We loved RUTHLESS at MSU Summer Circle tonight. It's a musical diva smackdown, clambering over the top, spoofing Gypsy - and so much more (In his note, Director Deric McNish also mentions A Chorus Line, The Bad Seed, All About Eve, and even TV Shows Dance Moms and Toddlers in Tiaras.) The (im)moral of the story is that the key to show-biz success is ruthlessness — and these ladies have it in spades and spangles and feathers and furs.
One "lady" was marvelously portrayed by a glamorous Ryan Bennet (Edna Turnblad, eat your heart out.) Sarah Goeke was sensational as the quintessential housewife/mother... or IS she? Her second-act transformation was a delight. Brianna Buckley was the deliciously vicious theatre critic and grandmother. Well differentiated wacky double roles were well played by Katherine Schooler and Caitlin Dunlap. Matching these MSU-trained "pros" was the extremely talented, appropriately ruthless and terminally cute Lauren Kreuer, a tiny 6th grader who will amaze you with her talent, voice and presence.
The Costumes were wonderful (Stephanie Eubank) and the two keyboardists were more than musicians, popping in as added characters (Dave Wendelberger, who was also music director, and Mark Schenfisch.)
Ruthless continues its musical mayhem at 8pm Thurs/Fri/Sat. south of the Auditorium building, corner of Auditorium and Farm Lane.
DON'T FORGET - Rob Roznowski's new original script "children's show" THE SUMMER CIRCLE is a fast-paced, fun, homage to theatre and imagination and inclusiveness and plays beFORE Ruthless at 6:30 Friday and Saturday. ALL ages will love this show.
As for bringing kids and staying for Ruthless, grade-school age and up could surely appreciate it, even without getting the references.
I have not been able to see THE WEIRD, the "late show" which also plays Friday and Saturday at 10 pm. That one is "adults only."