Sister Myotis to render swift judgment
Ah, the last weekend before Christmas. Choose your holiday entertainment wisely.
Sister Myotis would thunder “Amen to that!” and direct you to her very own Karaoke Smackdown today and Saturday at TheatreSouth.
“It’s similar to ‘American Idol’ or ‘The Voice,’” says Jenny Odle Madden of Voices of the South, which is producing the event. “People sing and then get feedback.”
There will be hot apple cider, cookies, prizes and a liberal application of judgment. Or feedback if you prefer. Whatever you call it, it will come from the inimitably good and fundamentally decent church lady Sister Myotis and her righteous compatriots, Sister Ima Lone and Sister Velma Needlemeyer.
“We are looking for talent,” says Sister Myotis in an exclusive interview this week. “Or lack of talent. Something that will distinguish people from the rest of the herd.”
So who will perform? The songs will be sung by whoever has the fortitude to sign up. A songbook will be provided as well as the good will of the audience and the backing of River City Karaoke & DJ Service, but the judgment of Sister Myotis will be swift, merciless and hilarious.
She encourages not just soloists but groups as well. “We’ve even had families do whole routines, mommies and daddies and children working together on a rap song,” she says. But what if someone is truly awful? “Oh, then it’s even more fun,” Sister Myotis says. “We point out all their flaws and even talk about their ugly Christmas sweaters. We’re from the Simon Cowell school of judgment that says to be honest and upfront and let them know how terrible they are.”
In fact, she sees it as a community service. “It’s our chance to help people move beyond delusion,” she says. “We want the less talented to understand there are more talented people out there.”
If you go, you don’t have to sing, but if you do want to warble and be judged, get there early enough to sign up and browse the song collection.
The Sister Myotis Karaoke Smackdown takes tonight and Saturday at TheatreSouth, 1000 S. Cooper. Show starts at 8 p.m. but doors open at 7 for those who want to sign up. Tickets: $25. Info: voicesofthesouth.org.
Holiday performances are almost everywhere, but as much as we may love Yule-ish fare, sometimes it’s gratifying to be entertained by unaffiliated pleasures. And — God bless us, everyone! — there are two such stage shows closing this weekend that are worth seeing for splendid performances and delightful stories, and they just happen to be all about love and also tinsel-free.
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is on stage at Playhouse on the Square (running in repertory with “Peter Pan”). It’s a series of musical vignettes of people at all stages of love, from nervous first dates to marriage to kids and into old age.
The musical is witty and charming, mostly light and occasionally sentimental, but never cloying. As directed by Dave Landis, it’s got a terrific energy and flow as the two men and two women pop in and out of the action.
The four actors bring very individual sensibilities while being uniformly good at singing and comedy — every scene crackles. Lynden Lewis, Kimberly Baker, Jordan Nichols and Justin Asher leap into their many characters with thoroughly entertaining gusto, from bridesmaid to hardened prisoner to nerd to video dater to car-obsessed husband.
Music director Steven Liening and alternating violinists Ionut Cosarca and Tammy Holt are on stage providing spoton accompaniment throughout. It’s an intimate show, and even though Playhouse is a hefty venue, the staging works just right. This show is a winner, and you’ve only got until Saturday to catch it.
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” through Saturday at Playhouse on the Square, 66 S. Cooper. Performances at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Tickets: $35 Thursday, $40 Friday and Saturday; $22 seniors/students/military; $15 Children under 18. Info: playhouseonthesquare.org and 901-7264656.
ANOTHER GOOD ONE
Over at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Tennessee Shakespeare is presenting “All’s Well That Ends Well,” one of the Bard’s cheerier works. It’s an antic story that needles the pompous and the braggart, gives us an exceptional heroine and tells a fully entertaining story about love and the deception we often have to employ to make it happen.
This is yet another superb production by the Tennessee Shakespeare Company. The stage is set up in Winegardner Auditorium, a cozy place used deftly by the troupe as home to the action in various courts in Europe — Rousillon, Paris, Florence. Director Dan McCleary has assembled a first-rate cast and created a witty and snappy staging that makes the most of the story and its fairy-tale sensibility.
As Helen, the girl at the center of the tale, the brilliant Lydia Barnett-Mulligan radiates a splendid intelligence and mischief as she charms, wheedles and manipulates those around her.
Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” through Sunday at Dixon Gallery & Gardens’ Winegardner Auditorium, 4339 Park. Performances 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $34.