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items tagged with Rachelle Walljasper

"Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects on Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-07-02 12:00:00

Lauren VanSpeybroeck, courtesy of Nick West PhotographyAs with many things in life, it can be blamed on a friendly purple dinosaur.

“I used to be obsessed with Barney,” says area actor Lauren VanSpeybroeck of her pre-school interest in performing. “I always used to pretend I was on Barney [& Friends], so I guess that’s where it started. And then I would see, say, The Wizard of Oz or something, and for that week, I would be Dorothy Gale from Kansas. My mom would take me to the grocery store and people would say, ‘Oh, you’re so cute – what’s your name?’ ‘Dorothy Gale from Kansas.’

“That,” says VanSpeybroeck with a laugh, “was probably when my mom was like, ‘Hmmm ... maybe she wants to play characters ... ?’”


Read More About "Blonde" Ambition: Lauren VanSpeybroeck Reflects On Her (Pre-College) Theatrical Career...


"Tradition"-al Family: "Fiddler on the Roof," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through July 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-27 12:00:00

Marc Ciemiewicz and Rachelle Walljasper in Fiddler on the RoofI’m willing to admit that I had significant reservations when I heard Marc Ciemiewicz would be playing Tevye in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Fiddler on the Roof. While I’ve enjoyed every performance I’ve seen from the actor, I wasn’t sure he could pull off this particular part – and I confess this hoping that my praise is all the more significant: Ciemiewicz knocks the role out of the park. Sporting a beard and using a deep baritone voice to speak and sing, and significantly changing his physical demeanor, this person I normally adore for his cutesy charm and spunk completely disappears into the character of Tevye, all the while maintaining his adept comedic skill. I will never doubt Ciemiewicz's acting range again.


Read More About "Tradition"-Al Family: "Fiddler On The Roof," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through July 19...


Gown but Not Forgotten "Always a Bridesmaid," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through May 17
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-03-31 12:00:00

Miranda Jane, Tamarin K. Lawler, Rachelle Walljasper, and Lora Adams in Always a BridesmaidOne of the cleverest things about the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Always a Bridesmaid is its title, and the way it fits its group of women who, because of a promise made at their senior prom, continue to be bridesmaids in each other's weddings well into their 50s. That, however, is as clever as playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten get, as their show's humor is amusing, at best, but never hilarious. The plot and comedy play out more like that of a television sitcom than a theatrical comedy – which might be expected given Wooten’s work as a writer and producer on The Golden Girls.


Read More About Gown But Not Forgotten "Always A Bridesmaid," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through May 17...


Take a Walk on the Wilder Side: "Our Town," at the District Theatre through February 9
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-01-27 12:00:00

Shelley Walljasper in Our TownDirector Bryan Tank’s production of Our Town fits the District Theatre’s stage like a glove. Or rather, I should say Tank uses the stage so well – especially in his placement of actors and set pieces – that this play seems a perfect fit for the space. With its beautiful employment of backlighting (particularly when we first see the characters grouped together) and set designer/co-star Chris Causer’s large, white pieces of fabric stretched over and draped across the back wall of the stage – and covering set pieces until they're being used – this production, aesthetically speaking, is breathtaking in its simplicity.


Read More About Take A Walk On The Wilder Side: "Our Town," At The District Theatre Through February 9...


Parent 'Hood: "Things My Mother Taught Me," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through November 2
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-09-30 12:00:00

Daniel Crary and Cara Chumbley in Things My Mother Taught MeThe Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Things My Mother Taught Me, which is about a young New York couple moving into a new apartment in Chicago, is one of those plays that requires patience, as the first half of the first act takes a while to get on its feet and bring in the humor. While Brad Hauskins’ Polish building superintendent Max elicited hearty laughs during Friday's performance through the actor's adept comic delivery and (eventually overused) “Uh-oh”s, not much else, early on, was all that effectively funny. Until, that is, the parents of the cohabitating Olivia and Gabe arrived, at which point it was clear that director Warner Crocker’s pacing for the rest of the show was going to be remarkable, and the comedic chaos amplified by the play's four parents fussing over their children.


Read More About Parent 'Hood: "Things My Mother Taught Me," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through November 2...





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