"The Producers" show #281

Every year the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA brings a weekend long run of a musical with a star studded cast. Last year, it was Hairspray which billed names such as Nick Jonas, John Stamos, Drew Carey, Harvey Fierstein, and Marissa Janet Winokur amongst its leads. This year was the Mel Brooks classic, The Producers. Although original Broadway director/choreographer Susan Stroman diluted the material quite a bit in Act 2, the Sunday night closing performance was a thrill to have seen with these big names taking on this offensive delight. 

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"There Goes The Bride" show #280

This past weekend brought the opening of Sierra Repertory’s newest production, There Goes The Bride. Saturday night I made it up to the East Sonora venue to take in this relatively unheard of comedy. The reviews of previous stagings of this work have been positive and flattering to the material and cleverness of the dialogue. After seeing what director Dennis Jones and company have done with it, I can see why …Bride gets the praise it does, and Sierra Rep has found yet another hit to please its audiences with. 

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"Big River" show #279

This past Saturday afternoon I went on a little ride down the river with Huck Finn and Jim in Centerstage Clovis Community Theatre’s production of Big River in Clovis, CA. This is one of my all-time favorite musicals; mainly because I love a story that involves one central character and all the different people that characters meets throughout the show. Besides Jim, most roles in this show only have a few if not just one scene/song, so you get to know Huck Finn pretty well. Thank goodness director/choreographer Josh Montgomery cast the people he did because this Big River was more than an enjoyable one!

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"Avenue Q" show #278

This past Sunday brought the closing performance of the Valley premiere of the Tony-award winning Broadway musical, Avenue Q. The Fourth Wall Theatre company in Visalia, CA put it on, and lucky for me I was able to catch it just before it went away in its limited 6 show run. Having seen the national tour twice, and the Bay Area regional premiere of Avenue Q, this production did have a lot to live up to as I came into it. However, after taking a stroll down avenue Q with these raunchy puppets and hilarious humans, I was more than eager to give my round of applause for this brilliant staging of this wonderfully inappropriate hit!

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"The Full Monty" show #277

This past Saturday I headed to Runaway Stage Productions in Sacramento, CA to see their production of The Full Monty. I must say, with this being the first time I have ever seen a show from this company, I was more than impressed and have to congratulate director Bob Baxter for casting and staging a mostly successful piece over at the 24th Street Theatre.

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"How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" show #276

This past Friday I attended Foothill Music Theatre in Los Altos, CA for their opening night production of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Prior to this performance I had only seen clips of the recently closed Broadway revival, and heard the recordings. After seeing the product that director Jay Manley has put together, this cast absolutely succeeds with this production making this a ticket you need to pick up today!

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"Calamity Jane" show #275

This past Thursday I saw the highly anticipated opening night performance of Calamity Jane at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theatre (home of the Good Company Players) in Fresno, CA. The majority of the hype is due to the casting of Louise Mandrell playing the title role. This being Mandrell’s debut theatrical performance, and a title that Fresno audiences have not seen; there was much to be excited about. After seeing the first performance of the two month run, I have to say that if you want a good ole’ fashion, fun country show, this is the ticket you want! Calamity Jane is a rootin’ tootin’ good time!!

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"The Addams Family" show #262

Last night I attended the evening performance of the touring production of The Addams Family at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, CA. I had heard many different reviews from this show in general. That it was funny, that it was dumb, that it was unorganized, that it was inaccurate in representing the original characters. After seeing the show for myself I can safely say that this touring cast is bringing justice to the Addams name.

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"The 39 Steps" show #261

This past Saturday I attended Sierra Repertory Theatre’s production of The 39 Steps. Having seen a production of The 39 Steps before I knew what bits and lines were key to the success of pulling off this script. What director Dennis Jones has brought to Sonora is a pin-point tribute to the Hitchcock genre without losing touch with the theatrical audience. This very intelligent cast of four clearly understand their characters (especially since 3 of the 4 play more than one character throughout the piece.) Overall what you have in store is a wonderfully staged show where tech and talent meet up for a fantastically enjoyable production!

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"Xanadu" show #260

This past Sunday afternoon, I decided to put my skates on and see the matinee production of Xanadu at Center Repertory Theatre in Walnut Creek, CA. Other than some fantastic music from the original movie of the same name, I didn’t know whether I would be laughing or blushing from embarrassment that this movie has been adapted for the stage. However, if there is one thing Center REP has proven it’s that with the right set, lighting, costumes, and one heck of a talented, committed cast, you can make any script work out to be an enjoyable afternoon of theatre.

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