Back to Archives

Post shopping thrills

Checking in with South Sound theater

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

It’s a busy time in theater, so I’ll get right to it.

I wasn’t wowed by Capital Playhouse’s staging of Walter Jones’ “The 1940s Radio Hour.” I wanted to be wowed. It wasn’t a bad show. It was actually entertaining. But I wanted more. The first trouble was the script. The show focuses on a New York radio studio, where the cast is staging a live holiday show. It’s sort of a play within a play that has the audience playing the role of flies on the wall and then as the audience of the radio show, which comes with the standard big band music you would expect from a show staged during the war years. The script just didn’t go anywhere. It had a few side stories and back stories, but the storyline itself was fairly straightforward. The crew was staging a show. Period.

It was nice to see the actors adding their own nuances to the show. Zoot Doubleman (played by Troy Fisher) actually writes notations on his sheet music during a rehearsal scene, for example. And there are a few flirty glances between cast members from time to time. But they don’t go anywhere.

The show runs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. until Dec. 22. There will be special matinees on Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $29 to $35 for adults, $23 to $29 for seniors and students. Capital Playhouse is located at 612 E. Fourth Ave. in Olympia. Call 360.943.2744 or visit: for more information.

Harlequin Production’s “Operation Stardust” has better jive.

The trooper of the day award goes to Elise Campello, who plays Esther Smith in Tacoma Musical Playhouse’s production of “Meet Me in St. Louis.” During “Under the Bamboo Tree,” she battled to keep her wig on as it teetered and tottered during the dance number. She battled through it under the true “the show must go on” mantra.

As for the show itself, it was what it was. It is a bubblegum show that was well cast and well executed for the most part. However, at times the timing seemed to lag just a few seconds too long as the scenes changed. When Rose Smith (Cheryl Hendricks) and Warren Sheffield (Jon Huntsman) entered a party already in session, the gathering was otherwise quiet and still as if other cast members were frozen until the pair entered. There was none of that silent “talking” actors do to denote other conversations are underway.

The use of a rotating set to show the outside and inside of the house, however, was a cool feature.

This show is worth the ticket price — if you can get one. The whole run of the show is 88 percent sold already.

The show runs through Dec. 16 with shows at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday. All regular Sunday shows were sold out before the show opened. The Narrows Theatre is located at 7116 Sixth Ave. Tickets are $23 for adults, $21 for students, seniors and military and $16 for children 12 and under. Call 253.565.6867 or visit for more information.

On another note, Classical Youth Ballet, a Lakewood-based ballet troupe, is staging its version of “The Nutcracker,“ and it needs to do well. All indications are that it will since it has some fine dancing pedigree behind it. The school has trained dancers who have gone on to places such as School of American Ballet in New York, Pacific Northwest Ballet School of Seattle, the Rock Ballet School of Philadelphia and the Evergreen City Ballet.

The artistic director, Laura L. Berry, received her training from Brigette DeCalle, a principal dancer for the Kirov Ballet in Russia. Berry has danced with the Joffrey Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet, and the Ham Berge Ballet of Germany. She also danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for many years. But Berry also is trained and certified in early childhood psychological development, so she knows both sides of the ballet instructing world.

Give them a look this holiday season. The show will run at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Curtis High School, 8425 40th St. W., in University Place. Visit or call 253.584.2101.

comments powered by Disqus