A Review of Million Dollar Quartet

Million Dollar Quartet.jpg

by Gerry Roe

There is a time machine at Old Creamery Theatre. Walk into the theatre, find your seat, and prepare to be transported. I dropped more than 60 years once the time travel began and when it stopped I was at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, and the date was December 4, 1956 when rock and roll music took a major step forward (in spite of the belief held by many people that it was just a fad and would disappear from the record industry and the airwaves). That night four giants of music played together for the first and only time. The Old Creamery Theatre’s production allows us into that magic night to listen to Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. Continue reading

A Review of Making God Laugh


Photo by Lily Allen-Duenas

by Gerry Roe

Amana – Sean McCall, the Creamery’s Artistic Director, includes in each program a letter to the audience in which he may tell us how he chose the play or something about the history of the play and/or playwright. In the letter for Making God Laugh, McCall includes a quote from Woody Allen which gave this play its title. Allen’s version of the familiar idea is very clear: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” The play gives us a clear illustration of this familiar adage by examining thirty years in the life of a suburban family. I think there’s a reason for letting us see what thirty years can produce: thirty is often a magic number as in rain for thirty days and nights, Jesus beginning his career at thirty, etc. Continue reading

A Review of Winter Wonderettes

wonderettesby Gerry Roe

Amana – Old Creamery Theatre brings its 2016 season to a close with an energetic production of Winter Wonderettes, an interesting introduction to the holiday season featuring four women with strong abilities in both singing and dancing. Some of the songs are original, but some of the old favorites from the 50’s and 60’s are included as well. Continue reading

A Review of Nana’s Naughty Knickers


by Gerry Roe

Amana – It is the nature of farce that the story, reduced to synopsis, can become rather silly. Old Creamery’s current production of Nana’s Naughty Knickers easily fits into the silly category if we look only at the story and not at the performances of the accomplished cast or at the production as a whole. This production cannot be categorized as silly in the hands of director Sean McCall and his stellar cast. It is a theatrical experience not to be dismissed or passed over lightly and it lingers in the memory not because of its plot but because of its splendid pacing and the pleasure it evokes in its audience. Continue reading

A Review of Grease

grease1by Gerry Roe

The current production of Grease at Old Creamery Theatre could appropriately be subtitled “Exuberant Enthusiasm.” The young actors seem incredibly dedicated to the script and the 1950’s songs and general atmosphere prevalent in the early days of rock and roll. From the first really important song, “Summer Nights,” to the final number, a reprise of “We Go Together,” the level of enthusiasm never lets up. Continue reading

A Review of Shear Madness

by Gerry Roe

Amana – Returning to Old Creamery Theatre’s main stage after an excellent production in the 2015 season, Shear Madness has retained all but one of last year’s cast members and provides an opportunity for Tom Schwans to return to the OCT company. As a former member and Associate Artistic Director of the company, he could be expected to fit in with the five returning actors and he does, just as skilled at ad libs and improvisation as any company member. This is finely tuned comedy, especially when we consider that it is never the same play twice. I had the good fortune to see it last year, and yes, there are familiar lines, basic plot situations, but I suspect that one could see it many times and never succumb to boredom. Especially if the actors are as skilled as those on view at OCT right now. Continue reading

A Review of Buyer and Cellar


by Gerry Roe

Amana – There are plays which purport to be accurate portrayals of human behavior, faithfully adhering to the realities of life, whether in ancient Rome or Greece, colonial America, or in contemporary settings, often choosing a particular segment of the population of a particular location, from run-down inner city streets or tenements, to drawing rooms of the affluent. Old Creamery’s production of Buyer and Cellar is not one of those plays. It is pure fantasy, as the lone actor tells us from the beginning, inspired by Barbra Streisand’s book, My Passion for Design. The book is real, the play it inspired is pure fiction. Continue reading

A Review of I’ll Eat You Last

eatyoulastby Gerry Roe

Don’t be put off by the title—it’s just one of the jokes Sue Mengers shares with the audience (consisting of people clustered around her living room). The subtitle of the play is “A Chat with Sue Mengers” which is really a chat by Sue Mengers. The woman likes to talk, even to us, so she delivers a ninety-minute monologue telling us about her life and her career as the first woman to become a power agent in Hollywood. Continue reading

A Review of Million Dollar Quartet


by Gerry Roe

Amana – For many members of the audience at Old Creamery’s production of Million Dollar Quartet the show functions like a time machine. We enter the theatre in 2016 but when the lights go up we are suddenly but firmly planted in Memphis on December 4, 1956. As for me, I was instantly transformed into a small-town 16-year old who wasn’t at all sure that rock and roll was anything but a fad, that it would eventually go the way of the Charleston or the Black Bottom. Then the actor/musicians began to arrive in Sun Studio’s office presided over by none other than Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records and the man who would become famous for discovering Howlin’ Wolf and the king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley himself. Continue reading