Non-Registered Critics: Margie Barron


To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen

This joyful yet heart-tugging showcase is super entertaining. Kiki starts at the piano with the plaintive “Missing You,” then slips into a happy jazzy “Easy To Love,” to clips of Buddy dancing with Eleanor Powell. Buddy and Shirley Temple delightfully dancing in a clip comes later. Kiki captures the crowd with showbiz and personal stories, creating an emotional journey that even includes the Reagan ranch.

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The Spitfire Grill

The Spitfire Grill is about how life gets better when you reach out and help someone. Filled with heart-felt songs that capture the “love and second chances” theme, this musical serves up characters that we can embrace and call friends.

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An exquisite portrait is painted of the legendary Billie Holiday by another unforgettable singer, Deirdre Henry, who stars in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Garry Marshall Theatre. It’s a must-see for lovers of great songs well sung, plus the stories behind the songs.

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The Root Beer Bandits - a Rootin' Tootin Wild West Musicale

There's no shoot out, instead justice is served with a “sing out.” The songs are terrific, co-written by director Joseph Leo Bwarie who peppers the production with a fun vaudeville style. There's a live “cowboy” band on stage, and a hoedown finale that's as wild as a bucking bronco with bees in his saddlebag.

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The Mountaintop

After Dr. King delivers his “I've been to the mountaintop” speech he is tired, and through the well-written give-and-take funny, flirtatious, and dramatic banter with the all-knowing maid Camae, we're given an insight to the man behind the icon.

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Hershey Felder: Beethoven

Hershey Felder: Beethoven is a masterpiece of storytelling that engages and enlightens the audience about the life and undeniable brilliance of composer Ludwig van Beethoven... Hearing and enjoying Beethoven's work adds to the most tragic irony that the most beautiful music ever composed was never heard by the genius who created it. Felder laments the fact that Beethoven was totally deaf but celebrates the gift of music that he gave the world. That celebration is a must-see theatrical experience.

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

This production is helmed by the Marshall Theatre's Artistic Director Joseph Leo Bwarie (the multi-talented Jersey Boys alumnus), who gives Forum a fabulous burlesque flair... All are worthy of high praise for their enthusiastic performances. The theatrical toga party is pure entertainment because of them.

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The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)

Sticking to the comedy rule “Get in. Get the laugh. Get out,” the show written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor is pure amusement, with a much anticipated “pie in your face” finale. The hilarity is directed by Jerry Kernion, returning to the Falcon after the success of The Complete History of America (Abridged), which he helmed last year.

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For Piano and Harpo

It is a tour de force for Dan Castellaneta who plays Levant, in addition to also being the playwright of the provocative piece for the Laugh Then Think Production. Castellaneta uses slices of Levant's own snappy repartee throughout and delivers it like the true original.

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