Sunday, October 23, 2011

- Theater Review - Wicked

I have procrastinated in putting up a review of "Wicked", now playing at the Peoria Civic Center Theater, because...well, what more can be said?

Oh, alright, here goes:

"Wicked" is without a doubt, the theater event of the season here in Peoria.
With so many performances, this is a show that will attract many theater people, as well as folks who will see only this one show this year.

This is one of those shows that truly does have something for everyone. 

The book is a clever reassignment of relationships for iconic characters whom everyone knows.  These relationships are revealed in a believable behind-the-scenes retelling of the Oz story.

In addition, the show has a wonderful score of memorable songs with beautiful lyrics. 
Foremost amongst these are "For Good", with words that can be used to describe all those people who "come into our lives for a reason"; "Defying Gravity", an uplifting (pun intended!) declaration of self-realization and the power of confidence;  "Dancing Through Life", a song that may well describe the "unexamined life" led by far too many today; and "Wonderful", a song that says much about our lives in modern day America.

In addition to the music, the dancing, and the fine voices of all the principals, this show delivers what has become a major draw in American Musical Theater - sheer Spectacle!

The staging and special effects are guaranteed to wow all attendees!
From the Witch's defying of gravity, to Glinda's bubble, to flying monkeys, to rain in the woods, this production is a wonder of modern stage technology.

As I said, this is the major Theater Event of the year here in Peoria...
Don't be the only one to miss it!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October Poetry Corner

Congratulations to poet Tomas Transtromer for winning the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Further In

On the main road into the city
when the sun is low.
The traffic thickens, crawls.
It is a sluggish dragon glittering.
I am one of the dragon’s scales.
Suddenly the red sun is
right in the middle of the windscreen
streaming in.
I am transparent
and writing becomes visible
inside me
words in invisible ink
which appear
when the paper is held to the fire!
I know I must get far away
straight through the city and then
further until it is time to go out
and walk far in the forest.
Walk in the footprints of the badger.
It gets dark, difficult to see.
In there on the moss lie stones.
One of the stones is precious.
It can change everything
it can make the darkness shine.
It is a switch for the whole country.
Everything depends on it.
Look at it, touch it…

Friday, October 14, 2011

- Theater Review - Over the River and Through the Woods

Peoria Players Theater opened their most recent offering last Friday night."Over the River and Through the Woods" is a small intimate comedy with a cast of six.

It is the story of a young second generation Italian-American and his relationship with his four grandparents. 

Nick Cristano (Jarod Hazzard) is a successful young businessman who dutifully visits his grandparents in Hoboken every Sunday for dinner.

His maternal grandparents Frank (Mark Atkisson) and Aida (Judy Tilley) host dinner and his paternal grandparents Nunzio (Mike Dentino) and Emma (Maureen O'Haenny) live nearby and always attend.

As the play begins, Nick has arrived for a rare mid-week visit to share some unwelcome news with his grandparents. 

Facing the crisis of turning 30,  Nick has decided to take a job promotion that will send him a continent away from his family (his parents have retired to Florida).

The grandparents begin plotting a scheme to keep their grandson near.  It involves fixing him up with Caitlin (Kerri Rae Hinman) a relative of Grandma Emma's canasta friend.

What ensues is a series of funny and tender events before Nick makes his final decision on whether to stay or go.

All the actors do a fine job with this piece.  Ms. O'Haenney does steal the show somewhat, but I cannot decide if it is due to her great timing and stage persona or simply that her character has some of the best lines.

In any event. what's not to like about six charming people in a light and endearing comedy?

The show runs through October 16th at the theater in Lakeview Park.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Jazz On A Sunday Afternoon

Please join us for a relaxing afternoon of COOL music in a cabaret setting.
Featuring vocalist Stephanie Aaron with Larry Harms & Company.

Sunday, November 6
1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
G.A.R. Hall, 416 Hamilton

Complementary soups and desserts.

Art, Antiques, & Collectibles in a Silent Auction.

$25 per person; tables of 4, 6, and 8 may be reserved.
For reservations please call:
309-636-7022 or 309-674-6864

A fundraiser by Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation to preserve the GAR Hall and to promote community wide historic preservation.