Apr 28

When Crowd-Pleasing Isn’t Always A Good Thing: THE FULL MONTY

teve Gagliastro (as Harold Nichols), Nick Sulfaro (as Malcolm MacGregor), Michael Timothy Howell (as Jerry Lukowski), Corey Jackson (as Dave Bukatinsky), Andrew Oberstein (as Ethan Girard), David L. Jiles, Jr. (as Noah "Horse" T. Simmons); photo credit: Carla Donaghey

The Full Monty; book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by David Yazbek, Stoneham Theatre, 4/12/12-5/6/12, http://stonehamtheatre.org/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) I remember once going to see Gremlins 2 as a child and thinking immediately afterwards that it was just as good as the original. It had so much that was…fun!  Continue reading

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Jan 30

A Well-Done Introduction to a Classic: THE WIZARD OF OZ

Katherine Leigh Doherty as Dorothy and ensemble in the Wheelock Family Theatre production of The Wizard of Oz. photo by Tony Paradiso.

The Wizard of Oz, By L. Frank Baum, music and lyrics by E. Y. Harburg, adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company, based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and disbuted in all media by Warner Bros, Wheelock Family Theatre, 1/27/12-2/26/12, http://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/feature-performance.aspx.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) If I hear one more mediocre stage actress imitate Judy Garland’s tortured delivery of Dorothy Gale from the movie version of The Wizard of Oz, I will buy the Wicked Witch of the West a poncho.  Inadequate productions of L. Frank Baum’s bizarre story often parrot the rampant overacting of the movie, with disastrous results.

Luckily, Wheelock Family Theatre director James P. Byrne and actress Katherine Leigh Doherty (Dorothy) set a fresh and nuanced tone to their production of The Wizard of Oz, rallying most of the cast to create characters that are both vibrant and familiar.  Continue reading

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