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Showing posts from October, 2010

White Christmas

The holidays have come really early at Beef & Boards this year. In addition to its traditional Christmas show, the dinner theatre is currently putting on a production of “White Christmas.”

The production’s songs include of mix of hits from the original perennial favorite film, like “Sisters” and “White Christmas” and other well-known standards, like “I Love A Piano.” Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye left some big shoes to fill, but Curt Dale Clark and Timothy Ford take the reigns with gusto. Clark is particularly good in a jazzy version of “Blue Skies.”

Christine Mild returns to B&B’s stage after her outstanding performance in the title role of “Always Patsy Cline” earlier this year. She plays Betty Haynes and once again belts out some beautiful show-stoppers, particularly “Love, You Didn’t Do Right By Me”

John Vessels, who became a B&B staple after the Smoke on the Mountain shows, pops up in a great form to provide some laugh-out-loud moments. His perfect comedic timing is a great…

AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATRE: All's Well That Ends Well, Waiting for Godot and The Syringa Tree

When you arrive first arrive at the American Players Theatre in Wisconsin you feel as though you've stumbled upon Nick Bottom's acting troupe practicing in the woods in A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's secluded and everything seems tinged with magic. As you wind up a small path, farther and farther into the forest, you find the Up-the-Hill Theatre.

The wide open amphitheater provides stadium seating around an intimate stage. Young and old alike gather there to see productions put on by the professional theater. Even caught in a slight rain, audience members sit enthralled as the stage lights up. This is how Shakespeare's plays were meant to be absorbed, in the open-air, under the stars, performed with passion and humor, not just read from dusty pages.

All's Well That Ends Well

This Shakespearean "comedy" tells the story of the sweet Helena, the daughter of a poor physician. She falls for Bertram, the son of the countess who helped raise her and cleverly…


The Indiana Repertory Theater opened its 39th season with “Holes.” Originally a young adult book by Louis Sacher, the story was turned into a movie in 2003. Now brought to life on IRT’s stage, audiences can see in the story of Stanley Yelnats unfold in person.

A teenage boy is wrongfully convicted of a crime and shipped off to a correctional camp in the middle of the Texas desert. There he meets an odd collection of misfits who spend each day digging holes in the desert.

The set is an impressive feat. It takes a particular talent to turn an intimate stage into an expansive desert filled with deep holes. It also has to accommodate a pick-up truck, couch and boat moving on and off during various scenes. Scenic Designer Robert M. Koharchik managed to design something that worked beautifully, giving the feeling of limitless space despite the restrictions.

Ben Tebbe and Jennifer Johansen, both regular IRT players, are wonderful as Stanley’s doting parents and in the many other roles they took…