15
Jun

Morningside

Morningside
Onstage Atlanta
through June 29, 2019

Atlanta playwright, Topher Payne put together a nutty story where a bunch of women show up for a baby shower. Well, maybe they don’t all show up, and that may be part of the story.

This show is an all female cast who really get into the party gone awry. Patty Mosley Nelson is the mother who is hosting the party and trying to get things set up in her garden area. Roxanne (Bobbie Elzey) is just hanging out, thinking that it must be five o’clock someplace. Any excuse is good enough for her. Felicia (Marquelle Young) is trying to help out, but it often seems like trying to ski up a hill. Same sort of situation for Louise (Lynn Grace).

Kate Ash and Rylee Bunton are the sisters Devyn and Clancy; and families are families, you get the idea? The other ladies you will meet are played by Laurie Winkel, Jillian Walzer and Lory Cox. This group of ladies includes a doctor, an architect, a realtor, bartender, and home makers; and each of them has her own set of values and expectations.

The cast all female, and the show is directed by Cathe Hall Payne. Barry N. West created a set that works perfectly, and the audience really felt as if they were invited to this social disaster. But they can also go to the concession stand at intermission, and get themselves a glass of Prosecco to join in with the ladies who party.

Note that Onstage has moved to a new facility which is located at 3041 N. Decatur Road just of East Ponce near 285. Like the previus venue every seat is comfy and has unobstructed view. But this house is a bit small, so get your reservations made sooner, rather than last minute. More info at OnstageAtlanta.com

11
Jun

Working

Working
Out of Box Theatre
through June 22, 2019

Back in 1974 Studs Terkel wrote a book based on interviews with loads of ordinary working folks. It was Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. A few years later Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso took the story line and created this musical. It had a very brief run in NYC in 1978, but has been produced in many other localities in the past 40 years; because in reality while we think things may have changed, maybe they haven’t changed that much.

So you get to journey back in time with a dozen actors who sing their way through their work and ordeals. The 14 numbers they present in a cabaret fashion include numbers by workers who are delivery drivers, truck drivers, housewives, cleaning ladies, a stone mason, corporate executive, millworker and others.

Some of the numbers are by two composers who have heard of quite a bit. Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton and Stephen Schwartz who did Godspell and other works.

Kristen Storla directed this one with music direction by Annie Cook. It is done on a thrust stage setting with seats on three sides, and every seat has an unobstructed close-up view.

This one is a very energetic production in which player gives it his/her all, be in solo or in chorus. More info at OutOfBoxTheatre.com

10
Jun

Five Guys Named Moe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Guys Named Moe
Theatrical Outfit
through June 30, 2019

You may not quickly recall the King of the Jukebox, but you’ll recall some of Louis Jordan’s numbers. He was a very talented songwriter and singer and he also could play the sax and the keys.

In this cabaret style performance we meet Nomax (Sterling McClary) who is having some relationship concerns. The five Moes are going to mentor him and work him through things.

The classy swing styled Moes, Big Moe, Eat Moe, Four-eyed Moe, Little Moe, and No Moe are played to the hilt by Eric Moore Omar Madden, Lawrence Flowers, Eugene H. Russell, IV and with Trevor Rayshay Perry stepping in as well.

The six piece on-stage band has S. Renee Clark on the keyboard and as conductor, with Lorenzo Sanford on drums, Ramon Pooler on bass, Lester Walker on trumpet, Earl Ford on Trombone and James Robinson on the sax.

You will really move along to numbers like Messy Bessy, Let the Good Times Roll, and Choo Choo C’Boogie. As Act I comes to a close you’ll want to join in singing Push Ka Pi Shi Pie, and you may wish to join others who will dance away the act.

You will enjoy great numbers, great performers, and dance steps that will make you gasp when you witness them. They work through two dozen numbers and you’ll enjoy every one of them. It’s a great way to bring down the curtain on this season for the Theatrical Outfit.

But, . . . there’s more . . . Joe Gransden and his band will take the stage for one night only, June 23rd, when they present Lady Day Sings the Blues, with Terry Burrell stage center. More info at TheatricalOutfit.org

8
Jun

Oliver!

Oliver!
Atlanta Lyric Theatre
through June 23, 2019

You know a show is a standard when it runs 50+ years, and this one hit the boards in London 59 years ago. Dickens probably would have liked it, albeit Fagin’s antisemitism is toned down these days.

And while you may not recall all the details you know the young lad was in a workhouse, where all they got to eat was some gruel; and he is remembered for holding out his bowl and asking for more. Then he gets sold off to some baddies, and gets trained to pick a pocket or two.

Young Vinny Montague is fantastic as Oliver, and he is backed up by an ensemble of more than a dozen other young performers who do a fine job. You have to think you’ll see them as their careers progress.

Fagin is played by Jeff McKerley, and Heidi Cline McKerley directed this fine cast. The Artful Dodger, who is assigned to tutor Oliver, is played by Colby Howell. And Brian Kurlander comes on in Act II as the dangerous Bill Sikes. Daniel Cook is that meanie, Mr. Bumble; and Jennifer Alice Acker is Nancy, who gets caught up in all the situations.

But, know that even though there could be even more tragic endings at the London Bridge, that at least Oliver survives and there is some very good news breaking for him.

Cristina Dinella had the score timed perfectly and all worked well. You’ll want to quietly sing along to many of the numbers by Lionel Bart, such as Food, Glorious Food at the workhouse, You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two in his first training session, the Oom-Pah-Pah number at the 3 Cripples Pub, and the funny Reviewing the Situation when Fagin contemplates retirement.

The show is fine for ages 8 to 98, and good views from every seat in the house. Plenty of free parking, but try to get there a little earlier for spaces closer to the entrance. This is another star on the banner for staging excellent musical shows. More info at AtlantaLyricTheatre.com