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Showing posts from June, 2010

Proof

The Theater Within has once again chosen a play that tackles a complicated subject. "Proof," the 2001 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, deals with the thin line between genius and madness and the strain it can place on a family.

The story begins with Catherine on the eve of her 25th birthday. After years of caring for her mentally unstable father, a famed mathematician, she now has to cope with his death. She put her life on hold to care for him and the years have made her caustic and distrustful.

The cast finds its footing in the second half, moving past stereotypes into the meat of the roles. Glenn Dobbs plays the struggling mathematician and he shines in his scenes with Catherine (Danna Sheridan). His convincing paternal nature makes the audience understand her devotion to him. Jeremy Kinnett is fittingly awkward but sincere as Hal, Robert's social-stunted former student.

Kristin Katsu excellent as Claire, Catherine's older sister. With her A-type personali…

High School Musical

For this year's annual Family show, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre chose Disney High School Musical. The plot deals with high school cliques, pressure to succeed and balancing of diverse interests. But this is certainly not a serious drama. Perky songs and choreographed dance numbers keep things moving quickly and over-the-top drama queens provide comic relief.


The show features only two adult roles, which means decades of experience is not in the cards for most of the cast. Productions that depend so heavily on young actors can be tricky, but B&B manages it with ease. The cast brings a freshness and energy to the show that's infectious.

Gabriella, played by Jessica Ann Murphy, has both a beautiful voice and a natural ease, which makes her performance believable. She and her co-star, Tim Barsten (Troy), work well together. They have great stage chemistry.

Scenic designer Michael Layton turns a movie, that moves throughout an entire high school, into a single …

Jersey Boys

Long before we met the delinquents of Jersey Shore, there was "Jersey Boys," the musical that took Broadway by storm in 2005. It tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the group that wrote and sang dozens of hits that sold a million records, like "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and "Walk Like a Man."

The Broadway Across America show, currently on stage at the Murat Theatre, has it all. It's the story of an American Dream that came true for a few blue-collar boys. Four guys from Jersey created a brand new sound that allowed them to rocket up the charts in the 1960s. The boys' unexpected success was, as it always is, both a blessing and a curse.

(Joseph Leo Bwarie as Frankie Valli)

Joseph Leo Bwarie plays Frankie Valli, the talented lead singer. Bwarie's unbelievable range mimics Valli own unique pitches. We meet Valli when he's an innocent 16-year-old and watch his journey to stardom.

The three other leads, Nick, Tomm…