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This Kitten Has Claws: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through October 15 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 10 October 2006 22:48

Richmond Hill's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre last Thursday, and I may as well preface by admitting that, before the show started, I couldn't have been more excited, as this classic has long been one of my absolute favorite plays.

 
“Wyn” Women and Songs: "Stand by Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story at Circa ’21 thru November 4 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:54

Laura Hughes & Larry Tobias in "Stand by Your Man"It's easy to understand how, in a musical devoted to a famous recording artist, certain aspects of the performer's history will fall through the cracks. How do you comprehensively detail an artist's life - anyone's life - in the span of two hours? But until I saw the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse production of Stand by Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story, I never experienced a musical biography that delivered too much information. Marriages, divorces, children, addiction, electro-shock, tabloid romances, a kidnapping attempt - the show is so chockablock with facts and minutiae that it's like the stage adaptation of Wynette's Wikipedia listing.

That being said, what's wonderful about Circa '21's presentation - directed by Michael Licata - is that the performers don't get bogged down in Stand by Your Man's relentless exposition and, in fact, flourish in it.

 
Half Crazy: "The Nonconformists Double Bill," at ComedySportz through September 30 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 22:52

Jason Conner and Adam Lewis My Verona Productions' The Nonconformists Double Bill is composed of two comedic, one-man performance pieces; Jason Conner and Adam Lewis star, arranged the material, and serve as the show's directors. In the show's first half, Conner enacts a half-dozen vignettes from bohemian performance artist Eric Bogosian's Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll; in the second, It's Just a Ride: A Tribute to Bill Hicks, Lewis has fashioned a 40-minute monologue from the stand-up routines of the late comedian. And while the work is a local debut, I'm probably one of the few people in the area who initially caught the production when it opened out-of-town.

 
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."

 
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