Reviews are by Donald Munro; NR = not reviewed. For performance information, see calendar listing on Pages 18-19.
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All Shook Up: Juan Danner, playing a squeaky-clean Elvis-type character named Chad who roars into a repressed ’50s town, feels about as rebellious as a lunchtime meeting of Young Republicans in this regrettably bland jukebox musical. Loosely based on the plot of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” the Good Company Players production at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater, directed by Elizabeth Fiester and Steve Souza, is crammed with snippets of famed Elvis tunes. The cast is energetic, but instead of shaking in triumph, the show’s silly book barely rattles the Richter scale.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged): Woodward Shakespeare Festival closes out its season with a comic romp.
Evita: Playhouse Merced opens its 22nd season with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. (NR)
Shadowlands: At the 2nd Space Theatre, Good Company Players presents the late-life love story between beloved British author C.S. Lewis and his American wife, Joy Gresham. Director Denise Graziani takes what could have been an overly sappy, sentimental love story and gives it nuance, a gentle wit and a commanding sensitivity. Gordon Moore brings his trademark sly warmth and effective comic timing to the role of Lewis. Julie Lucido gives a smart and moving performance as Gresham. The play’s strength is the unlikely connection between its two main characters.
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
Other Desert Cities: Jon Robin Baitz’s play about a family with differing political views is presented by StageWorks Fresno. (Opens Sept. 11)
September Song: Leeni Mitchell’s musical revue for the Visalia Players is a tribute to the fall season, the 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 and the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. (Opens Sept. 11)