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Companies Reviewed#
Barnbuster Musicals1
Big Top Productions1
Average Rating Given : 4.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

South Pacific, by Music and Lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Book by Oscar
Some Enchanted Evening
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
The Big Top Theatre has found their new home and has hit the ground running with their production of South Pacific.

First the new space. Excellent facilities with very good sight lines. The acoustics were very strong and the lighting was excellent. Being kind of a techie I did some snooping and found state of the art grid work and control surfaces that were put to good use in the lighting of this show. This is an area that suffered in the old building that was used. The stage is raked and used decently and the usage of three different curtians to set the scene and mood is creative and well done. The set pieces/props themselves could use some work but are passable. Scene changes seemed disjointed at times and need work.

The show itself is quite good and I was very impressed with the mens chorus. This is an area that suffers so frequently in our community theatres, but not so here. I recognize many of the names in the chorus from local theatre and they usually hold much more major roles. It shows in the depth of their characters, sound of the big production numbers, and the way that the mens numbers flow. It is a top notch mens chorus and sounds bigger than the seven people it is. The women are undernumbered and appear to be young. The bios show that most of them are very new to theatre and it shows at times, but they have good energy and the lead characters pull them along quite nicely.

The Leads in the show are all strong. Fantastic voices from all 4 of the major soloists and excellent interaction amongst them all. Emile(Bill Mann) appears substantially older than Nellie(Danita Charles), but that is forgotten soon due to the wonderful voices that they bring to the stage. Nellie owns the stage when she is on it and gives a very moving performance. Lt. Cable(Mike Wasson) and Billis(Len Hedges-Goettl) are both handled smoothly and showed good timing and presence. Billis is quite funny and neurotic while Lt. Cable is more than capable and has a great tenor voice. Bloody Mary(Jasmine McGinnis)sings very well but tends to let her accent and character pieces fluctuate. The Officers scenes were a nice surprise, running well and providing some excellent and unexpected laughs as well.
Overall an enjoyable production with some areas to be addressed. I saw the show at the Sunday Matinee on October 24th with a good sized, very responsive audience who all left with a smile on their faces. Congratulations to Rob Hadaway, Director and Artistic Director, for a great foundation for the newly housed theatre.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
Enjoyable Evening
Monday, May 10, 2004
The production of Joseph at the Cobb Playhouse was such an enjoyable evening. We saw the show on Saturday the 8th and it was a great example of community theater. Fun, a couple of flubs here and there(nothing major), and alot of people laying it all on the line for the audience to enjoy. The brothers seemed to be unsure at times on their entrances and the Narrator's body mic was problematic.

Sara Holton and Clint Pridgen both were great as the Narrator and Joseph and had an amazing amount of joy and energy in their characters. The dance numbers were anywhere from great(the western number) to average, but they were done with smiles and lots of fun. Pharoah was funny and did an excellent Elvis. The brother who did the Canaan number(Mike Wasson?) was very good and the whole French schtick made me laugh out loud numerous times. I have seen this show several times and that is the best I have ever seen the Canaan number. The ending with the out of control brother was very well written and perfectly timed.

I enjoyed the live band as it added so much to the production. This is by no means a perfect show. But, it is a great way to spend a weekend evening and leave with a smile on your face. This show was well directed and the lighting problems mentioned in the earlier review seemed to be taken care of. Great job to all at the Cobb Playhouse. Some of the past productions have lacked and you have taken it up a notch. Now keep going and I will keep coming!


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