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Take a Walk on the Wilder Side: "Our Town," at the District Theatre through February 9 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 27 January 2014 06:00

Shelley Walljasper in Our TownDirector Bryan Tank’s production of Our Town fits the District Theatre’s stage like a glove. Or rather, I should say Tank uses the stage so well – especially in his placement of actors and set pieces – that this play seems a perfect fit for the space. With its beautiful employment of backlighting (particularly when we first see the characters grouped together) and set designer/co-star Chris Causer’s large, white pieces of fabric stretched over and draped across the back wall of the stage – and covering set pieces until they're being used – this production, aesthetically speaking, is breathtaking in its simplicity.

 
Oh Boy: "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through March 8 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 20 January 2014 06:00

James Fairchild, Dalen Gunn, and Collin O'Connor in Buddy: The Buddy Holly StoryFriday’s performance of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse left me wanting more – specifically, more of Kiarri Andrews’ and Nina Waters’ Apollo singers and Collin O’Connor’s Ritchie Valens. Andrews and Waters brought some much-needed energy to the first act, adding attention-worthy moxie and a whole lot of fun to their one scene. (Waters' character also sparkles, literally, with the help of costume designer Gregory Hiatt’s gorgeous pink column gown with watteau train.) Meanwhile, O’Connor, with his suave demeanor and smooth pelvic gyrations, whet my appetite for a Ritchie Valens musical, if for no other reason than to see the actor enjoy more stage moments as the singer.

 
Life Is No Cabaret, Old Chum: "My Sister," at the QC Theatre Workshop through January 25 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 20 January 2014 06:00

Elizabeth and Emily Hinckler in My SisterWhen a play stirs emotions in a way that invites a change in one's perspectives on life or the world, that’s true theatre magic. Such is the case with the QC Theatre Workshop’s My Sister, which, after it ended, left me wanting to just be quiet and alone for a while, in order to digest what I’d observed and learned during Saturday’s performance.

 
Home on the Ranch: "Of Mice & Men," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through January 19 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 13 January 2014 06:00

Cody Johnson, Ed Villarreal, and Greg Boulijon in Of Mice & MenThe Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men begins with a scene in which Cody Johnson’s George and Ed Villarreal’s Lenny share a slow and (mostly) gentle conversation about their plans to work as ranch hands, and their dreams of using their money to buy their own piece of land and “live off the fat” of it. The patient way in which Johnson, with obvious compassion, speaks with Villarreal’s not-so-bright Lenny leaves no doubt as to George’s sincere concern for his daft companion, and Lenny's wide-eyed trust, shown as he hangs onto every word George says, suggests the loving connection Lenny has with George. Their relationship is immediately both clear and touching, and sets the foundation for the deeply emotional events that transpire through the course of this story.

 
Turn of the Scrooge: "A Christmas Carol," at the District Theatre through December 15 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 09 December 2013 06:00

Doug Kutzli in A Christmas CarolOn Saturday evening, I was reminded of the local treasure that is the District Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. Written by Tristan Layne Tapscott with music by Danny White, this holiday musical is something special: a locally created piece so good that it could, and should, be staged by theatres throughout the country. And this year – the second the theatre has produced the show – brings some notable changes from last winter's staging of this theatrical gem.

 
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