"Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" show #429

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Last Friday Artists’ Repertory Theatre opened up their production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which stars four of the finest performers in the area. Those who are not aware of the impact this show may have on you (whether you play “games” with your spouse when company is over or not) are in for one heck of an evening at George and Martha’s home.

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"Once" show #428

I only saw the show on Broadway because it had won the Tony Award for Best Musical recently, and the original cast was still playing. Little did I know or expect just how exquisitely crafted a show like Once is. I felt the feelings. I enjoyed the music. I loved every bit of the ride that Edna Walsh’s book, and Glen Hansard/Marketa Irglova’s music and lyrics took me on. Therefore, when SHNSF announced they would staging the currently touring production of Once I lept at the chance to see it again. So that’s what I did a few Sunday matinees ago, and enjoy it again I did!

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"In The Heights" show #427

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The lights have dimmed on Broadway By The Bay’s Washington Heights. In The Heights marked the second show of the Peninsula-based theatre company’s 2014 season. I had the pleasure of catching Usnavi and the gang just before they closed two Sundays ago. As an audience member who saw this title twice during its national tour run, I was entering the Fox Theater with interest and anticipation as to how Broadway By The Bay would approach and stage such an intimately intense show on both sides of the emotional spectrum. They presented this show with talent, honesty, and a simplistic way of just telling the story. This production was, indeed, a fantastic showing.

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"Pump Boys and Dinettes" show #426

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Sierra Repertory Theatre has a knack for turning what could be an “easy to please” musical script and book, into a thrillingly good time at the theatre for its audience. Such is the case with their currently running country-type review, Pump Boys and Dinettes. The coffee is hot, the mechanics are distracted, and the pie is ready to be gobbled. This staging of Pump Boys and Dinettes (my first time ever seeing the show) is a silly good time, with comfortably forced moments of depth.

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"Forbidden Broadway: Comes Out Swining!" show #425

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My 2014 New York trip was wrapped up in the best way possible; seeing a professional (off-Broadway) show that makes fun of and spoofs the previous nine shows I just saw! Such was the case with the newest edition of Forbidden Broadway. When you take four talented performers and let them run rampant on all modern and classic things Broadway, you’re in for laughs, tears (from laughter), and holding your stomach (from laughing so much).

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"A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder" show #424

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It won the Tony Award for Best Musical. After seeing this Broadway trip concluding show, there is no doubt in my mind why it won the coveted title. It’s smart. It’s witty. It’s engaging. It will probably run for quite some time; but boy am I happy I saw A Gentlema’s Guide… for my final Broadway show this past trip!

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Season Announcement Wednesday

This weeks’ Season Announcement highlight honors a Valley community that has been near and dear to me for a few years. They always pick titles that please the patrons and performers. Whether you know the show or not, you are sure to have an enjoyable theatrical evening when stepping into these doors. So, here is the 2014/2015 season of Playhouse Merced!

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"Rocky" show #423

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The musical that I attended on my Saturday evening of the NYC 2014 trip was Rocky. Now, I’ll be honest, I did not go into this show thinking it would necessarily change my life and be the “end all be all” of musicals. However, after Act 1 and some of Act 2, I realized why producers and Sylvester Stallone adapted this to the stage. Rocky “the musical” follows Rocky the “Oscar-winning movie”. The boxing nobody gets a lucky break in being chosen to fight champion boxer Apollo Creed. Rocky accepts the challenge, the drama, and training that goes along with it. He also is in hot pursuit of Adrian; local pet shop worker who is the apple of Rocky’s eye. In the end, the result of the boxing match doesn’t matter because the audience (both of the Winter Garden and of the story itself) is rooting for Rocky’s perseverance and dedication to himself, the sport, and to Adrian.

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