Tag: Danielle Davis

Review: Ragtime (Griffin Theatre)

Laura McClain, Ben Miller and Larry Baldacci star in Ragtime, Griffin Theatre            

By Terrence McNally (book),
Lynn Ahrens (lyric), Stephen Flaherty (music)
at Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru July 22  |  tix: $34-$39  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets    

June 26, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Rent (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre)

Courtney Jones, Parker Guidry, Ron King, Aubrey McGrath, Danielle Davis, Charles Benson, Ella Pennington, Deanalis Resto, Matt Edmonds,          


Written by Jonathan Larson
No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood (map)
thru May 1  |  tix: $39-$44  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

March 18, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: The People’s Return of Neverland (Quest Theatre Ensemble)

Jason Bowen stars as Hook in Quest Theatre's "The People's Return of Neverland" by Andrew Park and Scott Lamps, directed by Andrew Park. (photo credit: Braxton Black)        
The People’s Return
        of Neverland

Book and Lyrics by Andrew Park
Music by Scott Lamps  
Directed by Andrew Park
at The Blue Theater, 1609 W. Gregory (map)
thru March 30  |  tickets: FREE   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

March 1, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Ain’t No Cryin’ the Blues: In the Memory of Howlin’ Wolf (Black Ensemble Theater)

Rick Stone stars as Howlin' Wolf at Black Ensemble Theater's "Ain't No Cryin' the Blues" by Jackie Taylor, directed by Rueben Echoles. (photo credit: Danny Nicholas)        
Ain’t No Cryin’ the Blues: 
In the Memory of Howlin’ Wolf

Written by Jackie Taylor  
Directed by Rueben Echoles
Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark (map)
thru Aug 11  |  tickets: $55-$65   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
             Read entire review

June 23, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: From Doo Wop to Hip Hop (Black Ensemble Theater)

David Simmons and Meghan Murphy star in Black Ensemble Theatre's "From Doo Wop to Hip Hop", written and directed by Jackie Taylor and Rueben Echoles. (photo credit: Danny Nicholas)        
From Doo Wop to Hip Hop

Written and Directed by Jackie Taylor
       and Rueben Echoles  
Music Directed by Robert Reddrick  
Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark (map)
thru April 14  |  tickets: $55-$65   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

February 26, 2013 | 1 Comment More

Review: Six Stories Tall (Adventure Stage Chicago)

Adventure Stage Chicago's "Six Stories Tall" by Marco Ramirez, directed by Tom Arvetis. (photo credit: Johnny Knight)        
Six Stories Tall 

Written by Marco Ramirez  
Directed by Tom Arvetis
at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble (map)
thru Dec 13  |  tickets: $15-$25   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

November 11, 2012 | 3 Comments More

Review: Little Shop of Horrors (Theatre at the Center)

LITTLE SHOP Eva Ruwe, Reneisha Jenkins, Chadae McAlister, Jonathan Lee Cunningham - Little Shop of Horrors, Theatre at the Center Indiana        
Little Shop of Horrors 

Written by Alan Menken (music)
   and Howard Ashman (book, lyrics)
Directed, Choreographed by Stacy Flaster  
Theatre at the Center, Muncie, IN (map)
thru Aug 19   |  tickets: $38-$42   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

July 18, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Nunset Boulevard (Theatre at the Center)


Newest nun revue is less than holy


Lauren Creel, Felicia Fields, Alene Robertson, Nicole Miller & Mary Robin Roth in Theatre at the Center's "Nunset Boulevard" by Dan Goggin.


Theatre at the Center presents


Nunset Boulevard


Written By Dan Goggin
Directed and choreographed by Stacey Flaster
at Theatre at the Center, Munster, IN (map)
through May 29   |   tickets: $20- $40  |   more info

Reviewed by Jason Rost

They say, “When you find something that works for you, stick to it.” Dan Goggin has made a living off of his troop of fictional nuns from Hoboken, New Jersey since the debut of his smash hit musical Nunsense in 1985. After seven spin-offs Goggin has penned the latest nun adventure, Nunset Boulevard. The musical nuns from Jersey travel to California for a gig at the Hollywood Bowl….-A-Rama. It makes some sense that the Chicago area premiere of this new show is being produced at Theater at the Center in Munster, Indiana, since, after all, Northwest Indiana is seemingly Chicago’s Jersey. It’s where we send our landfill, refining and casino gamblers. In this case, it’s where we send somewhat tired musical comedy such as this production directed rather flatly by Stacey Flaster. While there is some huge talent (namely Tony award nominee Felicia Fields) and occasional chuckles, it’s not quite worth the trip down I-90/94 for what is ultimately a cabaret show with too much space to fill.

Mary Robin Roth (Sister Robert Anne) and Nicole Miller (Sister Leo) in Theatre at the Center's "Nunset Boulevard" by Dan Goggin.In their latest outing, our showbiz sisters arrive in Hollywood for what they think is a booking at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Instead, they are scheduled to appear at the Hollywood Bowl-A-Rama, a bowling alley somewhere in Hollywood. While generally Goggin’s nun shows are largely a cabaret style, Sister Hubert (Fields) suggests in this production that they include a plot (in one of the more fun musical numbers of the night). The show is still primarily though a cabaret style performance of comedic bits, musical numbers, improv and interacting with the audience (probably the highlight of the evening). However, there is a through line revolving around Sister Leo (Nicole Miller) and her quest to get “discovered” in Hollywood. It turns out a movie musical about nuns is auditioning across the street. Sister Robert Anne (Mary Robin Roth) is skeptical. She is especially conflicted when Sister Leo asks permission to appear before the casting director without wearing her habit. There is also Sister Amnesia (Lauren Creel), whose schitck is that she lost her memory due to a giant crucifix falling on her head.

The raunchier bits play the best, however there are not many of them. During the improv segment with the audience, there is a game made of naming famous nuns from the movies which rewards certain audience members with very funny religious keepsakes. The fact that the nuns sing and dance isn’t novel enough anymore to carry the interest of the audience over two hours. The Hollywood they are visiting is decidedly a Hollywood of old with songs like “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” and a parade of classic Hollywood blonde bombshells.

Fields provides some wonderful vocals and dry humor to the evening. Creel and Miller are also standouts with their energy. But, Flaster’s direction, along with certain Mary Robin Roth as Sister Robert Anne in Theatre at the Center's "Nunset Boulevard" by Dan Goggin.performances, hamper the pacing. There’s a comedy-killing pause between nearly every line dragging the show down. The cast overall plays too small to fill this space. Also, there were numerous instances where several actors were restarting lines which took the wind out of any possibility for consistent laughs.

Stephen Carmody’s set is a “Vegas meets Magic Kingdom” take on Hollywood. The expansive facade could hold a big band and 20 chorus girls. Instead, we get 3 keyboardists, a drum kit and five nuns. The one-liners and corny, yet sometimes delightful, tunes come across as though they would fit better in a nightclub setting. The formality of this large theatre complex drowns out most of the charm.

Overall, the production elements are too polished and gaudy in contrast with what’s essentially comedic sketches and light songs. The vastness of the theater demands too much non-stop entertainment. I feel the same show could be placed in a setting such as Mary’s Attic (an upstairs bar lounge in Andersonville) and achieve a much better effect on its audience. There is definitely something here for diehard fans of Goggin’s nun series, but not enough to spark any excitement as these Jersey girls’ take on Tinsel Town.

Rating: ★★

Felicia Fields, Lauren Creel, Alene Robertson, Nicole Miller & Mary Robin Roth in Theatre at the Center's "Nunset Boulevard" by Dan Goggin.

Theatre at the Center presents the Chicago Area premiere of Dan Goggin’s Nunset Boulevard, directed by Stacey Flaster, April 28- May 29 at 1040 Ridge Rd, Munster, IN. The performance schedule is Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. The play runs 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission. Tickets are $36 on Wednesdays-Thursdays, and $20-$40 Fridays- Sundays. Tickets may be purchased by phone (219-836-3255) or online at theatreatthecenter.com.

May 13, 2011 | 0 Comments More