Review Roundup: BETWEEN THE LINES at Kansas City Rep
Based on the young adult novel by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer, BETWEEN THE LINES follows seventeen year old Delilah as she struggles through her junior year of high school. Forced to move to a new town after her parents' divorce, Delilah finds solace in fiction, and one book in particular about the handsome Prince Oliver. BETWEEN THE LINES runs at Kansas City Rep Theatre through October 1!
The cast stars Arielle Jacobs as Delilah, Curt Hansen as Prince Oliver/Edgar, Danny Gardner as Frump/Mr. Darcy, Morgan Siobhan Green as Jules, Shanna Jones as Grace/Queen, Tim Scott as Dr. Ducharme/Rapskullio, Julie Shaw as Mrs Brown/Jessamyn, Judy Simmons as Mrs. Winx, Emily Shackelford as Allie/Seraphima, and Donovan Woods as Ryan. The cast also features Lexie Brie, Colleen Grate, Taylor Avazpour, BriAnna Woods, and T. Eric Morris.
BETWEEN THE LINES has a book by Timothy Allen McDonald, with music and lyrics by Kate Anderson and Elyssa Smasel and orchestrations and arrangements by Greg Anthony Rassen. The show is directed by Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Lorin Latarro.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Victor Wishna, KCMetroplois: Broadway-tested director Jeff Calhoun leads a faultless ensemble. The New York vets who portray the central duo-Arielle Jacobs as Delilah and Curt Hansen as Oliver-are sensational, as are the thirteen other performers, all but a couple of whom call Kansas City home. It's a treat to see familiar faces shine in such a souped-up show... Clever double-casting allows the actors to play in both worlds, often as slyly similar fairytale versions of their "real-world" characters. Hence, Emily Shackelford gets to mean-girl it up as Delilah's cheerleader nemesis Allie McAndrews and then go for laughs as the clueless Princess Seraphima. Shanna Jones, fantastic as Delilah's stressed-to-the-limit mom Grace, lets off steam as the unbreakably bitter Queen Maureen.
Alan Portner, BroadwayWorld: The combination of imported Broadway talent and a very good cadre of local actors are universally excellent. Arielle Jacobs as Delilah and Curt Hansen as the Prince are perfect matches and top quality, but it is the secondary leads that make this show really pop. Shanna Jones as Mom Grace and Queen Maureen sparkles. Emily Shackleford as mean girl Allie and Clueless Princess Seraphina does an hysterical valley girl... Overall, "Between the Lines" is a very entertaining, top quality, well produced effort. Kansas City is lucky to have rated the first production anywhere with the authors, directors, and composers sitting in the house taking it all in.
Robert W. Butler, The Kansas City Star: Fueled by great voices, terrific performances and the most sophisticated display of stage technology ever seen in Spencer Theatre, the new musical "Between the Lines" has all the makings of a major crowd pleaser... Standout performances include Hansen's Prince Oliver, a delicious parody of kid-lit heroism with an endless supply of fetching poses (and a voice that glides effortlessly from romantic tenor to an ear-tickling falsetto), and Danny Gardner as The Man/dog Frump, who steals a big chunk of Act II with a tap dance seduction of a princess in the number "Out of Character."
Bob Evans, KC Applauds: With no standout antagonist, "Between the Lines" charms its way into the hearts of the audience with bright colors, elaborate costumes, rich characters, lively songs, a splendiferous tap number, and supporting characters as rich and textured as any Disney character. The book by Timothy McDonald zings right along at a great pace to keep young and old engaged with the flashes into an out of happily ever after land. The music and lyrics follow suit. Several songs could become stand alone hits from the production.
Photo: Cory Weaver