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Saving Mrs. Bankrupt: "The Way West," at the Village Theatre through May 24 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 18 May 2015 06:00

Sarah Baxter and Valeree Pieper in The Way WestIt was difficult to go into Saturday’s performance of New Ground Theatre’s The Way West without high expectations given the cast of women involved. I’ve enjoyed all four of them in the past and was certain I’d be impressed yet again, and by the end of the night, my respect for their talents was mostly renewed due to each one's admirable characterization.

 
Chauffeur Show: "Driving Miss Daisy," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through May 17 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 May 2015 06:00

Rae Mary and Fred Harris Jr. in Driving Miss DaisyPrior to Friday night, my only experience with Driving Miss Daisy was with the remarkable film version starring the incomparable Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. Although its tenderness sticks with me, for some reason I don’t recall Alfred Uhry's script being terribly funny. And with the Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s production of this material, I'm now wondering why I don’t remember the humor, considering how loud and often I laughed during director Donna Weeks' presentation.

 
And the Tony Goes to … : "Antony & Cleopatra" at the QC Theatre Workshop through May 9 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 06:00

Kristin Skaggs and J.C. Luxton in Antony & CleopatraMuch of Friday’s performance of the Prenzie Players’ Antony & Cleopatra played almost like a romantic comedy. Director Kate Farence’s staging of William Shakespeare’s tragedy feels lighter and funnier than perhaps the material calls for, with the titular couple enjoying their post-Julius Caesar relationship – and ultimately dealing with Rome’s political power plays and battles – amidst a den of hedonism, with hippie-esque attendants engaging in swinging orgies and drug use. Matt Moody’s set design even has the lovers reclining on a tiered platform covered in colorful pillows and blankets, a seeming nod to the pair’s interest in each other over the power of a throne. And the personality in Farence’s production proves titillating – and should make the show more palatable for those who might not enjoy a stuffier version.

 
All You Need Is Like: "As You Like It," at Augustana College through May 10 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 06:00

Jessica Holzknecht, Rowan Crow, and Keenan Odenkirk in As You Like It; photo courtesy of Augustana Photo Bureau/Nadia Panasky '17Director Jennifer Popple’s decision to set her Augustana College production of As You Like It in the 1960s is one of the most appropriate changes in time-setting for theatrical material I’ve yet witnessed. Such shifts sometimes seem gimmicky, or are better in concept than execution, but here it works, and works well.

 
One Plays a Little Mermaid, the Other Flounders: "Fancy Nancy: The Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through May 15 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Friday, 24 April 2015 06:00

Kaitlyn Casanova and Sara Tubbs in Fancy Nancy: The MusicalFrankly, I was surprised to see so many boys in attendance at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s Tuesday performance of Fancy Nancy: The Musical. Based on Jane O’Connor’s book Fancy Nancy & the Mermaid Ballet, the play would, I thought, appeal more obviously to girls, and prior to the opening of the (proverbial) curtain, I expected the lads populating my seat section to be disappointed. Fortunately, though, there’s plenty of content here that appeals to both girls and boys, and judging by the young males' positive reactions, they were delighted by the show – as was I.

 
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