Review Roundup – III

BWW Review: THE ADDAMS FAMILY A NEW MUSICAL is Creepy Funny at the New Theatre in Overland Park

By Steve Wilson | July 19, 2015

All things ghoulish, macabre, ghastly, and a little bit frightening are alive and well living within the walls of the Addams Family home. The only place to see this outrageous musical comedy is at the New Theatre in Overland Park.Richard Carrothers directs The Addams Family a New Musical running through September 20 at the dinner theater. Daniel Doss provides musical direction and Katelin Zelon the choreography for the delightful yet maybe a little bizarre musical.

The musical based on the characters in gag cartoons created by Charles Addams with book by Marshall Brickmanand Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa opened on Friday July 16. The production opened on Broadway in April of 2010, running until December 31, 2011. The original Broadway production received two Tony Award nominations and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design, the Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and Distinguished Performance, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design.  [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

PHIL POTEMPA: Theatre at the Center has Elvis energy with fun run of ‘All Shook Up’

By Phil Potempa | July 21, 2015

When my editor caught the run dates for Theatre at the Center‘s new production of “All Shook Up,” the Elvis Presley inspired stage musical, she drew my attention to the closing show date — Aug. 16.

As she pointed out, it’s the same fateful date of the anniversary of Presley’s death at age 42 in 1977.

Even for those who are not a fan of The King, there’s no denying his lasting impact and impression on others.

Actor David Sajewich gives Elvis his due, and then some, starring as the lead for this polished run of “All Shook Up,” which is the perfect example of summer stage musical fun.

It runs just slightly more than two hours, including one intermission and Sajewich is cast as the Elvis-tribute lead character “Chad,” a musical rebel with likeable qualities who manages to cast a spell over an entire small town.

All of the greatest hits from the Presley music library are showcased, woven with nostalgic rock n’ roll highlights, romance and silly mix-ups with Theatre at the Center Artistic Director Bill Pullinsi and Jeff Award-winning choreographer Danny Herman co-directing. The musical features the book by Tony Award-winning Joe DiPietro.

What makes this musical so charming is it doesn’t attempt to be serious or life-changing. Instead, it embraces an almost cartoon quality to entertain and leave audiences smiling. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on ALL SHOOK UP.

‘Spamalot’ light on nutritional value but laughably easy to digest

By Don McLeese | July 20, 2015

By the middle of the curtain-call reprise of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” it was hard to tell who was having more fun: the standing, clapping and singing audience at the Des Moines Community Playhouse or the dancing, clowning, and mugging troupe onstage.

Through two hours of “Spamalot” — songs and swords, punchlines and blackouts, Finland and flatulence, flying cows and a decapitating attack by a vicious rabbit — the anything-goes comedic farce had once again demonstrated its durability.

Many in the audience weren’t even born when some of these bits were fresh, after the 1975 film “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” became a cult favorite, twisting the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table into a slapstick quest. Thirty years later, Python’s Eric Idle reshaped the material into a Tony-celebrated Broadway musical, a play that stretched the plot even thinner with one of the silliest scores on record. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on SPAMALOT.