Non-Registered Critics: Lacey Rae

Jul

Gunfight at the Not-So-OK Saloon

...Gunfight at the Not-So-OK Saloon is an engaging and charming musical that has so much potential – especially if expanded into a bigger production in the future. I found myself wanting to join the cast in their boot-stomping shenanigans on more than one occasion!

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Jun

Public Domain: The Musical

I found myself wishing upon a star that the show was longer or that there was a cast-recorded album I could purchase.

Public Domain features a small but fantastically talented cast. Each actor embodies their character fully, and all of the vocals are on point...

Leaving the theater, I was grinning from ear to ear.

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Jun

Bat Knight!

Clearly a love letter to the DC characters, Bat Knight is just so much fun and extremely entertaining – flaws and all – the hour-long show flew by on bat wings. The engaging and infectious cast makes the show blossom like one of Ivy’s unmanageable plants, and the audience (myself definitely included) was grinning ear to ear, much like a certain shady scoundrel we all love to hate.

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Jun

Tabletop the Musical

...Tabletop: The Musical is a rich, mostly even-handed portrayal that fans of tabletop gaming will almost certainly appreciate. DnD veterans in particular will catch a number of references and tropes that give the impression it was written by folks who’ve filled out their share of character sheets. But it is also accessible to those who’ve never seen a die with more than six sides, let alone felt the thrill of a natural twenty or the despair of rolling a one....If you’ve ever wondered why people sit around a table, roll funny dice, and pretend to be an elven wizard or dwarven cleric for hours on end, Tabletop: The Musical gives a pretty good answer.

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Mar

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors at the Morgan-Wixon is such a fun time at the theater. The cast is right on target with their characters, the singing by Olsen and LaFever is especially excellent, and the technical feats of Audrey II are nothing short of breathtaking. The show is perfect for the intimate theater and succeeds far beyond expectations, balancing the dark comedy with the bleak allegory of losing yourself to achieve success. Even without any adjustments, Little Shop of Horrors will only get more polished with time, and it should definitely be seen!

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Dec

Scissorhands: A Musical

...Scissorhands is a love letter to the moving story of an outsider trying to find acceptance in a disapproving world. Mixing the film's narrative with songs ranging from traditional Christmas carols to “Shallow” from 2018's A Star is Born, Scissorhands is pure perfection.

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Nov

My Date With Death - A Musical Romance

A heady theory to understand on its own, it's even more difficult when presented in complicated rapid-fire lyrics. The dialogue between the characters help clarify to an extent, but audience members might appreciate a slightly more broad, or basic, explanation. However, kudos to Daniel Sugimoto (writer, composer, lyricist) for incorporating such a current, complex sci-fi concept.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Nov

Señor Plummer's Final Fiesta

With clever and intricate period costumes, uplifting musical interludes and beautiful sets, Señor Plummer is a magical trip that celebrates an old man's memories – ones that, no matter how exaggerated, are grounded in community and family.

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Nov

THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY OF STRANGER THINGS

Directed by Nathan Moore and executive produced by writer Kate Pazakis, Stranger Things is a bright, tongue-in-cheek send-up to the Netflix show. The production had me smiling from ear to ear, laughing along with actors who are in on the jokes, singing to the '80s tunes, and left me wanting even more. Go for the supernatural action, but stay for the outstanding “Creep,” Hunton's fiery vocals, Clayton's lovable Dustin, and the overall magic that UMPO: Stranger Things brings to the stage. I sincerely hope they tackle Season 2!

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Nov

The Woman Who Went to Space as a Man

The cast of The Woman Who Went to Space as a Man is top-notch; they expertly bring emotional depth to the whimsical music and narrative... The Woman Who Went to Space as a Man, despite its somewhat tragic inspiration, brought a smile to my face on multiple occasions and is an intimate musical that deftly plays with time and space, fictional and real.

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Sep

LIZZIE

Lizzie was more akin to a concert than a traditional stage musical, and I wish the venue had seating instead of standing room, so the audience could see and enjoy the actors' facial expressions and interaction better. I also think the trial and aftermath of the murders started to drag after a bit. However, the hour-and-a-half show was energetically brought to ravenous life by such amazing performers, and I had a bloody good time watching them kill it (wink, wink) on stage.

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Jun

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

A clever mix of the original gothic story and their own brand of witty, nuanced humor, Blanket Fort's version of the classic story is an amazing time at the theater, and a must-see for Fringe! Absolutely fantastic!

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Jun

Disasteroid! (Best Musical Nominee - Encore Performance)

Disasteroid takes what could be a tragic premise and turns it into something hopeful and freeing, posing the question: If we were able to, what kind of life would we want to lead? I left this heartwarming production feeling full of energy and inspired to live life to the fullest. Such a delightful show!

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Jun

The Midnight Menagerie

Writer/director Brandon Nicholas Pfeltz's Midnight Menagerie is an outrageous adult romp, hilarious but not for everyone; those with delicate sensibilities should steer clear of purchasing a ticket. However, for audiences that can be in on the joke and enjoy the ludicrous plot and ridiculous characters, definitely give this show a shot!

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Jun

The Women of Lockerbie

In any tragedy, it is natural to sympathize with the victims and those who lost a loved one. The Women of Lockerbie takes an engaging approach in also examining what it means to be a witness to such life-changing horror. Full of moving performances, this piece is a beautiful and melancholy commentary on the different stages of grief and finding the strength to move forward in love.

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Jun

One Last Thing Before You Go

One Last Thing Before You Go is a fascinating, solitary experience during which participants will interact with the performers in a very unique way. Exploring themes of love, death and the afterlife, One Last Thing Before You Go is beautifully done. ...Creators Aaron Vanek and Kirsten Hageleit have produced a quiet and thoughtful piece that, like most of life, lasts but a moment.

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Apr

Monsters Come Out At Night

I never know what to expect when I walk into a production at Zombie Joe's Underground Theater. Will I walk through a haunted house like Brave the Dark? Will I see an interpretive piece like Cthulu? Will I see a straightforward play like West Destiny? Or will I be asked to bark like a dog for an Easter Egg? As it turns out, Monsters Come Out At Night is a little bit of each of those things, keeping that gleefully macabre Zombie Joe flair.

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Mar

4Play: Sex in a Series

SWEET AND REAL… I was fully engaged... rooting for these flawed characters to find the love they so desperately wanted.

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Aug

WEST DESTINY

West Destiny is the first “straightforward”, scripted show I've seen at Zombie Joe's Underground Theater, and I have to say I really enjoyed it! It was fun, campy, short and sweet, and of course had a rousing sense of the macabre.

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Jul

Brave the Dark

Like previous Zombie Joe performances before it, Brave the Dark is anything but straightforward. Advertised as a “fun n' freaky immersive production,” Brave the Dark is all about taking the audience/participants out of their element, making them uncomfortable, and making them feel something.

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