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December 24, 2014

'OUR TOWN' IS A STORY OF LIFE AND DEATH IN A SMALL TOWN






OUT OF TOWN - PUFFING A PIPE
Courtesy Photo Shotgun


WALK'N BROADWAY 


AN ENGAGING FASCINATING EVENING


OUR FAME IS OUR TOWN' S THREE-ACT PLAY BY PLAYWRIGHT - THORNTON WILDER


As you know - Wilder used metatheatrical devices on the stage - and it will continue forever. A main character is the stage manager of the theater who directly addresses the audiences. He and her plays many roles.  The young and old bring out the marvelous cast. They field the questions from the audience and bring in guests, lecturers and questions from the audience as they fill in playing of the roles.

 The Stage Manager - is the narrator and commentator. In the action in the play very different characters pop-up. They join the action of the play periodically, as a reverend is at a wedding, and a shop owner is having fun with a local townsmen that speaks directly to Emily after her death. 

Among the characters on the stage are Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome (delivers the Milk), and the Webb and Gibbs households happily send off their children off to school. But soon - there is 'Death and Dying.' Eternity brings to us seem to be what everyone wants. But, Emily just got married. However - Emily will only return to Earth to re-live for just one more day. George kneels weeping at her graveside. And we all cry. 

"Our Town" is a fantastic theatrical piece that celebrates theater. Sure we love movies - but being alive on the stage is truly magical. It's an incredible feat for both Stage and Screen. 

There have been many, many revivals of "Our Town". It has resonated for many, many years for this universal message to all of us. 

"I don't expect a man what a man should be ...I expect a Man to be perfect". Then there is the Minister's wedding - pushing and contriving - plus as they say..."no curtain, no scenery." And that is certainly perfect. There's completely little on the stage to see. Yes, they move around - but they don't even use dishes and forks and knifes. Quaint - but a little strange. 

Of course we valued every moment on the stage and the actors. There is some gorgeous singing along with the actors. With it - all the actors and audience tell us the world removes all barriers. 

HERE IS THE MASTERFUL CAST & CREW
________________________________________

El Beh (Emily Webb) - Madeline H.D. Brown* (Stage Manager - Sam Jackson (Mrs. Soames, Ensemble) - Tin Kniffin* (Dr. Gibbs) - Christine Macomber (Professor Willard, Ensemble) - 
Wiley Maman Strasser (Howie Newsome, Ensemble) = Molly Noble* (Mrs. Gibbs) - Karen Offereins (Rebecca Gibbs, Ensemble) - Valerie Fachman (Constable Warren, Ensemble) - 
Josh Schell (George Gibbs) - Michelle Talgarow (Mrs Myrtle)-
Christopher W. White (Simon Stimson, Ensemble) - Eli Wirtschafter (Joe/Si Crowell, Sam Craig) - Don Wood (Mr. Webb)  

AS WE KNOW "OUR TOWN" IS REFRESHING CHEERS! 
(The play deals with big questions in life in a powerful way that has gained a well deserved Pulitzer Prize) 

CITY NEWS SERVICE 

SIX STARS****** PLUS SIX GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE******

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December 16, 2014

WALK'N BROADWAY -- THIS BROADWAY SHOW IS HIGH SPIRITED




WALK'N BROADWAY


COURTESY PHOTO 












directed by Dennis Lickteig
Music Direction by Ben Prince 
Puppet Direction by Allison Daniel 
Orchestrations & Arrangements 
by Stephen Oremus  


AVENUE - Q-AWESOME - 
WOW/WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST 


Having seen Avenue Q before with the Broadway cast, I must say that this group is every bit as good as the original. Perhaps better.  The puppets (hand held and manipulated by humans) - are totally impressive. If you can't laugh out loud, as most every one does - you will at least have a smile on your face during the outrageous fast paced show. 

It's Spiky-Drowsy-Chaperone- Dazzling- O.K. to be Gay during the fast paced evening. You'll love songs like "The Internet is for Porn" - it will certainly make you sit up in your seat. But if sex and race jokes bother you, then this show is NOT for you. 

This happy go lucky cast does two or more vocal parts. They are so irresistible, that you will find yourself humming and singing the tunes during intermission. Even when I left - people were humming the songs on the street. Yea - it's catchy, hip, wicked and amazingly funny. All the songs are wicked and beyond parodies. Here is a sample lyric: "You Can Be as Loud when you're making Love". Keep in mind this isn't Sesame Street - it's Avenue "Q".

Every song has a message. Here's one that everyone loved: - "It's O.K. to be Gay." Most musicals have pointless contrived words - not so with Avenue Q. All the songs have great meaning important to the individuals on the stage. And believe me - they're never dull moments - but, of course there are some gross-out moments. Even puppets has simulated sex on stage. And the centerpiece of the show is the hilarious Gary Coleman.

The score is groundbreaking gleefully bawdy Earl pop rock music  One of the most fantastic puppets is "Lucy the Slut" who turns to religion. Yes - she does a complete turn-a-round - so to speak and big tits. 

This play fast enough thinks that everyone on the stage is really crazy on a charming roller-coaster ride! Best tart and terrific musical that I've seen in years. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. 

HERE ARE THE BEST TALENTED ACTORS AND PUPPETEERS IN THE THE CITY

CAST: Teresa Attridge - Will Giammona - Paige Mayes - Christopher Morrell - Hayley Nystrom - Zac Schuman and Stephanie Temple   

BEST CREATIVE TEAM: Rory David - Emilio Racinez - Kuo-Hao Lo - Christian V. Mejia - Wes Crain - Davin Kasper and Lori Fowler. THE SETS - THE THEATER - AND THE HEARTFELT AND IMAGINATIVE FUN SHOW- WOW! 

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NOW PLAYING AT NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE
- MARKET STREET AND VAN NESS 

PRIZED THIS SHOW: SIX STARS****** or SIX GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE******




December 9, 2014

ST. VINCENT IS A SUCCESS!

ST. VINCENT - WALKIN' BROADWAY 






HERE IS A MOVIE THAT WILL MAKE ANY OLD MAN'S HEART BEAT THAT HAS BEEN USED MANY TIMES



The theme is about a wimpy kid that melts a grumpy old man's heart. His heart has been used many, many times. This time the boy is really wimpy. He gets beat up at school - but begins to learn how to take over a taller boy. He learned to stand up for himself at school. The boy learns that the old man in the neighborhood is really, really grumpy. Yeh - he fights with everyone but the older guy has shed more than one tear. Its real - at least on the screen.  

Acting on the screen is not always easy. And Bill Murray is the one that brings a strong cast. He is the core of the movie as Murray brings the contrived plot to life. 

The location filming also helps to give a feeling of reality. The young boy (Oliver) is extremely smart. He's smaller than the rest, but Oliver knows how to take it on the chin. 

This is a truly touching story about the young boy. He is one of the best actors he flushes out the magnificent story.  It's easy to grab his heart. This movie is full of heartbreaks. On one hand it a comedy - but on the other hand - Murray drinks too much.The real world is in our minds. Saints show up everywhere. 

The filmmaker Theodore Melfi has given the world a wonderful comedy and on the other hand it's has somber moments that are heart breaking. However in this film -- you will be touched - even if Vincent (Murray) is more than gambler and a drunk. Melissa McCarthy has a force to probe. She works at a hospital as she tries to keep her son Oliver den Lieberher. By the the way he is one of the best at all the Silver Screens. But don't forget Naomi Watts is one of the nature's most elegant creations. She's a real treasure.  

RATING: SIX STARS ****** or SIX ******GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE

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December 5, 2014

HELP IS ON THE WAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS Xlll








STAR-STUDDED AIDS BENEFIT HOLIDAY 
CONCERT & GALA 


FEATURING: The Broadway Touring Cast of 
KINKY BOOTS 

Also Broadway performers Jai Rodriquez, LaToya London, Davis Gaines and Jason Brock will bring happiness to us all over this colorful Holiday. 

This delivers. The staging is as gorgeous as the cinematography along with the electrifying performances. Dancers, singers and comedy weave a grand spell. What can I say - it's a sensuous spell to all. 

Come for the singing and dance - the staging captures the jaw dropping beauty and power. The music will thrill you, and some of the songs will bend over with much laughter. I have seen and heard many performers that you'll love this colorful and imaginative staging. 

It's a Glittering Super colossal Heart Warming delightful musical extravaganza. Some of the cast are funzies and others sing on ballads that are colourful and imaginative. 

We see this wonderful evening. Heck - we are all stage buffs. It's a must see. It's like Busby Berkeley in Hollywood. Everyone is wonderful. It's A Glittering Super Colossal Delightful Musical Extravaganza. It's like the dream a dream that glitters. 

THE STAR-STUDDED HOLIDAYS XIII

Just enjoy - at the Marines Memorial in San Francisco 
Mairi Compassionate Care and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS 











December 3, 2014

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SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS 


42ND St. Moon's production of "Something For The Boys" has something for everyone...Male and female. Gay or straight. With a handsome leading man Tyler McKenna, a Mermanesque leading lady Heather Orth, and a clever comedy duo newcomer Brian Herndon - and veteran Dyan McBride. 

The plot is paper thin - but director Daniel Witzke keeps things moving and adds his own campy touches. The Cole Porter songs are as always witty and tuneful. The addition of woodwinds to the music ensemble give a hint of the big band sound. The revolving set works well, but not a thing of beauty. 

This is a successful recipe for this play. No half baked ideas here. It is lots of fun and well sustained for both of the acts. You'll bend over with tons of laughter. This Hollywood musical is Super Colossal Heart warming. The precision dancing is my favorite. This is the most delightful stage show that I have seen in years. 

EVERYONE IS PERFECTLY CAST: TOTALLY AMAZING!
IT'S A MUSICAL THAT'S STEPS BEYOND!

HERE ARE THE STARS: Abby Sammons - Eliza Leoni - Victoria Stewart Davis - Dyan McBride* - Nikita Burshsteyn - Brian Herndon* - Heather Orth - Tyler McKenna* - Andrew Perez* - Stephen Vaught - Samuel Rabinowitz - AeJay Mitchell - Abby Sammons - Eliza Leoni and Victoria Stewart Davis

Dance Captain - Dyan McBride* 

RATING: SIX STARS ****** or SIX GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE ******

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November 26, 2014

WALKIN' BROADWAY. PROMISES, PROMISES - BEST RHYTHMIC VITALITY

 Directed by Bill English 
Music direction by David Moschler and Kevin Roland
Choreography by Kimberly Richards

PROMISES, PROMISES 
Jeffrey Brian Adams etc.  







WALKIN' BROADWAY


"TURKEY LURKEY TIME" A STANDOUT" 

The plot is simple: Chuck Baxter lends out his apartment to various executives. Chuck tackles "Half as Big as Life" and "She Likes Basketball". He doesn't know what and when to leave. But the duet "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" are standouts. 

The Orchestrations are so layered and so witty. It captures This is a time when corporate life was exclusively dominated by men. Sexual liberation was coming on fast on the best of melodies. It sure as hell is one of the best masterpieces on the stage. 

The bright and glorious musical keeps all its promises with a startling spectacular set that is a show in itself with sliding screens and multiple projection. The music is lively and tuneful with a distinctive Bacharach beat that drives the story forward. Part of the story is a dark but happy version of "How To Succeed In Business" it definitely is a toy. The Grand Hoopla gets to play with the secretary.

Jeffrey Brian Adams plays the hapless hopeful climbing the corporate ladder. His performance has so much energy that he literally flies off the stage. When I say flies off the stage - it's like the Wizard of Oz. How he jumps off the stage and then makes a run to jump up in the air back on the stage. It's a miracle. Adams also has his quiet moments are also very effective too. Johnny Moreno is a playboy. He is The boss you love to hate. However, his suave demeanor is as smooth as silk. Monique Hafen plays the girl they both love with her usual charm and talent. 

Ray Reinhardt and Corinne Proctor both turn in show stoppin cameos. The rest of the cast give great support and dance up a storm. The Orchestra which carries the outstanding show is conducted by Kevin Roland. "Promises, Promises" is the best Christmas gift the SF Playhouse could have given us. 

IT'S A MASTERPIECE ON THIS STAGE! 

"OF THE BEST - HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE REST"

WALKIN' BROADWAY 
______________________

RATING REVIEWS: Six Stars****** - or Six Glasses of Champagne*****

AS THEY PROMISED: THE BEST STARS ARE HERE 

Jeffrey Brian Adams - Morgan Dayley - Joseph Estlack - Rudy Guerrero* - Monique Hafen* - Kathryn Fox Hart - Johnny Moreno* - Corinne Proctor* - Ray Reinhardt* - Steven Shear - Leah Shesky - Louis Parnell* - Andy Rotchadl - Nicole Thordsen


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November 17, 2014

THREE TALL WOMEN. ALBEE'S PLAY - AND ONE HANDSOME MAN


THREE TALL WOMEN 









CUSTOM MADE THEATRE CO. PRESENTS 

THIS IS ALBEE'S Most personal play. An in depth portrait of his adoptive mother. The premise of the play is that at different times in our life we are completely different people. So different we wouldn't even like ourselves. In Act one she talks like a retired witch. But wow - what an enchanting Act One. The audience was overwhelmed with fresh scintillating talk. Superbly paced and so right. It's ecstasy and agony. Everyone was bent over with laughter. She has a cool, throaty voice. You could say that the old Lady was pretending or actually not remembering. But the audience's roaring laughter continued during the first Act.   

In Act One Michaela Greeley gives a tour de force performance as a difficult 92 year old woman. She is filthy rich, but forgets to pay her bills. Hey, she does that with me also. Her uproarious laughter - is off and on - she forgets where she is. Well- that is what the show is all about. The Old Lady talks a lot and also forgets a lot. But what Charm - she has styleness like you've never seen before. 

The room is stunning. What you see is a bright red Devan cover and a lovely pillow (slanted). Above the Devan is a rich looking hanging light over the bed. The elderly woman cries off and on -- and then she has everyone laughing. And believe me - she knows how to control everyone. If you watched Katherine Hepburn in the Movies -- you hear here sharp voice at this play. It certainly sounds very much like Hepburn.

She may be frail - but she has courage and power. The lustrous gems wear are lovely. She pretends that she doesn't know that they are there. he doesn't remember hardly any thing - but that is not true. Her eyes reflect everything. She knows the cost of her expensive jewelry. Everyone wants to wear her stunning Jewels. 

Sometimes she is a little wild, and sometimes she is very unpredictable. She knows beauty when she sees it. Yes, she may be wild and unbelievable - but she has the power of grandeur and glory. 

Feminism brings out spinx-like ciphers. But one moment she is cunning, complicated - but be sure to watch out -- she doesn't always seem charming. We might call it "Cultural psychosis". She fleets sometimes with a smile -- and then leaves us with an open-ended enigma.

We go on the "The Old Lady" in the second act. She is portrayed at 26 - 52. And it went on to Brain Damage at 92. As she gets older she is more cranky and disagreeable. Oh, and by the way - Albee thinks that the first act is more fun and we can sympathize with her - "The Old Lady". 

In the first Act - "Old Lady" ( was born Louise Harvey.) They sometimes called her "Frankie". Terry Bamberger (middle age) - Katharine Otis (Young woman) - Nathan Brown (who is the quite boy, that never speaks). 

Yes, The Old Lady was destructive and contemptible. All of us loved it on the stage. Even though she has misplaced pride. She is the Queen. 

All in all - it's a rousing experience! I would say it's 'Spectacular'. This amazing story is both sweet and more than creepy - and a lovey tale on many levels. 

HERE IS THE MARVELOUS CAST: 

Michaela Greely (Frankie) - Terry Bamberger (Middle Age) - Katharine Otis (Young Woman) plus...NATHAN BROWN 

RATING: Six Stars ****** 
or Six Glasses of Champagne ******

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SHAKESPEARE TRAVELS TO EGYPT - DARING NEW PRODUCTION (NCTC)












NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 
in Association with Dave Madsen & Rick Norris/Executive Producers 



JOE CALARCO'S AWARD-WINNING PLAY
IS STAGED BY NCTC ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE 
BEN RANDLE 


THIS ROUSING NEW PLAY IS ABOUT FOUR STUDENTS ENACTING SCENES  from "Romeo and Juliet" as a guilty pleasure. Why is reading Shakespeare a guilty pleasure? Maybe because the boys are living under a repressive regime which discourages creativity & persecutes the gay community. 

Acting out the female roles enables them to release their inner camp. Wrestling in the fight scenes gives them the homo erotic body contact that they crave. 

Taz Campbell is a revelation as Juliet. With his quiet masculinity and deep sincerity - he doesn't need to don a dress to win the heart of every Romeo in the audience. But homophobia runs deep. One of the students is so shocked by the wedding of two boys - that he tears a page out of the script. Naughty...but nothing can stop the power of true love and the play ends on a hopeful note. 

Shakespeare says a lot: Here are a few that you may remember "We know what we are, but know not what we may be" -
"It is not in the stars to hold destiny but in ourselves" - "God has given you one face, and you make yourself another!" - "The course of true love never did run smooth!" 

Teenagers from families feud a lot. Honor and destiny among them begin to crumble. There is constant pressure among the Montagues and Capulets as the clans bring on hotheadedness. As Shakespeare would know - "The wheel is come full circle!"
Remember - Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. 

On this four-centuries-old play - masculinity takes over the story at the school locale. They push and shove at each other. As they read Shakespeare: - "A little more than kin, and less than kind." I didn't see much kindness. This was pure madness. Scary. Some want to run - some do run away, and others still have hatefulness on their minds. 

The young men on the stage are "Not stepping o'er the bonds of modesty." They are past their dancing days. The staging brings poison. If you are traitors - then you have a villain's mind. And then of course, we notice how nasty a guilty mind can be. 

WELL - WE CAN'T BUY CHARM

HERE ARE THE AMAZING ACTORS

Amad Odsess-Rubin - Taj K. Campbell - Mike Sagun and James Arthur M. 

CREATIVE TEAM: Stage Manager - Logan Hehn. Scenic Design - Yusuke Soi. Lighting Design - Christian V. Majia. Costume Design - Jorge R. Hernandez. Sound Design-Stephen Abts. Prob Design - Adeline Smith. Fight Director - Mark Gabriel Kenney. Technical Director - Devin Kasper. Asst Technical Dir Joan Howard and Casting Director - Lori Fowler.  

Original: Half thriller and half mystery

CITY NEWS SERVICE
RATINGS: Six Stars***** or Six Glasses of Champagne*****

SHAKESPEARE'S R&J
By Joe Calarco
directed by Ben Randle 

The School Boys 
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November 13, 2014

77% by RINNE GROFF - www.sfplayhouse.org - PLUS - CENTRAL WORKS PRESENTS









IT'S HERE NOW - 
THE SAN FRANCISCO 
PLAYHOUSE SANDBOX SERIES


This is an unlikely title for a play but it pays off in the end. And there is a lot of whoopee in the drama. This is the story of a marriage saved by the mother-in-law. 

Melissa and Eric are very much in love, but have very serious issues. Their is a chance that there might also bring to another -  a third chile. Yes - it is certainly a thorny topic. 

This is a bare bones production but the actors have brought  the play fully to life. They succeed on every level. The sophisticated script is truly heading in the right direction. I'd say that this play is another winner for the Sandbox series. 

However, there does seem to have some shocking points. One is that they would just as soon have no more kids. Maybe yes - and maybe no. She (Melissa) says to a friend. "My body isn't working". Well - perhaps she is not pushing her friend enough for it to pass. 

He boyfriend sez that you never give me B-W Jobs! There are some other enchanting words (go down on me). Maybe you should try it. A Baby might be F ----ing awesome - he says: "This could be a surefire crowd pleaser."

HERE ARE THE MARVELOUS HIGH FLYING CAST


ARWEN ANDERSON* - (Mellisa)- KAREN GRASSLE* (Frankie) - PATRICK RUSSELL* (Eric)


DON'T EXPECT YOUR HEAD TO STOP SPINNING!

OUTSTANDING PLAY:

RATING: SIX STARS ****** or SIX GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE******


*********************************************************************************












 CENTRAL WORKS PRESENTS - RECIPE

Hey, what is the recipe for a successful Berkeley Play? Well, here is what you can do. Take extremely talented actresses  - then add a politically correct plot spiced with a lesbian, And yes - there is a strange love story that twists tasty eats. We are talking to the audience pleaser. You got it - there is no half baked ideas here. 

Central works is a special niche for theater artists. They produce more new plays than can match tumble weeds along their mission. High Quality acting is not only unique - it's an experience that artists and audience's alike -- look at it. Oh what fun this play is. 

This is a 50-seat theater at the magnificent Berkeley City club the acting is tremendous players - but what a beautiful place to please sharp comedies. You will certainly be the best. The audience went completely nutty. This spicy evening is one of the best fun thriller that I have seen ever! It's a "Do Not Miss" evening! The laughter keeps you guessing to the end. Loved it! Loved it! and Loved it! 

IT RUNS TO NOVEMBER 23 - 2014. GENE SULLIVAN SAYS: - :I wrote this play for two reasons said Sullivan. "we need more roles for women actors" - "In this case - a baking circle."  

HERE ARE THE PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS 
- AND THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT! 

Velina Brown* (Diane) - Tamar Cohn (Ruth) - Phoebe Moyer* - (Lillian) Lynne Soffer* (Helen) - Jan Zvalifler (Janice) 

CENTRAL WORKS - The works really work! 

RATING: SIX STARS****** or SIX GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE******

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November 6, 2014

THE BOY FRIEND - SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT THE POWER OF MUSIC

42nd Street Moon 






THE BOY FRIEND

UNUSUALLY FUN  AND UNIQUE MUSICAL 


 RHAPSODIC MUSICAL POWER IS THE BEST 

This is one of the best things to happen in San Francisco. It's absolutely wonderful and hilarious. The songs will stick in your head. Oh yes - it brings me back to a time when I had dreams of dancing on the stage. Of course, seeing them on stage REALLY is perfect. 

Everyone is perfectly cast. It is so colourful and imaginative. I'm amazed at the sets, routines, and costumes! Youthful charm brings nostalgia to the evening. It's such fun - very much like Busby Berkeley style. 

Hardly a "Lost" musical - David Dobrusky (the director is no stranger to the show) And believe this...it fits perfectly into 42nd Street Moon's Campy style. His sparkling production is like vintage champagne good to the last bubble. 

And wow -- the colorful costumes sure add a lot to the show especially when combined with bouncing balls in the Beach scene. Now the Girls and Guys can romp all over the place. 

It is a bit of a mystery why Tony is dressed more like a country squire than a messenger boy. Traditionally it is well fitted pants and lots of buttons. The program photos shows a different costume. 

Things really move along. The direction keeps the show moving at great pace. And hip, hip hooray -- this show is Marvelous and The principals and the Chorus give it their all. They sing and dance "Perfect Young Ladies". And indeed - they are looking for "The Boy Friend". 

You'll love this: The boys Adam Roy, Michael Doppe and Burton Thomas... puff up with song and dance that everyone loves. 

This is a swell stage version - and a pretty wild one at that. I love the show - "The Boy Friend". To the contrary - I could sit in front of the stage all day. LET'S DO IT! ******

42ND STREET MOON

GREG MacKELLAN . Artistic Director 

STEPHANIE RHOADS . Producing Director

A KNOCKOUT! GLITTERING SUPER STARS  -
HERE IS WHERE YOUR DREAMS ARE

STARRING: Jennifer Mitchell * Nathaniel Rothrock - Stephanie Prentice * Brandon Dahlquist * Andrea St. Clair * Katherine Cooper * Khalia Davis * Michael Doppe * Mark Farrell * Paul Myrvold * Barbara Doppe * Paul Myrvold * Barbara Pond * Melissa Reinertson * Adam Roy * Burton Thomas * Erin-Kate Whitcomb 

Directed & Choreographed by CINDY GOLDFIELD * 
Music Director: DAVE DOBRUSKY * 

RATING: Six Stars ****** or Six Glasses of Champagne ******
(your choice) 

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October 30, 2014

HARRY THAW HATES EVERYBODY - HALF MYSTERY, HALF THRILLER









THIS IS THE STORY OF EVELYN NESBIT - WHO HAS INSPIRED MANY BOOKS, PLAYS, MOVIES AND EVEN A MUSICAL



EVELYN NESBIT - the beautiful Ragtime girl in the red velvet swing. This time it gets a vaudeville treatment. What is the reason for this re-hash? Who decided who was really responsible for this tragic event? Well - it turns out that Crazy Harry Thaw, is the one that fired the bullets. 

Seductive Evelyn Nesbit is the one who drove him to it. Her money hungry mother sold her daughter to the highest bidder. Of course, she was no saint. Then there was Stanford White who was no saint either. But after over 2 hours of hysterical histrionics you neither know or care. 

The piece starts with a pleasant musical interlude (with Piano) goes downhill from there. The extremely talented cast struggles valiantly with their over the top material. There are several put down references to the musical RAGTIME but that was a far superior piece of theatre. 

The play is full of melodrama. There are many grotesque tale-tellers about nursery tales and totally strange confections. And yes, the play was laced with dirty nonsense, dirty bits of excess plus cruelty. 

As the play (good ol' fashioned melodrama) - its gun-toting lunes and instability might drive you insane. I was on the edge. Yes, there might be sex, murder, money, and some greedy love might get you going. 

I will say this: "I have gone Mad, Mad, Mad!" Not only is it scary - the play is playground weird - laced with cruelty. Yes, there is some romance - but who gets to some romance along with dirty bits along the way. Maybe some pearls appear - but many are just waiting to be set free. 

Where's the Door? 

RATING: Three Stars: *** or Three Glasses of Champagne*** 



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October 29, 2014

LESLIE UGGAMS -- A TOTAL PERFORMANCE FULL OF FANTASY AND MAGIC

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MEMORIES ARE FOREVER AND EVER 
Leslie Uggums - Courtesy Photo 

Anyone who grew up listening to Leslie - enjoys musical hits as much as she  loves songs like - "The World on A String" and "Summertime." In those days there was the Four Freshmen, Henry Mancini and Bing Crosby. Also that was the time that the Beatles were still bringing breath taking music to the world. Leslie also brought glitter and glamour to the world. Musical Revolution came about then, and it is still artfully everywhere. Uggums voice is incredibly strong. It's a different kind of spectacle. And that's why she brings that great talent to the stage - even operatic from pop to jazz. Leslie's vocal layers certainly work supernatural wonders. We will never forget her is wonderful sense of breeziness 

We all can't wait for Uggums at the glorious "Fairmont". Her huge universe of sounds possesses fantastic singing power.  Who would want to miss some of the lush magical arrangements? She sure as hell lets us know all about superb music. Uggums brings shear magic to her gorgeous emerald glade  -- I'm sure that Leslie Uggams will show us how "Impressive" her vocals are. "Indeed a wonder!" I can't wait to see her again on the Fairmont Stage. 

LESLIE UGGAMS WILL APPEAR AT THE FAIRMONT VENETIAN ROOM. (Nov. 2nd - 2014)

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October 23, 2014

GONE GIRL - CAPTIVATING AND COMPLEX

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Courtesy Photo 




GONE GIRL 


AMY DISAPPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE - AND THE JOURNEY OF HIDE AND SEEK BEGINS 

Nick Dunne's husband is going wacky trying to find his wife (Amy). The Police seem to be able somehow to dodge Nick. Oh my - there are more twists and turns than Nicks foibles. Let me think - just how many women does Nick (Ben Affleck) think that he can get away by throwing many of his dates against the wall, as he pulls down his pants. 

The movie is dashing, but longer than it needs to be. The plot involves many strange events. Some of it ridiculous. But there is this: There is some horror going on in this mystery-thriller. I managed to stick with it. But Neil Patrick Harris was put to a bloody death. Many at the movie held hands over their eyes. Yep - Amy is a bitch. She'll do anything to get what she wants. 

Near the end of the movie it became just a little bit stupid. How and why it ended that way I'll never know. It was totally unbelievable - but good and bad.  Oh and by the way...GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY.

There is the possibility that the muscular and dazzling Ben Affleck might rise to the top of the twists and turns at this movie. Maybe even an Oscar

RATING: Four Stars **** or Four Glasses of Champagne****





  

October 13, 2014

DIE MOMMIE DIE! - by Charles Busch




STATS: 725 (today)





MARIE O'DONNELL (Bootsie) & ANGELA (J. Conrad Frank)
Courtesy Lois Tema 



DIE! MOMMIE DIE! 











RING OUT THE BELLS - IT'S
JUBILATION TIME....STARTING HERE AND NOW! 

This time of year is the most thoroughly delightful, tuneful and beguiling evening around town. Everyone at the play doubles over with the high quality remarkable performances. Yep - the show goes from hilarious to high drama. And believe me - there is plenty of that. 

The show at New Conservatory is the perfect parody of the 60's Hollywood thrillers that dated divas like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Speaking of that great talent Bette Davis in our minds. Wow! - they sure look very much alike. Don't ya...Katya? 

The lead lady is played by Conrad Frank A.K.A. Katya wearing a series of stunning gowns and eating up the scenery, which just eats up old Hollywood. And she has plenty to eat.  

There is the well matched Justin Liszanckie as the bi-sexual stud who services the entire family. Oh My...he wears his sexy clothes with style - and all eyes are on his provocative crotch. Of course - I never look in that direction. 

Devin O'Brien plays the sissy son who is more like a daughter. He has his big scene in drag and other big things. The multi-talented Joe Wicht plays the producer father with great relish. All in all...this is definitely a show to DIE for. 

Everything is perfect in the performances. The show is without a doubt one of the greatest stage shows that I have seen in years. The glossy direction - makes it a wild flair. Dear Katya - you're alone and you want someone else at any cost. And you will get it! 

HERE IS THE DAZZLING CAST. THE VISUAL EFFECTS IN THE PERFORMANCES ARE A SIGHT TO BEHOLD! 

Angela - J. Conrad Frank.  Edith - Ali Haas. Tony- Justin Kiszanckie. Lance - Devin S. O'Brien. Bootsie - Marie O'Donnell. And Sol - Joe Wicht. 

Die Mommie Die! By Charles Busch 
Directed by F. Allen Sawyer. (Fantastic) 

NOW PLAYING AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER 

RATING: SIX STARS: ****** or - you can Drink Six Glasses of Champagne******six stars (I'm sure you will!) 






October 10, 2014

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY - COMPELLING MOVIE


stats: are beyond belief 

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY 


This film is similar to many Hitchcock movies. The story is about a mature man who has a younger wife (Kirsten Durst). Her husband is up to some kind of scam - (Viggo Mortensen). Both are sexy looking. I do know this -- it's set in beautiful surroundings. 

The individuals are great looking with heavy  motives - especially the clever men that tries to kept secrets. However - the plot twists keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Their entire film is seamlessly put together - and the scenery is gorgeous - and Hypnotic. It will certainly keep you in your seat. 

"The Two Faces of January" takes place in 1961 Athens. Rydal (Oscar Issac) in fluent American, knows every Greek word. He Guides thru mediterranean locations - Athens, Crete and Istanbul. How can we not enjoy The finest cast of this year - Terrific! 

The film was based on the Patrica Highsmith novel. To me - this fantastic movie will certainly appeal to all. And why not? It's wonderful to look at. The film was directed by Hossein Amini (he also wrote the screenplay.) 

THE BEAUTY AND THE ACTING IS ON THE SCREEN -- YOU'LL LOVE IT! 

RATING: SIX ******STARS - or SIX GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE (your choice) 

STATS: 350 (through the roof) - this day  

  

YEAST NATION - LOVE AND POWER IS PREHISTORIC






Our Stats are through the roof 

YEAST NATION 


VICTORIA THEATRE IN SAN FRANCISCO 

RAY OF LIGHT HAS DONE IT AGAIN. 


A bunch of humans has turned into non humans. They are searching for love and power, What they found is that they were playing with each other as prehistoric animals. 

It starts out in early life forms. Their story is told by a formidable figure with a staff. Lucky that I don't have one. Look at it this way - as a Miss Marple on steroids. They have discovered that there are many ways to accessorize power. And, if you like to sing then you will get at least 20 upbeat ballads about love. But, then -- some get beat up. Oh well, be prepared to be knocked out or uplifted. 

The repetition of the music may just get on your nerves more than you can stand. Maybe the Yeast smell has overwhelmed all of us. 

The sets was given High Praise for the fantastic and colorful clothing and exciting high praise for very special effects. To break the tension and intermission... 

The songs were almost pretty much the same. It was like an insane asylum with people crawling all around each other. There were wrought behaviours that convinced me that Count Dracula would like to grab my neck. But - I loved the scenery. And the dominating evening! 

Yes, performers were perfect and the and musicians were Seductive - plus commanding. Gorgeous High Voltage clothing does smell a little like "Yeast". Oh well - we need something to breeze by. That's a joke. 

HERE ARE THE WONDERFUL ACTORS 

Teresa Attridge - Joshua Beld - Jesse Cortez - Danny Cozart  Roy Eikleberry - David Glazer - Celia Jones - Mary Kalita - Juliana Lustenader - Courtney Merrell - Lizzie Moss - Heather Orth - Kevin Singer - Mischa Stephens - Vanessa Vazquez and Ted Zoldan. 

ENSEMBLE 
MELINA CAMPERO, LINDSAY STARK, AARON VANDERBEEK 

Keyboards/Conductor: Ben Prince - Eryn Allen - Geneva Harrison - Travis Kindred and Mike Smith 

STATS: 348 (this day) 









   

October 7, 2014

DO I HEAR A WALTZ? YOU'LL FIND OUT!





 STATS: Sky High: (This Day) 




Jonah Broscow & Emily Skinner
Courtesy Photo 



O.K - THE MUSICAL HAS A PRETTY GOOD PEDIGREE - 
BUT THE SHOW HAS NEVER BEEN A TOTAL SUCCESS 

However, no matter what - This 42nd Street Moon production has put on a Grand looking cast. I loved the score - but there are some empty spaces in between. Emily Skinner provides star quality. And Stephanie Rhoads makes a welcome return return that brings glamour to the landlady role. Tyler McKenna has those love interest eyes. 

Jonah Broscow has great effortless hutzpah - as the young boy. And the girls just can't keep their eyes off of him. What fun. 

Richard rodgers melodies are certainly memorable. Wish the evening would have moved on just a little faster - but Stephen Sondheim's lyrics are still clever and funny. Arthur Laurents book is bitter sweet. 

The story is mostly set in the Garden of the Pensione Fioria. The ending may not totally satisfy, but you will definitely hear a waltz. Enjoy the music and words. There is just one little glitch -- it would be nicer if there were some amps that we could hear better. Sometimes we hear it, and other times we strain. 

Well the songs are not that relevant - but on top of that, the songs are mostly forgettable. Still - the singing and acting draws us to the talent. 

HERE ARE THE TALENTED STARS: Emily Skinner* - Taylor Bartolucci, Jonah Broscow (the boy) amazes in the fifth grade at Chabot Elementary in Oakland - Nikita Burshteyn - Lucinda Hitchcock Cone* - Tyler McKenna* - David Naughton, Stephanie Rhoads* - 
Michael Rhone - And... Abby Sammons  

MUSIC BY RICHARD RODGERS 
LYRICS BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM 
BOOK BY ARTHUR LAURENTS 
Based on the play "The Time of the cuckoo by Arthur Laurents 

Directed by Greg MacKellan
Music Director: Dave Dobrusky 
Choreographer: Brittany Danielle
Joe Mader - Managing Director 

Stage Manager: Josh Anderson 
Production Manager & Set Design:Hector Zavala

NOW SHOWING: 42nd Street Moon

STATS: 383 (this day) 



EXCELLENT: Four**** Stars: or Compelling Four Glasses of Champagne**** (Don't miss!)
Jonah Broscow & Emily Skinner
Courtesy Photo 



O.K - THE MUSICAL HAS A PRETTY GOOD PEDIGREE - 
BUT THE SHOW HAS NEVER BEEN A TOTAL SUCCESS 

However, no matter what - This 42nd Street Moon production has put on a Grand looking cast. I loved the score - but there are some empty spaces in between. Emily Skinner provides star quality. And Stephanie Rhoads makes a welcome return return that brings glamour to the landlady role. Tyler McKenna has those love interest eyes. 

Jonah Broscow has great effortless hutzpah - as the young boy. And the girls just can't keep their eyes off of him. What fun. 

Richard rodgers melodies are certainly memorable. Wish the evening would have moved on just a little faster - but Stephen Sondheim's lyrics are still clever and funny. Arthur Laurents book is bitter sweet. 

The story is mostly set in the Garden of the Pensione Fioria. The ending may not totally satisfy, but you will definitely hear a waltz. Enjoy the music and words. There is just one little glitch -- it would be nicer if there were some amps that we could hear better. Sometimes we hear it, and other times we strain. 

Well the songs are not that relevant - but on top of that, the songs are mostly forgettable. Still - the singing and acting draws us to the talent. 

HERE ARE THE TALENTED STARS: Emily Skinner* - Taylor Bartolucci, Jonah Broscow (the boy) amazes in the fifth grade at Chabot Elementary in Oakland - Nikita Burshteyn - Lucinda Hitchcock Cone* - Tyler McKenna* - David Naughton, Stephanie Rhoads* - 
Michael Rhone - And... Abby Sammons  

MUSIC BY RICHARD RODGERS 
LYRICS BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM 
BOOK BY ARTHUR LAURENTS 
Based on the play "The Time of the cuckoo by Arthur Laurents 

Directed by Greg MacKellan
Music Director: Dave Dobrusky 
Choreographer: Brittany Danielle
Joe Mader - Managing Director 

Stage Manager: Josh Anderson 
Production Manager & Set Design:Hector Zavala

NOW SHOWING: 42nd Street Moon

EXCELLENT: Four**** Stars: or Compelling Four Glasses of Champagne**** (Don't miss)

October 1, 2014

IDEATION - AARON LOEB -plus MAGIC THEATRE

stats: 975 (this day) 


photo by Jessica Palopoli
SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE 

IDEATION 

This is the most intriguing adult marketing strategy that I have seen. If you are curious beyond chameleonic-well then, here are three experts that are desperate to please Mr. Big. But who is Mr. Big working for? A government agency? Are there motives good or evil? A religious extremist with genocide on his mind? 

Well, none of that gets answered - but the play is brilliantly acted. Well, here is what I think. It's all a multimedia pull-out-the stops. I think? I think and know that they all are corrupted by humans. 

Gripping emotional questions get real answers -and the play is brilliantly written. Near the end there will be a enormous climax as the standing ovation was gets completely overwhelmed. 

Everything is in this Twist. It's inventive irony and language that will absolutely keep you on all edges. Many twists reveal certain themes. Is anyone sane together. Nope! But, Oh - the appeal. 

They wear themselves out on a huge chalk board. They wear themselves over what they write - and wipe it away. Then they start over -- nope, that didn't work over. No one in the room seems to agree with each other. Yes, they are commanding effortless and astonishing. The youngest man just doesn't know what to do in this trust and faith moments. Who would?  

At first they are mild with everyone in the room. But the chalk is like putting makeup on and then erase it. They make great claims about what they will do -- but as time goes on the facts that just don't come together. It starts with a group that seems that they will never get beyond an emotional level. 

Sure there is great flair in the nail-biting seat. However - you will never forget this nail-biting experience. Believe me - it's an addictive thriller. Simply Brilliant!

It reaches a terrific climax that is brilliantly written and superbly acted. And wow...what a standing ovation. 

SPELLBINDING ACTORS: Ben Euphrat* as Scooter - Jason Kapoor as Sandeep - Carrie Paff* as Hannah - Mark Anderson Phillips* as Ted - L.Britt Ervin as J.D (voiceover - Greg Ayers* (understudy) Tiiu Eva Rebane* (understudy)

Set Design - Bill English 
Costume Designer - Abra Berman
Stage Manager - Maggie Koch*
Casting Director - Lauren English 

Directed by Aaron Loeb 

Lighting Design - Mark Hueske 





September 30, 2014

MAGIC THEATRE -- BAD JEWS - LEE HARTGRAVE

STATS: Are ski high
MAGIC THEATRE - SAN FRANCISCO 

BAD JEWS
A whirlwind will astonish you 

AN EXCELLENT PLAY 
FOR JUDAIC STUDIES

Gee Wiz! Do you suppose some new Jews are bad news Jews? Dapha (the pivotal character) insists that "Bad Jews is a religious bigot" - that makes the Nazis seem nice. She even acts like she hates her own family and she tricks her brother's girl friend Melody (Riley) - into supporting Rebecca Benhayon (Dapha) as she terrorize's her sweet helpless cousin Jonah. But wait...she also tricks her brother's girl friend into another astonishing High Voltage evening. Of course - she dominates.  

Her brother Liam, is made of sterner stuff - but believe me - he is no match for her. Hell hath no fury like a woman who wants something belonging to someone else, especially if it's Jewelry. Rebecca finds out who has her grandfather's gold medallion. But what the hell - she couldn't and wouldn't care less about tradition. 

This comedy drama is not for the faint hearted. Funny and hilarious yes - but eighty minutes on the stage with Dapha - almost makes her hair look longer and longer as Dapha as she rants and raves. Not really - but you'll be glad that you are not related. In fact -  Rebecca WANTS to disturb Jews (she almost sounds like Justin Bieber who sounds like Rebecca). Of course - I Kid! 

THIS TRADITION at this charming group...Cousin Jonah - just can't make it. You'll see...the tirades will continue, as the laughter carries on. Love it! Just try to hide from Dapha. You won't make it.  

As we find out - Rebecca really needs a broom to whirl around the place. It seems like she really wants to disturb Jews (and, perhaps others.) If you're looking for tranquility - forget about it. 

NOW COMES THE ACTION

HERE IS THE "TOUR DE FORCE" ACTORS: Rebecca Benhayon* (Dapha) - Riley Krull* Melody - Max Rosenak* (Liam -) and Kenny Toll (Jonah) 

RATING: Six Stars****** or Six Glasses of Champagne*****

PRODUCERS: Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock. John Marx and Nikki. Producers Pat and Marshall Kilduff

BY JOSHUA HARMON
directed by Ryan Guzzo Purcell 

STATS: 900 (this day)  











BAD JEWS
A whirlwind will astonish you 

AN EXCELLENT PLAY 
FOR JUDAIC STUDIES

Gee Wiz! Do you suppose some new Jews are bad news Jews? Dapha (the pivotal character) insists that "Bad Jews is a religious bigot" - that makes the Nazis seem nice. She even acts like she hates her own family and she tricks her brother's girl friend Melody (Riley) - into supporting Rebecca Benhayon (Dapha) as she terrorize's her sweet helpless cousin Jonah. But wait...she also tricks her brother's girl friend into another astonishing High Voltage evening. Of course - she dominates.  

Her brother Liam, is made of sterner stuff - but believe me - he is no match for her. Hell hath no fury like a woman who wants something belonging to someone else, especially if it's Jewelry. Rebecca finds out who has her grandfather's gold medallion. But what the hell - she couldn't and wouldn't care less about tradition. 

This comedy drama is not for the faint hearted. Funny and hilarious yes - but eighty minutes on the stage with Dapha - almost makes her hair look longer and longer as Dapha as she rants and raves. Not really - but you'll be glad that you are not related. In fact -  Rebecca WANTS to disturb Jews (she almost sounds like Justin Bieber who sounds like Rebecca). Of course - I Kid! 

THIS TRADITION at this charming group...Cousin Jonah - just can't make it. You'll see...the tirades will continue, as the laughter carries on. Love it! Just try to hide from Dapha. You won't make it.  

As we find out - Rebecca really needs a broom to whirl around the place. It seems like she really wants to disturb Jews (and, perhaps others.) If you're looking for tranquility - forget about it. 

NOW COMES THE ACTION

HERE IS THE "TOUR DE FORCE" ACTORS: Rebecca Benhayon* (Dapha) - Riley Krull* Melody - Max Rosenak* (Liam -) and Kenny Toll (Jonah) 

RATING: Six Stars****** or Six Glasses of Champagne*****

PRODUCERS: Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock. John Marx and Nikki. Producers Pat and Marshall Kilduff

BY JOSHUA HARMON
directed by Ryan Guzzo Purcell 

STATS: 914 (this day)  



MAGIC THEATRE - SAN FRANCISCO 

BAD JEWS
A whirlwind will astonish you 

AN EXCELLENT PLAY 
FOR JUDAIC STUDIES

Gee Wiz! Do you suppose some new Jews are bad news Jews? Dapha (the pivotal character) insists that "Bad Jews is a religious bigot" - that makes the Nazis seem nice. She even acts like she hates her own family and she tricks her brother's girl friend Melody (Riley) - into supporting Rebecca Benhayon (Dapha) as she terrorize's her sweet helpless cousin Jonah. But wait...she also tricks her brother's girl friend into another astonishing High Voltage evening. Of course - she dominates.  

Her brother Liam, is made of sterner stuff - but believe me - he is no match for her. Hell hath no fury like a woman who wants something belonging to someone else, especially if it's Jewelry. Rebecca finds out who has her grandfather's gold medallion. But what the hell - she couldn't and wouldn't care less about tradition. 

This comedy drama is not for the faint hearted. Funny and hilarious yes - but eighty minutes on the stage with Dapha - almost makes her hair look longer and longer as Dapha as she rants and raves. Not really - but you'll be glad that you are not related. In fact -  Rebecca WANTS to disturb Jews (she almost sounds like Justin Bieber who sounds like Rebecca). Of course - I Kid! 

THIS TRADITION at this charming group...Cousin Jonah - just can't make it. You'll see...the tirades will continue, as the laughter carries on. Love it! Just try to hide from Dapha. You won't make it.  

As we find out - Rebecca really needs a broom to whirl around the place. It seems like she really wants to disturb Jews (and, perhaps others.) If you're looking for tranquility - forget about it. 

NOW COMES THE ACTION

HERE IS THE "TOUR DE FORCE" ACTORS: Rebecca Benhayon* (Dapha) - Riley Krull* Melody - Max Rosenak* (Liam -) and Kenny Toll (Jonah) 

RATING: Six Stars****** or Six Glasses of Champagne*****

PRODUCERS: Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock. John Marx and Nikki. Producers Pat and Marshall Kilduff

BY JOSHUA HARMON
directed by Ryan Guzzo Purcell 

STATS: 816 (this day)  


stats: 966 (this day) 

MAGIC THEATRE - SAN FRANCISCO 

BAD JEWS
A whirlwind will astonish you 

AN EXCELLENT PLAY 
FOR JUDAIC STUDIES

Gee Wiz! Do you suppose some new Jews are bad news Jews? Dapha (the pivotal character) insists that "Bad Jews is a religious bigot" - that makes the Nazis seem nice. She even acts like she hates her own family and she tricks her brother's girl friend Melody (Riley) - into supporting Rebecca Benhayon (Dapha) as she terrorize's her sweet helpless cousin Jonah. But wait...she also tricks her brother's girl friend into another astonishing High Voltage evening. Of course - she dominates.  

Her brother Liam, is made of sterner stuff - but believe me - he is no match for her. Hell hath no fury like a woman who wants something belonging to someone else, especially if it's Jewelry. Rebecca finds out who has her grandfather's gold medallion. But what the hell - she couldn't and wouldn't care less about tradition. 

This comedy drama is not for the faint hearted. Funny and hilarious yes - but eighty minutes on the stage with Dapha - almost makes her hair look longer and longer as Dapha as she rants and raves. Not really - but you'll be glad that you are not related. In fact -  Rebecca WANTS to disturb Jews (she almost sounds like Justin Bieber who sounds like Rebecca). Of course - I Kid! 

THIS TRADITION at this charming group...Cousin Jonah - just can't make it. You'll see...the tirades will continue, as the laughter carries on. Love it! Just try to hide from Dapha. You won't make it.  

As we find out - Rebecca really needs a broom to whirl around the place. It seems like she really wants to disturb Jews (and, perhaps others.) If you're looking for tranquility - forget about it. 

NOW COMES THE ACTION

HERE IS THE "TOUR DE FORCE" ACTORS: Rebecca Benhayon* (Dapha) - Riley Krull* Melody - Max Rosenak* (Liam -) and Kenny Toll (Jonah) 

RATING: Six Stars****** or Six Glasses of Champagne*****

PRODUCERS: Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock. John Marx and Nikki. Producers Pat and Marshall Kilduff

BY JOSHUA HARMON
directed by Ryan Guzzo Purcell