Theatre
'Peter Pan' Flies High at Wagon Wheel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:38

For more than a century, J.M. Barrie’s story of Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up, has held the imagination of children of all ages.

Peter Pan Wagon Wheel Theatre Warsaw INOne of its most popular incarnations is the 1954 musical created for television and transferred to the theatrical stage. The reason for this popularity is obvious in the production which opened the 2012 season Wednesday for Warsaw’s Wagon Wheel Theatre.

The large and enthusiastic audience had no problem buying into the impressive aerial effects which allowed Peter (Lee Slobotkin) and the aptly-named Darling children — Wendy (Leigh Ellen Jones), Michael (Derek Stiffler) and John (Chase Stiffler) — to magically soar aloft from their London nursery to the exciting shores of Neverland.

Once there, the adventures began, as the Lost Boys (Stephen
Anthony, Jennifer Dow, Lucas Thomas, Shay Dixon and Carolyn Miller) eagerly welcomed their “mother” while villainous pirates lurk above and a band of Indians went from foes to friends thanks to Peter’s rescue of their chief, Tiger Lily (Hillary Smith).

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Ludwig Farce Takes A Swing At Golf PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 19:27

The Barn Theatre in Augusta, Mich., opened its 66th season Tuesday evening with a fast-paced production of “The Fox on The Fairway,” a skewed look at man’s favorite sport — golf, of course (what did you think?!).

Fox on the Fairway  The Barn Theatre  Augusta MIGolf, along with sex and mixed messages, is the subject of the newest offering from playwright Ken Ludwig whose other farcical targets include opera (“Lend Me A Tenor”), theater (“Moon Over Buffalo”) and cross-dressing (“Leading Ladies”).

There is no actual animal running amok on the greens, instead the title alludes to the setting, the Tap Room of the Quail Valley Country Club, where the club’s annual golf tournament with deadly rivals— the Crouching Squirrel Golf and Racquet Club — is about to get underway.

Before the championship is decided, Ludwig has brought out all the tricks in his comedy bag, excepting mistaken identity. In “Fox,” everyone knows who he or she is supposed to be, excluding one final shot out of the rough.

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'Tenor' Laughs Are Fast And Furious PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 17:19

Next to Neil Simon, Ken Ludwig may be the most prolific writer of comedies in this generation. Of the six which have had Broadway runs, the best known (and probably the best) is “Lend Me A Tenor,” a fast-paced farce which opened Friday evening at the Bristol Opera House.

lend me a tenor elkhart civic theatre bristol INI have to admit I have seen at least five different productions of this play and laughed as hard at this last as I did at the first.

The Elkhart Civic Theatre production, directed by Rick Ellis, starts off in high gear and continues from there in fast forward. In the cast are several seasoned community theater veterans as well as a couple of fledgling performers. Here the old and the new work well together.

Because it is a farce, don’t expect any polished quips or sharp repartee. It’s mistaken identities taken (literally) to the Max and one double entendre after another, all punctuated with lightening fast exits and entrances made through incredibly sturdy doors which, when slammed shut, stay shut, no mean feat in this increasingly frantic plot.

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No Pleasant Surprises in 'Gypsy' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Monday, 30 April 2012 04:04

At the risk of repeating myself, I will say again that I go to EVERY theatrical production, professional or amateur, hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Most the time, I am. Friday evening, I was not.

It was opening night for the South Bend Civic Theatre production of “Gypsy,” the much-revived musical based on the memoirs of actress/author/ecdysiast (aka stripper) famous in the 1930s and ‘40s as Gypsy Rose Lee.

Gypsy South Bend (IN) Civic TheatreFirst on Broadway in 1958, the Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents work starred Ethel Merman as the prototype stage mother who drove her children to stardom whether they wanted it or not. “Gypsy” has returned to Broadway four times since the original, with the role of Mama Rose interpreted by Tyne Daly, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters and Patti Lupone. The 1962 film miscast Rosalind Russell as the dragon matriarch and Bette Midler was equally unsuitable in the 1993 TV production.

It is a story of the frequently seamier side of show biz, which should by no means be a signal to present a shabby, shoddy or embarrassingly unready production. Unfortunately, that is what greeted the opening night audience.

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