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items tagged with Tom Walljasper

Midwestern Union: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through June 1
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-03-18 12:00:00

 Kimberly Steffen, Kay Francis, Tom Walljasper, Nikki Savitt, and Carrie SaLoutos in A Mighty Fortress Is Our BasementBilled as “the funniest and most tuneful Church Basement Ladies yet,” A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement had me laughing more than I expected to during Friday night’s performance. Having had a too-hearty helping of the first two Lutheran-themed kitchen musicals, I couldn’t help but have low expectations for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s production of this fourth show in the series. Yet while this sequel still falls into some of the expected traps, it also had enough humor – and one especially entertaining song – to keep me amused.


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Critical Mass: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2012
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2012-12-31 12:00:00

Mitch Donahue, Alexander Robin Kass, Samantha Pauly, Kristin Gilbert, and Tristan Layne Tapscott in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Legally Blonde: The MusicalFor our third-annual conversation on the Year in Theatre, Thom White – the Reader’s chief theatre reviewer – and I thought we’d shake things up a bit. So instead of meeting for an hours-long breakfast to discuss the area stage scene, we met for an hours-long dinner to discuss the area stage scene.

And while I managed to keep things lively by spilling a completely full glass of water not 10 minutes after sitting down, we also managed to touch on many of the varied experiences that Thom (occasionally accompanied by his partner’s daughter Madison) and/or I had during another eventful year for fans of the theatre. Pack a lunch, sit back, and dive in ... .


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Upbeat Depression: "Southern Crossroads," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through April 14
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-03-12 12:01:00

Rachelle Walljasper, Brad Hauskins, Chad Willow, Tristan Layne Tapscott, Andrew Crowe, and Steve Lasiter in Southern CrossroadsA sign in front of the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse includes a description of the theatre’s current show, Southern Crossroads, as “an inspiring and hilarious story about one musical group’s struggle against impossible odds, as they find new hope through music.” That line fits Circa '21's production to a T, as the tone of director Curt Wollan’s offering is clearly joyful, despite the sense of desperation in its setting. With the appropriate exceptions of those playing villains, Wollan’s cast does not play up any silliness written into their comedic lines. Instead, they choose to play them straight, and in doing so, add to the musical's air of Great Depression uncertainty.


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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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Meating Place: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre through May 14
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-04-25 12:00:00

Rachelle and Tom Walljasper in Sweeney ToddWhen the cast for the Harrison Hilltop Theatre’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was revealed several weeks ago, I’ll admit I was concerned. While I’d previously admired the work of most of the actors, I wasn’t sure they were up to the tasks of the roles they’d been awarded – chiefly Tom Walljasper, cast as the titular barber. While Walljasper excels at comedic roles, I worried that, with his smirking, tongue-in-cheek style of delivery, he wouldn’t be able to carry the dramatic weight of Stephen Sondheim’s killer character. But after seeing Thursday’s opening-night performance, I’m pleased to admit that I was wrong. Very wrong; Walljasper’s ability to handle the role was apparent with the first lyric he sang, which carried with it a dark, sinister, intense appeal.


Read More About Meating Place: "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street," At The Harrison Hilltop Theatre Through May 14...





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