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Get Off the Horse and Pick Up a Shovel: Jay Berkow Finds the Reality in Circa ’21’s "Oklahoma!" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 02:33

Jay Berkow As the director of music theatre performance at Western Michigan University, Jay Berkow is well aware of the historical significance of Oklahoma!, which he is currently directing for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse.

"It is kind of the grandfather, or the progenitor, of the contemporary musical-theatre piece," Berkow says, referencing the work's fame as one of the first "book musicals" in American theatre, wherein songs are fully integrated into the drama, and the lyrics and score are as essential to character understanding as dialogue.

 
Blessed: Ted Neeley Revisits His Iconic Title Role in "Jesus Christ Superstar" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:33

634 Cover - Summer Guide 2007 Ted Neeley portrayed Jesus Christ in the 1973 film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Tim Rice's seminal rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. He is currently reprising the role in a national tour of the show, which lands at Davenport's Adler Theatre on May 23. And in between these gigs, Neeley has performed the part in numerous other touring productions, benefits, and, once, alongside a cast of grade-school apostles.

It's impossible to ignore the irony: Ted Neeley has now been playing Jesus for longer than Jesus was alive.

"Yeah, I've been doing it now for just over 2,000 years," says Neeley with a laugh.

 
The Monster in the Park: Genesius Guild Gears Up For Its 51st Season PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:27

Wilder Anderson in The Tempest When Rock Island's summer-theatre organization Genesius Guild opens Gilbert & Sullivan's comic operetta Patience on June 9 - taking place in the city's Lincoln Park, and co-produced with Opera@Augustana - it will mark the group's first production in a half-century not under the helm of Guild founder Don Wooten, who retired at the end of last season. And when asked what it's like serving as Genesius Guild's new executive director, and assuming a majority of Wooten's tasks, Doug Tschopp has a succinct one-word answer.

"Wow."

 
Cut from Theatre Cloth: Broadway's Philip William McKinley Directs "Crème de Coco" at St. Ambrose PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 02:17

Phil McKinley For St. Ambrose University's forthcoming production of Crème de Coco - being performed at the Galvin Fine Arts Center from April 20 through 22 - the school recruited guest director Philip William McKinley to helm what will be the world premiere of William Luce's one-act play. During his area tenure, McKinley is also teaching an advanced acting course at St. Ambrose, and in a recent interview, the director explained why honesty is essential in eliciting the best work from performers:

"I think a lot of times, people tell them what they think they want to hear, rather than tell them what they really do need to hear. And if they know that you're telling them something to make them better, or for their own good, they're totally receptive to it."

That seems like a perfectly logical method for directing student actors. But, at this point in our conversation, McKinley wasn't referring to student actors. He was referring to Hugh Jackman.

 
In Like Flynn: Tom Wopat Headlines "Chicago," at the Adler Theatre April 10 and 11 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 02:26

Tom Wopat So, how are you doing today?

"Eh ... I'm okay," replies Tom Wopat, calling from Manhattan. "I just got a parking ticket. Sixty-five bucks."

And hardly a deserved parking ticket. "I parked in a school zone but there's no school there anymore," Wopat says. "They don't know that, you know?"

He laughs. "But that's okay. It's like I told my girlfriend: It's New York City. That's just how it works."

 
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