Encore Michigan

Kickshaw’s ‘Here’s To You’ a toast to something new

Review March 19, 2017 David Kiley

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Kickshaw Theatre is on the prowl this month with a new, original and short work. How short? I wasn’t completely done with my cocktail at the close of the 30-minute show – though I did order a double.

The work, created by artistic director Lynn Lammers and the cast–Aral Gribble, Ramona Burns, Natalie Rose Sevick and Dan Bilich–is called Here’s to You, Here’s to Me. It’s being performed at local restaurants and pubs.

Describing the show is a bit challenging, and that, of course, may be to the show’s credit. Breaking new ground is always welcome. There is a bit of song, a bit of dance (no seltzer down anyone’s pants, though that could work in a bar setting). And a lot of toasting.

The troupe toasts its way through history a bit. There is a caveman scene and the origin of the wheel. There’s a civil war bit. As more faux drinking takes place by the actors in the performance spaces, things get a little philosophical and damp, of course.

I saw it on opening night, and as there is improv happening as well as rehearsed material, there were spots that needed some ironing and folding to really land. But this is a very interesting work in development, and the half-hour format at a place of libations and comestibles is intriguing and makes the investment by audiences pretty small to see something in the blooming stage.

Dinner theater it is not. But I plan to see it again to see how the material and actors are progressing. It’s exciting to see artists trying new things –both in the material as well as the form.

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Week of 3/20/2017

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