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Theater Thu May 17 2012

[title of show]: Great Songs, Good for a Chuckle

titleofshow.jpg

Front: Matthew Crowle and Stephen Schellhardt. Back: McKinley Carter and Christine Sherrill

[title of show] is a big ol' ball of popcorn! Pure entertainment, leave your worries in the theater lobby and enjoy the joy. Not a profound moment to be had in its 95 minute-run, and there are no political or social takeaways beginning at minte-96, but the cast members voices are strong, the musical numbers are gripping, and though the story is not O'Neil or even Sondheim, it's also not a garden-variety telling of a tale. What Busby Berkley did for Great Depression audiences, [title of show] gives its audience members respite from the daily grind of worry and anxiety. Sit back, relax and head-bop along.

The plot is simple enough: [title of show] is a play within a play; a writer (Matthew Crowie) and his lyricist-friend (Stephen Schellhardt) blithely decide to meet a three-week submission deadline and write the "best musical ever!". Along with their respective actress best friends Susan (McKinley Carter) and Heidi (Christine Sherrill), we're taken on a lyric-laden path of the highs and (sometimes really) lows of a Broadway-bound dream. Warning to those who find discomfort in a cast that crosses "the fourth wall": this fourth wall is smashed to smithereens, before the first song.

The storyline is good and solid, but the music and the voices behind it are something exceptional, particularly Sherrill's Broadway-quality belt-out of "A Way Back to Then". [title of show] is an enjoyable excursion for those who appreciate music in their musicals.

Tickets for [title of show] are $25-60, and are available by phone at 847-673-6300 or online at northlight.org. More information about the show can be found here.

 
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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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