Saturday, February 29, 2020

Everything You Touch—Theatre Vertigo—SE Portland

          “Eye of the Beholder”

    This gutsy drama is written by Sheila Callaghan and directed by Jessie Hirschhorn.  It is playing at the Shoebox Theatre, 2110 SE 10th Ave., through March 28th.  For more information, go to their site at

    Body image…self-image…what the public expects/perceives…they are Not one and the same.  There are some rather good films from the past on this subject…Looker, Perfect (w/John Travolta & Jaime Lee Curtis) and the excellent thriller, by John Frankenheimer, Seconds (w/Rock Hudson).  Even Jerry Lewis’s excellent performance in, The Nutty Professor, about an inept, goofy teacher trying to impress a girl, by changing into a romantic hunk, but the inner man changes as well, and not for the better.  And who can forget Serling’s masterpiece on, The Twilight Zone, from which my title is taken.  All cautionary tales about preserving/enhancing the “Body Beautiful.”
    When, in reality, we are all equal in the end…just dust-huggers.  But one wouldn’t know that by the amount of attention and money we spend on trying to be someone we’re not.  Nothing will ever match natural beauty, or the glow from the beauty within…and that costs you nothing!

    Jess (Kaia Maarja Hillier) is an unhappy, young woman.  She is overweight, her mother, who she’s estranged from, is slowly dying and her career world of computers, gives her little pleasure.  She does have a pseudo-boyfriend, Lewis (R. David Wyllie), who is devoted to her and accepts her just the way she is.  But she lacks self-respect and so she remakes her world over with a boyfriend (Aaron Cooper Swor) that will remake her over, with his minions/models (Wimberley Marshall, Jess Perry & Justin Charles) into the image of herself that she wants.

    Meanwhile, a struggling, arrogant designer, Victor (Swor, again), is trying to make a name for himself in the fashion world.  His muse/girlfriend, Esme (Adriana Gantzer), has come up with topical ideas for wear, with a military theme, or even disco (as this is the age for that) but he rejects them in favor of a country girl, Louella (Shandi Muff), who he’s taken a shine to.  The look is to be a plain, dept. store image of a person, with no frills.  Both Victor’s and Jess’s worlds are strangely connected, but are on a collision course with reality.  To witness the outcome, see it for yourself.

    Hillier expertly presents a roller-coaster of emotions as Jess.  Swor is his oily best as Victor, a man who you love to hate.  Wyllie breaks your heart, as a good man, “who loves, not wisely, [perhaps], but too well.”  Muff is all innocence and fun, until she becomes aware of the price it takes to be popular.  And Gantzer is alluring, a good blend between beauty on the outside and a good soul on the inside.  And Hirschhorn assembles it all together smoothly, like fitting pieces into a giant, jigsaw puzzle.

    I recommend this play.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Pipeline—Portland Playhouse—NE Portland

          “All the Colors of the Rainbow”

    This topical drama is written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Damaris Webb, and co-production with Confrontation Theatre.  It is playing at their space, 602 NE Prescott St. (parking lot two blocks North on 6th Ave.), through March 15th.  For more information, go to their site at

    A pipeline is a connection between one point of origin and another.  It is a conduit, in the strictest sense, for fossil fuels but, if you broaden the definition, it is any connection between sources of power, such as the Internet or Education or Heritage, that fuels one’s mind and soul, and permits growth.  But, like all growths, it must be properly nurtured for a mature product to emerge.  And, like all things exposed to the elements, there are multiple outcomes possible for this seed, and what, or who, will be the dominant force to determine that direction?  “Ah, there’s the rub…!”

    Nya (Ramona Lisa Alexander) is a teacher in a high school and a single mom raising a teenage boy, Omari (La’ Tevin Alexander), who is suffering from the angst of being a Youth in today’s alien culture, and being a product of divorced parents, which adds to the burden, making him feel like, perhaps, “a stranger in a strange land.”  He loves his mother but feels stifled by her.  He is estranged from his father (Xavier (Reggie Lee Wilson) and, to top it off, he feels his teacher is provoking him by comparing him, perhaps, to the angry character in Richard Wright’s, “Native Son,” and so he lashes out physically against the instructor and is suspended.

    But his “saving grace” is his girlfriend, Jasmine (Tyharra Cozier), who loves him but feels he has a “rocket in his pocket” and is about to explode.  Violence seems to be a pre-requisite for this school, as another teacher, the feisty, Laurie (Alissa Jessup), Nya’s friend, has confrontations more than once and herself may loose it one day.  Dun (Jasper Howard), a security guard, stresses that following protocol is necessary to maintain order but, in a war, protocol seems to go out the window.  This is a surface sketch of the plot and to get to the heart of the matter, to see how it turns out, you’ll just have to observe it for yourself.

    This is all too familiar territory in the lives of our teens nowadays, especially our African-American Youth, having to fight prejudice and intolerance, too.  This is a gripping assessment of what our future may hold for us, with how our Youth are being “educated” today.  Not a pretty picture.  This story is a slice of reality from an author who has, I believe, experienced it.  “Attention must be paid,” or we will sink into chaos and disharmony.  The solution for this story is very touching and a good first step in that journey toward redemption.

    The cast is excellent and well chosen by Webb, who is also the director of Vanport Mosaic out of IFCC, another powerful, artistic voice in the community.  The staging is simple, so that we can concentrate on the story.  And the play is designed to not take sides but gives us viewpoints from all the different factions, a smart idea.

    I highly recommend this play.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Indecent—Artists Rep/Profile Theatre—SW Portland

    “The Family That [Plays] Together…”

    This provocative play, by Paula Vogel, is directed by Josh Hecht, choreographed by Adin Walker and produced by Artists Rep and Profile Theatre, in association with Portland State University at their site at Lincoln Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave. (parking is a challenge in this area, so plan your time accordingly).  It plays through March 8th.  For more information, go to their site at

     This is the epic story of an acting troupe from the early 1900’s through the 50’s.  But it is universal in many ways, as far as the struggles of artists/writer/theatre to be accepted and recognized on their own merits.  It is also the struggle of a heritage, in this case Jews, to be accepted and recognized as a part of human existence.  And so it is with other professions and Faiths, just to be allowed to practice their calling, to be appreciated and to appreciate “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    The play begins much like Thorton Wilder’s, Our Town, with a Stage Manager/Narrator/Host (Michael Mendelson), introducing the troupe/ensemble (Miriam Schwartz, Joshua J. Weinstein, Jamie M. Rea, Gavin Hoffman, Linda Alper, and David Meyers), who will play a variety of roles over the years.  He also introduces us to three fine musicians, Andrew Alikhanov (Clarinet), Nelly Friedman (Violin) and Moriz Godowsky (Accordion), who will provide musical accompaniment throughout the show.

    The story opens with this group of individuals in Poland in the early 1900’s, desiring to put on a play, with the able assistance, and insistence, of an eager, young playwright, who has written a rather daring and explosive piece of theatre.  It is about a Jewish family, in order to make ends meet, decide to open a brothel in their basement defying, as some see it, the scriptures, and making themselves look bad in the eyes of the public.  It also includes scenes of a lesbian love affair, as well, a big taboo at the time, when even the mention of a woman’s breast, in polite society, was unfashionable.

But, despite this, they do go forward with great acclaim in Eastern Europe.  Then they migrate to America (land of opportunity), where reality raises its ugly head.  The USA may have been the “melting pot” for many beliefs but there are rules to be followed and laws to be obeyed.  Not only were people of the Jewish faith to be scrutinized, but lesbianism and prostitution were against the law (or just swept under the carpet).
    Not only that, but theatre and actors were akin to pond-scum.  On a sign, in many barrooms in the West, hung on their doors, proclaimed, “No Dogs or Actors Allowed!”  Such was the fate in store for them.  And so, it goes downhill from there.  A schism exists from within, too, when they oblige the force of the courts, to cut the play because of censorship concerns.    The old adage, “the play’s the thing,” is diluted and is becoming a distant memory.  The American Dream is soiled, when freedom of speech is hampered.  “And so it goes,” down this slippery slope, through the ages….

    To discover their individual outcomes, you’ll just have to see it for yourselves.  But this is a grand story, with some of the finest actors in the Portland area contributing their talents to some important issues, still current today.  And the three troubadours are an important asset to the success of the whole.  Hecht and Walker have created, with this cast/crew, a masterpiece!  And, to add to this marvel, is Peter Ksander, who’s set is a work of art in itself.

    I highly recommend this play.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Found Dog Ribbon Dance—CoHo Productions—NW Portland

                                      “All the Lonely People…”

    This dark comedy is written by Dominic Finocchiaro and directed by Connery MacRae, being co-produced by MacRae and Tom Mounsey.  It is playing at their space, 2257 NW Raleigh St. (parking is a major challenge in this area, so plan your time accordingly), through March 7th.  For more information, go to their site at

    “…Where do they all come from?”  The answer—from every walk of Life.  The lack of communication, compassion and tolerance in this world nowadays is on the rise, compounded by governments and administrations that should be seeking and encouraging to “try a little kindness.”  And this story points to the results of alienation and isolation, leading to loneliness and depression.

    And so, we take a journey with Norma (Beth Thompson), a professional cuddler, who believes that by doing this, she will aid in making the world and its people, more productive by doing this.  So, we encounter some men, some women, a teenager and a dog…all with their own personal stories to reveal.

    There is Dave (Heath Koerschgen), whose marriage is rocky and needs someone to listen to him; Norm (Tom Mounsey), owner of a coffee shop and very awkward socially; Colt (Conor J. Nolan), very insecure; Harrison (Nolan, again), very negative and suspicious; Xeno (Marty Beaudet), a quiet, middle-aged man until he finds his voice; Trista (Deborah Jensen), a neurotic teen; Miranda (Jensen, again), a paranoid housewife; and, of course, Dog (Clifton Holznagel) just looking for his “forever home.”

    It would be amiss of me to go into their stories, as that is something for the audience to discover.  But I can tell you that Dog looks very human and communicates primarily through signs and looks, as most pets do.  And the ribbon dance of the title happens twice and is brilliantly performed by Mounsey and, I assume, choreographed by the director and Mounsey.  It is well worth seeing the intricacies of it.

    MacRae has cast it very well and has endeavored to slow the pacing down when the script calls for it, allowing the audience to experience some breathing space, in conjunction with the characters.  Nolan and Jensen, playing dual roles, excel in creating quite opposite characters for each of them.  Beaudet speaks volumes, as an aging man with a big burden, then beautifully delivers a monologue that goes to the heart of the play.  Koerschgen is always an asset to a play, as he is here, playing the complexities of a lonely and frustrated man.
    Holznagel underplays the Dog nicely, always able to communicate the emotions underneath.  Mounsey’s dancing, as mentioned, is a highlight in the show.  And Thompson holds the play together, as she’s onstage the majority of the story.  She is one of the better actors in the Portland area and it is always a pleasure to attend a show in which she’s in.  Another powerful performance by her.

    This play is an actors’ tour-de-force, as they all have their moments in the sun.  I highly recommend this play, as it is very moving and timely.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Bliss--Defunkt Theatre—SE Portland

          “It’s All Greek To Me!”

    This dark comedy is written by Jami Brandli and directed by Sarah Armitage.  It is playing at their space (behind Coffee Grounds coffee shop), 4319 SW Hawthorne Blvd., through March 14th.  For more information, go to their site at

    This compares in intent to a film, dark comedy of a few years ago called, Pleasantville, which pictured a small town in the era of the 50’s, where everybody lived according to the sit-coms of the time, in a B&W (carboard), blissful existence, until an outsider intrudes on their idyllic atmosphere and brings “color” (passion) to their world.  Also, reminds me of the very good musical, Hairspray, and the film and book, The Help.  As well, of course, as the Greek tragedies of yesteryear, which is an underlying shadow to this story.

    The timing is right for Bliss in the era of the MeToo Movement and the mini-revolutions that are happening with the Youth on Environmental changes and stricter gun control laws.  The time of the play is just before our own social revolution of the 60’s, in a small town in New Jersey.
    Our hostess is Maddy (Ashley Mellinger), who dresses appropriate for a rich (frustrated) housewife of that time period, and has a tea party in which only two people come, her friend and confidant, Clementine (Gwendolyn Duffey), who is a bit of a rebel, and having an affair with her physician, Doctor Smith (John Corr).  And Antonia (Roxanne Stathos), a young teen, who she is also tutoring, in how to behave as a young lady, ala Emily Post, the goddess of etiquette in this time frame.  But into their lives appears a newbie in their village, a young, African-American lady, Cassandra (Jasmine Cottrell), who will put in motion a chain of events which will turn their lives upside down and inside out.

    A dual story that occurs at the same time, reflects their possible former guises in the Greek era of “gods and monsters.”  The premises then, is that our lives are pre-destined, as the Greeks believed, or do we have freedom of choice, to do as we please, and then Life becomes random, based on that.  And are we reincarnated, regenerated and/or regurgitated from a previous existence, to move forward toward an ultimate Purpose.  Those questions still linger today (unanswered). 

    My answer is that our souls may have had past lives and we are gaining insight into the Purpose of Life with each passing shadow of our spirit.  So, simply do the best you can with what you’ve been given and leave the world in a better state than you found it.  And that is, in part, the challenge that the author leaves us with, I believe…to question, research, discover and be adventurous.  Better said by Dr. Stephen Hawking: “Be brave, be curious, be determined.”

    This author, the director and the cast are perfect in posing these questions.  Anything that allows our minds to esplore our present state of being, is a good thing.  The characters are brilliantly rendered.  These are not easy people to portray, as they do have complexities in their being and have successfully drawn us into their lives.  Duffey (amazing as Sally in Fuse’s Cabaret), Mellinger, Stathos, Cottrell, and Corr are well-engrained in my mind…I can’t imagine any other actors doing justice to the roles as they do!

    I highly recommend this show.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Monday, February 17, 2020

James X—Corrib Theatre—SE Portland

                 Original Sin?!

    This one-man, searing drama, starring Darius Pierce, is written by Gerard Mannix Flynn and directed by Gemma Whelan.  It is playing at the New Expressive Works space, 810 SE Belmont St., through March 1st.  For more information, go to their site at

    Shakespeare espoused that fault lies within ourselves, not in our stars and, thus, is he in accordance with the Old Testament concept of Original Sin, that we are born with a burden to bear, before we have even taken our first breath.  That stain on our very being, from the outset, can pursue us for the rest of our days.  But, contrary to that belief, is one of Anne Frank’s final entries in her diary, before she died in a concentration camp, she wrote, “I still believe people are basically good.”  Despite proof to the opposite nowadays in world governments, I cling, perhaps naively, to this young girl’s view.

     But so much rides on how we are raised--nature/vs nurture views.  As James X (Darius Pierce) awaits his call to court, to offer his case, of being abused in government and religious institutions, he vomits out his story for us.  Seemingly aware of the horrors which await him in life, he struggles against being born into such a world.  As his childhood is cluttered with unwanted siblings, with a father away and drinking and a mother overburdened, life becomes increasingly unbearable and so, he lashes out to rail against these injustices…but who is listening?!

    Thus, his life is entrusted to religious and government institutions, reform schools, counseling, mental hospitals and prisons, enduring physical and sexual abuse and, during his brief respites at home, he is given to petty thefts and brawling.  Eventually finding his “calling” with a punk-rock band, but even that doesn’t slow his ultimate descent into hell, in which he finally discovers when you’re are at the bottom, there is nowhere to go but up.  And so, he gathers from public records, data on himself through them.  But that’s not the real story, which can be told in a “simpler” manner…and to find out, see it for yourself, if you dare!

    His story is, indeed, horrific but the manner in which Pierce delivers this intense monologue, is a marvel of acting and a highlight of any theatre season!  His rapid-fire spewing of this growing cancer, eating away at his soul, is awe-inspiring.  It is exactly the right interpretation by director, Whelan and actor, Pierce, to capture the degradation, humiliation and pure self-loathing and hatred this character must feel for himself…and we are entrusted with knowing that his is not an isolated case…and what are we to do about it?!

    This is very adult material, so be warned.  I highly recommend this production.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Special K—Imago Theatre—SE Portland

          The Enablers

    This original play, exploring the mystery of the creative process, perhaps, is written, designed and directed by Jerry Mouawad and produced by Carol Triffle.  It is playing at their space, 17 SE 8th Ave., off Burnside (parking is a challenge in this area, so plan your time accordingly), through February 22nd.  For more information, go to their site at

    This is probably the best expression of the extent of possibilities involved in the process of creating Art!  To most, it is a mysterious journey, made up of Muses, Madness and Magic.  I have been a part of that unique club since I was old enough to remember and continuing to the present day.  To give some connection for you from the existing world of artistic merits, it skirts the edges of Serling’s, The Twilight Zone; the French, cult-classic film of yesteryear, King of Hearts; Vonnegut and his outrageous worlds; Pirandello and his search for meaning; Dr. Leary and his exploration of the inner depths through Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds; and other sources.

    The setting is a stage, cluttered with four folks, the asexual, Thelma (Stephanie Woods); the promiscuous, Louise (Emily Welch); the sanctimonious, Narcissus (Danny Gray); and the newbie, Goldman (Matthew Sunderland), actors all.  Their purpose, as it has been for twenty years, is to entertain the fantasies of SHE (Anne Sorce), the be-all and end-all, the Empress or Queen, of this “castle” during the Black Plague era of Europe in the 14th Century.

     (A side note, showing the creative side of people during such dark times:  The disease started as a red spot on the body and, as it multiplied, a dark circle formed around it.  To stop the spread, victims who died of this were identified by flowers being placed in the pockets of them.  The bodies were then burned.  A famous children’s ditty came from this disaster…which I’ll name toward the end of this review.)

    The purpose for this deception, it seems, is a type of therapy to feed into her delusion until it wears off.  Her minions are actors hired to feed into this atmosphere and to do her bidding.  But wear and tear are emotionally draining the participants, until an elegant stranger arrives, Arnold (Sean Doran) and his quirky assistant, Jeanette (Colleen Socha).  More I cannot tell you without revealing elements an audience should discover.  But, suffice to say, it will turn their world upside down and sideways…and ours, too.  Keep in mind, not everything is as it seems.

    This is a brilliant piece of Art by Mouawad (with is co-conspirators/designers, Jon Farley, Lighting & Props and Myrrh Larsen, Sound), exploring the inner workings of a human and merging them with the outer complexities of the universe.  “What a Piece of Work is Man….”  It is destined for a run, I predict, in the Big Apple.  It will open your minds to what is possible—Everything!

    The actors and crew, many from former Imago shows, are exceptional! The illusion/delusion they create is perfectly understandable and realistic…until it isn’t.  “We are but a walking dream…” and this cast & crew and its creator make us believe in the unbelievable…the illusion of reality.  And when this is stripped away, what are we left with…the Void…an Eden…no, another Dream, perhaps.  Oh, and the little children’s rhyme:  “Ring around the rosy, pocketful of posies, ashes, ashes, all fall down!”

    I highly recommend this show.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Jungle Book—NW Children’s Theatre—NW Portland

          Creatures of the Wild

    This dance movement-oriented version of Kipling’s classic book is adapted by Sarah Jane Hardy (NWCT’s Artistic Director), Anita Menon & Pat Moran, directed by Tamara Carroll, choreographed by Menon and music composed by Rodolfo Ortega.  
    It is playing at their space, 1819 NW Everett St., through March 1st (parking is an extreme challenge in this area, so plan your time accordingly).  For more information, go to their site at or call 503-222-2190.

    In this day and age, we have our own “jungle” to navigate through, made up of concrete and electronics, not the “warm fuzzies” of Nature’s forests and veldts.  We humans seem hell-bent on destroying all the natural wonders of God’s green Earth and making a mockery of the possibilities surrounding us from the natural order of things.  We have failed, in a big way, because of our greed and self-righteous, to live in Harmony with Nature.  But the creatures of the wild have learned that lesson and, in this instance, raised a human child in the ways of the animal, in hopes of creating a new union between beasts and humans.

    All these elements boil down to the transformation of a child, a boy named, Mowgli (Gowri Ganesh), a man-cub, abandoned at birth and raised by the animals of the jungle.  Chief among them are his tutors, a feisty black, panther named, Bagheera (Emma Sanders) and a blustering bear called, Baloo (Samson Syharath).  Mowgli is allowed to stay because the leader of the pack, a clever wolf, Akela (Alanna Fagan), has taken pity on him and believes he may be special in bridging the gap between “all creatures, great and small.”

    But Mowgli is cocky, impish and more interested in playing with his friends than learning lessons.  But there is a time, in every youth’s life, when it is necessary to put aside childish things and become an adult…and that time is closing in on Mowgli.   There are two dangers that face him.  The first is that he is a human and can make fire, which is a threat to the creatures of the jungle.  And the second is that a vicious tiger, Shere Khan (Andres Alcala’), an outcast from the ruling Council, as his style is too dictatorial for leadership, wants to steal Mowgli’s secret of fire for his own selfish ends.

    But, before Mowgli can be accepted, he has to pass certain tests, in order to prove his understanding of the jungle creatures’ way of life.  Along this journey he will face many obstacles, such as the foolish, mischievous monkeys (Arjun Pai & Maya Hawks); Shere Khan’s inept henchmen (Jason Nuesa & Kara Petrick); and the wily, Boa Constrictor, Kaa (Fagan, again).  Of course, a showdown is inevitable but you’ll have to see it for yourselves to discover the outcome…but the message is clear, if beings work together, anything is possible (unlike many governments of the world today).

    The charm of this production really lies with the amazing dancers and dances, as well as the captivating music.  It is a tale told mostly through stylized movement & interpretive, multi-styles of dance; very colorful and inventive costumes (Mary Eggers); and an extremely functional and sleek set (John Ellingson).  If you enjoy going to musical and dance concerts, you will really enjoy this.

    The chorus of dancers are the key to the success of this production and they are brilliant!  So, too, is Alcala’, who makes a delicious villain; Fagan in her aerial acrobatics, as the snake and, especially, Ganesh as Mowgli, she is amazing, having to learn all the different styles of dance in her journey, and is a pretty fine actor, as well.  One of the best and most energetic performances of the Season!  I predict she will go far in this profession.

    I highly recommend this production.  If you do go, please tell them Dennis sent you.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Mamma Mia!—Stumptown Stages—downtown Portland

          “Thanks for the Memories”

    This popular musical has music and lyrics by Benny Anderson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, with Stig Anderson, book by Catherine Johnson and directed and choreographed by Christopher George Patterson, and music direction by Adam Joseph Young.  It is playing at the Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, through February 16th.  For more information, go to their site at

    “If music be the food of love, play on!”  In truth, what passes for “love,” in most filmic and literary definitions of the word, is really just simply lust or animal attraction.  But our poetic natures refuse this baser explanation of a truly enigmatic feeling, which is both very personal and undefinable.

And so, we are left, in this story, with what can be best described as a love child, with the possibility of three fathers.  Of course, if “safe sex” had been practiced, or a paternity DNA test issued, there would be no such questions nor, of course, no story.  So, sit back, relax, and let the Magic of the Greek isles weave its spell on you.

    The story is woven around the music of ABBA and cleverly done, too, from an “Age of no regrets.”  (Julie Traymore, of Broadway’s Lion King fame, did a similar film with a story woven around Beatles music.)

    Donna (the incomparable, Margie Boule’) has had her space in the sun, on her little, Greek island, running an Inn, for about 20 years, and raising, as a single mom, her daughter, Sophie (Jacqueline Mallene).  But changes are in the wind and her daughter has found the man of her dreams, Sky (Michael Castillo), and so, a wedding is planned.  Which means, of course, a huge party, with Donna’s two best friends attending, the vivacious, Tonya (Lisamarie Harrison, reprising her role from the Broadway Rose production) and the spunky, Rosie (Elizabeth Hadley).

    And, of course, that means Sophie’s best friends must also attend, the sassy, Lisa (Tina Mascaro) and the fun-loving, Ali (Liz O’Donnell).  There are also some very available young studs around for any unattached females, helpers at the Inn, the winsome, Pepper (Xander Dean) and the energetic, Eddie (Jeff George).   
Only one, teeny-weeny, little fly-in-the-olive-oil, she wants her dad to walk her down the aisle, as per tradition.  Only one small problem, she doesn’t know who  he is, so she invites all three of the potential suitors (according to her Mom’s journal), the designer, Sam (Shawn Rogers), Bill (Steve Coker), the writer, and Harry (Doug Zimmerman), the banker…from that fateful time period, when she was conceived…to the ceremony, in the hopes of finding out who her real dad is.

    “In the meantime, in-between time, ain’t we got fun!” Can’t tell you the rest without spoiling the tale but, trust me, the music, dancing and songs transport one to the land of, if not “happy” endings, at least, “hopeful” ones.

    All the popular songs are there, including the popular, “Dancing Queen” and, of course, “Mamma Mia.”  The songs and dances are a-plenty, all very well executed by an extremely talented troupe of performers, with nary a weak link in the bunch.  Harrison knocks ‘em dead with, “Does Your Mother Know,” and Hadley explodes with, “Take a Chance on Me,” both show-stoppers.  The dancers excel, especially in “Voulez-Vous.”  And Boule’ raised the roof with the emotional, “The Winner Takes It All”—powerful in the extreme!

    The acting was top-flight, too, among the ladies and, after all, it is their show.  But the guys lend ample support, with the most natural being Coker, with his easy-going manner and charm, giving a natural feel for the role.  Patterson has infused it with a winning cast and fast-paced delivery.

    On a personal note, I was seated in a section of the theatre where my sightlines of S/R action were hampered and had a pole in front me…not good placement for a reviewer…nor any audience member…so best check on the layout of seats when reserving them.

    I recommend this show.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.