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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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