Women in Jeopardy

Women in Jeopardy
Aurora Theatre
through October 23, 2016

This is a southeastern regional premiere of prize winner Wendy MaLeod’s work, Women in Jeopardy. Fear not, this is not a grim tale, it is more of a Grimm story with plenty of laughs.

Kelly Criss directed a superb cast of players who get to perform on a set by the sisters Curley-Clay that is so cool that the audience even applauded when the scene change occurred in front of them in the second act. Andrew Benator has a ball playing two roles. He’s a dentist as well as a police officer who just happens to look a lot like him. And he changes costumes and personae in split seconds.

Lala Cochran is Liz, a woman who is keen on the dentist; but her BFFs, Mary (Kerrie Seymour) and Jo (Kate Kneeland) have some deep concerns after hearing of something that happened to the one of the dental hygienists working for the guy she’s seeing. The fears grow deeper when Liz’s daughter, Amanda (Caroline Arapoglou) decides to accept an invitation to go on a camping trip with the weirdo dentist, while Mommy stays behind. That’s when Mary and Jo pull in an old squeeze, Trenner (Justin Walker) to aide in safeguarding the daughter.

The scenes shift quickly from Mary & Jo’s home, to a store, to the cop shop and to the canyons in Utah. And there is not a minute that goes by without the audience rolling in the aisles, as anything which could go awry seems to do so. But, all does go well in the end, and the play’s the thing.

There is quite a bit of sexual suggestivity in the script, so it may not be of the kiddies; but if you’re over 15 and under 115, it should provide a very enjoyable couple of hours.

The Aurora is in Lawrenceville and there is free covered parking connected to the theatre. For more info just visit AuroraTheatre.com


The Illusionists

The Illusionists
Fox Theatre
through October 2, 2016

If you enjoy magicians of various genres then this is a show that feels as if it is right out of Vegas. They started in Australia 4 years ago and have been touring around the world to some great audiences.

The principals consist of 7 performers, and there are another 5 assistants who help to move things along. One great aspect of the show is that they have live video coverage of what they are doing and it is projected onto a large overhead screen at stage center, so that every seat in the house has a great close-up view.

A few of the schticks are a little gross, and probably not for the kiddies. Like the Houdini type of escape from a water cell by Andrew Basso. Or, the one when Dan Sperry, the Anti-Conjuror, moves a coin trough his eyeball to his arm. Like fire-eating; these are tricks you do not want to try at home.

Ben Blaque comes on as the Weapon master who uses his crossbow in a way that would make William Tell soil his underwear. And Colin Cloud does his mind reading as you figure he has to have background info in the audience participants; but if they’re shills we’ll never know.

The Inventor is Kevin James, and he is a delight with his origami and other creations. He can really snow the audience. And young Yu-Ho-Jin is probably the best card worker you’ve ever seen. It makes you glad they have the close-up shots for you to see.

And if you like somebody who comes off like a Liberace, then Jeff Hobson is your man. He is sort of emcee and also works the house as he is The Trickster.

Overall, it is a show with great production values, and there are plenty of seats available due to so many people watching politicians who seek to magically capture your mind, or what may be left of it.

For more info and seats, just Google or go to FoxTheatre.org


Joe Gransden

Joe Gransden Big Band
Georgia Ensemble Theatre

Atlanta’s 16 player Big Band, under direction of Joe Gransden, has wowed audiences every time they take the stage, be it at a full theatre such as Georgia Ensemble or on the first and third Monday of each month at Café 290 in Sandy Springs.

For the third year they will play a series of four concerts at Georgia Ensemble. This week it was their Swing Central, with many of the arrangements by Wes Funderburk, a noted trombonist and faculty member at GSU.

If you like the big band sounds of groups such as Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller, you’ll flip out for Joe and the band as they go back in time to days when we didn’t have politicians and extra commercials thrown at us relentlessly.

Next up in this esteem concert series will be the Home for the Holidays one-nighter on December 12th. The band will be joined by Laura Coyle, a local jazz vocalist with quite a following. If you don’t know the band or Laura, I am pretty sure you can find plenty of clips at youtube.

For more concert and show info and tickets just visit GET.org


Barefoot in the Park

Barefoot in the Park
Stage Door Players
through October 16, 2016

This is one of Neil Simon’s big winners. When it hit the boards in NYC more than 50 years ago, it ran for more than 1,500 performances. And it was made into that film you may recall with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in the leads.

The story is one that covers just a few days in the lives of the people. Corie (Alyssa Caputo) is just married to Paul (Edward McCreary). She found a flat for them in the city which she thinks will be a good home for them. It has a few problems, inasmuch as it is a six flight hike from the streets, has some maintenance problems, and a weirdo neighbor.

Paul is a lawyer just starting out to try to build a practice, and he may need some more practicing. He’s kind of totally immersed in what he is doing. Corie wishes he could just loosen up a bit and be easier to deal with. Maybe like taking some chances such as parading barefoot in the park.

James Donadio is the not-your-average-type neighbor, Victor Velasco. He’s pretty funny whenever we get to meet him. Corie’s mom, Ethel is played by Ann Wilson. She’s single and Corie gets the idea of trying to hook her up with the nut-case next door. Could such a thing happen? What do you think?

The play is directed by Robert Egizio, and the set works fine for one of those NYC flats that are so small that you have to go out onto the stairs just to change your mind.

A typical Neil Simon work, it may have some problems, but they’re dealt with much humor and provide a very pleasant couple of hours without any politicians talking.

More info and