Average Rating Given : 3.75000
|The Twilight Theatre||2|
|Southside Theatre Guild||1|
Reviews in Last 6 months :
|The Civil War, by Frank Wildhorn
Sunday, November 23, 2008 ||
I'm here to review the Saturday, August 22nd production of "The Civil War" by The Twilight Theatre.
This is my second time attending a production at the Wadsworth Auditorium in Newnan, GA. And I loved it every bit as much as I did the first time. The building itself seems very historical with it's old style box office and such. And the great stairs in the front. Very nice place to perform Civil War.
SET: 4.0 The set for this production was very well though out, and worked perfectly for the production. Onstage the entire show is a very uniquely constructed platform with multiple steps up. It would be very difficult for me to explain, but provided many levels for lots of the group numbers. In the back, I understood the idea of the split house, but merely wished that it had appeared more like a real house that was split in half. Very neat effect, and it may have been done to look almost cartoonish. But I loved the set and appreciated very much that it was not distracting to the performances of the actors. I also enjoyed the slide projector in the production. A few of the pictures displayed took my breath away (such as the soldiers lying dead on the ground during "Tell my Father").
SOUND: 4.0 It is obvious that the mic situation was resolved since my viewing of "Into the Woods" in July. The main soloists in the show and some of the quieter performers (or those further back from the edge of the stage) used the body mics provided by the theatre. The other performers were subjected to stage mics that worked perfectly fine. There no mishaps with any of the mics except before one number. I believe it was "Five Boys." I can't be sure, but a mic came on backstage and a performer was heard speaking. Overall, very fine job. Could hear most of the soloists and I got the message.
LIGHTS: 4.5 The theatre has also excelled in their lighting department. The lights followed the actors better and it was much easier to watch the show without having to squint to see who was on stage. Fine job! : )
COSTUMES: 4.5 The costumes for this production were foreseen by Alison Chambers and many of them were borrowed from The Henry Players from when they performed "Civil War" many years ago. And I must say every last one of the costumes were Amazing. Each was period correct and it all appeared to be very nice. My only complaint is that in "Old Gray Coat" the coat did appear old. But that's merely a technicality. Also, a few of the men's pants seemed to be a bit small. But again, merely a technicality. Little things I noticed. They did not distract from performances.
CAPTAIN EMMETT LOCHRAN (Brian Lindsey): Mr. Lindsey has the first solo of the show, and all I can say is: what a voice. Having read in his biography that he has performed with the ASC, I believed it from the moment he first sang. He had a solo in the second act entitled "Northbound Train" and I was in awe the whole time. It is hard to find Tenors in theatre, as I myself am one, but to find a tenor as good as Mr. Lochran was a catch for directors, Tony Peregoy, Ellie Shelton, and Laini Benefield. Not only is Mr. Lindsey a talented signer, but there is one particular scene in which Mr. Lindsey and co-star Captain Billy Pierce (Gary Morgan) have quite a comedic exchange. It was nice moment to lighten the mood. And it did. Congratulations Mr. Lindsey you've made your stamp on community theatre.
SGT. PATRICK ANDERSON (Trevor Comeau): Mr. Comeau had me pleasantly surprised during his solo. (I have lost my program so I can not recall the name.) I have performed with Mr. Comeau in the past, and have never truly thought of him as a singer, but this was his moment. It started out rough, but as the song progressed he progressed vocally and had me completely surprised by the finish. Very impressed. Bravo Mr. Comeau.
CORP. BILL MCEWEN (Conrad Michaels): Mr. Michaels is a graduate of Shorter College with a Major in Music Education, and I can say that I would be very proud if Mr. Michaels were my chorus teacher. A talented singer, and actor his moments onstage with co-star Sarah McEwen (Emily Sipe) and his moments alone onstage were brilliance. His solo in the second act "Sarah" was heart breaking. And I know that most singers do not like to crack, but Mr. Michaels did so. He cracked in his solo, but because of the nature of the song it worked. It gave character to his voice that might not have been found otherwise. I loved it! And I loved his performance. He gave a solid one that I will not forget.
PRIV NATHANIEL TAYLOR (Randy Wilcox): Mr. Wilcox is a pleasant face to see onstage any time he is performing. His solo "Tell My Father" was heart-wrenching as it should have been. I found myself very choked up. Mr. Wilcox has a very pleasant voice and in group numbers it was very nice to hear his tenor voice ringing out above the crowd. Great job Mr. Wilcox!
CAPTAIN BILLY PIERECE (Gary Morgan): Mr. Morgan was a pleasure to see onstage. An actor/singer combination he was very easy to watch. In numbers such as "Virginia" he really got the chance to show the audience his voice. It appears as though a bug was traveling the cast and he seemed slightly ill which was affecting his voice. Not enough for him to sing badly, but I feel like there was a voice in there and I could hear, but that wasn't coming through all the way! Once again the scene with co-star Captain Emmett Lochran (Brian Lindsey), we got some comic relief that was very easy to watch, and lightened the show! Great job Mr. Morgan!
SGT. VIRGIL FRANKLIN (Thom Sandwich): Mr. Sandwich is onstage a large amount in this show. Having only a few solo lines, there is not much to review on the performance. But I will say you can tell by his performances (I saw him in Music Man this summer), he really loves being up there. Being a dermatologist in the community it's nice to see him up there strutting his stuff with the actors. Great job Mr. Sandwich!
CORP. JOHN BEAUREGARD (Rede Hankinson): Mr. Hankinson is much like Mr. Sandwich. Onstage alot. Few solo lines, but you can tell he really cares. His few solo lines were sang loudly with mounds of conviction. Great job Mr. Hankinson.
PRIV. SAM TAYLOR (Johnathan Barb): Mr. Barb is one of the more comedic performers in the show. In one of the first numbers we get to see his vocal ability, but as the show continues we get to see his more comedic side. With a great voice and comedic timing it's hard to keep your eyes off him when he's onstage. His rendition of "Old Gray Coat" was one not to be missed. I enjoyed his performance and look forward to seeing him in the future. Great job Mr. Barb!
BESSIE TOLER (Debra Smith): Wow! That's pretty much all I can say about Ms. Smith! Her voice is show-stopping voice and pleasant visual appearance Ms. Smith has lots to offer. From the moment Ms. Smith opened her mouth I could not believe she was a community theatre performer. Her onstage relationship with husband Clayton Toler (Matthew Bailey) is believable and beautiful. Their duet "If Prayin' Were Horses" and her Reprise were beautiful, and a greatly performed.
CLAYTON TOLER (Matthew Bailey): Of the performance I attended, Mr. Bailey was apparently sick. Although, sick he pulled through and gave a great performance. "Father How Long" had so much character because of the state of his vocal ability. I caught glimpses of his true ability throughout the whole show and hope to have the opportunity to see him perform again because I would love to get to hear him really sing!
HARRIET JACKSON (Sujotta Pace): The award of Best Monologue of the Evening goes to Sujotta Pace. In the first Slave Ensemble number Sujotta doesn't have much going on for her. And I thought to myself while watching her, "Is she Slave Ensembles secret weapon?" And the question was answered very closely to the end of the first act. Yes! Her monologue is breathtaking and beautiful and then she continues into the show-stopping number with High-C's and awesome harmonies, "Someday." Ms. Pace is going somewhere. Lookout for here.
BENJAMIN REYNOLDS (Spencer Luster): Mr. Luster has a great voice with depth and height. He's easy to watch onstage, but I just wish he would open his eyes. I found that twice in his solo "River Jordan" his eyes were open. The rest of the time he was just dancing with no idea of where he was. It made me think, "Hmm... he's gonna fall off the stage." A nice addition to the slave ensemble, and great performance!
FREDERICK DOUGLAS (Robert Gould): Upon seeing Mr. Gould onstage, you can tell he is younger. The second he opens his mouth, he's not his age anymore. He excels far beyond his young age of 15, and tackled Frederick Douglas with his claws bared. Ms. Gould has an unbelievable voice and he constantly stole the show from the other performers. I look forward to working Mr. Gould in the future (as I have worked with him before) and I look forward to seeing him perform. And let it be known, if you saw Les Mis at the Fox you saw Mr. Gould already. He was an ensemble member in that show.
SARAH MCEWEN (Emily Sipe): I have seen Ms. Sipe perform numerous times in the past year or so. And I have had the opportunity to work with her as music director/choreographer/dance partner/and fellow actor. Not only is she a joy to work with, but she is an even bigger joy to behold. Her renditions of "Missing You, My Bill" and "For the Honor of Your Name" were beautiful, and show that you don't have to be a belter to do well in theatre. Ms. Sipe has a beautiful voice and a beautiful mix-belt which can be heard and enjoyed by anyone who is there. And now, don't think for one second because Ms. Sipe is a talented singer that she can not act. After her number "Missing You, My Bill" I heard an audience member nearby say, "Did you see the tears in her eyes at the end?" That's true theatre right there. Great job Ms. Sipe! You're growing so much as a performer.
JACQUELINE JOHNSON (Kelsi Adams): Ms. Adams has four moments onstage. The beginning of the show. A small trio in the middle. A solo in the beginning of the second act. And the final song. Every time Ms. Adams was onstage, I remembered her. She stood out in her trio because she's a strong vocalist. Her solo "Candle in the Window" was one of the best solos of the night. I heard someone say to her, "Your solo is my favorite. It's got so many sharps in it, I don't know how you stay on pitch." And that she does with grace and elegance. I only wish that Ms. Adams could have put forth more emotion in her solo, but a las it was still beautiful.
MRS. BIXBY (Lisa Boyd): Ms. Boyd is a truly incredible performer. Being onstage in one scene, her solo of "Five Boys", she makes the most of it. I could feel her pain during her number. As for her number, Mr. Wildhorn has a written an a-tonal piece that just sounded difficult to sing. I almost wish that the violinist had not been playing, because it distracted from a truly spectacular performance by Ms. Boyd. I have seen her perform one other time as Mrs. Claus in "The Year Santa Almost Forgot Christmas" and it is a joy to see a performer with such diversity. Ironically enough a few people mentioned that Ms. Boyd should be Marmee in "Little Women" and I could not agree more. Someone do "Little Women" for this woman.
HANNAH ROPES (Alison Chambers): It was nice to see Ms. Chambers in a part that got to show her true ability, but that was not the lead. Ms. Chambers made the most of her song "I Never Knew His Name" and it was great performance. Her monologue was heartbreaking in the story of the soldier who she never learned his name. Ms. Chambers was in tears by the end of the number and this truly shows the dedication and vulnerability of the performer, and it's nice to see that the owner of the theatre is not just an owner, but a well seasoned performer with lots of talent. Congratulations Ms. Chambers.
CONSTANCE SMITH (Kristina Clark), EUGINA MCCORD (Anna Kate Spears): These two young ladies had one moment onstage and they made the most of it. Their trio with fellow cast member Ms. Adams was very beautiful, and eery. I find myself still singing it even now, and it irks me in a way that I can't describe. They nailed the high society snobbiness of the girls during that time period. Congratulations girls.
GLORY ANGELS (Paige McCauley, Shannon Wade, and Camille Edwards): These girls have a small cameo performance at the end of the show that is not to be forgotten. Ms. McCauley has true control over voice and is a child to be watched. Ms. Wade has a beautiful voice that is a pleasure to listen to in any performance she is in. And Ms. Edwards has a strong voice that is to be watched. She is a belter, let it be known. So the balance of the angels was planned PERFECTLY! And I could not have asked for a better ensemble of Angels. Great job, girls!
FINAL NOTES ON THE CAST: 4.0
Mr. Peregoy, Ms. Benefield, and Ms. Shelton did a fine job of casting a difficult show. The cast played well of each other and each solo was better than the one before. A great evening of serious musical performances was greatly enjoyed. Thank you Twilight Theatre.
Just for the record, my rating is based on the numbers given I went along.
|Bye Bye Birdie, by Michael Stewart (book), Lee Adams (lyrics), and Charles Strouse (music)
Monday, July 21, 2008 ||
I'm just here to review the Saturday August 19th performance of "Bye Bye Birdie."
Upon ariving at the theatre, I loved the external look of the theatre. Felt like I was walking into a theatre back in the 50's. Very neat effect for the nature of the production. :)
When I walked into the theatre, I loved the raised seating, and was very pleased that the seating was raised enough so that the people in front of me did not block my view. The theatre seats maybe 150-200 people, and it was almost full on it's Third Day of performances. This cast deserves a full house.
SET: 5.0 I have never seen such an amazing set at an all-volunteer theatre. Except maybe the Henry Players Les Miserables barricade. The MacAfees home was truly astounding. The two story set with the Kitchen, and Kim's bedroom. WOW! There were so many things sitting onstage that weren't even used, but it just made the house seem that much more real. My ONLY and I'll repeat my ONLY complaint about the house set was that during "How Lovely To Be A Woman" Kim was moving on the bed, and you felt the bed was about to fall over. The Maude set was great. Once again, lots of props that weren't used, made it feel more real. Great Job on the Set, Roger Johnson.
SOUND: 3.5 Not many complaints in the sound department. Most of the principles were miced. The only person I wish had been miced was Randolph MacAfee (Tyler Shellnutt). His solo in "Kids" in the second act was strained to hear because he was standing in front of the choral mics which worked very well, when the cast was behind them. No feed back or anything, which was a plus. Good job, guys.
LIGHTS: 4.0 The lighting was above par for the community theatre productions in the are. One complaint is that in the "Telephone Hour" you couldn't see the faces of the first couple of girl solos. Very cool effect though with the lights being above the actresses. Just wish I could have seen their faces more. Another complaint is that there was very little lighting down-stage Left. But I think this was known because very little action took place there. Great job, loved it.
COSTUMES: 4.5 The costumes were very good in this production. I didn't prefer much for Rose Alvarez's (Katy Durham) dress in the final scene, but that's just taste. I loved Conrad's sparkly studded army uniform. It cracked me up. :) I also loved the MacAfee family's costumes in the Ed Sullivan Scene. Great choice of costumes. It really made you believe that they had been dressed up just because they were on T.V. Loved it. My only major complaint in the costume department is that Harvey Johnson (Benjamin Papac) was wearing a fleece vest during "A Lot of Livin' To Do." Did no one else find it odd that he was wearing a sweater 50 years before it was invented? Just me, okay. Awesome costumes, otherwise.
ALBERT PETERSON (JOHNNY MAY): 4.0
Johnny May is very pleasant to watch onstage. From the moments the lights came up on him in the very first scene I could not take my eyes off of him. His Nathan Lane-esque personality was very drawing to me. And in fact, during the very last scene he turns sideways and you get a profile of him. Look for the appearance of Nathan Lane. It's the only chance you'll get. His number "Put On A Happy Face" was very cute with Alice (Alison Kuras). He really seemed to enjoy himself onstage. Great personality and would love to see him again onstage.
ROSE ALVAREZ (KATIE DURHAM): 4.0
Although not thoroughly impressed with Ms. Durham's acting abilities, I felt that she played well in this show. She really connected with her songs "An English Teacher," "An English Teacher (Reprise)," and "Spanish Rose." She's very enjoyable to watch. And really has a beautiful voie. Her rendition of "An English Teacher" is one I could constantly listen to over and over again. Very well done. My only complaint with this character is that she wasn't spanish, and the actress did nothing to make herself appear more Hispanic. She had blonde hair and did not even wear a black wig. It was simply odd during the scenes where they spoke of her Hispanic Heritage that she wasn't spanish. Her scene with Mae Peterson (Melody Koppe) was very well done, and it made me laugh.
KIM MACAFEE (ASHTON MCCRANIE): 4.5
From the moment Ashton comes onstage, you can't take her eyes off of her. And when she sings, your eyes are glued to her. She's got a beautiful figure, and a very pleasant face. Her rendition of "How Lovely To Be A Woman" was very beautiful. Although she skipped a few beats here and there and the band had to skip beats to stay with her, she still sang it beautiful and has a very clean flip from chest to head voice that is hard to do with a voice such as hers. Her monologue in Act Two had me laughing so hard, I thought I would laugh my lungs up. Very good actress, but sometimes keeps her arms to her side whilst singing. Not a horrible thing to do, but made her seem less human. Something she can work on. Very good though.
URSULA MERKLE (AMANDA LINDSEY): 5.0
PERFECTION! There is not much to say about Ms. Lindsey except that every time she walked onstage I laughed. Her Conrad Birdie song cracked me up when she said "blue." It was AWESOME. The scene with Alice (Alison Kuras) and Deborah Sue (Alexia Barrett) was hilarious. You would never guess that Ms. Lindsey is a senior in college because she played down to the age of the actresses in the show. Great job. I loved "One Boy." It was probably arguably my most favorite number of the night. The blend between Kim (Ashton McCranie) and Ms. Lindsey is beautiful, and great to listen to.
DORIS MACAFEE (ANGIE MORROW): 3.5
Ms. Morrow gave a very convincing performance as Kim's (Ashton McCranie) mother. Their onstage bond was great, and I loved the first scene with the both of them. The one where Kim (Ashton McCranie) starts to call her mom "Dorris." It was way funny. My only complaint is that Ms. Morrow didn't sing out when performing the duet "Kids" with onstage Husband Harry MacAfee (Bert Lyons). I think there was potential, but a lack of confidence held her back.
HARRY MACAFEE (BERT LYONS): 4.0
Mr. Lyons is a very comedic actor whose scenes in The Ed Sullivan show and others were hilarious, and I found myself laughing more than usual in the show. His rendition of "Kids", althought not vocally perfect had all the stage presence required, and was very enjoyable to watch. Mr. Lyons played father to Ashton McCranie and Tyler Shellnut very well, and the onstage bond was real.
RANDOLPH MACAFEE (TYLER SHELLNUT): 4.0
I almost forget this character exsists except for the scene where he is constantly told to "Shut up" by onstage father Harry (Bert Lyons), and his solo in "Kids Reprise" (which you could hardly hear him in.) I don't know if it was the actor's portrayol of the character or just the writing of the character. But I felt like the kid was never there. The actor, thouhgh, does resemble the young boy in Scary Movie 3.
MAE PETERSON (MELODY KOPPE): 4.5
This woman made me laugh so hard. I loved her rendition of "A Mother Doesn't Matter Anymore." She's so great. After the production a cast member told me that they lost their Mae 10 days before the show, and that Ms. Koppe came in and tooke over, and I must say that I can not have hoped for a better Mae Peterson. Everything about her performance was just awesome. I'd love to see her again in something.
CONRAD BIRDIE (IAN MCCARTHY): 3.5
Mr. McCarthy was a slight let down in his first song as Birdie. It was just scratchy and screamy. "One Last Kiss" was a much better fit for his voice. I realized after the show that Conrad Birdie was a much smaller part than I had thought. Mostly singing, and I don't know if Mr. McCarthy was the best fit for a vocally heavy part.
HUGO PEABODY (GRAY OGLESBY): 3.0
TOO YOUNG! Geez. The Kim (Ashton McCranie) was 17 years old. Hugo Peabody should not have been cast 4 years younger. He did not do a bad job, but you can tell he looked significantly younger than his opposite. I will give him the scene that he comes out "drunk" from milk. Very funny. He did a fine job in the acting department, and I don't recall any solos. Overall, fine. But the age difference killed me.
HARVEY JOHNSON (BEN PAPAC): 4.5
Although Mr. Papac only had two scenes where he was featured at Harvey. He stole the scene both times. He's a great performer, who people must keep their eyes on. Go Ben!
Overall decent. Pretty good.
Thanks very much to Southside Theatre Guild. It was an evening I wouldn't mind doing again. The show runs about 2 hrs and 20 mins. So not too long. Very fun.
|Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim
Sunday, June 8, 2008 ||
Hey Guys, |
I'm just here to review the Saturday, June 7th performance of "Into the Woods."
First off upon arriving at the theatre, I loved the very artistic feel of the lobby. With the actual ticket booth, and the entrances on either side of the ticket booth. Awesome, just a great way to start the night.
Upon entering the theatre I was awe-struck at how beautiful the theatre was, it was the most magnificent place ever to see Into the Woods, and I truly felt as though I was stepping into a story book.
SET: 4.0 The set for this production was very cool indeed, and I LOVED it. From the moment you step into the theatre you can immediately differentiate the three different locations. I love the picture of the stepmother with the raised eye-brow very cute. I also enjoyed the intricate details of the Baker's cottage.
(My only down-fall to the set at the beginning was that after the doors open it appeared as though the set had not been completely set-up, and a young girl brought a rag out and hung it on a shelf in the Bakery.)
When the curtain opened during the prologue I immediately fell in love with the real tree branches draped and hung across the back of the stage, it was a very cool effect. I enjoyed the inspiration from the Original Broadway Production for the slanted stage.
One set piece I found I didn't like was Rapunzel's tower. It looked very bland compared to the real branches and the slanted set. Just kind of boring.
SOUND: 1.0 There isn't much I can say in this category seeing as only Cinderella (Stephanie Earle), Baker (Robbie Kirkland), Baker's Wife (Alison Chambers), Little Red Riding Hood (Paige McCauley), and Narrator/Mysterious Man (Frankie Asher) were using microphones.
Although the acoustics in the building were great, I felt as though the sound crew could have worked a little harder for such scenes as when Cinderella's Mother (Pauli Reep) is singing while sitting as far back as possible from the edge of the stage. I sat very close to the front and still had problems hearing her though.
The pros of the mics were that there were no mic mishaps. No screeches or anything of such nature which made for an easy and enjoyable production.
LIGHTS: 3.5 The lights were fairly average fort this show. I loved the fact that each little curtain set had its own individual light. I would've loved more for each curtain set's lights to come on when they were suppose to. It was a neat concept, but it got very confusing when the lights weren't on during some of the lines. This became especially difficult over music.
LIke I said, though, when the light cues were right, they were spectacular. I also really enjoyed the lights during Baker's Wife (Alison Chambers) death. They were beautiful.
COSTUMES: 4.0 All the costumes in the show were beautifully put together, and/or made. The only two costumes I had a slight problem with were Cinderella's Prince (Michael Reep) and Rapunzel's Prince (Alex Couch). For starters, the entire production Michael Reep was wearing two pairs of pants, and you could see the belt holding both of them up. I don't know if this was because one pair of pants was too big, but I was a little annoyed at the sight of two belt buckles. My favorite costume of the entire show would have to be Rapunzel's (Anna Kate Spears). She wore an almost blue velvet straight gown, and it fit her like a glove and it was worn beautifully. Way to go to the costume team behind this production.
NARRATOR/MYSTERIOUS MAN (FRANKIE ASHER):
Mr. Frankie Asher made very solid character decisions when playing both the Narrator and the Mysterious Man. I loved that at first I didn't even notice it was him. Once I noticed though, it didn't bother me because the character difference was enormous. Mr. Asher commands attention when onstage, and I loved the fact that the Narrator was not played very old like it normally is. I loved the Narrator as young and spunky, and Mr. Asher pulled it off greatly.
WITCH (AMY BEAUCHAM):
Ms. Amy Beaucham gave a solid performance as the Witch. I loved her cackle it was truly witch-like. Also, "Children Will Listen" was one of the best numbers of the night. If I could change one thing about Ms. Beaucham's performance it would be that she didn't try to get laughs. I would have like to have seen her play for sincerity. Although, most of her jokes were very hilarious, I wished that she would have said her lines sincerely. And that is the way you truly get across the jokes in this show.
BAKER'S WIFE (ALISON CHAMBERS):
One of the best performers of the night. Her death scene was chilling. And man she can scream. I loved the fact that Ms. Chambers did not try and play Joanna Gleason, and she created her own character. Ms. Chambers has a beautiful voice that carries off such numbers, and with her new take on the role it became a very original performance.
CINDERELLA'S FATHER (ANDY CHAMBERS):
There is not a whole lot to say about this performance. He's not onstage much, but when he was he had some funny lines. I think, though, that Mr. Chambers does not have a desire to be onstage because in all the group numbers he did not know his words and appeared to mumbling "mama, mama, mama, mama." Was that just me? I am not sure.
GRANNY (JEANNE CHAMBERS);
Granny has to be one of the funniest cameos in this show. I was very pleased to see Ms. Jeanne pop out from up underneath the bed, and she was very funny. I just wished there had been a little more over-the-top acting from her. I liked the direction she was taking with the character, but I just wish she had gone a little further. Also, as like her husband she did not know the words to the songs. In particular she did not know "Ever After."
RAPUNZEL'S PRINCE (ALEX COUCH):
Mr. Couch has a beautiful voice, and played the Prince very well in this production. He played the role very suave, but I never felt a real connection with Rapunzel. And the line "Rapunzel . . . Rapunzel . . . What a strange name." Was a little lost, but none-the-less Mr. Couch gave a solid performance, and he and Cinderella's Prince (Michael Reep) gave a very funny rendition of Agony in which they both received laughs, and earned themselves one of the best numbers in the show.
FLORINDA (APRIL COYNE):
Although a very small part, Ms. Coyne did not let her lack of stage time be wasted. She made very good use of the time she had onstage, interacting with her onstage mother (Courtney Giebler) and sister (Hannah Herndon). She held her own the harmonies very well, but I wish I could have heard her, but this could be partial to the mic situation. That's beside the point, though, her part was very funny, and my favorite line from her character has to be "We're not that miserable," and the actions that follow. Great job!
SNOW WHITE (RACHEL MARIE DENNY):
There is truly nothing I can say about this part, except that I would never want to play it. Ms. Denny, whom I have seen perform before and she is magnificent, had "(Yawn.) Excuse me." for her stage time, and then she got to be in "Children Will Listen." Has nothing to do with the her, but I've never been a fan of this part or Sleeping Beauty (Melissa Manson) for that part. It has got to be the most boring part I've ever seen onstage.
CINDERELLA (STEPHANIE EARLE):
Ms. Stephanie Earle had to be one of the best performances of the night. Her "No One is Alone" is truly heart-breaking. One of my favorite scenes from the production is the scene in which she decides to leave her husband (Michael Reep). You truly felt her pain and hurt from what he has done to her, leaving her for another maiden. Her acting was beautiful and she played one of the best Cinderella's I've ever seen, and I could not see anyone else in the roll. Ms. Earle has a beautiful instrument for a voice, but I believe that this part was just a little too high for her. She hit all the notes and they sounded good, but I just wish the tone quality had been a little better. But all that aside, you could get over the fact that her tone quality was perfect for the fact that she played a role well beyond her years, and did it beautifully. Kudos Stephanie Earle.
CINDERELLA'S STEPMOTHER (COURTNEY GIEBLER):
Ms. Giebler was one of the very strong supporting roles in the show, and she played it splendidly. Ms. Giebler has got a beautiful voice with a very rich a soprano tone, and the scene in which she is trying to get her daughters off with the prince, cracked me up, and made me fall in love with her voice. She played Mother to her two daughters very well, but I wish she had been casted a little older because it almost seemed as though she was an older sister more than a mother. But, my favorite set piece in the entire show has got to be the giant picture of her face with the raised eyebrow. Priceless.
LUCINDA (HANNAH HERNDON):
Ms. Herndon has got a great voice, and I missed not truly being able to hear her work it out in this production. As with Ms. Coyne and Ms. Giebler she took her lack of stage time and made it work. She held her own on the harmonies as well, but I still wish I could have heard her, but once again, due to the mic situation that could be lived without. A very solid and hilarious performances from Ms. Herndon once again. Can't wait to see her in the future.
BAKER (ROBBIE KIRKLAND):
Balancing a lead role with a directing position is never easy. I've learned from experience, but Mr. Kirkland played the Baker very well. Not my favorite Baker, but I liked him none-the-less. I was partial more to his acting, than his voice, but that was how I was with almost everyone in the show. Even though, I preferred his acting, his rendition of "No More" was very good, and his tone was much better in that song. I almost felt as if I was watching a different performer in that number. His onstage chemistry with fellows stars Alison Chambers and Stephanie Earle was impeccable and I could not have asked for a better ensemble of performing. Mr. Kirkland's direction however was very beautiful. With the intricate setting, and different staging, one could tell Mr. Kirkland thought this out very much. There were a lot of abstract parts, but this is just one other thing that made the production so great to watch. Great job, Robbie.
SLEEPING BEAUTY (MELISSA MANSON):
Read my above comments on Snow White.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (PAIGE MCCAULEY):
One of the best actresses for her age, Ms. McCauley did not play Little Red from the Bernadette Peters movie. It toke quite a while to get use to her new take on the character, but once I did I truly loved it and it was very enjoyable to watch. Her facial expressions are priceless, and she the voice of an angel. Her harmonies with Ms. Earle in "No One is Alone" were some of the best of the night. Ms. McCauley is going places so look out for her.
WOLF/STEWARD (BEN PAPAC):
Mr. Ben Papac has to be winner of the most improved award. I saw Mr. Papac in his earlier stages of performing, and if you were to tell me that he would be playing the wolf in "Into the Woods" just over a year after he started I would have laughed at you in your face. But I was very please with Mr. Papac rendition of "Hello, Little Girl" it was a great and enjoyable number, enhanced more by Ms. McCauley's expressions. I also enjoyed very much his performance as the Steward. It's not much of a part, but he played it very funny as should be played.
GIANT (ANGELA PAPAC):
Being a voice that is only in the second Act, and being just a voice off-stage Ms. Papac played this role very well, and I enjoyed listening to her banter of Jack. It was very funny, and she played the voice of this character very well. Go Ms. Papac!
JACK'S MOTHER (DOROTHY RAMSDELL):
Ms. Ramsdell gave a very convincing performance as Jack's Mother, and her death was truly heart-breaking. I enjoyed her performance, but wished she had been a little less squirly. I mean, that's just an opinion though. I was very pleased with how well her voice fit the part. She sang such songs as the "Prologue" and "Happily Ever After" very beautifully, and you can tell she really controlled Mr. Thomaston.
CINDERELLA'S PRINCE (MICHAEL REEP):
Mr. Reep has got to be one of the most mature actors for his age. Having played such parts as Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast" you would expect to find Cinderella's Prince on his resume, and low and behold you will. Mr. Reep is very funny, and has come very professional comedic timing which just added to his already comedic performance. A really good casting decision was casting him opposite Ms. Earle. He and Ms. Earle have such onstage chemistry it's unreal. Great job Michael on yet another nailed performance.
CINDERELLA'S MOTHER (PAULI REEP):
With very small stage time, Ms. Reep made the most of it. Singing with her beautiful voice you felt the connection between she and Ms. Earle. That's pretty much all I can say of this performance. Ms. Reep's part was very tiny and she spent her time up in a tree, so great job on singing your heart out Ms. Reep.
RAPUNZEL (ANNA KATE SPEARS):
Just let me say this first, Anna Kate Spears can scream. Oh my gosh, the first time she really screams in the show you will jump up in your seat. It's a truly spine curling scream, and her costume looked beautiful on her. Her only vocal line in the show was sung very beautifully, when sung over music. However, when Ms. Spears was not accompanied by music, she was just slightly sharp of the pitch, but this is nothing that anyone will notice unless they truly know music. Ms Spears has shown that she can sing and act, and I can't wait to see more of her in the future.
JACK (CHASE THOMASTON):
Mr. Thomaston is a great actor, and he played the role of Jack very well. I was a little upset that they decided to take the revival direction and casting a younger Jack. I've always loved the original approach of having an adult play Jack, and have him treated like a child, but that's all in preference. Mr. Thomaston is very funny and his stage time with Ms. McCauley was some of the best spent time onstage. "Giants in the Sky" possibly one of the best known songs in the show was sung well, but I had wished his voice was a little higher to hang on to some of those higher notes, and the last not could have been held out longer.
FINALE NOTES ON THE CAST: 4.0
The cast was assembled very well and each character played off each other well. The voices were really great, and they blended well with the occasional missed harmony, but no big I mean come on it's Sondheim. Hardly anyone ever gets it perfect.
Thanks so much Twilight Theatre for doing what a show is meant to do, ENTERTAIN. And I will say I was thoroughly entertained by this production of "Into the Woods." If you have time, please go and see this show. It's 3 hours not wasted.
Just for they record my rating of this is based entirely on the numbers given as we went along.
|Tapas IV, The Great Divide|
by Benedict, Bray, Bruna, Freeman, Martin, Shima, Steadman, Whitehorn, Wang,
by Adapted by Nina Faso, Stephen Schwartz, Gordon Greenberg; Songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, James Taylor, Micki Grant, etc.
Out of Box Theatre