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Theatre Review Editor, Kathy Carpenter is accepting applications from qualified persons for inclusion on our review staff.
We are especially looking for someone to cover North County. Please contact her at kathy.carpenter4@gte.net

Have a question or comment? Do you have a show/event you would like us to review? Please send an email to : theater@sdwriteway.org

 

REVIEW: MY FAIR LADY

MFL1

Cygnet Theatre Presents

My Fair Lady

Book & Lyrics By Alan/Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Director Sean Murray

Reviewed by Kathy Carpenter
Old Town Theatre
4040 Twiggs St. San Diego, CA 92110
619-337-1525
www.cygnettheatre.com
My Fair Lady is delightfully done. Murray makes a momentous musical. A classic play done in the thirties. Pure entertainment.

The story is exactly the same as is the beautiful score. The only difference you'll see in this London 1930's version is the costumes. But they still have wonderful hats and a fabulous thirties outfits.

Murray's take is that Henry  Higgin's doesn't so much as transform Eliza Doolittle as set her free. /unleashes the power that's been hidden inside her.

What a fantastic job by Murray who not only directed by starred as Henry Higgins. Allison Spratt Pearce equally fantastic as Eliza Doolittle. They did this intimate version proud. I personally loved Ron Choularton as Eliza's dad, such a great character. Then we have the loveable Tom Stephenson as Colonel Pickering. I also love Freddy, in this case played by the adorable Charles Evan Jr. Rounding out this terrific cast is Bryan Banville, Katie Whalley Banville, Ralph Johnson, Linda Libby, and Debra Wanger. Cast extraodaire.

Music, the audience loved the fun numbers "With A Little Bit of Luck" and " Get Me To The Church On Time" by Choularton. I liked that the audience was invited to sing along with them for a verse. I of course love the entire score but my favorite is was probably "I could have Danced All Night."

If you love My Fair Lady or musicals don't miss this Amazing show.


Next at the Cygnet -
The Whale
May 14- June 14, 2015

 

 

REVIEW:LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE

loveloss

Philip Roger Roy & Dana Matthow
Presents
Love, Loss, and What I Wore
By Nora Ephron & Delia Ephron


Reviewed by Kathy Carpenter

Based on the Book by Ilene Beckerman
Directed by John Anderson

February 25, - March 22, 2015
Wednesday through Sunday
Lyceum Theatre 
79 Horton Plaza, San Diego 92101

Love, Loss, and What Wore, is a truly unique women bonding theatric experience.
"Funny, empathizing, totally female-bonding-entertainment!" A great date for a ladies night out.

Five woman come together, and what I love is the acting is so wonderful, you believe the stories and occurrences happened to them. But they are only acting a part.

Deanna Driscoll, Melinda Gilb, Jacole Kitchen, Elsa Matinez, and Rachael Vanwormer, all the five extremely believable actresses Who share stories of different memorable garments throughout their lives. Coming together over certain aspects. As woman we totally relate to what they say whether you are a fashionista or not. If you are totally not into clothes or even purses ( as one gal isn't) you will still enjoy the show.As you can relate to other woman you know or agree with the non-fashion character in the show.

Clothes are the universal theme. As woman we get it. Bring a friend and come on out to Love, Loss, and What I Wore. To share the memories of a lifetime.

 

 

 

REVIEW:WEST SIDE STORY

Review - West Side Story
Spreckels Theatre
Reviewed by Kathy Carpenter
Directed by James Vasquez
Choreographed by Randy Slovacek
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurentis

Presented by San Diego Musical Theatre                            
February 13 - March 1, 2015

http://spreckels.net/new/images/100years1.jpg
121 Broadway, San Diego
Tickets: 858 560 5740
www.sdmt.org

West Side Story has endured over sixty years, and is still relevant in today's world. San Diego Musical Theatre had eleven hundred people in attendance for the opening night of West Side Story. With that many people, some are going to love the show and others aren't. As a reviewer I wanted to love the show but actually probably fall somewhere in the middle. 
SDMT choose West Side Story to open the 2015 season. The first show at the fabulous Spreckles Theatre because previous audience members voted it the play they most wanted to see. And I guess they did by the size of the crowd.

West Side Story is a Romeo and Juliet story brought to the streets of West Side New York City, during the dog days of summer, 1957. Two gangs fight for territory. The Sharks and the Jets. Puerto Ricans vs Americans. The romance is forbidden love, between Tony the leader of the Jets and Maria, sister of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks. Through the violence and peer pressure the lovers remain true to themselves. Not as quite as tragic as Romeo and Juliet things don't end well for the lovers. However the play shows us a renewal of hope and spirit.

Jessica Soza as Maria was spot on. And Jeffrey Scott Parsons as Riff nailed it. When I walking out of the thestre I said they were the best. Then I saw Soza just toured internationally as Maria, thus she has it down. And Parsons played Phil Davis in SDMY's White Christmas, which I loved. The two were by far the best.

Jacob Caltrider as Tony and Soza admittedly did have chemistry, and their voices blended together nicely. Jessica Soza definitely had the strongest voice in the cast. However my favorite songs were her duets with Caltrider, "Tonight" and "Somewhere," Beautiful and so romantic. The other number I loved "I Feel Pretty." 

The other stand out in this cast for me was Andrew J. Koslow as Action. A definate talant. Natelie Nucci played Anita. The rest of the cast is huge and with a few more shows under their belts will kill it.

This show is mainly composed of dancing and fighting, and even dance fighting. All of which takes tons of choreography. Shout out to Randy Slovacek, tremendous job. Also, as always a great job Don Master and his 28 member orchestra.

As with a lot of theatres San Diego Musical Theatre wants to give back to other non profit organizations. Their mantra is You Give We Give. For this show they have teamed up with Second Chances : an organization that creates opportunities for people to transform their lives. Cast members will have buckets for you to donate into on your way out of the theatre.

If you are one of the people who wants to see "West Side Story" you would probably be like the person walking out behind me and think the show was awesome. So come on down. Just seeing inside the spectacular Spreckles is worth the time.

Coming next May 22 - June 7, 2015 "Singin' in the Rain"

 

 

REVIEW:WHITE CHRISTMAS


Irving Berlin's White Christmas 
Directed by Todd Nielsen
Book by David Ives and Paul Blake
Presented by San Diego Musical Theatre 
Reviewed by Diane Dunaway Kramer
December 11th to 21st, 2014 
Tickets: 858 560 5740
www.sdmt.org

Lush and magical, San Diego Musical Theatre producers, Gary and Erin Lewis and Director Todd Nielsen have brought to life the  pageantry of a traditional Christmas combined with fun romance and comedy. 

SDMT White Christmas

San Diego Musical Theatre's "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" December 11-21, 2014 at the The North Park Theatre.
Starring (left to right) Todd DuBail*(as Bob Wallace), Allison Spratt Pearce* (as Betty Haynes),
Jeffrey Scott Parsons* (as Phil Davis) and Tro Shaw* (as Judy Haynes).
*= Members of Actors Equity Association. Photo Credit: Ken Jacques.

Gorgeous costumes (Janet Pitcher), high energy choreography (Lisa Hopkins and Keenon Hooks), and a 21 piece orchestra, (Don Le Master) make this one of the most smile-worthy Christmas productions ever.

Set just after WWII, as in the movie by the same name, former G.I.s, Bob Wallace (Todd DuBail) and Phil Davis (Jeffrey Scott Parsons) meet a sister-act made up of Betty Haynes (Allison Spratt Pearce) and Judy Haynes, (Tro Shaw).  Romantic sparks fly, at least between Phil and Judy, who decide to continue their own romance and and scheme to bring Bob and Betty together. 

A white lie brings Bob and Betty along with Phil and Judy to  a small Vermont Inn to perform in a community show. However an unusual lack of snow has kept away holiday crowds, while past bills have conbined to threaten everyone's plans and bankrupt the Vermont Inn, now owned by Bob and Phil's former general, Henry Waverly played by Ed Hollingsworth. All ends well as kind hearts, a little well-intended manipulation and sweet moments between lovers, combine to solve everyone's problems.

Stand-out performances were delivered by Todd DuBail and Allison Spratt Pearce, whose glorious voices made the most of Irving Berlin's brilliant score. Especially fabulous dance performances were logged by Jeffrey Scott Parsons and Tro Shaw, who were a delight to watch. However, who really brought the house down was Karla J. Franko, playing Martha Wilson, General Waverley's aging secretary, whose powerful belt and fun dance number both surprised and delighted everyone.

Surprises continued in the second act when Clare Scheper, playing Waverly's granddaughter, Susan, stole the show with her star quality song and dance. San Diego will no doubt be seeing more of her.

White Christmas is charming from it's first scene to its last. So, if you'd like to drop the Christmas rush for an evening or matinee, Irving Berlin's White Christmas is a great bet for the whole family to get a taste of an old fashion Christmas combined with a magically memorable song and dance extravaganza. 

Note also that San Diego Music Theater's 2015 season will be held in the Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego.
The 2015 line up includes such favorites as, West Side Story, Singing in the Rain, and La Cage Aux Folles. 
Season tickets now available.

 

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