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River Cities' Reader | Theatre
Playwright’s Play Rights: "Any Famous Last Words?," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre thru July 20 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 16 July 2008 02:38

Elizabeth Buzard, David Bailey, Jackie Skiles, and Bailey O'Neil in Any Famous Last Words?You know a comedy is in trouble when its most engaging scene features an elderly woman's description of her escape from a German concentration camp. You know a comedy is in serious trouble when it uses that description merely to goose its tinny excuse for a plot.

Mourning Becomes Her: "Electra," at Lincoln Park through July 13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 02:32

Andrea Braddy (masked) and ensemble members in Electra As the organization's annual Greek dramas always do, Genesius Guild's presentation of Electra begins with a processional. During this preamble, the cast members, accompanied by a majestic anthem, slowly make their way across the Lincoln Park stage, and those who'll be wearing the traditional headpieces of the period carry them at waist level, giving us an early peek at Ellen Dixon's costumes, Earl Strupp's masks, and, for the last time before the curtain call, the performers' faces. (Only the play's choral figures remain unmasked throughout the production.) It's a lovely touch, as reassuringly familiar as Genesius Guild's nightly T-shirt giveaway and the shrieking from the children playing on the neighboring swing sets.

The Kings and I: "All Shook Up," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through July 13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 02:28

Brandon Ford in All Shook Up No one in his or her right mind could possibly think that the Elvis Presley pastiche All Shook Up, the new presentation at the Timber Lake Playhouse, is a stronger piece of theatre than West Side Story or You Can't Take It with You, the first two presentations in the venue's 2008 season.

But whatever you do, do not, for the love of Pete, tell this to the performers in Timber Lake's latest, who are attacking this goofy lark with such impassioned zeal that you'd think they were enacting Shakespeare. (And, it turns out, they oftentimes are.)

Bitten by the Theatre Bug PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 02:49

Reader issue #690 As you'll see in these pages, I attended five theatrical productions between Thursday and Sunday, and after writing some 4,200 words on my experiences, my editor asked if I wouldn't mind writing a couple hundred more as an introduction.

That bastard.

Twin City: "The Comedy of Errors," at Lincoln Park through June 29 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 02:44

Neil Friberg, Jonathan Gregoire, and Molly McLaughlinA preface for those at Sunday's Genesius Guild presentation of The Comedy of Errors: You know that horribly rude woman who talked, and talked loudly, on her cell phone through the first two minutes of the play, even after repeated shushings and one verbal request to shut the hell up? I sat three rows behind her.

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