January 29, 2008

The Wedding Singer

Crimped hair, mega mullets and ugly cars; these are a few of the priceless trends revisited in the musical "The Wedding Singer." The modern love story is set in 1985, when greed is good and music is bad.

Merritt David Janes plays the romantic main character Robbie. He's a wedding singer in love with the idea of love. After being left at the altar his views change.

Erin Elizabeth Coors plays Julia. She is sweet and perky with a good voice. She fills the role nicely and deserves extra props for her ability to sings lines like "You're back in the dumpster, that's like a metaphor," with a straight face.

Linda, played by Nikka Wahl, spends only a few minutes on stage, but manages to steal the scene each time. Her love-to-hate-her character brings a great skeezy quality to the show. Fellow supporting actor, John Jacob Lee is a delight as Culture Club-loving George. His attire and attitude are crowd pleasers.

The music is fun, with big '80s style songs. The "Casualty of Love" number is like something straight out of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." The entire show has some adult content and isn't appropriate for kids.

For those who have seen and enjoyed Adam Sandler's film of the same name, expect more of the same. It's a great way to remember with '80s without, thankfully, having to relive them.

Don't Miss the Show

The show runs until Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Murat Theatre so hurry to get tickets to the show. Tickets can be purchased at Clowes Memorial Hall, the Murat Theatre, by calling (317) 239-1000 or online at www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.
Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

*Photo Courtesy of Phil Martin

January 22, 2008

End Days

The dark comedy "End Days" is currently onstage at the Phoenix Theatre. The show explores the inner workings of one of America's many dysfunctional familes.

The family, originally from New York City, fell to pieces after Sept. 11, 2001. The father was thrown into a deep depression; the mother found solace from her insurmountable fears through faith; and their daughter, Rachel, has embraced the Goth look and an angry demeanor.

The cast does a great job with the high-strung characters. They demonstrate teen angst, fanatical beliefs and quiet inner struggle with ease.

Matthew Van Oss plays an Elvis impersonating neighbor and brings hope and optimism to the show. He embodies a childlike sincerity. He's so in awe of the world around him, despite the personal tragedies he has endured, that others can't help but get caught up in his enthusiasm.

Stephen Hawking makes a cameo as a figment of Rachel's drug addled brain. His advice and straight man mockery make for the funniest scenes in the show. Matthew Roland pulls double duty portraying both Hawking and Jesus. The odd roles seem almost normal in his capable hands.

Even though the show parades as a comedy, it is a drama at heart. It is a touching look at family members finding each other and finding hope in the world.

Don't Miss the Show

Performances: The show runs until Feb. 3 and offers four performances a week. Thursdays begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturdays begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets: To purchase tickets, call (317) 635-PLAY (7529). Prices are $15 for those 24 and under and $25 for those 25 and older.

For more information about the Phoenix Theatre, visit www.phoenixtheatre.org. The theater is located at 749 N. Park Avenue., Indianapolis, just off Massachusetts Avenue.

*Photo Courtesy of the Phoenix Theatre

January 15, 2008

Run for your Wife

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre opened their 35th season with the British farce "Run for your Wife," on stage now. Since 1973 the Indianapolis theatre has provided quality shows and delicious dinners. The one stop evening out includes not only a live performance, but a dinner buffet.

The current show is a first for Beef & Boards. John Smith, an ordinary cab driver in London, panics when a head injury puts his quiet life in the spotlight. All of a sudden his seemingly humdrum world is anything but. He worries that the world will discover that he has not one, but two average lives, with two separate wives.

For years he has kept his parallel lives on strict schedules. Now everything is thrown into chaos as his neighbors, police officers and his wives begin to suspect that something is not quite right.

With over-the-top characters and exasperating misunderstandings the show is everything a farce should be; confusion at its most amusing. The more improbable the situation, the better and this plot takes the cake.

Eddie Curry as John Smith and Jeff Stockberger as the nosy neighbor, Stanley Gardner, are great as they offer stuttering explanations to angry wives.

This show, along with all Beef & Boards productions, provides audiences with a great night out. Welcome to the 35th season of excellent entertainment.

Don't Miss the Show

Performances: The show runs until Feb. 3. Doors open for evening performances at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The buffet is served from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.
For Wednesday matinees doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the buffet is served from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The show begins at 1 p.m.
For Sunday matinees doors open at 12 p.m. and the buffet is served from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The show begins at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets: To purchase tickets call (317) 872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Prices range from $33 to $55 and include the show, tax, coffee, tea and the buffet.

*Photo Courtesy of Beef & Boards