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Reviews for Current Shows

based on the Disney cartoon film Book by David Henry Hwang Music and Lyrics by Phil Collins
Presented by Artisan Center Theatre
Runs through 8/23/2014

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

Tarzan is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies, so when I heard Artisan Center Theater would be taking on the huge task of bringing it to their stage, I had to go. Unfortunately, from the beginning of Act I, my high hopes were quickly killed as I realized this version would not be of the caliber that it deserved.

Tarzan: The Musical is based on the 1999 Disney cartoon feature film which was adapted from the 1914 novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The songs are written by Phil Collins with a book by David Henry Hwang. Tarzan tells the story of an orphaned infant boy who is taken in and raised by gorillas. The young boy strives for acceptance from his ape father while trying ...

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Book by William F. Brown Music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls
Presented by Garland Civic Theatre
Runs through 8/23/2014

Reviewed by Scott W. Davis ,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

The time is the late sixties and Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, and Dorothy are battling a huge storm when all of a sudden, poof, Dorothy’s gone. I know, I know it sounds like your mother’s Wizard of Oz, right? …… wrong, this is the Wiz!!!

The Wiz had its pre-Broadway run in 1974 at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore. The show was a success, to a point. Unfortunately, the producers weren’t quite as happy with the show, so when the show moved to the Majestic Theatre on Broadway in 1975, they brought in a new cast. Opening January 5th under the direction of Geoffrey Holder, it had a cast to die for including Stephanie Mills as Dorothy, Hinton Battle as the Scarecrow, Tiger Haynes as the Tin Man, Ted ...

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The Spectacular New Production (North American 2014 Tour) Music by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics Charles Hart Book & Additional Lyrics Richard Stilgoe
Presented by AT&T Performing Arts Center
Runs through 8/24/2014

Reviewed by John Garcia,
Senior Chief Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

“The world shows no compassion to me.” -The Phantom.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of The Opera (PTO) is one of those musicals that people either admire with great respect or would rather have bamboo sticks shoved up their nails than to sit through it.

I am a faithful, dedicated Phantom ...

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by Larry Shue
Presented by Theatre Arlington
Runs through 8/24/2014

Reviewed by Rachel Sampson,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

I was first introduced to the works of Larry Shue at the ripe age of twelve. At the time, my family was involved in a small community theatre in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and I remember watching from the darkness as my parents performed the roles of the Waldgraves in The Nerd, what is still one of the funniest plays I have ever seen. I immediately sought out Shue's other works, but was disappointed to find only a handful as a result of the untimely death of Shue himself.

During his short career, Shue worked in repertory theatre on the New York stage, and in television and film. He was most connected with Milwaukee Repertory Theater where, in the early 1980s he wrote both The Nerd and The Foreigner as their playwright-in-residence. The Nerd ...

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by Jenny Lyn Bader
Presented by Churchmouse Productions
Runs through 8/30/2014

Reviewed by Jeremy William Osborne,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

I love a light show. I don't mean lights in the sky set to music. I mean a production unencumbered by so many technical effects to make the actors a mere piece of the tapestry. And it's not because it gives me less to write about in a review, it's because simple shows boil down theatre to its purest essence: actors, an audience, and a quiet place to perform. None of the Above from Churchmouse Productions is wonderful in that regard. For the most part it's two actors acting with only the necessary set and a few light and sound effects for support.

None of the Above premiered at the Ohio Theater in New York City in 2007. Productions of it have been critically acclaimed at ...

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by Frederick Knott
Presented by Contemporary Theatre of Dallas
Runs through 9/7/2014

Reviewed by Chris Jackson,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

“’Cause this is thriller…And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike.” - Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

A blind woman has something that a really bad guy wants to take from her. Well, it’s a little more convoluted than that, but It’s still not hard to pick sides. You’ve got to wait until the dark for the big outcome, but if you saw Audrey Hepburn in her Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated performance, you know that good always triumphs over evil - at least that’s what we like to think.

The play’s long first scene of exposition explains in great detail how Susy’s husband came to be in possession of a doll stuffed with heroin, thinking he was doing a woman a favor. ...

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Book by Ben H. Winters and Erik Jackson Music by Neil Sedaka Lyrics by Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield and Phillip Cody
Presented by Plaza Theatre Company
Runs through 9/13/2014

Reviewed by Eric Bird,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

What do you get when you combine two young, single Brooklyn women in search of romance, a Catskills resort, Labor Day weekend, and talented singers performing the works of the classic Neil Sedaka? The answer is simple: you have Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, currently being masterfully performed at Plaza Theatre Company.

Neil Sedaka rose to early fame during the late 1950’s when he left The Tokens, the band formed by Sedaka and a few of his classmates. Following those early years of success Sedaka went through almost sixty years of ups and downs, ranging from great success to a decline in popularity. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do showcases nineteen Sedaka songs, including “Where the Boys Are”, “Sweet Sixteen”, “Betty Grable”, “Stupid Cupid”, and of ...

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by Ronnie Claire Edwards
Presented by Theatre Three
Runs through 9/14/2014

Reviewed by Kristy Blackmon,
Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

In Candy Barr’s Last Dance, actress and playwright Ronnie Claire Edwards tells the story of the infamous Dallas stripper who had torrid affairs with Mickey Cohen and Jack Ruby, shot her second husband, and spent the first part of the 1960s in the Goree State Farm for women outside of Huntsville serving a sentence for drug possession after a police raid on her apartment discovered four-fifths of an ounce of marijuana hidden in her bra.

Edwards uses three aging former strippers to tell the story of Juanita Dale Slusher, better known as Candy Barr, who left home at the age of thirteen to escape childhood sexual abuse and wound up headlining in burlesque shows from Dallas to Hollywood. The three friends have gathered in stripper-turned-revivalist Corky Latrelle’s kitchen before Candy’s funeral ...

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