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Hit and Mistletoe: "Irving Berlin’s White Christmas," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through August 5 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 03:44

Tanner Bollinger, Jenny Guse, Jacqui Pugh, and Zack Powell in Irving Berlin's White Christmas You might think it odd that, for its penultimate summer production, the Timber Lake Playhouse is staging Irving Berlin's White Christmas, thereby celebrating the holiday season a good two or three months before the malls will. But the actual presentation turns out to be stranger still. Not only are you getting White Christmas here, you're getting three or four different White Christmases; the results aren't bad, necessarily, but the show winds up feeling a bit like the Bing Crosby classic as co-directed by Michael Curtiz, Tommy Tune, and Rip Taylor.

 
Rhyme Schemes: "Seussical," through July 28 at North Scott High School PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 02:39

the Seussical ensemble No childless adult should feel the least bit silly about attending the Countryside Community Theatre's madly enjoyable production of Seussical.

But just in case the thought of a family-friendly evening of candy-colored costumes and rhyming couplets gives you pause, know that by missing this production, you'll miss what might stand as the musical-comedy performance of the year. As the Cat in the Hat, Nathan Meyer is giving the sort of fiercely committed, ceaselessly inspired portrayal that feels like the reason God invented musical comedy.

 
Hazy Shades of "Winter’s": "The Winter’s Tale," at Lincoln Park through July 29 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 02:37

Gryan Woods, Grace Pheiffer, Anna Tunnicliff, and Susan Perrin-Sallak in The Winter's Tale Saturday's Genesius Guild presentation of The Winter's Tale never quite found its tone, but it's hard to be too bothered by that, because I'm not convinced that Shakespeare's play ever finds its tone, either. The bard's work is an unusual, somewhat off-putting blend of high and low comedy, aching tragedy, and pastoral romance, and I can only assume that pulling it off in a way that makes sense requires an extraordinary amount of finesse. Director Patti Flaherty's production didn't display this sort of acumen, yet to its credit, the show was never less than pleasant. Whether The Winter's Tale is meant to be pleasant is another matter entirely.

 
Farce Majeure: "Flaming Idiots," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre; "Funny Money," at the Timber Lake Playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 02:48

Spiro Bruskas, Craig Michaels, and Scott Naumann in Flaming Idiots On Friday night, I attended a comedic farce that featured slamming doors, mistaken identities, gunshots, an unhelpful cop, a heavily accented mobster, an attractive woman getting sloppy drunk, and a finale that found characters staring with amazement at a briefcase filled with cash.

And on Saturday, I attended another one.

 
Affection Confection: "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 02:46

Alison Nicole Luff, Jennifer Gilbert, Joshua Estrada, and Joshua Wright in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now ChangeI Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is composed of 20 comic vignettes that explore the difficulty of modern relationships, and at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's Wednesday-night performance of the musical, one scene found a young man (Joshua Estrada) overwhelmed by the kid-crazy perkiness of his new-parent friends (Alison Nicole Luff and Joshua Wright).

As the pair gabbed incessantly about baby's first words and his poop, they juggled baby monitors and toys, and at one point, Wright accidentally dropped one of the child's playthings on the floor. Without missing a beat, Luff, in an obvious ad lib, instructed her husband, "Sterilize that," and the vignette would have continued uninterrupted if our audience's delighted, laughing-and-applauding reaction to the improvisation hadn't forced them to pause.

 
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