Sunday, December 13, 2015

theatre review - THE QUILTMAKER'S GIFT - Theater Works - December 6, 2015

Joshua Vern and Barbara McBain
photo: Wade Moran
"The joy of giving and helping others is at the heart of the holiday season and the musical The Quiltmaker's Gift focuses on the benefits one receives when doing these types of philanthropic work. Theater Works presented the musical comedy last year and it returns this season with an even better cast who turn the production into a joyous, moving endeavor. ...Based on the children's book by Jeff Brumbeau... has a fun and varied musical score, with music by ... Craig Bohmler and witty, charming lyrics by Steven Mark Kohn, and a humorous yet moving book by Alan J. Prewitt...Cydney Trent, who choreographed last year's production, returns but now also takes over the director role. She does a fine job with the fun movement for the cast, elicits plenty of laughs from the life lessons of the story, and achieves fun and also touching performances from her cast. Theater Works' production features the same colorful and inventive set by Thom Gilseth, lavish and lovely costume designs by Tamara Treat from last year as well, and Joshua Vern who returns as the King. Vern is even better than last year as the greedy, brat of a king.... Barbara McBain is just as good as the Quiltmaker. ...Vern and McBain have fun together and play off each other very well. McGrath's lilting voice brings a tenderness to her songs. Theater Works Executive Director Daniel Schay portrays the old man who tells the story of the Quiltmaker and the King and he brings a playfulness to the part. ...Almost everyone was taught that "it's better to give than to receive," and that simple life lesson resonates throughout The Quiltmaker's Gift. That statement is something every one of us, no matter what age, should be reminded of at this time of year. With a fun musical score and a story filled with colorful characters, the Theater Works production has the right combination of great casting and colorful creative elements to make this simple story a joyful holiday treat for theatergoers young and old."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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