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November 7, 2013

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Three shows that run the theatrical gamut

TALK ABOUT YOUR THEATRICAL SMORGASBORD. THERE’S something for most every taste opening this week in venues throughout town. And isn’t it fabulous that we can even say, “venues throughout town” when it comes to theatre? Big change there in just a few years. Yay.

The Eighties Roll On

Get out the legwarmers, folks, because that Eighties icon, that rollerskating extravaganza, “Xanadu,” is back! For one weekend only, the Chattanooga State Theatre and Music Departments are presenting “Xanadu: The Broadway Musical.” And yes, Olivia fans, it’s based on the Universal Pictures film. From the website: “ It’s hilarity on wheels for adults, children and anyone who has ever wanted to feel inspired, as one of Broadway’s master storytellers, Douglas Carter Beane, weaves a moving, electrifying tale of endless fun that will keep you in stitches, while the original, legendary chart-topping tunes lift you out of your seat. You’ll want to keep the music in your head, and Xanadu in your heart, forever.”  OK, maybe not forever, but it sounds like a lot of fun. Sherry Landrum is directing with choreography by Lindsay Fussell.

“Xanadu,”  $15.7:30 p.m. Nov. 8,9, 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Humanities Theatre, Chattanooga State College, 4501 Amnicola Hwy. (423) 697-3246.

Time for Trust Exercises

“Absorbing, unblinking and sharply funny” is how the New York Times described “Circle Mirror Transformation” when it premiered off-Broadway in 2009. This evaluation was shared by other critics as well, and the play won several Obies during that season. Theater for the New South presents the piece in the company’s trademark “found spaces” staging starting this weekend. In “Circle,” five Vermonters meet every week in a community center drama class, play theatre games and endure acting exercises. TFNS says, “As they experiment with fun and harmless theatre games, the audience sees an unearthing of raw emotion in quiet and not-so-quiet displays.” 

For the first time, the company hosts a guest director, Grace Holtz. Cast members are Dan Buck, John Hammons, Victoria Jocsing, Nina Jones and Marcia Parks.

“Circle Mirror Transformation,” $15 advance, $20 door. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, 14-17, South Chattanooga Recreational Center (St. Elmo), 1151 W. 40th St. brownpapertickets.com/event/500621

We Missed You, Dolling

And for the littlest theatre-goers, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre opens an old favorite, suitable for ages 5-8, “Raggedy Ann & Andy.” Says the CTC,  “A fancy new French doll, Babette, has just arrived in the playroom; however, she is quickly whisked away by Prince Leonard-the-Looney-Hearted.  Raggedy Ann knows what she must do…She and brother Andy embark into the “deep, deep woods” to fetch Babette back home. Along the way they meet the Camel with the Wrinkled knees and encounter the Greedy, a gluttonous candy monster.  This free-wheeling romp combines an action-packed plot and lively audience participation.” Now, be honest: Don’t you just love a character called Camel with the Wrinkled Knees? Also, Raggedy Ann turns 95 this year, and speaking of wrinkled knees, I hope I look that good at her age.

“Raggedy Ann & Andy,” $10. 

Opens Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. Multiple performances through Nov. 17. Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St. (423) 267-8534, theatrecentre.com

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November 7, 2013

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