Honesty is the best policy – except, apparently, when it comes to what’s currently playing at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, because Here Lies Jeremy Troy is one heck of a play on words. It turns out that Jeremy Troy – a lawyer seven years into his career, played by Matthew McConville – isn’t dying; he’s lying. But I am being completely honest when I say Thursday’s opening night for director Dana Skiles’ show was full of humor as the characters tried to work themselves out of these lies.

This family favorite, smartly directed and choreographed by Shane Hall for the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, was spectacular from start to finish. In fact, you should get your tickets now, and finish reading this review later. Name recognition alone could sell this show out, and once word gets out that it’s also great, seats will no doubt be hard to come by.

Playcrafters has staged a true, old-fashioned whodunit in A Murder Is Announced, and while there were a few things I figured out as the night went on, there were also plenty of things I didn’t.

Many Ambrosian theatre students’ stories have been guided by Cory Johnson and Kris Eitrheim, which makes it almost fitting that a literary classic marks the duo’s final on-stage chapter at St. Ambrose University (SAU). Little Women: The Musical, Louisa May Alcott’s story as adapted for the stage with a book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, is not some big and splashy farewell. Rather, this is an extremely well-thought-out presentation showcasing the formidable Johnson/Eitrheim talents one last time before their retirements.

Holy. Moly. That’s about all I can say about the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's latest production Drinking Habits, directed by Mike Skiles. But alas, likely you’re wanting more details than a simple exclamation, so let me spell it out for you: This was the most ridiculous piece of theatre I believe I’ve ever seen. Which isn’t to say that Skiles’ production isn’t good.

I won’t lie to you: I consider myself a bit of an expert when it comes to televised baking shows. If you’ve ever opted into watching one yourself, you can rightly assume that you’re in for a treat with the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's latest offering Just Desserts, its book and lyrics by Barbara Campbell and its music by Brad Ross.

I'll admit I was never a hearty fan of the Animaniacs approach, and as such, found it difficult to fully appreciate this production’s comedic offerings. But note: Just because this particular brand of comedy isn’t my personal favorite doesn’t mean that others on Saturday didn’t wholly love it.

The Play That Goes Wrong is an apropos title given that director Warner Crocker’s cast, in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's new production, is enacting the Cornely Polytechnic Drama Society troupe's production of The Murder at Haversham Manor. It's a play within a play. As such, there’s even a program within a program.

I know the holidays are busy and holiday weekends busier still, but make room in your calendar for this fast-paced, hilarious little show, because it's completely worth it. The energy that director Tristan Tapscott’s cast brought to a very nearly empty house was unbelievable, and I can only imagine what the show would amount to in a packed theatre.

Director Luke Vermiere’s Holiday Inn – which I attended on its final, Tuesday-night dress rehearsal – just may have been the dose of “Cindy Lou Who” that I needed to embrace the Christmas spirit, and perhaps this show's one-weekend run will do the same for you.

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