16
Jun

Libby at Actor’s Express

Libby at Actor’s Express
through June 18, 2017

Libby Whittemore’s final cabaret of the season is this weekend at Actor’s Express. The show, The More the Merrier, features numbers done by more than one female singer dating from the 1940s to 1990s.

Libby is joined by Lisa Paige and Shawn Megorden, with a five piece band on stage under direction of Robert Strickland. Strickland is not only her music director but he does some creative compositions when he weave medleys for the show.

If you enjoy comfortable close-up cabaret shows, and songs where you can actually understand the words being belted out, then this may be spot-on for you. Libby has had a very faithful audience here for many a year, and she, and her crew, still provide enjoyable evenings.

These shows start at 7:30, and run a little more than 2 hours, so you can plan accordingly. Last night the ladies even managed to easily work through an unusual wardrobe malfunction, but nobody lost their footing.

More info at Actors-Express.com

15
Jun

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia!
Fox Theatre
through June 18, 2017

They’re back again, again! Thank you Fifth Third Bank for bringing such a smash hit back to town. It was last here in 2014, with pretty much the same set. I had said then that the show is a pure delight from the opening number to the closing curtain; and that is just as accurate now . This is a show that really has “legs.”

The real star of this show is the music of ABBA which seems as relevant today as it was years ago. The playwrights took the songs of ABBA and wove a fine tapestry of a plot around them to delight the audiences. The show is a theatrical buffet, featuring a wide array of music, costumes, dance, humor, great lighting and one very versatile set. They’ve spiced up the repartee a bit with a lot of almost single-entendre slightly off-color gags, which adds a little kick to the show. If you have seen it before, you’ll enjoy it again. If you have never seen it, you’ll find it an evening of great joy.

Betsy Padamonsky is just wonderful as Donna Sheridan, the single mom, who’s daughter, Sophie (Lizzie Markson) is to be wed. Sophie wants her dad to give her away, but there’s one problem. Nobody knows which of three former lovers may be her father. So, without telling her Mom, she just invites all three to attend and everything goes somewhat whacko.

The three potential dads, as well as the trio made up of Donna and her 2 BFFs, all have just great voices as well as stage presence; and the choreography is top notch as well.

So, sit back, relax, soak up the lyrics and revel in the joy that transcends the production. This one is a real winner and don’t we wish every visiting show would be just as good.

Warning. . . . Don’t be in a rush to leave at the end of the show. The cast comes back after curtain calls to reprise many of the numbers for another 15 minutes, as the audience joins in. And, if you really liked the songs but couldn’t catch all the lyrics at the Fox, just listen to the CD and you’ll enjoy it all over again.

It closes this weekend, so book your tickets now and enjoy a tradition right up there with Fiddler, Phantom and Cats.

13
Jun

Robin Hood

Robin Hood
Serenbe Playhouse
through August 13, 2017

Serenbe Playhouse is an outdoor theatre company which produces many very original shows in various areas around the village located in the Palmetto – Chattahoochee Hills area off 85 south of town.

You read about, or watched, Robin Hood in various media and adaptations; but this is quite different. Jordan Patrick is the title character and his side-kick, Little John is played by Brady Dunn. A lot of the action is on zip lines as RobinHood, Little John and the Captain of the Guard (Madison Welch) fly from one area in Sherwood Forest to another.

The nasty Sheriff of Nottingham is Kenny Tran, and he is a model for many current day politicians, who have adopted the creed of In Greed we Trust. Kendra Johnson as Scarlet and Casey Shuler as Maid Marian round out the cast.

Paul McGill directed this unusual one-act production which features original music by John Burke. There are some great fight scenes and the archery contest is right out of circus side-show style. The youngsters especially enjoy it as they sit up front on the ground covers and can almost touch the actors.

Keep in mind that all performances run about 50 minutes and are rain-or-shine, so check the weather, wear appropriate clothing and enjoy it. Performances are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. More info and tickets at SerenbePlayhouse.com

11
Jun

Race

Race
Out of Box Theatre
through June 24, 2017

Race, by David Mamet, is an exceptional production. The plot deals with a wealthy white gent who has been accused of raping a young black woman in a hotel. The defendant, Charles Strickland, (Bob Smith) has sought counsel from a firm of two lawyers, a black lawyer, Henry Brown (Erwin Thompson), and his white partner, Jack Lawson (Zip Ramp).

Erica Dee Ragsdale plays Susan, a young black woman recently hired by the firm as an associate. The story is how we see race differences privately as opposed to publicly. This is one that makes one think, not sweat. . . .

The cards are stacked against Strickland. The DA already has sworn statements from the cops, the hotel maid, the alleged victim and others. One lawyer wants to take the case while his partner wants not to do so. It’s obvious that the reason to want the case is the big bucks from Strickland. The question of how a jury may see the events, and how they may process what they see and hear is the central point of the argument between the lawyers.

The script has plenty of typical Mamet expletives, but that’s life these days. The business of law is a business. It is not about justice nor morality and for most lawyers it never has been. I’m won’t tell you how the plot resolves itself. This is one of those scripts that as you sit and listen you can conceive of several different endings. But, you are wrong.

This production is staged in two acts, and is directed by Mia Kristin Smith and Carolyn Shepard Choe. It is a static set, and that’s because it is the spoken lines that are the grit and gist of this story. And the four actors put their ALL into it. It is really a real life drama if you read the news these days. And that says a lot about it’s content. More info and tickets at OutOfBoxTheatre.com

10
Jun

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
Lyric Theatre
through June 25, 2017

It is such a delight when you attend a local theatre only to find the quality of the production is right up to Broadway standards. Right now the Lyric is doing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast musical;  and even if you saw the touring production last year, you will still marvel at this one.

There’s not much memorable about the music, but the sets, props, costumes and choreography are all t