**** Recommended **** Drury Lane’s new production, "The 39 Steps", kept me laughing from beginning to end. By the way, if you’re thinking this is just an adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 moody black and white spy film that you’ve seen four times, forget about it! That movie is an adaptation of a novel by John Buchan. Although playwright Patrick Barlow did Buchan’s book as well as the movie for inspiration, he put his own spin on the story. His version of "The 39 Steps" is a campy, melodramatic spoof with just four actors, playing all the parts. Kudos to Director Johanna McKenzie Miller for a brilliant show. If you’re looking for laughs, this is the show for you. 4 BIG Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** Of all the jukebox musicals out there, I think "Buddy:The Buddy Holly Story" might just be my favorite. The Buddy Holly Story is just like going to a rock concert – and there’s a story! I start dancing in my seat as soon as I hear the first song. Buddy Holly’s music is still alive – and still rocking – in Marriott Theatre’s fabulous production. Don’t miss this one! 4 BIG Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** The Goodman Theatre production of The Who’s "Tommy" is simply spectacular! There’s just no other word to describe the awesomeness of The Who’s 1969 rock opera! The voices were magnificent. In fact, when the lads sang "Pinball Wizard", I could have sworn it was the members of The Who singing. Add in the dazzling choreography and the scenic projections adding an interesting dimension, you have a smash hit show! 4 BIG Spotlights for a Rockin’ "Tommy."
TATC's "Doubt" cast, Philip Potempa as Father Brendan Flynn, Jeannie Rapstad as Sister Aloysius Beauvier, Renee Giragos as Sister James, Lisa Tyree as Mrs. Muller and Tony Panek as the Narrator, did wonderful job. They brought their characters to life, bringing emotions into the reading.
**** Recommended **** Canterbury Summer Theatre opens its 55th season, "By Land or by Sea in 2023!" with one of my favorite tap-dance musicals, "Dames at Sea", which is a lot like the big splashy musicals of the thirties, and it’s nothing but fun. "Dames at Sea" premiered in 1966 with Bernadette Peters as Ruby, had a successful run off-Broadway, and was adapted for television. The Canterbury crew are terrific at both singing and dancing. I really enjoyed this show! 4 Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** Summer means musicals! So this summer, get yourself to the Studebaker Theatre (worth a look all on its own!) and see "Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical". This jukebox musical will have you dancing in your seat – in the first five minutes! I didn’t remember Lloyd Price, but I sure do remember his songs! Great voices, great songs, great dancing. What’s not to love? 4 Big Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** The Second City’s 111th Mainstage Revue, Don't Quit Your Daydream is downright hilarious. Although there were a couple of political zingers, this revue wasn’t angry, political or even newsy. It was just funny! If fact, I think it’s quite possibly the funniest revue they’ve done in ages. Everywhere I looked people were laughing. 4 BIG Spotlights
**** Recommended **** The Music Theater Works production of "Pippin", directed by Kyle A. Dougan, is a bright, colorful, fantastical extravaganza. The set reminded me of the comedy wall in 60’s TV hit, Rowan & Martin’s "Laugh In", with several monitors scattered among multiple nooks and crannies. The talented cast was in constant motion with sexy and suggestive Fosse-esque choreography (totally appropriate since Fosse choreographed the original production). 4 Spotlights
**** Recommended **** Lookingglass Theatre’s world premiere, "Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon", directed by Amanda Dehnert, opens with a hard rockin’ tune about – are you ready? – Asian American renegades! "Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon" is like a fast-moving, energetic concert, with an add-on, a compelling, creative love story told from a unique perspective. I had no idea where the story was going, so it felt like waiting for the inevitable train wreck – and watching the mayhem with that same horrified fascination. 4 Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** The opening production in the Dunes Arts Summer Theatre season is "Boeing Boeing", a delightfully snarky comedy set in the swinging sixties. The talented cast got the audience laughing early on and kept them laughing right to the end. Even though I’ve seen "Boeing Boeing" more than a few times, this production had me laughing, too. 4 Spotlights.