Saturday, June 4, 2016

On Stage this Week: "The Wiz," "Peter and the Starcatcher," and "The Great Cable Cooking Show Contest."

Posted By on Sat, Jun 4, 2016 at 2:17 AM

If there's one show people associate with Playhouse on the Square it's Peter Pan. The boy who wouldn't grow up has made Christmastime appearances off and on for years. This season he's back on stage at Circuit Playhouse in a very different kind of show.

Peter & the Starcatcher is a dark-edged and self-aware origin story. It's all about how Peter Pan became Peter Pan and how a certain pirate lost his hand. It's a nifty take on the J.M. Barrie classic. 

In this rehearsal footage from the Circuit Playhouse production you'll note the presence of none other than musical theatre powerhouse David Foster who's been sidelined for most of this season due to medical issues.

It's good to have him back. 
What a piece of work is Hamlet. How evergreen. How ripe for appropriation and parody. Aye, there's the rub. Will Memphis theater audiences be over Shakespeare's original man in black when the curtain rises on New Moon Theatre's February production? That may not be the question, but given all the Hamlet-related shows we're seeing this season, it's one worth asking. Or will productions of shows like The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and One Ham Manlet whet appetites for the real, complete thing?

Paul Rudnick's light comedy I Hate Hamlet is Germantown Community Theatre's contribution to Hamletpalooza, and it sure is a mixed fardel. Rudnick's script is a bumpy muddle of real-estate gags, sitcom hijinks, and splendid set pieces about celebrity, passion, immortality, and tight pants. An uncommonly engaging cast pulls it all together and keeps spirits high, even when the writing threatens to let everybody down...
Long story short, it's a fine production of an uneven play with some great performances that make everything worthwhile. To read the rest of my review, click here

I Hate Hamlet closes at GCT this weekend. 
Also opening this weekend The Great Cable Cooking Show Contest, a new play written and directed by Memphis theater artist Ruby O'Gray.

A synopsis: 
The play is a zany look at chefs from the most unlikely places, who compete in the small town for money and bragging rights for their culinary creations. Five finalists are chosen to prepare their creations for judges and TV land along with storylines that will tickle your funny bone.
The Great Cable Cooking Show Contest is at TheatreWorks through Sunday, June 5, with two shows on Saturday. 

Last but not least... The Wiz.

I'd say, "Get ready to ease on down the road" with this popular favorite. But if you haven't already purchased tickets, the road may be blocked. The Hattiloo Theatre sold this show out before opening night. That's good for them, but not so good for those among us who always wait till the last minute to reserve. 

Oh, there may some stray tickets available here and there, but good luck getting one. 
A shot from the Hattiloo''s first production of The Wiz.
  • A shot from the Hattiloo''s first production of The Wiz.

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