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items tagged with Tom Walljasper

Phan-tastic: "Phantom," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through March 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2016-01-19 12:00:00

Patrick Beasley and Emily Stokes in PhantomLet’s get this out of the way: In case you're attending to specifically hear “Music of the Night” or other well-known tunes, the current production of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Phantom is not Andrew Lloyd Webber's more famous version of the same story. Comparing Phantom to Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is like comparing a croissant to an éclair. Both are French, textured, and rich with flavor, but also two totally different experiences.
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By George, I Think They've Got It: "A Wonderful Life," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 27
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-11-17 12:02:00

Don Denton and Sara Tubbs in A Wonderful LifeI must confess: When I first saw the Jimmy Stewart film It’s a Wonderful Life on TV in the early 1980s, I was not a fan. Was I, I wondered, the only person on the planet who thought the story overly sentimental and a bit of a melodramatic mess? As I was to learn, I was not, for when the film was first released in 1946, some considered it a disappointing addition to director Frank Capra’s oeuvre. Although I have begrudgingly come to accept the movie on its own terms over the years, it was with a bit of trepidation that I went to see the November 12 preview of the musical production A Wonderful Life at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse. Would this, my first published review, be my “outing” as a Scrooge?


Read More About By George, I Think They've Got It: "A Wonderful Life," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through December 27...


Americana Beauty: "Route 66," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through November 7
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-09-28 12:00:00

Paul G. Nelson, Erin Churchill, and Kenton Fridley in Route 66The plot twists and turns, or lack thereof, are visible from a mile away in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s production of Route 66. This boy-meets-girl musical has few surprises, and the outcome is abundantly clear from the moment Erin Churchill’s aspiring writer Liz meets Kenton Fridley’s freewheeling photographer Drew; they’re like oil and water, but you know they’re going to blend in the end. Even so, Circa '21's romantic comedy is a delight, boasting endearing charm in spades and one catchy tune after another.
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Supper Heroines: "The Church Basement Ladies in: The Last (Potluck) Supper," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through May 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-03-30 11:00:00

Kaitlyn Casanova, Deborah Kennedy, Tom Walljasper, Rachelle Walljasper, and Kay Francis in The Church Basement Ladies in The Last Potluck SupperThe fifth time is apparently the charm for writer Greta Grosch and composer/lyricist Drew Jansen, as the final installment in the Church Basement Ladies series is, for me, the most cohesive and amusing from beginning to end. Primarily, this is because there’s a clear plot that ties together the story as, through flashbacks, we learn about the founding of the show's rural-Minnesota church, the initial introduction of the titular ladies to their basement kitchen, and the eventual disbanding of the congregation. This musical is the history of the ladies’ Lutheran church in its entirety, a thread that pulls together the proceedings in a beautiful way.
Read More About Supper Heroines: "The Church Basement Ladies In: The Last (Potluck) Supper," At The Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse Through May 16...


"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...





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