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Wednesday, May 30,2012

Backstage outrage

Egos and ideals clash in entertaining 'Understudy'

by Paul Wozniak
Always on call but never on stage, Harry is in “actor purgatory.” He’s the permanent understudy, destined to be invisible except as the title character of the meta-comedy “The Understudy” at Williamston Theatre.
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Wednesday, May 9,2012

Stormfield Theatre comes down with 'Boogie' fever

by Paul Wozniak
Since the late 1960s, Baldori, a.k.a. “Boogie Bob,” has played piano and harmonica with iconic artists such as Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and others. But without young pop-culture disciples like Jack White or The Black Keys bringing hip attention to boogie woogie, or jukebox musicals like “Million Dollar Quartet” revamping boogie woogie into a Broadway smash, Baldori would be virtually alone in promoting the style.
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Wednesday, May 2,2012

Power, not preachiness

Beauty and brutality collide in fine 'Ruined'

by Paul Wozniak
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mama Nadi’s brothel bustles with soldiers from both sides of the omnipresent, unnamed conflict. Patrons respect Mama’s authority under her roof, leaving their bullets at the door, despite the brutal anarchy outside. But Mama can only remain neutral for so long until she joins the tide or risks being swept away.
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Wednesday, April 18,2012

Not-so-fine wine

'Vino Veritas' is diluted by unconvincing acting

by Paul Wozniak
In addition to its power to impair our vision, speech and judgment, imbibing too much alcohol can also coerce people into saying what they really mean. Hence the premise of “Vino Veritas” — roughly translated “in wine, truth” — a play by David McGregor about unbridled honesty.
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Wednesday, March 28,2012

No easy answers

Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. rises to the challenge of the emotionally charged drama 'Next Fall'

by Paul Wozniak
This isn't science-fiction. It's a question of faith that drives the core conflict between the two lead characters in the Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. production of "Next Fall." In Geoffrey Nauffts' script, the rhetorical debate pits spiritual certainty against science on a personal level.
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Wednesday, March 21,2012

'Murder' is on the menu

'Marsha,' Starlight Dinner Theatre’s frantic parody of mysteries, could have used some script slashing

by Paul Wozniak
Although Starlight Dinner Theatre serves their meal before the performance, sitting through the murder mystery parody "Let's Murder Marsha" feels like enjoying a delicious multi-course meal with excessively slow service. By the time dessert arrives, you're ready for the check.
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Wednesday, March 21,2012

Fans hungry for 'Games'

Much-anticipated movie is already selling out shows

by Paul Wozniak
The long-awaited film debuts in theaters nationwide on Friday, and box office anticipation has immediately conjured up comparisons to the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" franchises. Local IMAX shows are already sold out, and fans of the Suzanne Collins books be may coming to the show dressed in costume.
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Wednesday, March 21,2012

Dream machine

Riverwalk Theatre revs up a gem with 'New Car'

by Paul Wozniak
The play derives its name from one of the opening lines of dialogue: "When women say they want a new car, they want a new life," delivered by the “middle-aged” protagonist Becky — full name Rebecca Foster (Gini Larson).
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Wednesday, February 29,2012

The darker side of the Emerald Isle

While some of the flavor of MSU’s 'Cripple of Inishmaan' gets lost in an audio fog, Edward O'Ryan’s sharply drawn portrait of the title character is pure gold

by Paul Wozniak
While the script avoids easy Irish stereotypes (apart from some brief whisky imbibing and a sarcastic reference to a shalalie), actors remain only one level away from shouting to make their points. Without equally measured diction, the result is often an acoustical echo cloud created by overlapping Irish accents and the dynamics of the Arena Theatre.
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Wednesday, February 22,2012

'Smokey Joe's' is definitely on fire

Riverwalk Theatre presents a rousing celebration of golden oldies

by Paul Wozniak
But the original voices are not essential to spark these songs, as the fantastically talented and diverse cast of Riverwalk Theatre proves. If anything, these remakes typically exceed their original counterparts, giving fresh life to timeless tunes with flair.
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