Peoria Players

This week, Nathan Irwin talks with Susan Hazzard. She’s directing “Steel Magnolias” at Peoria Players Theatre. The play centers on six women, the changes in their lives over a three-year span, and the bonds among them. Hazzard says she was drawn to the script for its portrayal of strong female characters, and the ways in which those characters develop and change over the course of the show. The Players production features a cast that includes some community theatre veterans, and a few newer performers.

Cue the snappy theme song for this week's Out and About because we're talking to Travis Olson, director of The Addams Family at Peoria Player's Theatre. Olson describes the backstory for the new musical comedy for all ages, and offers insight into the local debut. 

More information on show dates and times for The Addams Family can be found at www.peoriaplayers.org, and the box office at 688-4473.

Peoria Players Theatre

One baseball fan’s lament, and an actual “deal with the Devil,” set off the action in the musical, “Damn Yankees.” A production is currently underway at Peoria Players Theatre. Stan Strickler has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Peoria Players Theatre

Peoria Players Theatre continues its season with a production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta that brings together orphans, musical pirates and a modern major-general. Stan Strickler has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Peoria Players Theatre

Laura Garfinkel is directing "The Pirates of Penzance," which opens this weekend at Peoria Players Theatre. She talks about the decision to propose the operetta as part of Players' current season; about the her cast and production team; and about the approachability of the work by Gilbert and Sullivan. Performances of "The Pirates of Penzance" begin tonight, and continue through Sunday, March 22nd.

Chip Joyce joins us this week to talk about Peoria Players Theatre's upcoming production of "Cabaret." He tells us this show has been on his "bucket list" for several years. He also talks about how the show has been updated and revised over the years. The Peoria Players production is based on the 1990s Broadway revival; it's a little darker than earlier versions, and uses cast members to supplement the orchestra. "Cabaret" runs February 6-15 at Peoria Players Theatre.

Peoria Players Theatre presents “The Sound of Music” as it final production in 2014. Stan Strickler has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Peoria Players Theatre

This week, we're talking with Nate Downs. He's playing Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple." The production opens tonight at Peoria Players Theatre. This will be the Downs' fourth time Downs has done the show, and the third time he's played Oscar. He talks about how the themes of the play, and Neil Simon's sharp dialogue, make the work timeless. He also talks about the relationship between Oscar and Felix, and about how the other characters in the play contribute to the experience.

This week, we're tslking with Steve Bortolotti, He's directing Peoria Players Theatre's 10th anniversary production of "Ragtime." He also directed the earlier production. He talks about what drew him to the show, which is based on a historical novel by E. L. Doctorow, and about why he was so eager to stage it again. "Ragtime" runs September 5th through 14th at Peoria Players Theatre.

Peoria Players Theatre

This week we're talking with Peggy Beaux Hupp. She;s directing "Smokey Joe's Cafe" at Peoria Players Theatre. The show is a "jukebox" musical, built around the music of Mike Stoller and Jerry Lieber. We talk about some of the numbers featured in the show, about finding the right voices to make up the cast, and about the challenge of directing a musical with no story line and no recurring characaters. "Smokey Joe's Cafe" runs June 5th through 9th at Peoria Players.

Peoria Players Theatre

Peoria Players Theatre is staging the first Central Illinois production of “Shrek: The Musical,” based on the animated films Marty Lynch has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria.

Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Peoria Players Theatre

The play, “The Miracle Worker” re-tells the story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. Douglas Oakey has this review of a production at Peoria Players Theatre, for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Peoria Players Theatre dusts off William Gibson’s “The Miracle Worker” this spring, directed by Charles Killen.  Good news: The play retains all of its charm and emotional power. 

Peoria Players Theatre

This week, we're talking with Charles Killen, director of Peoria Players Theatre's upcoming production of "The Miracle Worker." He talks about his own history with the play, about casting the two principal roles, and about the subject matter of the show remains relevant in 2014. "The Miracle Worker" runs March 14th through 23rd at Peoria Players.

Peoria Players Theatre

This week, we're talking with Chip Joyce, who plays Fagin in Peoria Players' upcoming production of the musical "Oliver!" Joyce says it's one of a handful of roles on his "bucket list." The role requires a fair amount of stage makeup, and adopting a specific voice and gait. "Oliver!" opens tonight, and runs through February 16th at Peoria Players Theatre.

The 1940s film “Meet Me in St. Louis” is best known for introducing the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Peoria Players Theatre is currently presenting the stage adaptation of the film. Marty Lynch has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

This week, we're talking with Jim Babrowski, from Peoria Players Theatre's production of Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park." The play depicts a pair of mismatched newlyweds and their different expectations for married life. He also talks about other productions coming up in Players' 2013-14 season. "Barefoot in the Park" opens tonight and continues through October 13th at Peoria Players Theatre.

Peoria Players Theatre opens its 95th season with the musical “Les Miserables.” Stan Strickler has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Charlie Brown is playing Jean Valjean in Peoria Players Theatre's upcoming production of "Les Miserables." He talks his own interest in the long-running musical, the specific story arc of his character, and how he's approached the character. "Les Miserables" runs September 6th through the 15th.

This week, we're talking with Jimmy Ulrich about Peoria Players' upcoming youth production of "All Shook Up." The "jukebox" musical features music made famous by Elvis Presley, and a story about a small Midwestern town, thrown into disarray by the arrival of a motorcycle-riding drifter. Ulrich says the music -- along with the fact  that it's a newer musical --  makes the show a treat for both the performers and the audience. "All Shook Up" runs August 7th through the 11th at Peoria Players Theatre.

This week, we're talking with Caleb Finley. He's directing Peoria Players Theatre's production of "Bus Stop." The  play revolves around a group of bus travelers, stranded in a remote bus stop by a heavy storm. Finley talks about drew him to the script, about trying avoid over-reliance on the film adaptation of the play, and about the two characters at the center of the script's main plot. "Bus Stop" continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Peoria Players.

Peoria Players Theatre closes its current season with the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Marty Lynch has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

This week, we're talking with Laura Garfinkel, the director of Peoria Players Theatre's upcoming production of "Fiddler on the Roof." She talks about the universal themes which permeate the show: the tension between tradition and modernity, the bonds of a small community, and the expectations family members have of one another. Those themes, and memorable score, help explain how the show has endured for almost fifty years. "Fiddler on the Roof" runs May 3rd through May 12th at Peoria Players Theatre.

Lindsey Cheney joins us this week to talk about Peoria Players Theatre's production of "Godspell." The show recreates selected parables from the Gospels and features music by Stephen Schwartz. Cheney talks about how the director and cast have updated and personalized the script, about some of the musical numbers in the show, and about how the rehearsal process has created a strong bond among the company. Performances of "Godspell" continue through Sunday.

Review - "Godspell"

Mar 20, 2013

Peoria Players Theatre continues its current season with the musical “Godspell.” Marty Lynch has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre League of Peoria.

Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.