11
Sep

The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music
City Springs Theatre
through September 19, 2021

The story of the von Trapp family has been written, staged and filmed since the 1950’s and is always an audience builder. Just watching the children on stage certainly reminds one why many actors hate to share the stage with animals or children. They capture your very soul.

Shuler Hensley has once again brought a fully Broadway style production to this lovely local stage in Sandy Springs. And it was wonderful to see that the house was almost sold out. That’s not what we’ve seen these past couple of years. Yes, you must wear a mask, and show proof of vaccinations as well as pass security. But, it is certainly worth doing so.

The story line is loosely based on the story of the von Trapps and how and why they got out of Austria as the Nazi anschluss brought down the government during WWII. Most of us can’t recall every note of every number; but we can never erase numbers like Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss and Sixteen Going on Seventeen. Ellie Fishman plays Maria, who gets hired by Captain von Trapp (Mike McGowan) and the cast of more than 20 players includes the seven von Trapp children that you just want to run up to the stage and hug. While the story is set in terrible times, there is comic relief provided by Max (John Scherer) who wants to promote the family singers into a local concert.

In fact the Trapp Family Singers were a reality and actually toured the United States in the 1940’s. And the remaining von Trapp singers were onstage here a few years ago. It is a show which really resonates more with adults than kids; especially when the final scenes have the swastika flag flying as they escape from the production. Like other productions at City Springs, this one has a full orchestra under the baton of Miles Plant.

Every element of the show is totally professional and this is one you will fully enjoy. It plays only for another week, so get more info and tickets at CitySpringsTheatre.com

30
Aug

Song & Dance

Song & Dance
Aurora Theatre
through September 12, 2021

The Aurora is back in business and their business is to please a house full of happy fans. This time they have brought to the stage Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show that has not been seen by the mobs who know Cats and Phantom.

It’s soooooo different in that the band, under the direction of Ann-Carol Pence is onstage. The title of the show is a brief description of how the show is staged in that Act 1 is all a story of relationships experienced by one woman, played to the hilt by India Tyree. While Act 2 is all dance, with no lyrics; hence the title becomes more obvious as the show goes forth. The dance portion was choreographed by Angela Harris, and there are some exciting moves in it. But, don’t try them at home.

A cast of more than a dozen players do their numbers on a stage with a movable prop staircase and just some ever changing background colors; for as the Bard said, the show’s the thing. This opus is co-directed by Lillianagina Quińones and Justin Anderson.

Know that the Aurora has your safety as first consideration. Bring your vaccination card with you, be ready to pass the temperature check and know that you must wear your mask at all times in the facility. But, we all have to obey the rules if we want to get out of the house at times; so enjoy the show. More info and tickets at AuroraTheatre.com

30
Aug

Vibrant Voices Cabaret

Vibrant Voices Cabarets
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
through September 12, 2021

Geogia Ensemble is back in operation; indoors and with safe protocols. They started a four weekend cabaret series with Joe Gransden and his jazz quartet coming onstage to delight the audience with a great playlist of oldies, featuring singer Robin Latimore one evening and Deb Bowman the following day.

And this past weekend they presented the Ladies of the 80’S when Hannah Marie Craton, Lydia Eku, L’Oreal Roache’, and Katie Patterson took to the stage and brought on so many of the oldies standards you may recall from those days. They were non-stop and delighted the audience with numbers which brought forth memories of Madonna, Tina Turner, Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross and more.

So with Labor Day around the corner, get ready to celebrate Labor Day with a Surf Party tribute to The Beach Boys and their routines. This is the show that played outdoors to a full house this summer and now you can enjoy it without sitting on the lawn or getting soaked in a storm. Chris Damiano, Jeremy Wood, Dolph Amick, Zion Glenn, and Christopher A. Kent bring back the summer surfing gig they presented at Chattahoochee Nature Center. You’ll have Fun Fun Fun with The Beach Boys

And the final weekend brings Terry Burrell & Friends to the stage as they celebrate the music of Johnny Mercer. Come Rain or Come Shine they will work That Old Black Magic once again for you.

Want to get out of the house but feel safe? Georgia Ensemble Theatre is there for you. Easy to get to, free parking, safe environment and great view from every seat. Take your vaccination card with you.More info and tickets at GET.org

25
Aug

The Drowsy Chaperone

The Drowsy Chaperone
Atlanta Lyric Theatre
through September 5, 2021

This is one not to be missed. Take your vaccination card and mask and head off to the theatre for a really fun and insane time.

The setting for the show is a theatre fan (Jamie Grayson) who adores musicals and he recalls a 1928 musical comedy called The Drowsy Chaperone. He goes through his collection of old LPs and finds the album which he puts on to play. And as it plays he is transported into the play itself as the characters seem to appear right in his apartment.

The plot is inane, but makes little difference. Janet (Meg Young) is a celebrated showgirl who wants to quit the stage to marry millionaire Robert (Michael Persson) and she just doesn’t want to show off any more. But, right out of a typical Mel Brooks kind of scene we meet the show producer, Feldzieg (Jono Davis) who has a load of dough invested which he borrowed from the mob. Jay Alexander and Matthew Blum are the gangsters who have invaded the wedding plans and are disguised as pastry chefs. Emeril they are not. So what’s a producer to do?

He hires an egotistic idiotic Latin womanizer to woo Janet and disrupt the wedding plans. Greg Hunter plays Aldolpho. One problem after another arises. Aldolpho woos the wrong woman, and Robert winds up kissing a French gal while he had eye blinders on and never figured out that the Frenchie was actually Janet. Oops! One more thing which could go wrong does so.

The show is a one act production, although the theatre fan does let the audience know as the first LP ends, that this would be an intermission if there were to be one. And, just to make things more insane as he puts on the second LP, it is the wrong show with an entirely different theme. The Chaperone (Kayce Grogam-Wallace) was to keep the bride and the groom apart until they met at the altar. This was during prohibition and it seems that some of the liquids she drank seemed to make her a little sleepy.

The cast of 16 players does a wonderful job, and the finale is just a hoot. I can’t tell you how it works out. Back in 2006 it won the Tony for Best Book of a Musical and also for Best Original Score. It also won for Best Musical as well as 9 other Tonys.

The show moves along without intermission for 110 minutes, under the direction of Spencer G. Stephens belting out 11 numbers with great singing and moving choreography by David Rossetti.
The show may not get grabbed so much by the youngsters, but those of us with some more years really enjoyed it. Please know that Covid protocols are being observed in Cobb County and this facility. But, it is for everybody’s safety. Easy to get to south of Marietta Square, free parking and really good view from every seat in the house. More info and tickets found at AtlantaLyricTheatre.com

24
Aug

Vibrant Voices Cabaret

Vibrant Voices Cabarets
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
through September 12, 2021

Geogia Ensemble is back in operation; indoors and in safe protocols. They started a four weekend cabaret series this past week with Joe Gransden and his jazz quartet coming onstage to delight the audience with a great playlist of oldies, featuring singer Robin Latimore one evening and Deb Bowman the following day.

Coming up August 27-29 will be Ladies of the 80’s. The company details the show as bringing back a decade of music by Hannah Marie Craton, Lydia Eku, L’Oreal Roache’, and Katie Patterson; who will bring you to loving idols like Madonna, Tina Turner, Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross and more.

The weekend of September 3-5 get ready to celebrate Labor Day with a Surf Party tribute to The Beach Boys and their routines. This is the show that played outdoors to a full house this summer and now you can enjoy it without sitting on the lawn or getting soaked in a storm.

And the final weekend brings Terry Burrell & Friends to the stage as they celebrate the music of Johnny Mercer. Come Rain or Come Shine they will work That Old Black Magic once again for you.

Want to get out of the house but feel safe? Georgia Ensemble Theatre is there for you. Just bring your mask and CDC vaccinnation card. Easy to get to, free parking, safe environment and great view from every seat. More info and tickets at GET.org

21
Aug

Becoming Dr. Ruth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Dr. Ruth
Stage Door Theatre
through August 29, 2021

Veteran actor Eileen Koteles, claims the stage at the Stage Door Theatre, as the multi-talented Dr. Ruth, known for her broadcast sex disputations. You meet her as she is packing up her NYC apartment to relocate and in doing so she goes through many of her memories; both good and bad.

For Karola Siegel was born to Jewish parents in Germany as the Nazis came to power, and lives changed for millions during the days of the Holocaust. She was sent off to Switzerland as a youngster to allegedly enjoy the safety and life style, but things don’t always come out as hoped for. Reminds one of how the preacher told his flock blessed should be those who expected nothing for they shall not be disappointed.

This incredible woman followed many paths always reinventing herself on her journey to become a doctor; albeit hers wound up as a Ph.D. The show is one of great poignancy for those who may have been around in those days. It certainly isn’t for children, but is a wonderfully done one-woman show, under the direction of George Fox, and gives everybody in the house something to think about and reflect on their own journeys.

Stage Door Players is observing proper protocols and asks that you arrive in a timely manner and wear your masks in the facility. East to get to, free parking, a comfortable venue and at top-notch production. More info and tickets at StageDoorTheatreGA.org

16
Aug

Red Speedo

Red Speedo
Actor’s Express
through September 5, 2021

So you have heard of some athletes who have used performance enhancing drugs to get them to a finish line easier and faster; whether it be in the marathon, or a wresting match or even the recent Olympics.

Lucas Hnath wrote this one about a swimmer working up for the Olympics who gets into a dilemma when some of those drugs are found in near the locker room at the pool. The swimmer, Ray (Marlon Andrew Burnley) is the really buff guy in those Speedos. Rest easy. You do not need to be wearing Speedos in the audience. Ray has a brother, Peter (Brian Ashton Smith) who is an attorney and acts has Ray’s agent. Peter has worked out a deal for Ray to get an endorsement contract with Speedo should he prevail in the upcoming competition.

But coach (Rob Cleveland) is more concerned with performance than with public relations, and the problem starts to get more difficult when Peter wants Ray to lie about things, and he even offers to buy off Coach with a hefty sum if he will step back and shut up. That’s not going to happen. And even Ray’s ex-girlfriend Lydia (Alexandra Ficken) gets pulled into the scene, inasmuch as she may have been the source for some of those goodies in the past.

The story is set pool-side, by the locker room area and it goes from self indulgence to self determination, to self defense among the characters. Directed by Freddie Ashley, the energetic play runs about 90 minutes and strict Covid rules are in effect. You will need to bring your proof of vaccination cards, or a photo of them, with you; or a recent good test result. Full details, including show times and tickets are easy to get to online at Actors-Express.com

9
Aug

Circle Mirror Transformation

 

Circle Mirror Transformation
Onstage Atlanta
through August 22, 2021

This is a very odd theme work that may not be best choice for kids or some folks who are real theatre buffs. When this play by award winning Annie Baker hit the boards in 2010 it won an Obie for Best New American Play. Since then it has garnered varying reviews.

The cast of five players are set in the small Vermont Town, Shirley’s Community Center where they are going through some six week course to learn acting skills. As the show opens you aren’t clued in to the premise; and all seems to be a metaphor for life in general by some disturbed locals. They meet together doing things like acting as props, acting as the see each other, projecting to times to come and memorizing small parts of each other’s comments.

Danon Dastague is Marty, the course lader and, Michael Donelan, Elizabeth Hirsch-Tauber, Cady Walls, and Joshua Williams play the roles of the four students in this work directed by Charlie Miller. The object of the show is to dive into the persona of these actors as they go through some slow moving segments interwoven with plenty of silence. The performance running time is about 2¼ hours with one intermission.

Know that Onstage observes Covid protocols so that you must be masked at all times in the building, and no food nor drink shall be consumed inside. They also observe social distancing seating so that you shall be safe. For more info and tickets visit them at OnstageAtlanta.com

 

19
Jul

Scandal: Sealab

Scandal: Sealab
Dad’s Garage
through September 24, 2021

Each Friday, take a voyage to Dad’s Garage to the soap opera now staged 20,000 leagues below the sea in the Aquatic Nuclear International Station (ANIS) where the show, developed by Jamie Warde will perform a new story every week, as a cast of several players in some weird costumes respond to a story line they knew nothing of, before the improvisor narrator who is onstage next to the keyboard player calls them onstage and feeds them the interaction scenario.

Improv is the specialty of Dad’s Garage where they’ve done such work for more than 20 years, and they can still bring the house down as they hit the boards. Appropriate social distancing and other safety measures are observed, and it is a delight to see great stuff back to be performed live onstage.

If you’ve had enough on TV of doctors and politicians, this is one terrific relief. Located south of Little Five Points with free parking, open bar, and some goodies, Dad’s Garage is easy to get to and enjoyable to visit. This is not a show for the kiddies, but isn’t going to offend those of us who are old enough to buy a beer.

More info at DadsGarage.com

19
Jul

Summer Surf Party!

Summer Surf Party!
Geogia Ensemble Theatre
through July 25, 2021

Georgia Ensemble has brought back the fabulous five band members to take us back in years and to the beach; albeit this one is on the Hooch at Chattahoochee Nature Center. But, fear not. Wear what you want, bring what you want to munch on, and if you want to clap in time, dance in line, sing along or just go back in time this is a great evening of fun and music from the old days, and a tribute to the Beach Boys and Rock.

They do observe the usual social distancing norms, and there are tables under the pavilion and tent area; while you can also buy lawn tickets and bring your own chairs. You will love the presentations by Dolph Amick and Christopher Kent on guitars, backed up by Jeremy Wood on the keys, Chris Damiano on Bass and Zion Glenn on the drums. Each of these players pour loads of energy into every number.

So if you wish they could all be California Girls you will enjoy this one. Show time is 8pm and they play Thursday through Sunday. You can get there early as they open at 7 and they do have a bar available. For more info and tickets go to GET.org/summer-surf-party