February 19, 2013 |
Death by whimsy: not a pretty way to go. Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium's unbearably cloying production of Paradise Park bludgeons us for 85 very long minutes with cliche after cliche, as adolescent philosophizing monologues alternate with inane dance sequences and pointless pratfalls. Written by Charles Mee, a prolific and undeservedly popular contemporary playwright, Paradise Park takes place in a Disneyland of the mind: you can go to England, or the beach, or the Grand Canyon, or the back porch, or the forest, or etc. etc. etc. Could this be a metaphor?
September 30, 2006 |
You'll find plenty of dummies on Broadway these days, and for a change, they're not all in producers' offices. Many are actually on stage. They take over the Helen Hayes Theatre with such natural presence and impeccable timing, it's hard to tell who's real - them or their ventriloquist, Jay Johnson. Johnson is a master at an art often relegated to kids' diversions, when it's noticed at all nowadays. In Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! he celebrates ventriloquism with such grace, enthusiasm and dazzling talent, only a real dummy could resist.
December 29, 2000 |
Bobby Burnett will sing the songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin at Bristol Borough's First Night celebration on New Year's Eve. Burnett will be joined Sunday by a ventriloquist and puppet show, an acoustic-guitar act known as Uncle Brother, and an eclectic array of other attractions, such as Charlie Zahm, the Fairmount Brass Quartet, and the Philadelphia Gospel Choir. Throughout the evening, music productions, dance performances and magic shows will be held at the Bristol Riverside Theater on Radcliff Street.
January 20, 1996 |
A ventriloquist's desperate relationship with his 8-foot-tall dummy and a choreographer's humorous take on his art are the highlights of Festival of New Performance II, four short new theater pieces performed at the Painted Bride Art Center. The other two works on the program - sponsored by the Bride, the Philadelphia Dramatist Center and the Brick Playhouse - can't even be described as lowlights. They have no luster whatosoever. A dark comedy about a twisted partnership between a ventriloquist and his seemingly alive dummy is not an original idea.
May 12, 1994 |
To fully appreciate Borscht Capades '94, it helps to have been familiar with, say, Borscht Capades '55, or the version of the show from some other year in that decade, but it's not really essential. The show at the Merriam is a lively, nicely performed entertainment that can be enjoyed by anybody. I say that at the outset because when I describe Borscht Capades '94, it won't sound like a show that will interest the average theatergoer. Borscht Capades '94 is singer/actor Joel Grey's valentine to his father, Mickey Katz, a musician and novelty singer who created the Borscht Capades in the late 1940s and periodically toured with it into the 1960s.
March 5, 1993 |
How nice is Shari Lewis, mother of Lamb Chop, descendant of Peter Pan, owner of an Emmy and an entertainment empire that doesn't end, but just goes on and on, my friends? She's so nice that she doesn't mind, at 59, being called "perky," an adjective applied to her at least once in every article ever written about her. "I have a high energy level," she allows. She's so nice that she doesn't nag her only child, 30-year-old Mallory, for grandchildren, although goodness knows when she'd find the time for them.
July 1, 1990 |
Six-year-old Rhiannon Scherer was getting no respect from "Mr. Cup. " So she laid down the law. "You know, you can be recycled," she said. Nick Pawlow did his sparring with a headless dummy. "Would you like to buy a hat? I'll sell it to you cheap," the dummy offered. These performers - and their temporarily animate friends - were among the hits of the 16th Annual International Ventriloquist Convention, a four-day gathering crammed with intentionally wooden humor, bad and ancient puns and puppets so lifelike they forced repeated double-takes.
December 20, 1989 |
AT THE GLOUCESTER COUNTY Children's Christmas Party, Snugles the Clown, left, performs a magic act. At right, Mr. and Mrs. Claus listen to Andrew Lime of Williamstown, who will turn 2 on Christmas Day. The party was held Sunday at Auletto Caterers. Lunch was served, and the children were entertained by a puppet show, clowns and magic acts, and a ventriloquist.
May 3, 1989 |
The barbarism of the Holocaust is measured by more than the body count. Notice must also be taken of the appalling, irremediable injuries inflicted on the spirits of the living by Nazi persecution. Joshua Sobol's play Ghetto does both. A massacre of Jews precedes the action and another ends it. In between, the drama focuses on a chapter in ghetto life in one of its most remarkable historic manifestations. The production, which opened Sunday and is mounted by the Circle in the Square Theater uptown with a large cast, is only partly successful in conveying a sense of tragedy.
January 27, 1989 |
Atlantic City is warming up its winter months with a slew of so-called "hot" revues: flesh, feathers and big-hairdo shows in which pop tunes, racy choreography, a few specialty acts and revealing costumes just might take your mind off the winter weather. "Beehive" at Harrah's, Resorts' "Wildfire" and Caesars' "High Voltage" have one thing in common: they both take as their inspiration pop songs from the 1960s onward. In fact, all three shows feature a Diana Ross & the Supremes spoof.