams’ songs, meanwhile, don’t suggest the series at all; it’s as if the tunes were taken from some other 1950s-themed musical, and plopped into an episode of Happy Days without consideration for whether they fit the characters.


Read More About Jumping The Shark: "Happy Days: A New Musical," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through June 4...


"Jack" Be Nimble, "Jack" Be Quick: "Jack Frost Saves Christmas," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through December 26
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-12-06 12:00:00

Don Denton, Bret Churchill, and Laura Miller in Jack Frost Saves ChristmasThe Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s Jack Frost Saves Christmas is the most adorable children’s play I’ve ever seen. Okay, it’s also the only children’s play I’ve seen since... well, since I was a child. Still, it brought out the kid in me as I danced and sang along – at the appropriate, invited times, of course – and I wasn’t alone; the children in attendance at Saturday’s performance, including the two I brought along with me, laughed and danced and shouted exclamations of delight at the play’s proceedings.


Read More About "Jack" Be Nimble, "Jack" Be Quick: "Jack Frost Saves Christmas," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through December 26...


Presently Tense: "Hedda Gabler," at the Village Theatre through November 30
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-11-20 19:55:13

 

Adam Clough and Kimberly Furness in Hedda GablerDirected by David Bonde, the Curtainbox Theatre Company’s Hedda Gabler starts off on a happy, frivolous tone. As George Tesman (Reader employee Mike Schulz) tells his Aunt Julie (Corinne Johnson) about the honeymoon from which he’s just returned, they share smiles and hopeful, knowing glances. Yet several minutes into this, during Tuesday night’s performance, I was a bit bored, wondering why the Curtainbox – which had consistently produced weighty, thoughtful material – was suddenly producing a script filled with such lighthearted but fundamentally pointless drivel.

And then Kimberly Furness made her entrance.


Read More About Presently Tense: "Hedda Gabler," At The Village Theatre Through November 30...


Cruisin’ Canines: “Go, Dog. Go!,” at the Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse through June 29
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-06-14 12:00:00

Janos Horvath, Tristan Tapscott, Bret Churchill, Elizabeth Miller, and Sara Nicks in Go, Dog. Go!Clocking in at just under 50 minutes at the opening matinée, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's (under) 21 Youth Theatre's adaptation of Go, Dog. Go! is a great opportunity for preschool and early school-aged kids to experience their first local-theatre production. (In retrospect, I could've even taken my 20-month-old daughter, along with a Snack Trap and three refills of Cheerios.) The show features a series of simple vignettes plucked from the pages of P.D. Eastman's 1961 children's-book classic about the friendship between six adorable canines. And while the general lack of dialogue or a steady plotline may bore some adults, the rudimentary yet whimsical scenes and characters will likely appeal to the under-10 crowd.


Read More About Cruisin’ Canines: “Go, Dog. Go!,” At The Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse Through June 29...


Kiddie Gridiron: "Miss Nelson Has a Field Day," at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse through May 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-04-19 12:00:00

Don Denton, Erin Churchill, Janos Horvath, Liz J. Millea, and Bret Churchill in Miss Nelson Has a Field DayIt's been more than 20 years since I read Harry Allard's series of "Miss Nelson" children's books, but it's hard to forget Viola Swamp, "the meanest substitute teacher in the whole world." Miss Nelson Has a Field Day, currently playing at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, features Swamp (Liz J. Millea) as the no-nonsense alter-ego of Miss Nelson, the kindly math teacher at Horace B. Smedley Elementary School. The show is as funny as I remember the books being, and judging from the laughter that was constantly erupting from the audience of mostly elementary-school students at Friday's matinee performance, I wasn't the only one who thought so.


Read More About Kiddie Gridiron: "Miss Nelson Has A Field Day," At The Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Through May 8...





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