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items tagged with Nicole Polzella

Surprising Surprises
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2006-12-20 09:06:00

"Grease"I got pretty choked up at Quad City Music Guild's production of It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical, especially when George started yelling at his kids. (They were so cute!) I was truly affected by the anguished performance of John VanDeWoestyne in the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

But, in 2006, do you know what area production made me cry like a little girl?

Freakin' Grease.


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Revenge of the Nerds: "Grease" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2006-01-18 00:00:00
The most telling moment in the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse’s splendid re-imagining of Grease is a minor one, and – like most of this production’s finest moments – nowhere to be found in the original script. (It’s actually an invention of director/choreographer Ann Nieman’s, designed to cover a scene change.) Danny (Jeremy Jonet) and Cha-Cha (Nicole Polzella) have just won Rydell High’s dance competition, yet instead of relishing the victory, Danny runs off to re-claim the heart of his true love, Sandy (Cheryl Hoffman). As the decorations come down and the stragglers depart, Cha-Cha – who has even been rebuffed by the nerdy Eugene (Mark D. Lingenfelter) – finds herself alone, and she takes a beat, gazes at the suddenly meaningless trophy in her hands, and quietly, sadly walks off stage.
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"Pippi" Never Starts Making Sense: "Pippi Longstocking" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-04-20 00:00:00

So far as I know, there are no steadfast rules regarding children’s theatre, but two certain “don’t”s would have to be: (1) Don’t bore the kids, and (2) Don’t confuse the kids.


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Leads Help This "King" Shine: "The King & I" at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2005-04-13 00:00:00

Chief among many surprises in Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse’s current production of The King & I is the re-discovery of just how funny the show is. For many, myself included, the news of another Rodgers & Hammerstein revival is enough to fill you with trepidation; must we sit through one of their timeless extravaganzas yet again? But it’s easy to forget that this theatrical duo is legendary for good reason. Beyond their undeniable musical talents, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wrote strong, well-constructed shows and empathetic characters, and their productions always feature an intriguing, nearly treacherous dark side; Rodgers & Hammerstein felt no compunction about casually killing off major characters. (Every time I see The Sound of Music I have to remind myself: Oh, right. There are Nazis in this.) And although I’d be content to never see South Pacific again, a recent, invigorating production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s State Fair at Assumption High School was a welcome reminder of the duo’s gifts, and Circa ’21’s The King & I is fantastically fine, engaging and memorable and, to a quite unexpected degree, hilarious.


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