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items tagged with Neil Simon

Flower Power: "Steel Magnolias," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 2
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-07-27 12:00:00

Bailey Jordan Reeves, Jalayne Riewerts, and Miranda Barnett in Steel MagnoliasNot long into author Robert Harling’s ensemble dramedy Steel Magnolias, the Louisiana beautician Truvy asks local socialite Clairee Belcher about the recipe for a delicacy called “cuppa cuppa cuppa,” the ingredients for which are a cup of flour, a cup of sugar, and a cup of fruit cocktail. Truvy says it sounds awfully rich, and Clairee replies that it is, “so I serve it over ice cream to cut the sweetness.”

That line gets a laugh, and it should, and after attending the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre’s new production of Steel Magnolias, it dawned on me that Clairee’s dessert makes a fine analogy for the play itself. In effect, Harling’s beloved, female-driven theatrical mainstay is a cup of wisecracking sitcom, a cup of unvarnished sentimentality, and a cup (perhaps a teaspoon or two less) of genuine feeling, all blended together and served over ice cream. Some may find this tale of six Southern friends and beauty-parlor regulars too sweet. But it’d be hard to deny the tastiness of the Showboat’s presentation, and if the collective response during Thursday’s curtain call was to be trusted, the standing, clapping, happily tearful crowd would’ve gratefully asked for seconds.
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One for the Funny, Two for the Shows, Three to Get Red-Eyed, and Four – Just Go: "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Get on Up," "Wish I Was Here," and "A Most Wanted Man"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-08-03 16:43:39

Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper(ish), Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel(ish), and Dave Bautista in Guardians of the GalaxyFriday, August 1, 9:50 a.m.-ish: Movies based on Marvel comics are routinely, sometimes annoyingly formula-driven. But 10 minutes into Guardians of the Galaxy, I really hope every subsequent Marvel release steals from this one, because all the studio’s films – hell, all films period – should open with Chris Pratt doing a Singin’ in the Rain soft-shoe to Redbone’s “Come & Get Your Love.”

Read More About One For The Funny, Two For The Shows, Three To Get Red-Eyed, And Four – Just Go: "Guardians Of The Galaxy," "Get On Up," "Wish I Was Here," And "A Most Wanted Man"...

Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner: "Rumors," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through July 26
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-21 12:00:00
Rumors ensemble members

The cast of the Timber Lake Playhouse’s Rumors does its best to squeeze out every bit of humor from playwright Neil Simon’s clichéd farce. Some of the actors are wildly successful, eliciting laughter beyond what Simon's script deserves. Others at least have their moments in this play about eight anniversary-party guests trying to figure out why their host (who is never seen) shot himself in the earlobe, and why his wife isn't home for the gathering.

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And the Oscar (Madison) Goes to … : "The Odd Couple," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through July 20
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-14 12:00:00

John VanDeWoestyne and Greg Cripple in The Odd CoupleJohn VanDeWoestyne proves a capable center for the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's The Odd Couple. Portraying playwright Neil Simon's slovenly divorcée Oscar Madison, VanDeWoestyne’s comedic timing shines as he adeptly pauses here or rushes there in ways that increase his punchlines' comical impact. The actor never quite overcomes his natural poise and intelligence to fully sell the character, but his Oscar is also a bit funnier for those qualities; it's fun seeing this normally classy man speaking and acting like a disorderly bachelor. While there’s plenty that’s worthy of praise in director Mike Skiles’ well-paced production, it’s VanDeWoestyne who deserves extra credit for being the glue that holds it all together.

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All the Worlds of Stage: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2011
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-12-15 17:53:34

Tom Walljasper, Kristin Gilbert, and John Payonk in HairsprayThe Reader's chief theatre reviewer, Thom White, saw and wrote about 52 area stage productions in 2011. I saw 39 and reviewed 12. Obviously, during our second-annual breakfast chat on the Year in Theatre, there was a bit to talk about.

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