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New This Week:
|The 2013 production of All is Calm|
My take: This show is apparently going to be a holiday tradition at Mustard Seed, and with good reason. The story of the remarkable holiday truce that spontaneously interrupted the insanity of World War I remains an inspiring reminder of what happens when ordinary people ignore the manipulations of their leadership and allow their basic decency to take control of their actions. The lesson for contemporary politics is clear. "The singing is deep, strong and wide ranging in voice," wrote Dennis Corcoran in his review of the 2013 production for KDHX, "with arrangements spanning the complex to the surprisingly simple and pure...This show is a special treat. "
|Animals Out of Paper|
Photo: Michael Young
My take: As someone who entered into a major love affair with origami as a youth, I find the subject of this play fascinating. In her review for KDHX, Tina Farmer says that Animals Out of Paper "is a cerebral story about intimacy told from three incomplete and deeply emotional perspectives. As such, there are thoughts left unsaid, confusion caused by good intentions, and anger and hurt that springs from misplaced need and misunderstood actions. Each character is authentically human and flawed, and the actors and Schaefer don’t hesitate in peeling back the skin and showing the turmoil, indecision, and impulses that drive the characters. The show poses more questions than it answers and opens more wounds than it heals, making for a compelling, if at times messy, story arc."
My take: It has been a while since Christy has brought her big, brassy, sassy stage persona to the local cabaret scene, so this is a welcome return. Ms. Simmons has a well-trained voice that can belt or purr as needed, so she’s equally at home up-tempo numbers and ballads. And she has some pretty impressive sidemen this time around, including Joe Dreyer, a guy with some solid cabaret credentials of his own. I know nothing about the Boom Boom Room, but I know plenty about Ms. Simmons and that's enough to recommend this show.