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Reviews for Current Shows

STELLA & LOU STELLA & LOU
by Bruce Graham
Presented by Circle Theatre
Runs through 9/20/2014

Reviewed by Angela Newby,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Can one have a second chance at love? In the romantic comedy Stella & Lou, the audience is graced with the comradery of Stella, a regular at a bar, and Lou, the bar owner, and a glimpse to see if love can happen a second time. In the midst of the night, we see what is really important and if the journey is worth all the risk. As the two deal with the decisions they now face, they reflect on their pasts and look ahead to the future.

Stella & Lou premiered in 2013 at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago. Directed by B.J. Jones the cast featured Ed Flynn (Donnie), Francis Guinan (Lou), and Rhea Perlman (Stella).

Clare Floyd DeVries did an amazing job setting up this neighborhood bar. ...

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NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
(National Tour Premiere) Work Light Productions Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin Book by Joe DiPietro Inspired by material by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse
Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals
Runs through 9/21/2014

Reviewed by Richard Blake,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Gin, Glamour, Glitz and Girls ... Step back into the Roaring Twenties with Nice Work If You Can Get it for an evening full of exquisite singing, dancing and high energy, “old school” Broadway Musical perfection!

The touring production of Nice Work If You Can Get It, the award-winning musical comedy that played Broadway from 2012-2013, launched its national tour with Dallas Summer Musicals at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

A cast of outrageous characters gather in New York to celebrate the wedding of wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter. But things don't go as planned when the playboy meets Billie Bendix, a bubbly and feisty female bootlegger who melts his heart. The champagne flows and the gin fizzes in this hilarious, Tony-winning musical comedy.

This brand new musical features twenty eight of George ...

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[SIC] [SIC]
by Melissa James Gibson
Presented by Echo Theatre
Runs through 9/27/2014

Reviewed by Mary L. Clark,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Three minutes into Echo Theatre’s production of [sic}, I knew for certain that playwright Melissa James Gibson had obviously been spying on me, watching my relationships with friends, then placing the whole thing into her own silly, twisted, hilarious scenario for me to live through again. That is how recognizable, in sync and relevant her play is and how eerie it is to be watching bits and pieces of one’s own life onstage. No fear however, one need never know just how close to your reality the play is, as the audience’s laughter will dispel any possible finger pointing!

Living in adjacent, one room “closet” apartments, three youngish neighbors discuss their ambitions, argue, share dreams and plan for uncertain futures with degrees of hopefulness and despair. Theo is a ...

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BEYOND THERAPY BEYOND THERAPY
by Christopher Durang
Presented by Stage West
Runs through 9/28/2014

Reviewed by Zach Powell,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Beyond Therapy is a comedy that centers on the lives of Bruce, a bisexual man, and Prudence, a heterosexual woman, who meet through a newspaper dating service. Initially, their date derails as they find flaws within each other, but fate finds a way to draw these two back together again. As they try one more time to find romance with each other, they both must navigate through previous relationships to find some semblance of normalcy in their lives.

Mark Shum plays Bruce, an emotional man seeking a way to fill the void within his life through therapy and dating. Throughout the play, Bruce is subject to many crying spells, pulling out his handy handkerchief to wipe away tears. Shum does fake cry well; his face contorts with the emotion but sobbing ...

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NEXT TO NORMAL NEXT TO NORMAL
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey Music by Tom Kitt
Presented by ONSTAGE in Bedford
Runs through 9/28/2014

Reviewed by Larry Ukolowicz,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Next to Normal is a rock musical concerning a dark passage into one woman’s struggle with bipolar disorder and the affect her struggle has on her whole family. ONSTAGE in Bedford should be commended for taking on this complex psychological masterpiece that dares to delve into a subject matter both frightening to the victims and to the families witnessing the effects of its horror.

The musical also addresses issues associated with the subject matter at hand, such as grieving a loss, drug abuse, psychiatry and the ethics involved in the medical field, and suicide. Next to Normal shows the underbelly of suburban life through the eyes of a woman both grasping at straws and gasping for air along the journey. This is a feel-everything musical and takes you to ...

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THE CRUCIBLE THE CRUCIBLE
by Arthur Miller
Presented by Tarrant Actors Regional Theatre
Runs through 9/28/2014

Reviewed by Elaine Plybon,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Arthur Miller penned The Crucible in 1953, in the midst of the McCarthy Era. Its setting, during the witch trials in 1600s Salem, Massachusetts, was an intentional comparison to the accusations of communism being thrown at that time in modern history. First produced on Broadway in 1953, the play won the Tony Award for Best Play.

The play is a deftly written piece that sets itself apart as a classic in both structure and style. Its dialogue and setting is reminiscent of Shakespearean strength. Its topic is one that is familiar to most. The Salem Witch Trials have earned a spot in American history, easily remembered for its twenty executions as a result of mass hysteria.

Tarrant Actors Regional Theatre (TART) opens its second season with a worthy production of the thought-provoking ...

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APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
by Agatha Christie
Presented by Garland Civic Theatre
Runs through 10/4/2014

Reviewed by Angela Newby,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

“You do see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed!” Thru the use of twist, turns and sleight of hand, Agatha Christie spins a tale of the Boynton family and the other guests of the hotel to finally decipher not only who she is, but who is the murderer as well.

Appointment with Death is a 1945 play based on Christie’s 1938 novel. The play opened at Kings Theatre on January 29, 1945 and then in the West End on March 31, 1945. The play was not received well by the critics, yet the box office receipts were slightly better. However, it still closed on May 5 after just 42 performances.

As I entered the auditorium, I noticed Director Kyle McClaran’s elaborate set design. The play’s location ...

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WHODUNIT...THE MUSICAL WHODUNIT...THE MUSICAL
(Regional Premiere) By Ed Dixon
Presented by Theatre Arlington
Runs through 10/5/2014

Reviewed by Larry Ukolowicz,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Playwright Ed Dixon has had an enviable career as character actor, writer and composer. He wrote the book, music and lyrics for three entire musicals while still in high school. Mr. Dixon’s Shylock, a musical based on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Cather County, based on five short stories by Willa Cather, was picked up by Dallas’ Lyric Stage where it won a Leon Rabin Award for Best New Work, and was voted one of the ten best events in Dallas for all of 1998. The musical Fanny Hill played at Goodspeed Opera House in NYC where it received two Drama Desk Nominations. His acting career spans decades in musicals and dramas. Whodunit…The Musical showcases his marvelous talent ...

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