John James DeWitt
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August 19, 2015
The final installment of STAGEright's "Find Your Light" season is the uproarious white-trash lampoon, THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL, by Betsy Kelso and David Nehls. Concerning the rather sordid lives of several denizens inhabiting a southern Florida trailer park, the show touches on as many hilarious stereotypes as it can cram into its 95-minute length. From double-wide mobile homes and mullet haircuts to stripper bars and pole dancing, it's all there about the only thing missing was pimento cheese on toasted Wonder bread. Featuring an appealing cast under the direction of Jay D. Irwin and with music direction by Josh Zimmerman, the show is a toe-tapping, crowd-pleasing diversion for a sultry August evening.BWW Reviews: ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, KAREN CARPENTER
June 17, 2015
Playwright Dane Whitlock is quite fond of popular culture to the point of obsession (nay, mania!), having created shows like LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE-OKE and I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST DONNA SUMMER. The names alone hint at the delightfully demented Cuisinart intellect behind StageRight's current Seattle premiere, ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, KAREN CARPENTER.BWW Reviews: TAPHOUSE at The Ballard Underground
June 8, 2015
The old adage Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, would be an ideal tagline for local playwright Kiki Penoyer's TAPHOUSE, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's THREE SISTERS.BWW Reviews: NEVER THE SINNER - Compelling Courtroom Drama
June 7, 2015
The true story of murderous teens Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb has seen many iterations over the years, from thinly veiled derivatives like ROPE, COMPULSION or MURDER BY NUMBERS to direct accounts of their actions such as the musical THRILL ME, or the subject of this review, John Logan's NEVER THE SINNER.BWW Reviews: An Enchanting Evening With THE BOYS NEXT DOOR
April 30, 2013
Tom Griffin's 'THE BOYS NEXT DOOR' is a tricky scriptits subject matter is a group home in the Boston area housing four mentally-challenged adult men; Arnold, Norman, Lucien and Barry. They have a caretaker, Jack, who lives offsite, and the play progresses through a series of vignettes illustrating the challenges of their everyday lives. As depressing as that may sound, the script has many comic moments, and it's a tightrope to balance the humor with the pathos. It was made into a mildly effective television movie in 1996 featuring Nathan Lane, Courtney B. Vance and Mare Winningham. I say 'mildly effective' because the play has an extra layer of difficulty in that the humor is generated by the plight of its charactersthe audience laughs at the behavior and reactions of these damaged men, and without careful direction and acting skill, there could be guilt and self-loathing in the laughter rather than charm and warmth. The TV version fell victim to this, but STAGEright Theatre Company presents a beautiful rendering of the show under the direction of Jay D. Irwin.BWW Reviews: DOUBLE INDEMNITY at ACT - Almost There
November 20, 2011
Being a fan of film-noir, I was delighted to have the opportunity to review "Double Indemnity," the final show of A Contemporary Theatre's 2011 season. Adapted from James M. Cain's 1936 novella, it's basically the same framework as his 1934 novel "The Postman Always Rings Twice." If you're unfamiliar with the storyline, I shan't spoil the fun.BWW Reviews: ANNIE GET YOUR GUN at VILLAGE THEATRE
November 14, 2011
Issaquah's Village Theatre has chosen the tuneful favorite "Annie Get Your Gun" for its holiday season show, with original book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields and music by the venerable Irving Berlin. Peter Stone's 1999 Broadway revival gently updated the script for modern audiences, removing most of the politically incorrect elements of 1946, and this is the version currently in residence on the Village Mainstage.BWW Reviews: HAIRSPRAY at Seattle Musical Theatre - A Fabulous Cast Deserving to be Seen
November 14, 2011
The Broadway smash musical adaptation of John Waters' 1988 film, "Hairspray," has settled in for a four-week run at Seattle Musical Theatre. With book by Mark O'Donnell and legendary comedy writer Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, it has all the ingredients to be a toe-tapping, finger-snapping success.BWW Reviews: DOUBLE INDEMNITY at ACT - Almost There
November 2, 2011
Being a fan of film-noir, I was delighted to have the opportunity to review "Double Indemnity," the final show of A Contemporary Theatre's 2011 season. Adapted from James M. Cain's 1936 novella, it's basically the same framework as his 1934 novel "The Postman Always Rings Twice." If you're unfamiliar with the storyline, I shan't spoil the fun.