Tag Archives: Bill Lelbach

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd I sat glued to every moment of Ken Burns' masterful documentary The Vietnam War, then capped it off by attending opening night (Friday, Sept. 29) of Chenango River Theatre's powerful production of The Speed of Darkness. "Gripping" describes both documentary and play. They go glove-in-hand, both revealing secrets that cry out to see the light of day. The Speed of Darkness by Steve Tesich received its world premiere in 1989 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and had its Broadway premiere two years later....
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Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri Flying, by Sheila Cowley, is a five-person tour de force of superb acting. A runner-up for the University of South Carolina’s Todd McNerney Playwriting Award, a nationally held contest, the play had its world premiere Friday night (May 26) at the Chenango River Theatre in Greene. The play is set in West Texas at the end of World War II. In two pin-dropping acts, it tells the story of a flying ace and hero,...
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Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Taking Sides, which opened Friday night (Sept. 30) at the Chenango River Theatre, is the perfect vehicle to showcase the supreme acting talents of Jim Wicker and James Wetzel. Portraying, respectively, world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler and his post-World War II U.S. Army interrogator Major Arnold, the two are locked in mortal combat. You can’t take your eyes away from the carnage.
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd As the Press & Sun-Bulletin’s Chris Kocher said in his preview of the Chenango River Theatre’s show Last Gas, the title sounds suspiciously like “Last Gasp.” But in the clever play by John Cariani, the bittersweet ending finds lead character, Nat Paradis (played by CRT veteran Drew Kahl), taking a “Last Grasp” at happiness. At 41, Nat dredges up the courage to leave his northern Maine home town; ditches his father, Dwight (Jim Wicker), and his job running his dad’s store; takes leave...
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Reviewed by George Basler Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities asks some provocative questions: When does truth-telling carry a cost that is too painful to bear? When does artistic freedom mean betrayal? Should some secrets stayed buried? It offers no easy answers, but it does provide an absorbing evening of theater. The play was nominated for a Tony Award and named as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. The recognition is well-deserved. Baitz’s play skillfully mixes intensely emotional moments with some brittle humor. The production, which opened last...
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escanaba cast

Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri

How many cool things are there to say about Jeff Daniel’s hilarious comedy Escanaba in Da Moonlight? Plenty, but it will be way more fun for you to just go and see what I mean, eh?

Albert Soady tells the tale of an unforgettable night at his family’s deer camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where everyone uses a “Yooper” accent and adds “eh?”...

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Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

What a perfect show for the Fourth of July or, indeed, for the whole month of July. Invoking anything but knee-jerk patriotism, Woody Guthrie’s American Song at the Chenango River Theatre, gives a strong message -- that liberty and the freedom to speak your mind without fear are precious American rights.

The musical revue traces the life of folk icon Woody Guthrie, composer of more than 3,000 songs characterized by memorable melodies, clever lyrics and fearlessness about telling the truth.

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