Encore Michigan

‘Desperate Measures: A rawhide delight and reviewed in iambic pentameter

Review August 23, 2023 Julie Linderleaf

Yee Haw! It’s a rootin’ tootin’ good time. The Dio hosts a musical in rhyme. Can a review be written like the bard?

Iambic pentameter can’t be that hard.

Peter Kellogg wrote the book and lyrics. While David Friedman wrote the music, based on Measure for Measure, a Shakespeare play, Desperate Measures, is set way back in the day.

Newly created in 2017. A comedy that tickled Steve DeBruyne’s spleen. Steve does it all as waiter, actor, and director. So they take the stage August through September.

The story begins in the far out west. In the 1800’s give or take less. Johnny Blood shoots a man dead for his love. So, behind jailhouse bars he was shoved. James Fischer stars as Johnny Blodgett. Belting out songs keeps the audience set. A sweet simple man that sings from his soul.

An audience favorite must be his goal. The debonair sheriff hates the lockup. Since Johnny shot second to save his back up. He looks for a way to save Johnny’s hide. For two days is left till his neck is tied.

The bearded Steve performs the Sheriff’s role. Will he be a hero or will the noose take its toll?

So he goes out searching for someone to aid. And finds Johnny’s sister in a church crusade. A novice nun, she soon will take the vow. Sister Mary Lou will try to help, but how?

Monica Spencer plays the nun so well. Her voice carries like Disney princess Belle. Sweet dulcet tones and trills as she sings a tune, “Look in your Heart,” leaves no one immune

Even the nasty governor hoodlum. Humorously performed by Michael Bessom. His goals to keep the wild west city clean. Make his desire to see Johnny hang obscene.

The show has many special twists and turns. Shakespeare himself would have some discerns.

The entire cast pulls off a hit show. Standing ovations are sure to be owe. We can not forget, it’s not just about acting. Matt Tomich made the set super attracting. A two level set, with projections included. Images of the west were precisely alluded.

Daniel Bachelis led the players on stage. Dressed in cowboy attire they did not upstage. Guitarist Brad Linden joined the musicians. He’s not in the program so here’s his addition

Norma Polk’s costumes are jaw-dropping designs. Making multiple dresses that completely outshine. Dance hall girl gowns, not just one but two or three. With two set of dresses that match to the T’s. Polka dot pj’s bring lots of guffaws. They definitely bring lots of applause.

It is rare to mention in a play critique. But the dinner served is a delightful mystique. The chef is not mentioned in the program. But the blueberry pie was quite the grand slam. It was fun to see even the pie in a scene. The Dio always plans the perfect cuisine.

High tail it to The Dio to see this musical. The ending will give you a happy tickle.