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The Playwright Did It:"Out of Sight, Out of Murder," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre Thru September PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 19 September 2006 22:47

"Out of Sight, Out of Murder" Offhand, I can think of no type of play more annoying than one that won't stop insisting on how clever it is.

The latest production at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre is the comedic mystery Out of Sight, Out of Murder, and it should have made for a happily lightweight diversion; beginning with the title, nothing about the show takes itself too seriously, and the cast is filled with game performers looking to provide, and have, a good time.

But, in all honesty, I found the production hard to sit through, and for reasons that go well beyond its bloated two-and-three-quarter-hour running length. With playwright Fred Carmichael thwacking us in the head with his every "clever" comic observation, Out of Sight ... proved the opposite of lightweight - I found myself depressed by the heavy-handedness of it all.

 
It Ain’t Over ’Til ...: "The Lovely Liebowitz Sisters: Live from the Krakatoa Lounge," at Circa ’21 through Sept. 16 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 12 September 2006 22:53

At last Wednesday's evening performance of The Lovely Liebowitz Sisters: Live from the Krakatoa Lounge, 1945, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's mostly senior crowd appeared to have a ball.

The Lovely Liebowitz Sisters As their character names would suggest, the show's titular trio - Patty (Suz Adamson), LaVonne (Susan Brodin), and Maxine (Judi Gronseth) - performed classics of the 1940s with Andrews Sisters harmonies while engaging in good-natured repartee. An energetic, malapropism-prone emcee named Yannis (Timothy Shawn) danced, flirted, and told corny jokes. A backup band - Bobby Argyle & His Sox - smoothly accompanied the performers to such standards as "In the Mood," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," and "I'll Be Seeing You."

 
Nazi Party: "Cabaret," at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre through August 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 August 2006 22:54

Cassandra Marie Nuss & Jay BerkowThere are a number of fascinating and entertaining elements in the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre's production of Cabaret. But at the show's opening-night performance last Thursday, what fascinated and entertained me most was watching how Cabaret's thematic storyline was being unwittingly enacted by Cabaret's audience.

 
Cheery "Tomatoes": "A Bad Year for Tomatoes," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through August 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 August 2006 22:52

Diane Greenwood, Kevin Brake, & Bill Giebel Last August, in writing about the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's production of Over the Tavern, I prefaced my review by mentioning the conversation I had with the couple sitting next to me; none of us had previously heard of the Tom Dudzick comedy we were about to see, and were looking forward to the surprise.

One year later, as luck would have it, I found myself seated beside the very same couple for another Richmond Hill presentation unfamiliar to us - John Patrick's A Bad Year for Tomatoes, directed by Joseph R. DePauw - and I'm thinking that my accidental theatre-going companions are some kind of good-luck charm. For while Patrick's comedy is nowhere near as strong as Over the Tavern, it, too, is a fine surprise, a silly piece of fluff made enjoyable by its delightfully nutty cast. Tomatoes itself is only borderline funny, but luckily for Patrick - and for the Richmond Hill audience - DePauw's actors elicit more laughs from the material than they should be expected to.

 
This Joint is Jumpin’: "Ain’t Misbehavin’," at the Timber Lake Playhouse through August 20 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 15 August 2006 22:50

the "Ain't Misbehavin'" ensemble At any musical performance, the applause and cheers of a large, captivated audience are thrilling to experience, and at Saturday night's splendid production of Ain't Misbehavin' at the Timber Lake Playhouse, the crowd, on more than a few occasions, did indeed go nuts.

But there's a sound that, in musical theatre, may be even more electrifying: that of a large, captivated audience not making any noise at all.

 
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