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Torture Chamber Play: " The Pillowman," at the District Theatre through May 12 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 30 April 2012 06:01

Jason Platt, Dexter Brigham, and Matt Mercer in The PillowmanOn Thursday, the District Theatre debuted a most admirable, impressive production of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, a play boasting numerous surprises both major and minor. Yet if the reactions of a few of the evening’s audience members are to be trusted, it might be necessary to spoil a few right off the bat.

 
Mostly Toothless: “Bat Boy: The Musical,” at Augustana College through May 6 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 30 April 2012 06:00

Lilli Pickens, Samantha Kammerman, and Bill Cahill in Bat Boy: The MusicalA musical based on the Weekly World News' tabloid-famous Bat Boy screams “camp.” Augustana College’s production of Bat Boy: The Musical, however, is not campy enough, as a couple of the leading actors played their parts too seriously or sincerely during Friday’s performance, softening the effect of this musical’s craziness.

 
The Accused: "Parade," at the District Theatre through May 5 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 06:00

Bryan Tank and Kelly Lohrenz in ParadeWould it be possible to get a cast recording of the District Theatre’s Parade? Because the production is so well-sung by its cast members, I wouldn’t mind listening to them perform composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown’s songs over and over again. The solos are stirring, as characters sing about their relationships and roles in a Georgia town gripped by the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl. But some of the ensemble numbers gave me goosebumps during Saturday’s performance – particularly the hauntingly sad “Funeral Sequence: There Is a Fountain / It Don’t Make Sense,” performed as the townsfolk remember the young lady whose body was found in the basement of a local pencil factory.

 
Money Makes the Worms Come Around: "Spreading It Around," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through June 9 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 23 April 2012 06:00

Lora Adams in Spreading It AroundBrad Hauskins elicited the largest laughs during Friday’s performance of Spreading It Around at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, starting with the moment he first walked onstage with his frozen-hip shuffle. His psychologist character Dr. Ward doesn’t actually appear until the middle of the second act of this comedy, which concerns the efforts of the widow Angie to share her wealth (and that of her fellow retirees) with those in need, rather than leaving it to their ungrateful children. But with little stage time, Hauskins squeezes out every ounce of comic possibility from his role, relishing his awkward pauses, and dryly delivering his lines with the slightly high-pitched, mildly shaky voice stereotypical of the elder person he's portraying.

 
Adorkability: "The Nerd," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through April 22 PDF Print E-mail
Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 16 April 2012 06:01

Justin Raver, Jordan L. Smith, and Nathan Johnson in The NerdBy the time the titular character entered the play, I’d resigned myself to having to endure two more hours of few-and-far-between laughs during Friday’s performance of The Nerd, while also fighting off a sleepiness fostered by the unusually high temperature in the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre. However, appearing in only his third stage role, Jordan L. Smith woke me up and held my attention with his annoyingly nasally delivery of playwright Larry Shue’s monologues. The best reason to see The Nerd, it turns out, is the nerd himself.

 
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