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Apollo's Creed: "Alcestis," at Lincoln Park through July 7 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 01 July 2013 06:00

Jason Dlouhy, Bob Hanske, Doug Adkins, and Katie Ross in AlcestisEuripides' Alcestis marks the first Genesius Guild production of a Greek tragedy I’ve seen without doing advance research on the play’s plot, which I usually do out of fear of being lost. I’m happy to say, though, that I did not get lost in the slightest during Saturday’s performance, thanks to the production's clear plot points and dialogue, ample projection from the actors speaking from behind sound-inhibiting masks, and the comfortable flow of Dori Foster’s direction. The play is interesting in its exploration of fate, and also entertaining by way of costumer Ellen Dixon’s simple yet elegant designs (particularly for the women in the chorus), Earl Strupp’s aesthetically pleasing masks (with their glittery colors and wisps of escaped locks of hair), and the cast’s earnest characterizations.

 
The Ugly Americans: "reasons to be pretty," at the District Theatre through July 7 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 01 July 2013 06:00

Eugene Pavinato, Cara Chumbley, Chris Causer, and Kelly Lohrenz in reasons to be prettyThe strength of playwright Neil LaBute’s writing skills was on full display in the District Theatre’s equally stunning, Friday-night presentation of reasons to be pretty. LaBute's gritty drama about the demise of a couple after the guy is overheard describing his girl as having a “regular”-looking face is loaded with sharp banter and realistic relationships that are less than perfect, and the show's dark humor is not lost on director Bryan Tank’s cast. The comicality is clear as the characters scream obscenities at each other, stab each other verbally, and behave in seriously ugly ways.

 
Bawdy Image: "Cabaret," at the Prospect Park Auditorium through June 23 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 17 June 2013 06:00

Bryan Tank in CabaretQuad City Music Guild’s Cabaret is at its most entertaining whenever Bryan Tank’s Emcee graces the stage – “graces” being a somewhat incorrect term, as it's the actor’s unflinching commitment to his character’s blatantly sexual nature that’s so engaging. With his impressive German accent and convincing characterization of unabashed debauchery, Tank punctuates the beguilement of his Emcee by way of sexual gestures that seemed to titillate Thursday’s preview-performance audience, at least judging by the large amounts of laughter mixed with amused shock. (This was most notable during the threesome pelvic thrusts and other dance steps in Cabaret's “Two Ladies” number, one of several deliciously bawdy pieces choreographed by Emma Williams.)

 
Grin and "Bear" It: "Bear Girl," at the QC Theatre Workshop through June 22 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 17 June 2013 06:00

Beth Woolley in Bear GirlPlaywright J.C. Luxton’s writing has a beautiful eloquence about it, with poetic word choices and graceful rhythms in his verse. And while I did not understand all of the finer details in the Prenzie Players' Friday-night production of Luxton’s Bear Girl – due solely to my own shortcomings when it comes to dialogue delivered in verse – the themes and main plot points were clearly told, and also, thanks to director Cait Bodenbender’s treatment of the material, interesting, entertaining, and educational.

 
A Time for Change: "Menopause: The Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through August 10 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 10 June 2013 06:00

Whitney Hayes, Erin Fish, Eleonore Thomas, and Megan Opalinski in Menopause: The MusicalWhile I have no doubt that women who’ve experienced “the change” – and the men who’ve experienced it with them – will better appreciate the humor in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s latest, Menopause: The Musical offers a lot of entertainment that transcends that particular life experience. Filled with comically altered lyrics of popular, mostly 1960s songs, the familiar melodies, energetic rhythms, and notable performances from the cast of four had Friday’s audience on its feet at the end of the production.

 
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