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Showing posts from September, 2011

American Players Theatre 2011

(The Tempest)

The American Player Theatre, a place of extraordinary talent, is nestled in the Wisconsin hills. As always, this year's season contains some wonderful plays. The APT has an indoor and outdoor theatre, both of which provide intimate venues for performances.

The outdoor theatre is particularly unique. The versatile stage moulds easily to each production. It sprouts curved planks, rising towards the sky like wooden waves or sails for The Tempest. Then bronze doors and benches transform it into an Italian town for Taming of the Shrew and crab grass and barn rafters appear for Of Mice and Men.

One of the APT’s many strengths is its tradition of using a talented core of actors in multiple shows each season. It truly highlights the performers abilities when you can see them in such different roles in the same weekend. One great example of this was Susan Shunk's role as the timid Laura in The Glass Menagerie and then her turn as the strong-willed Miranda in The Tempest. Tra…


The Indiana Repertory Theatre opened its 40th season with a fang… actually a few of them. The original vampire story is on stage now and gigantic pair of ominous wings set the stage for the perfect Halloween treat.
It would have been easy to make Dracula a caricature, with an overt-the-top accent and cheesy lines. Instead, Wade McCollum’s portrayal gives you chills. This isn't a child's version of Dracula, it’s the character as Bram Stoker originally imagined it; powerful, seductive and terrifying.

At first the show is playful as good friends Mina and Lucy discuss their suitors, but it takes a darker turn as we follow Mina’s fiancĂ© John Harker into Transylvania. There he encounters the Count, who lives alone and friendless in his dark castle.

Playwright Steven Dietz’s adaptation has perfect pacing. He shuffles the order of events from the original text, which reveals the monster at just the right moments. Other scenes overlap to keep the action moving. He also uses Dracula spa…

Singin' in the Rain

As the season changes from summer to fall there’s only one place you can be sure to find rain right now. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s current show, Singin’ in the Rain, has brought the storms to the stage. A crowd favorite, this classic musical contains well-known songs like “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Lucky Star” and the title song.

One of my personal favorites, “Moses,” is a playful tap number which highlights the performers’ skills. Doug King, Timothy Ford and Kenny Shepard nail it, having fun, but never failing to stay in synch and hit their marks.

Sarah Hund has proven her comedic chops in a dozen roles at B&B, but her turn as Lina Lamont provides a whole new height. She masters the horrible grating voice and adds her own flare to the role.

King should also be applauded for his understated role as Cosmo Brown. Always the sidekick, Cosmo provides zingers under his breath, taps his heart out and knows how to take an expert fall with the best of them. King was the perfect choice …