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items tagged with Jean Liuzzi

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.")


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Circa '21's "Christmas from the Heart" Rates a Holiday Cheer
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-11-16 00:00:00
Christmas from the Heart, which opens the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s 29th season, is a holiday-themed musical revue, and as such, it has a built-in advantage that many stage works don’t: Audiences don’t make many demands of it. When presented with a piece of this sort – in which the production is essentially an excuse for linking together a diverse group of carols and holiday hits – no one really cares what the story is about or whether the characters have any depth; all we ask is that the numbers are well-sung and that the show maintains a lively pace, and if it’s funny or touching or particularly well-designed, those are just added bonuses.
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Heaven Help Us!: "Meshuggah-Nuns!" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-09-28 00:00:00

My parents, being good people, raised me to believe that if you couldn’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. Of course, they couldn’t have imagined I’d wind up a reviewer, nor that I’d wind up having to devote 700 words to Meshuggah-Nuns!


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