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Remembering Bernie Yvon (Comments Off)

September 18, 2014 • Category: ARTICLES, CURRENT SHOWS, MUST SEE, REVIEWS

Bernie Yvon had just recently celebrated his 50th birthday when he was killed by a Semi truck driving to rehearsal. He was scheduled to play a taxi driver in the musical “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana. George Andrew Wolff will assume the role and the production will now open on September 21, with a tribute to Bernie planned following the show. Yvon was fortunate to be a working actor, and it was abundantly clear that he loved what he did as much as audiences loved watching him.

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The Coward (Comments Off)

Set in the 1790’s, Lucidus Culling (terrific performance by Brian Plocharcyzk) is a cowardly young gentleman who hate violence as he just wants to study bugs and butterflies to his father’s dismay. Nathaniel Culling (the intense Stephan Walker) demands that his son protect the family honor by dueling with anyone who insults the family. So when the hapless Lucidus initiates a duel, father is pleased but Lucidua is terrified at the thought. His foppish pals, Gavin (Ian McLaren) and Robert (Spenser Davis) understand Lucidus’ fear. Robert suggest that he hires a common criminal to fight the duel in his place.

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Isaac’s Eye (Comments Off)

We learn about the nerdy, deep-thinks twenty-five year old Isaac Newton (Jurgen Hooper) as he is committed to becoming famous as a innovative scientist in the mid 1600’s in England. Told in contemporary language in modern cloths, Lucas Hnath engages us into the thinking-man’s world of science and philosophy or “natural philosopher” as it was known then, the physicist and mathematician Issac Newton became known as one of the greatest “thinkers” of all-time. Hnath playfully creates the young, ambitious world of Isaac as he believes that his ideas came directly from God despite his challenging revisionist Christian beliefs.

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Myths & Hymns (Comments Off)

The songs range from folk, electronic jazz and piano ballad to gospel and musical theater styles with lyrics quite complicated to sing requiring a blend of pop, classical and opera singing styles that was deftly rendered by this terrific cast. During the 65 minute one-act opera, each of the cast had their moments to exhibit their strong, accurate and compelling vocal dexterity.

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The Whaleship Essex (Comments Off)

When a sperm whale morifs into a dangerous leviathan, the Essex is fatally wounded. The crew is left with few provisions onto three whaleboats. Their survival demands deciding how to use the winds to navigate the 2,000 miles or so to the nearest land. The story becomes an adventure of survival at sea as the vastness of the Pacific becomes their enemy. The physical and moral dilemmas suffered by the crews of each boat reflected the strength and beliefs of each character. These scenes were marvelously performed as we quietly cheer for our favorite players to survive.

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Stupid Fucking Bird (Comments Off)

The creative staging out did itself by using ensemble singing existential angst gibberish during needless set changes. There was a scenes that found all seven cast members all shouting different dialogue for what seemed as an eternity and there was a noisy scene change while Collins droned on with her “my life sucks” songs on her ukulele late in the show.

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Coraline (Comments Off)

I must say that the production was innovative, ambitious, as the cast worked hard to land the material. Too bad it mostly fell flat. Tone problems, poor lighting, over-the-top camp interruptions lost any resemblance to fantasy.

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