Thursday, December 30, 2010

Peoria Cabaret Theatre - 2011 Season

Peoria Cabaret Theatre at The Waterhouse has announced their 2011 slate of shows.

"Fully Committed"  -  January 28 & 29

"I Love You Because (A Modern Day Musical Love Story)"  -  February 11, 12, 18, & 19

"Master Class"  -  March 4, 5, 11, & 12

"The Lebanese/Redneck Wedding"  -  April 1, 2, 8, & 9

A season show pass is $140 and includes dinner. tax, gratuity with all four shows.
It can be purchased by calling the box office at 494-9100 or at their website:

The Peoria Cabaret Theatre is a membership based theatre company focused on presenting small cast plays, musicals, and interactive improv comedies in addition to cabaret shows with the Signature Cabaret Series and the Late Night Cabaret Series.

The theater is located in The Waterhouse at 619 SW Water Street, Suite B.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

December Poetry Corner

- Abraham Cowley

Thou robb'st my days of business and delights,
Of sleep thou robb'st my nights ;
Ah, lovely thief, what wilt thou do?
What? rob me of heaven too?
Even in my prayers thou hauntest me:
And I, with wild idolatry,
Begin to God, and end them all to thee.
Is it a sin to love, that it should thus
Like an ill conscience torture us?
Whate'er I do, where'er I go—
None guiltless e'er was haunted so!—
Still, still, methinks, thy face I view,
And still thy shape does me pursue,
As if, not you me, but I had murdered you.
From books I strive some remedy to take,
But thy name all the letters make;
Whate'er 'tis writ, I find thee there,
Like points and commas everywhere.
Me blessed for this let no man hold,
For I, as Midas did of old,
Perish by turning every thing to gold.
What do I seek, alas, or why do I
Attempt in vain from thee to fly?
For, making thee my deity,
I gave thee then ubiquity.
My pains resemble hell in this:
The divine presence there too is,
But to torment men, not to give them bliss.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas!

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over over
If you want it
War is over

Sunday, December 12, 2010

- Theater Review - White Christmas

Peoria Players Theater got the holiday season off to a somewhat shaky start with their presentation of "White Christmas".

This Irving Berlin classic has given us many musical standards.  In addition to the title song, there are classics such as "Happy Holiday", "Sisters", "I Love a Piano", "Blue Skies", and "How Deep is the Ocean". 
It has come to epitomize the Christmas spirit.

Unfortunately, this production suffers through poor direction and most of all through bad orchestration.

I was very much looking forward to seeing Jimmy LaHood in the lead role, having last seen him in his excellent portrayal of Leo Bloom in Eastlight's "The Producers". 
However, as Bob Wallace in this production, Mr. LaHood appeared nervous and unsure of himself. 
Indeed, he allowed the poor performing orchestra to lead him into several false starts and off-key notes in his musical numbers.  His acting also was lacking.  In his misguided attempt to mimic Bing Crosby, he came across a bit more Jack Benny.

Aaron Elwell turned in a good performance as the smooth womanizer Phil Davis, particularly in his rendition of "I Love a Piano".

Janette Beardsley was well cast as Martha and she sang the role well.

The standout performance in the production was Erin Durbin's portrayal of Betty Haynes.  Ms. Durbin has a great and powerful voice.  She belted out her numbers over the orchestra's missteps. 
Her rendition of "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" was the best vocal performance of the show.

Kudos must be given to Danny Fisher's choreography.  The dance numbers were exceptional, with the one exception of "Sisters".  The Haynes sisters' rendition consisted of merely posing with ostrich fans.  Choreography for this number should look like this.

A real irritation during opening night was the gentleman a few rows behind me who thought it was his job to lead the audience in applause.  He clapped loudly at inappropriate times and when numbers were not finished (and again when they  were!) and of course most people followed along.  Perhaps he had a relative onstage, but that type of cheer leading in a production like this merely smacks of desperation born of pity.

The same was true of the undeserved standing ovation, when a few people guilted most others into standing.  It seems particularly true to Peoria Players audiences that any performance deserves a standing ovation, no matter how mediocre.

Well, this patron stayed stubbornly in his seat.  I will stand for excellence, and this simply was not it.

With so much good talent on stage, it is a shame that poor direction and a bad orchestra held back this holiday classic from delivering what it should.

The show runs through December 19th at the theater in Lakeview Park.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Corn Stock Theater - 2011 Season

Corn Stock Theater has announced its 2011 Summer Season:

"Cats"   -  Directed by Linda Grimson - June 3rd - June 11th

"Moonlight and Magnolias"  -  Directed by Clifford Clark - June 24th - July 2nd

"Footloose"  -  Directed byTravis Olson - July 15th - July 23rd

"Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash"  -  Directed by Laura Johnson - August 5th - August 13

"Arsenic and Old Lace"  -  Directed by Sean Howell - August 26th - September 3rd

Individual ticket prices:  Musicals - $18,  Non-Musicals - $12
Season Tickets:  $66

More information and order tickets here.


Arc Light Theater - 2011 Season

Arc Light Theater has announced its 2011 season.

June 3 - "Community Variety Show"

June 23-25 - "Honeymoon at Graveside Manor"

July 22-23 - "Arc Light, Junior"  (Youth Show)

July 22-24 - "Into the Woods"

Arc Light Productions operates in conjunction with the Illini Bluffs School District in Glasford.
Season tickets sales and more info coming soon to their website here.