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Wednesday, July 27,2011

Shakespeare's zoo debut

‘Merchant’ cast provides laughs, but can’t reveal the play’s darker side

by Paul Wozniak
A complex tragic-comedy with religious overtones, sensual puns and poetically barbed insults, “Merchant” shows that expensive courtships have always had life-threatening consequences.
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Wednesday, July 13,2011

'Creek' speak

Star John Lepard talks about Williamston’s latest world premiere

by Paul Wozniak
A culture clash becomes a comic civil war in Williamston Theatre’s “And the Creek Don’t Rise.” Penned by frequent Williamston collaborator Joseph Zettelmaier, “Creek” follows a work-displaced Michigan couple (Williamston Theatre executive director...
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Wednesday, June 29,2011

Bringing contemporary concepts to classic works

Tommy Gomez tackles the TASC of launching a new theater company

by Paul Wozniak
Tommy Gomez does not appear to tire easily. He exudes passionate, kinetic energy about theater. Introduced to the bawdy side of William Shakespeare in high school, Gomez took to the stage to perform with such companies as the Purple Rose Theatre, the California Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, L.
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Wednesday, May 18,2011

Aging in reverse

Michelle Meredith has played maternal roles; in ’Eleemosynary,’ she finally gets to be a kid

by Paul Wozniak
With the maturity that Michelle Meredith displays in every role she plays, one could easily assume she is older than 22. Virtually typecast as mothers and grandmothers, Meredith is a graduate of Michigan State University; she performed alongside Carmen Decker in “Kimberly Akimbo” at Stormfield Theater earlier this year.
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Wednesday, May 4,2011

An earful of melodrama

Opulent ’Vincent’ suffers from a lack of sparks between its stars

by Paul Wozniak
Audiences may not recognize young Vincent Van Gogh from his later brooding, earless self-portraits. Based on true events, "Vincent in Brixton" by Nicholas Wright shows a giddy 20-year-old Van Gogh discovering love and his greater artistic passions while briefly working in London.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Williamston’s 'Bowling' is a solid hit

Sterling stars make 1950s comedy-drama connect

by Paul Wozniak
  Pithy bowling metaphors scarcely describe the Williamston Theatre’s "While We Were Bowling." Carter W. Lewis’ magnificent script takes a curved look at one suburban family in 1957, contrasting the televised ideal to the reality on stage with a poignant and...
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Wednesday, March 16,2011

Uneven ’Akimbo’

Like its teenage heroine, Stormfield’s dark comedy is still finding its way

by Paul Wozniak
A daughter who is dying quickly, a mother who is dying slowly, a father who is killing himself, and a baby to be born in the midst of it all: It sounds dark ' and it is ' but David Lindsay-Abaire’s play "Kimberly Akimbo" is wickedly funny, especially while juggling subjects of death and domestic turmoil.
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Wednesday, February 23,2011

Not to be mist — uh, missed

Riverwalk’s ’Hairspray’ is a stylish sensation

by Paul Wozniak
From cult B-movie to Broadway hit, the aerosol-inspired “Hairspray” is setting the Riverwalk Theatre stage ablaze. Written and composed by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, this pro-justice musical openly mocks ignorance and racial phobias while stomping and sliding to the rhythm of early rock and roll.
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Wednesday, February 2,2011

Out of the ’Ordinary’

by Paul Wozniak
"Ordinary Days" by Adam Gwon is a sentimental, often funny Off-Broadway script that wears its influences on its sleeve. Gwon’s music begs comparisons to Jonathan Larson ("Rent") and Stephen Sondheim ("Sweeney Todd," "Into the Woods"). Unlike Larson and Sondheim, Gwon’s songs lack any memorable hooks.
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Wednesday, January 19,2011

It’s ’Maine’-ly about love

by Paul Wozniak
In a mystical, made-up town, magic manifests from metaphor to material in "Almost, Maine." Filmmaker Nancy Meyers ("It’s Complicated," "The Holiday") would have been proud of John Cariani’s script, which is filled with spontaneous smooches and other expressions of affection.
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