From the beginning preshow shtick to the crazy finale, OMG's production of "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" brims over with fun, great vocals and a story right out of television's soap operas.
Director Ryan Cowles does himself proud with this crazy musical full of bad wigs, tacky outfits and even tackier characters.
And to play those larger-than-life characters, Cowles has found the perfect cast. Elizabeth Curtis, Shelby Dean-Flegel and Jessica Coker keep the action moving as the trailer park girls (plus several other characters) who narrate events as the nosy neighbors.
Equally at home doing Anderson Sisters and Supremes takeoffs, the lively trio keeps the laughs coming. Danny Cozart and Vanessa Lucero do a wonderful job (and both, especially Lucero, have dynamite voices) as the couple in trouble with Jordon Bridges as the boyfriend-from-hell.
But Cowles couldn't have done better than Tielle Baker as Pippi. With a great singing voice and moves that would make any striper proud, Baker easily moves from the hard-edged Pippi to the more vulnerable woman inside.
Set designer Clare DeVries does a lot with the Knight Stage 3's small space, while Max Hilsabeck had fun designing the trashy costumes.
But what would a musical be without a band? Music director Sean Kana and his quartet keep the joint jumping and the tunes lively throughout.
The show runs through March 9. Call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org. Language might not be suitable for younger audiences.
Diablo Theatre Company continues to roll the dice with its production of "Guys and Dolls" through March 1, at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek.
Please note that Thursday shows begin at 7 p.m. Somehow, I forgot that small item and didn't show up until 7:45 p.m. so I missed a goodly portion of the first act.
While the show lacks energy in parts, it rises to the occasion every time the wonderful Mary Kalita appears as Adelaide. She brings a delightful enthusiasm and comedic timing to the role and is well paired with Gene Bencomo as Nathan Detroit.
Both Kalita and Kimberly Nearon as Sarah Brown have very different but equally lovely voices that are a pleasure to hear.
Kudos to music director Matt Smart and his talented musicians for bringing Loesser's music to life and to the always-creative Kelly Tighe for designing the colorful set made even more eye-catching with Carol Edlinger's costumes.
For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
If you still need more of Loesser's great music, the Acalanes High School Performing Arts Department presents "Guys and Dolls" at 7 p.m. March 6-8, at the school's Performing Arts Center, 1200 Pleasant Hill Road, in Lafayette.
For more information, go to https://acalaneshs.revtrak.net/tek9.asp?pg=products&grp=38.
Berkeley Repertory's "The House That Will Not Stand" has received such an exuberant reception from critics and audiences alike that the company has announced the addition of seven performances.
The historically rich, sensuous and often heartbreaking drama set in 1836 New Orleans will now play through March 23.
For tickets, call 510-647-2949 or go to www.berkeleyrep.org.
Congratulations to the Santa Cruz community that refused to let their Shakespeare Festival die. Due to financial problems, Shakespeare Santa Cruz had closed last year.
An outpouring of community support, however, will allow the newly formed Shakespeare Play On to produce a two-play Shakespeare season this summer.
"The community response was so inspirational that several donors gave gifts that now form the nucleus of an endowment that will help ensure the longevity and fiscal health for future season," said co-artistic director Mike Ryan.
For more information on the company and its season, go to www.shakespeareplayon.org.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.