Ricky Ritzel is the Manhattan club world's kinetic musical fixture, the creative whirlwind who chaperones the weekly reunifications of Judy Garland and not-so-ever-lovin' daughter Liza -- or reasonable facsimiles thereof -- at Don't Tell Mama.
Kelli Rabke was pertly blue collar in Look What Happened to Mabel. Lee Roy Reams archly punched out Hundreds of Girls, Donna Vivino aptly expressed her fury in Wherever He Ain't. Emily Skinner tore my heart out with Time Heals Everything, the quintessential smoldering torch song.
Perhaps theater has always been an idea whose best moment is yet to come. I mean, there must be something maddening about the year-in, year-out program model that regional theaters must bear in order to do their work.
This fall the San Francisco Opera revived its 1997 production of Rigoletto. Featuring Michael Yeargan's handsome sets (inspired by Giorgio de Chirico) and Constance Hoffman's impressive period costumes, the opera has been double cast to gain maximum stage time.
If hot music means more to you than heated politics, the place to be this past Tuesday wasn't Charlotte, North Carolina but New York City where Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye were -- as the title of their tandem show has it -- "Swingin' the Night Away."
She's a nonagenarian who, when dressed in black, looks a little like a bobble-head with a pipe-cleaner body. But, at the age of 91, entertainer Carol Channing has amazing energy and a rare spirit for life.
Who doesn't love a good cat fight? I'm not talking about old-fashioned ladies mud wrestling or a trailer trash hair-pulling contest. I'm referring to the kind of fight where acid thoughts fly across the stage on malicious darts guided by a frightening level of intelligence.