Sunday, March 24, 2013

KC Repertory "Carousel" review by brave_one

Refreshing and Creative Rating: 4

Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Walking through the backstage area to our seats was interesting enough apart from my eagerness to see this show, partnered creatively by KC Rep and the Living Room. Older theatre patrons were looking around, curious to see the other side of the theatre, which made me smile.

Being both part of the audience and somewhat part of the show was intimate and exciting all at the same time. The light bulb effect was the perfect touch to this mostly bare stage, and the timing of this effect was seamless.

I would have known Steven Eubank was credited for the choreography without looking at the program: energetic, whimsical and anything but standard.

Although Rusty Sneary does a fine job portraying a rough-around-the-edges Billy, and Molly Denninghoff a strong and confident Julie, it was Liz Clark Golson that really stood apart from the rest of the cast. Yes, the character of Carrie is simply that: a "character," but Golson's energy and expert comic timing were outstanding. Also, Nick Uthoff is memorable as Jigger, with an excellent comic scene between he and Golson.

Lastly, kudos to the ensemble for keeping their energy up throughout this lengthy show!

A few constructive criticisms: 1) The opening scene for Act 2 (That Was a Real Nice Clambake) simply did not match the rest of the production. It was too sex-heavy and seemed out of place. 2) Mrs. Mullin's character was wearing a dress that looked like a current-day fashion you could pick up at Target, and showed way too much skin. 3) There is a scene where the ensemble enters from behind the audience with a sudden loud noise/yell that made everyone jump - maybe a little bit much with the age of some of the patrons - don't want a medical emergency.

Overall, a unique and refreshing take on a classic piece of musical theatre in a setting like none other, and a talented and energetic cast that will leave you wanting more. Bravo to Kyle Hatley, KC Rep and The Living Room for a job very well done!

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