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Holiday Cheerful: "A Fairy Tale Christmas," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through December 28 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 02 December 2013 06:00

Kelly Lohrenz and Cara Chumbley in A Fairy Tale ChristmasFemale fans of princesses will likely enjoy the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s children’s-theatre holiday offering A Fairy Tale Christmas. Thanks to the always-impressive costume designer Gregory Hiatt and actors Cara Chumbley and Kelly Ann Lohrenz, respectively, Cinderella and Snow White each bear striking resemblances to their characters' Disney designs. Despite slight variations in style, Hiatt’s costumes are remarkable re-creations of the most well-known looks for the two princesses, and Chumbley and Lohrenz amusingly mimic the fluttery voices and laughs of the storybook ladies.

 
Once on This Island: "The Tempest," at the District Theatre through November 24 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 18 November 2013 09:14

Ed Villarreal, Tristan Tapscott, and Bryan Tank in The TempestDirector Chris Causer plays up the baser parts of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest in the District Theatre’s latest production, taking the debauchery of Bryan Tank’s Trinculo, a coxcomb of a servant, and Ed Villarreal’s Stephano, a drunken butler, to their limits. (And sometimes mine.) The scenes involving the two men bickering, and their leading around of Todd Schwartz's crazy-ish castaway Caliban – a native to the island that serves as the play's setting – drew large laughs from Friday’s audience, and broke up the serious tone of the rest of the tale.

 
All I Want for Christmas Are Two Front-Row Seats: "A Christmas Story: The Musical," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through January 4 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 November 2013 06:02

Ben Klocke (center) and ensemble members in A Christmas Story: The MusicalThere's magic in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's A Christmas Story: The Musical, most notably in the fantasy sequences and any scene involving the children's chorus. Adapted from the much-loved 1983 movie, this stage musical is familiar without being an exact copy, making it a fresh take on the holiday-tradition entertainment. Plus, the musical numbers, by composers and lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, add a lot of fun to an already laugh-worthy tale.

 
To Helen, Back Again: "The Miracle Worker," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through November 17 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 November 2013 06:01

Cayte McClanathan and Laila Haley in The Miracle WorkerWhen it matters most, the Playcrafters Barn Theatre gets A Miracle Worker right, and does emotional justice to author William Gibson’s tale of Annie Sullivan (Cayte McClanathan) teaching the blind, deaf, and mute Helen Keller (Emma Terronez) how to communicate through sign language. The scenes shared by McClanathan and Terronez are powerful, and their chemistry palpable, in Annie’s fight to force young Helen to learn, and Helen’s stubborn efforts to resist. But in truth, Saturday’s performance didn’t really find its footing until McClanathan and Terronez first shared the stage about halfway through Act I.

 
Sleeping Booty: "I Take This Man," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through November 17 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 11 November 2013 06:00

Sarah Ade Wallace, Bryan Woods and Tommy Ratkiewicz in I Take This ManTo be frank, I didn’t find the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's comedy I Take This Man all that funny, at least not consistently. However, playwright Jack Sharkey’s plot – about a single woman who brings home an unconscious Boston Marathon runner in order to finally have the romance she’s long wanted – is incredibly interesting, particularly considering the gradual pace at which Sharkey’s story unfolds, leaving you constantly wondering what will happen next. I may not have laughed as much as Sharkey would have liked, but I was certainly entertained during Thursday’s performance.

 
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