For starters, some persons were already on the stage prior to showtime looking at a large illuminated representation of impressionist painter Edouard Manet’s “A Bar at the Follies Bergere.” I was ready to join them on the stage to see the painting close-up, when I realized that this was just part of the show — a room in an Impressionist art gallery where viewers of the painting were actual cast of “Cosi Fan Tutte.”
Wendy Ishii “Becomes” A Bewildered Alzheimer Victim In Lonergan Drama
Reviewed by Tom Jones
February 8, 2019
Gladys Green is on the cusp of old
age, and is often bewildered with what is going on around her. Her hearing is impaired. Her mind is progressively deteriorating. Wendy Ishii is a marvel as she portrays
Gladys Green, a victim of Alzheimer disease.
Her eyes become wide and wild, as she looks with despair to figure out
what she has become. This is a bravura
performance. Ishii has portrayed a
variety of roles, and this is one of her finest productions. She gets into the skin of the art gallery
owner, and holds the audience spellbound.
Off-Broadway Delight Is Two-Hour Treasure At Midtown Arts Center
Reviewed by Tom Jones, February 1, 2019
Ruby is the standard
naïve talent traveling alone to New York to find fame and fortune on Broadway. Sound familiar? “Dames at Sea” currently on the Midtown Arts
Stage in Fort Collins is the tried and tested Broadway fable that flashed onto
movie screens in the ‘30s and ‘40s. This
delightful little show plays homage to those stories, with every cliché
possible. Michael Lasris provides
excellent direction and choreography for this heartfelt look at the past. Seeing it this season just might be the
remedy we need to face mid-winter blahs.
Paige Smith is a newcomer to MAC audiences, and she is terrific as Ruby, the Broadway star wannabe – with nothing going for her except raw talent. Alisa Metcalf is the ever-threatening diva, Mona, who will stop at nothing from preventing anyone taking stardom from her hands. Sarah Ledtke McCann is in great shape as the “friend to all” chorus girl.
Every Broadway fable
includes guys with over-the-top talent, taking on roles of friend, talented
performer, and all around good (or bad) guy.
In this show Joe Callahan takes on the role of a sailor song-writer,
“Dick.” Callahan is well known to MAC
audiences. He sings. He dances.
His comedic talents are very well-honed.
And his timing is impeccable.
Giving him a run for his money are Tyler Baxter and Tezz Yancey. Baxter plays another talented sailor,
Lucky. Yancey switches caps to play two
roles, the show-within-a-show director, and that of the ship captain.
All six are involved
in staging a little review called “Dames At Sea” set to open that night, only
to find the theatre bulldozed out from under them. They desperately try to find a place to stage
The world holds its
breath: Will Ruby replace Mona as the
show’s star? Will the show find a place
to open? Will Joe Callahan wow the stage
with his every scene? Will Sarah Ledtke
McCann radiate charm and talent? Will
the audience leave the theatre with great smiles?
This is not a “big”
show, but one with enormous empathy and fun.
Book and lyrics are by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller. Music is by Jim Wise. It originally opened
Off-Broadway in 1968 starring Bernadette Peters as Ruby, and has subsequently found
nationwide audiences. Local theatre-goers
enjoyed a very good production of it a few seasons ago at University of
The six performers
are all very good. Michael Lasris’s excellence
as director and choreographer is obvious throughout, and particularly with the
“Raining in My Heart” antics in Act II. Musical
accompaniment is also excellent. Musical
director and pianist is Victor Walters, with Dean Vlachos on percussion,
Phillip Kramer, on bass.
“Dames at Sea” is a joyful, midwinter pick-me-up!
“Dames at Sea” Where: Main Stage of Midtown Arts Center 3750 South Mason Street, Fort Collins, CO 80525 When: To March 17, 2019 Information: Box Office: 970/225-2555 Tickets:www.midtownartscenter.com