“Cotton Patch Gospel,” at the Brewery Performance Hall last weekend, lived up to its billing as an entertaining retelling of the biblical story of Jesus and his disciples.
And you can be pretty sure that this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., it will do the same. It features music and lyrics by the late Harry Chapin, who put a lot of soul into his songs. And it has a cast that is outstanding, including Tony Windisch as Jesus, Corey Stockton as John the Baptist and Dan Robbins as Matthew.
Windisch’s Jesus is a laid-back Messiah, mostly soft in speaking but loud in belief. While he is the main character in the musical, he steps back to let the rest of the cast shine. And shine is what Stockton does as John. He takes over the stage when he appears.
On the other hand, Robbins’ Matthew is a firm, no-nonsense kind of fellow, serving as the narrator who keeps things under control.
Lots of good smaller roles are also well done. Watch barefoot Shannon Cord’s bit in the first act, in which she makes a big impression with just a flash of motion.
This is a truly fun and (don’t let this keep you from going) uplifting performance.
I recently complained that the theater around Carson City is too good; I never get to become negative. Well, I do have a negative in the show. It’s the insertion in the second act of a series of projected photos of Iraqi war scenes during a dialogue between Joseph and Mary. It’s patched in and detracts from the performers. A fine idea as a tribute to the GIs in Iraq, but at the wrong time and wrong place. Maybe between acts, but then that’s director Jim DeZerga’s job.
And whatever you do, don’t miss the between-the-acts music in the lobby. Ryan Vettel, who’s also in the cast, plays a mean violin. It’s a delight.
Comma Coffee music
Friday, starting at 8 p.m., catch Erica Jame, an unbelievable father (guitar)-daughter (violin) duo. It’s free. This I gotta hear.
On Saturday at 10 a.m., it’s “Breakfast with Mozart” with Jackie Maye in her first of two appearances as the famed composer in a light, one-woman, family-friendly performance of laughs, thought-provoking ideas and Mozart. Great way to start the weekend. No cover charge.
And Saturday night at 8 p.m., its Mike Maimone. Sunday at 1 p.m., Java Jazz continues with Me and Bobby McGee, a duo playing the great classics of Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Gershwin and more. Call 883-2662.
Patrick Ball strums away
If Celtic music sets your heart a thumpin’, storyteller and harpist Patrick Ball will play at Virginia City’s Fourth Ward School at 4 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $15. Call 847-0975.
The Nevada Repertory Company performs “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” (“Dangerous Liaisons”), playwright Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of the risque 18th-century novel much seen in films of late. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the University of Nevada, Reno’s Redfield Proscenium Theatre. Call (800)225-2277.
Don’t let it go
“Grease,” reported to be the most popular musical in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, is coming up. The Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company brings the classic to the Carson City Community Center in seven performances May 12-21. Just an early warning.