Tag: Jarrod Zimmerman

Review: Trevor the Musical (Writers Theatre)

Eli Tokash and Salisha Thomas star as Trevor and Diana Ross in Trevor the Musical, Writers Theatre             
         

Trevor     
   
Written by Dan Collins (book/lyrics)
   and Julianne Wick Davis (music)
Writers Theatre, Glencoe, IL (map)
thru Oct 8  |  tix: $35-$80  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     

September 5, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Days Like Today (Writers Theatre)

Jonathan Weir and Emily Berman star in Writers Theatre's "Days Like Today" by Alan Schmuckler and Laura Eason, directed by Michael Halberstam. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)        
      
Days Like Today

Music and Lyrics by Alan Schmuckler 
Book by Laura Eason 
Directed by Michael Halberstam
Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor, Glencoe (map)
thru July 27  |  tickets: $35-$70   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

July 4, 2014 | 1 Comment More

Review: Sweet Charity (Writers’ Theatre)

Tiffany Topol as Charity in Writers' Theatre's "Sweet Charity" by Neil Simon and Cy Coleman, directed by Michael Halberstam. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)       
      
Sweet Charity 

Book by Neil Simon
Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Directed by Michael Halberstam
Musical direction by Doug Peck
Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe (map)
thru March 31  |  tickets: $35-$75   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

February 5, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks)

Petruchio (Matt Mueller) carries off his bride Katherina (Ericka Ratcliff) in the Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks' production of "The Taming of the Shrew", adapted and directed by Rachel Rockwell. (photo credit: Michael Litchfield)        
       
The Taming of the Shrew 

Written by William Shakespeare  
Adapted and Directed by Rachel Rockwell 
at various Chicago parks (dates and locations)
thru Aug 19  |  tickets: FREE   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

August 1, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Gypsy (Drury Lane Oakbrook)

GYPSY-Emily Leahy, Klea Blackhurst and John Reeger       
      
Gypsy 

Arthur Laurents (book), Jule Styne (music), 
and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics)
Directed by William Osetek
at Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook (map)
thru March 25th  |  tickets: $35-$46  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

January 27, 2012 | 4 Comments More

Review: A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre)

Tiny Tim (Roni Akurati) proclaims, “God bless us everyone!” on the shoulders of Ebenezer Scrooge (Larry Yando), in the 34th annual production of Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol.       
      
A Christmas Carol 

Written by Charles Dickens 
Adapted by Tom Creamer
Directed by Steve Scott 
Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn (map)
thru Dec 31  |  tickets: $25-$92   |  more info  
       
Check for half-price tickets  
         
        Read entire review
     

December 4, 2011 | 2 Comments More

REVIEW: The Music Man (Marriott Theatre)

         
        

Iowa Splendid

 

 

Bernie Yvon and Danny Coonley in The Music Man - Marriott Theatre

    
Marriott Theatre presents
   
The Music Man
   
Book/Music/Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Directed by
Gary Griffin
at
Marriott Theatre, Linconshire (map)
through Jan 9  |  tickets: $40-$48  |  more info

Reviewed by Lawrence Bommer

For reasons we can only guess at, Marriott Theatre has picked it for their holiday offering. But if ever a show spelled out summer, it’s Meredith Willson‘s 1957 masterpiece The Music Man. Throughout the rollicking story the title character exudes sunny optimism, a flimflam that "Professor" Harold Hill wants to believe as much as the suckers who take it in. His buoyant drive fits the season like a picnic. You’ll forget about the winter completely over the next 150 minutes.

Johanna McKenzie Miller and Bernie Yvon in The Music Man - Marriott TheatreOf course Hill is a 1912 confidence man who hornswaggles a ragtag band into playing music, a shy boy into speaking, a town into believing in itself and a librarian into love. The sturdy story is perfectly embedded in a very particular time capsule, with Willson meticulously employing with glorious abandon assorted slang, celebrities and colorful metaphors from the era and the state.

Helping this miracle worker Hill cast his spell, Willson gives him such powerful persuasion as "Seventy-Six Trombones" and "Trouble," the famous snake-oil sermon. By the musical’s end Hill has sold far more than he knows, a passel of dreams for River City to grow on. It’s a great formula: A mysterious stranger comes to town and changes everyone for the best, including himself when he realizes that what he gives is worth far more than what he sells.

Few shows strike such a shrewd balance between downhome decency and showbiz savvy. Because The Music Man wears its songs on its sleeve, it can’t seem too slick or smooth. What matters is the tender loving care.

The heart comes through like a charm in Marriott Theatre’s easy-winning, arena revival. Intimately homespun yet always knowing, Gary Griffin’s staging trusts the material, Willson’s fast-moving book, deceptively clever lyrics and unimprovable melodies–and gets them right throughout.

The look, for instance: Tom Ryan‘s clever, flexible and detailed set pieces combine to create a richly nostalgic Iowa setting, and Nancy Missimi’s fashionplate period costumes complete the illusion.

The human illusions are equally on target. Conning with unforced charm, Bernie Yvon offers a Harold Hill who listens as much as hoodwinks; like a good salesman he connects with the townsfolk until you see how much he means it. His charm is non-negotiable, though the changes he undergoes are a bit harder to measure under Yvon’s boundless confidence.

Barbara Cook and Shirley Jones notwithstanding (comparisons are odious), Johanna McKenzie Miller nicely inhabits Marian’s rich mix of spinster standoffishness and idealistic yearning. Her "Till There Was You" is earned by every line she’s said. (The fact that she also sounds just like Cook in her perfect prime doesn’t hurt in the least either.)

The cast of The Music Man - Marriott Theatre 2

Johnny Rabe and Danny Coonley in The Music Man - Marriott Theatre Johanna McKenzie Miller and Bernie Yvon in The Music Man - Marriott Theatre 3

Like the leads, the supporting roles betray much more life than art, even the hammy stock roles like John Reeger‘s pompous mayor, Iris Lieberman as his starched-blouse wife, Mary Ernster as Marian’s matchmaking mother and Andy Lupp as Hill’s gleeful trickster accomplice.

As the decent local kids whom Harold helps, Adrian Aguilar and Amanda Tanguay carry the romantic subplot with goofy grace. Special credit goes to little Johnny Rabe whose bashful Winthrop wails out "Gary, Indiana" as if he just made it up.

Finally, Matt Raftery‘s unshowy choreography reminds us that these are unpretentious Iowans whooping it up as best they can: There’s no showoff hoofing here. The “Shipoopi” explodes with prewar pep and a palpable joy that makes the most difficult dancing seem a gift to perform as much as perceive. David Kreppel’s musical direction is assured, especially in the barbershop-quartet offerings.

 

  
  
Rating: ★★★★
 
 

The performance schedule is Wednesdays at 1pm and 8pm, Thursday and Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4:30pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 1pm and 5pm.  There will be an added performance Tuesday, 11/23 at 8pm and Friday, 11/26 at 4:30pm.  No performances Tuesday-Thursday, Nov 24th and 25th.

The cast of The Music Man - Marriott Theatre

 

 

November 16, 2010 | 0 Comments More