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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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7 Stages1
Neighborhood Playhouse1
Average Rating Given : 4.50000
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

Twist, by William F. Brown; Composer and Lyricist Tena Clark
Wrong venue, wrong company
Friday, September 10, 2010
5.0
This show is playing at the Alliance, and is the best show I've ever seen at the Alliance.

La Cage aux Folles, by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman
Live beats Memorex every time
Sunday, July 4, 2004
4.0
This is the first stage production of La Cage I have ever seen. I am quite familiar with the recent Robin Williams/Nathan Lane film and have seen the original French film. This show outshines either film.

Darrell Wofford and George Deavours capture the chemistry of a couple who have shared a long life together making their characters Georges and Albin feel like people you actually know. Albin is not a boarderline basket case seemingly in need of medication, but a real man with real feelings. I really appreciate that Mr. Deavours was able to make his character his own without slipping into a Nathan Lane (or worse, Bette Midler) imitation.

That relationship casts the mold for the rest of the show to follow.

The set is fantastic. I can't believe how much depth they were able to get out of that small space. Jeroy Hannah certainly used every inch to create the club, apartment, backstage, street scene, cafe and restaurant with seamless fluidity in set changes which never once had me wondering where that scene was set.

Costuming is amazing. Les Cagelles are costumed almost identically, but the wide variety of body types of the 9 men and women are actually played up rather than down, with the variations adding to both the reality and the comedy of the moment.

Along with seamless scene changes were costume changes within the ensemble. There were times it seemed that someone went off one side of the stage dressed as a woman only to enter from the opposite side of the stage with all new hair, makeup and costume as a man.

Standouts within the ensemble were Christopher Skinner who makes a beautiful woman and a delightfully goofy young man, and Mark Schroeder as the stage manager who seems to be channelling Audrey from Little Shop at times. Royce Garrison and Steve Cernek were also quite good as the somewhat jaded Mercedes and Phaedra.

Jovocas Green gives a delightful performance as Jacob the butler/maid. As contrasted with Hank Azaria or the young man in the French film, I totally believed his character.

The rest of the ensemble and character actors filled out the show quite well and believably.

My few complaints which keep this from having scored a 5 are:
(1) ticket price--$20 for most performances, $24 for Saturday is just too high for community theater.
(2) the orchestra--I knew they were live and not on tape, but the sound system was so tinny that it sounded canned.
(3) misplaced production values--fancy color changing lights and a custom gobo of the show logo, but unrealistic leaf break-up gobos for the street scene. The 'matching' doors to outside and to the club that had one handle swirling down while the other swirled up. Excellent seams it the tulle curtain with a jaggged bottom edge. And most of all, exposed screw heads in much of the moulding.

All that being said, please go out and see this show. It is running for one more week.

jd

CLOSING SOON
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