CRITICS & AUDIENCES ARE CHEERING FOR JOE
"Terrific!" (the production)
"Multi-talented!" (the cast)
"Superb!" (the band)
"Engaging!" (Sean Cox)
"A Knockout!" (Eileen Bowman)
"Hilarious!" (John Rosen)
"Memorable!" (TJ Johnson, Jim Chovick & Jason Heil)
"Delightful!" (the show)
Click on the “Reviews” Tab above for sources.
Chorus / Hostess / Waponi
Kathleen Calvin is always grateful to be working at Lambs Players Theatre. She spent her high school summers performing children’s theatre in Missoula, Montana as well as advanced acting camps for Lamb’s Players in National City. Her previous credits are, Lyceum Theatre: Playwrights project (Rosie). Lawrence Welk Theatre: Rent (Mimi). Lamb's Players Theatre: Joe vs. the Volcano (Waponi), Book of the Dun Cow (Dun Cow), An American Christmas (Laurella Tolman), Music Man (Gracie U/S). Moonlight Theatre: Hairspray (Lorraine), Miss Saigon. Starlight Theatre: Miss Saigon (Yvette), Jesus Christ Superstar (Soul Girl), Pajama Game (Mara), Ragtime, Nine, My Fair Lady, Wizard of Oz, High School Musical. Performance Riverside: Aida. She has her BA in Theatre from Cal State Fullerton, and is a dance instructor in Chula Vista as well as having her own dance studio in Pine Valley. She is thankful to her family and friends for their love and support.
Jim has appeared in 38 productions with LPT: You Can't Take It With You (twice); Wit; See How They Run; Joe vs The Volcano; Guys & Dolls; Harvey; Joyful Noise; Room Service; Boomers (twice); The Voysey Inheritance; Amadeus; Rehearsal for Murder; The Winslow Boy; 1776; A Man For All Seasons; Ring Round the Moon; My Fair Lady; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; A Woman of No Importance; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Festival of Christmas '99, ’04, '06, '14 and ‘15 and 12 productions of An American Christmas. Other San Diego Theaters: The Old Globe, The Cygnet Theatre (Resident Artist), La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Rep, North Coast Rep (Associate Artist), San Diego Musical Theater, New Village Arts, Moxie Theatre, Intrepid Shakespeare Co. (Resident Artist), Ion Theatre, Playwrights Project, Sledgehammer, Moonlight Amphitheater, Evoke Dance Theater, Starlight, The Avo@Moonlight, 6th@Penn, The Ark, CCT, Mystery Cafe, Scripps Ranch Theater and The Fritz. Awards: San Diego Critics Circle, Backstage West Dramalogue, KPBS Patte’, Bille and Robby.
Nicki is honored to be back at Lamb’s discovering The Wonderful Wizard of Oz! Other LPT credits include Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, Joe vs. the Volcano, An American Christmas (2004-2010, 2014). Nicki was also one of the core 20 actors in Lamb’s Players 100 Hours of Stories, setting a new Guinness World Record! Other performance experiences include Utah Shakespeare Festival: South Pacific, The Greenshow (2015), Affluence (reading for New American Playwrights Project); The Kennedy Center: The Music of John Bucchino (Millennium Stage), American Voices Musical Theatre Master Session with Sutton Foster; Cygnet Theatre: A Little Night Music; Starlight Musical Theatre: Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, The Roar of the Greasepaint; Catholic University: Finian’s Rainbow, Carousel, Unlimited: The Music and Lyrics of Stephen Schwartz (with No Rules Theatre Co.), Sweet Charity, The Drowsy Chaperone, Marvin Hamlisch and Cy Coleman Reviews (Kennedy Center—Millennium Stage). Nicki received her Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre and minor in Theology from The Catholic University of America. www.nickielledge.com
Noah is thrilled to be returning to Lamb's again (and to his home town) after joining the January remount of Fiddler on the Roof! A graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Noah's recent credits include: Principal Swing covering 18 roles at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Fred Jones (Scooby Doo Live!, 1st NA Tour), Melchior (Spring Awakening, LoS Portland), Freak/Eric Harris (Columbinus, Playwrights Horizons). Peace and love to the family both blood and otherwise. "Nani, Bumpa, Mom, Dad, Scott, Molly, the Yellows, and everyone else who's supported me along the way, you will always hold my deepest gratitude."
Caitie has been in over 30 Lamb's productions since 2010! LPT favorites include Silent Sky, Equivocation, Twelfth Night, Fiddler on the Roof, American Rhythm, Quilters, Wit, Big Fish, Oz, Les Miserables, Mixtape, The Book of the Dun Cow, The Glory Man, and "100 Hours of Stories", the play reading marathon that won Lamb's Players Theatre a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Recently, Caitie appeared as Tzeitel alongside Danny Burstein and Susan Egan in "To Life! Bock and Harnick on Broadway" with the San Diego Symphony, under the baton of Rob Fisher. Caitie has also appeared at Cygnet Theatre as Rose in Dogfight, and has participated in Cygnet's staged readings of Hair, Side by Side by Sondheim, and Evita. Caitie received her BFA from The Boston Conservatory and is a proud member of Actors Equity. All my love to Charlie!
Kyrsten is thrilled to be joining the cast of American Rhythm after appearing in Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof, Pete’ n’Keely, and Joe vs The Volcano at Lamb’s Players Theatre. Other San Diego credits include: Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (The Old Globe), Cats (San Diego Musical Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Intrepid Shakespeare), Sweeney Todd (Moonlight Stage Productions), King o’ the Moon (North Coast Repertory Theatre), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Welk Resort Theatre). Kyrsten recently performed with her sisters, Siri and Lise Hafso, at the Rady Children’s Hospital’s 107th Annual Charity Ball at the Hotel del Coronado. She earned her B.A. in Vocal Performance from Whitworth University and her M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. Love and thanks to her husband Kevin, and their vivacious one year old daughter, Ivy.
Dr. Ellison/Waponi Tribe
LPT Associate Artist: Beau Jest, Dinner With Marlene, The Miracle Worker, Fiddler On The Roof, Wit, See How They Run, Joe vs. the Volcano, The Glory Man, Harvey, Joyful Noise, The Glass Menagerie, Room Service, The Voysey Inheritance, An American Christmas (’07,’08,‘09,'15,16), Enchanted April, Into the Woods, and The Winslow Boy. Other San Diego credits include Twelfth Night, Plaid Tidings (Old Globe), Lucy Simon’s Zhivago (La Jolla Playhouse), Sea of Souls, Passion, Angels in America (ion theatre company), Hand to God, Violet, Clybourne Park, A Christmas Carol (San Diego Rep), Cabaret, Noises Off (Cygnet), School for Lies, Dracula (North Coast Rep) The Woman in Black (CSUSM) and work at Moonlight, Starlight, Compass. Off-Broadway: Sea of Souls. Regional theatres include Arkansas & Tennessee Repertory Theatres and nine seasons with the Utah, Lake Tahoe, Marin, and Texas Shakespeare Festivals. Directing: Turn of the Screw (Intrepid), Lion In Winter, Born Yesterday, The Mousetrap, Barefoot in the Park, Ring Round the Moon, You Never Can Tell (Moonlight), Plaid Tidings (New Village Arts). MFA: UC Irvine.
Antonio T J Johnson has worked in three productions at Lambs Players. South Pacific, The Fantastiks, and Glory Man. Antonio has been an award winning Actor, Singer, songwriter, Director, and producer for over thirty years in San Diego. Antonio is currently working on a number of writing projects.
John is happy to be back performing at Lamb’s Players in this fine production! LAMB'S: Big Fish, Shadowlands, Beau Jest, Dinner with Marlene, The Nerd, Festival of Christmas 2015, OZ, West Side Story, You Can't Take it With You, Fiddler on the Roof, Around the World in 80 Days, Joe vs the Volcano, Guys & Dolls, The Music Man, Harvey, The Fantasticks, Room Service, The Winslow Boy, American Rhythm and Charley’s Aunt. REGIONAL: A Catered Affair and The Constant Wife for The Old Globe. LOCAL: Old Jews Telling Jokes, Ella, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for San Diego Rep; Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and To Forgive Divine for North Coast Rep; Bunbury, The Long Christmas Ride Home, and Looking for Normal for Diversionary; and other shows in the too distant past for Sledgehammer, Bowery, and Gaslamp Quarter Theatres. Room Service, The Winslow Boy, American Rhythm and Charley’s Aunt. REGIONAL: A Catered Affair and The Constant Wife for The Old Globe. LOCAL: Old Jews Telling Jokes, Ella, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for San Diego Rep; Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and To Forgive Divine for North Coast Rep; Bunbury, The Long Christmas Ride Home, and Looking for Normal for Diversionary; and other shows in the too distant past for Sledgehammer, Bowery, and Gaslamp Quarter Theatres.
Sean Yael-Cox is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Intrepid Theatre Company. Acting Roles for Intrepid: Leontes/Autolycus (The Winter’s Tale), Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Macbeth, Hamlet, Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Musical), Richard II, Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), John Proctor (The Crucible), the Man (The Turn of the Screw), and the Bastard (King John). Directing Credits: King John, Romeo and Juliet, An Enemy of the People, and The Winter’s Tale. He is Co-creator and director of Intrepid’s acclaimed Shakespeare for A New Generation Education Tour. Other San Diego Theatres: Lamb’s Players Theatre (Associate Artist), Cygnet Theatre, San Diego Repertory, North Coast Repertory, Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Moxie Theatre, and The Fritz. Regional Credits include Texas Shakespeare Festival, Nevada Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Sierra Repertory, LA Rep, Performance Riverside and PCPA Theaterfest. Recipient of the 2014 Don Braunagel Award for Outstanding Work by a small theatre company by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.
Rik is in his 21st season with Lamb's and was heard in this year's production of Big Fish. Other recent shows include American Christmas, American Rhythm, West Side Story, Les Miserables, miXtape, Boomers, Festival of Christmas, Quilters, Godspell and too many more to list here. He has also worked for many other theatre companies throughout Southern California including SDMT (Full Monty, First Date, Bye Bye Birdie); SD REP (Christmas Carol), NC REP ( Last Five Years, Cabaret, Man of La Mancha); NVA (Big River), Moonlight, Diversionary, SD Junior, and many more. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Rik has a degree from UCSD and teaches at Giacoletti music in Carlsbad. When not doing theatre he plays in the country band Free Beer. Y'all come back now, ya hear!
Taylor is always happy to have the chance to work with his friends at Lamb's again. Previous LPT credits: The Music Man, An American Christmas, miXtape, Guys and Dolls, Joe Vs. The Volcano: The Musical!, and West Side Story. Taylor's orchestrations were last heard on the Lamb's stage during their hit production of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls. Along with being an accomplished arranger and orchestrator, Taylor is also an award winning Music Director - currently on tour with the Broadway hit: Jersey Boys.
David is excited to be returning to Lamb’s Players for Big Fish. His past LPT performance credits include Mixtape, Quilters, Festival of Christmas, Guys and Dolls, The Fantasticks, American Rhythm, Hello Dolly!, 1776, Into the Woods, Godspell, My Fair Lady and South Pacific. In addition, David performs regularly with the North Coast Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre and Cygnet Theatre and has been heard in past performances with the Theatre in Old Town, Moonlight Stage Productions, J*Company, and CCT. David holds a Bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from San Diego State University and is currently a faculty member with The New Youth Orchestra as the head of percussion studies. Outside of performing, David runs a successful photography business. He is extremely proud to be an Associate Artist with LPT.
An Associate Artist with Lamb's for over twenty years with nearly fifty productions. He received a BA in Music from SDSU and a MA in Music from UCSD, where he studied with world renowned Double Bassist Bertram Turetzky. Oliver toured nine years with the US Navy Band and has played for U.S. Presidents Carter, Ford, Reagan, Bush and many foreign dignitaries. He has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with jazz trumpet great Clark Terry. Oliver also played the world premiere of a jazz version of "A Midsummer Nights Dream", written and directed by drum legend Max Roach. Oliver played double bass with the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra for five years, three as Principal. Favorite LPT productions include Boomers, 1776, Quilters, Pippin, Mixtape, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Godspell, American Rhythm, Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods, The Secret Garden, South Pacific, Hello Dolly, She Loves Me, My Fair Lady, Private Lives, The Mystery of Edward Drood, Joe vs the Volcano, Festival of Christmas '13, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and West Side Story.
Since 1984 Mike has designed over 200 productions at Lamb's in addition to many shows at such companies as San Diego Rep, The Laguna Playhouse and the Old Globe/USD MFA program. Recent favorites include sets for The Explorer's Club, Beau Jest, and Shadowlands here at Lamb's and set and lights for Godspell at Southwestern College where he teaches technical theatre, scriptwriting and design. Also a playwright, his romantic comedy The Hit had an extended run at Lamb's Coronado Theatre and then the Horton Grand Theatre and his set for The Hit earned Mike his fifth Patte Award. As an actor, Mike has appeared in many shows at Lamb's. Favorites include The Nerd, The Hit, Joseph…, Beau Jest, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller, The Secret Garden, Boomers and My Fair Lady. He also appeared in Crazy For You at Moonlight. TV credits include Wicked, Wicked Games as well as several commercials. Mike also designs residential interiors through his business Weekend Makeover.
has freelanced as an audio engineer for the last decade working both locally and nationally. Engineering credits include shows at La Jolla Playhouse, Cygnet, Lamb's Players Theatre, and various projects in New York including New York's Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). In the past few years her employment has expanded to design and assistant design work. Broadway assistant credits include Memphis, Guys & Dolls (2009), and The Farnsworth Invention. Regional assistant credits include Hands on a Hardbody, Limelight, Zhivago (La Jolla Playhouse); and Wonderland (Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and The Alley Theatre). She is thrilled to have the opportunity to design at Lamb's and is very grateful that God has blessed her with amazing opportunities and supportive family and friends.
Deborah Gilmour Smyth
SFX Sound Designer
Associate Artistic Director and director of Patron Services, Deborah has been a member of the Lamb’s resident ensemble since 1979 . Originally from the East Coast, she has lived all over the United States and went to school at San Francisco State University where she studied music and theatre. One of San Diego’s most active performers with over 200 productions to her credit, she is a seven-time recipient of the San Diego Theatre Critics’ Circle’s Craig Noel Award including Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play for Martha in Intrepid Theatre Company's Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf, Vivian Bearing in Lamb’s production of Wit and Outstanding Female Performance in a Musical for her performance as Mother in Ragtime at Starlight Musical Theatre, for her role of Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza at Lamb’s Players, and for her role of Mrs. Lovett at Cygnet Theatre. She has been honored with Backstage West and numerous Patte awards for performance, original music, sound design. At Lamb’s Players Deborah has performed in over 160 productions, directed over 70 productions, sound designed, written original music, or musically directed over 80 productions. Deborah enjoys the opportunity to be involved in an amazing ensemble that is the Lamb’s Players family. Deborah and her husband, Producing Artistic Director Robert Smyth, make their home in Coronado.
Adaptation, Music & Lyrics
Playwright and composer Scott Hafso has worked as director, musical director, conductor and performer. A native of southern California, he resides in Seattle, WA, where he is on faculty at the University of Washington School of Drama. He earned an MFA in Theater (Playwriting) at the University of Washington, in addition to a Master of Music from the UW School of Music. He has served as musical director for The Who’s Tommy, conceived and directed the review 'S Wonderful: The Music of Gershwin and Porter, as well as his stage musical adaptation of the film Joe vs. the Volcano, created with Darcy Phillips. Other recent plays directed include Mad Forest, Blithe Spirit and Bat Boy: the Musical. His plays include The Ranger Ned Story, Comics, The Prince of Melville, Little Demons, The Holidays and Toby’s Big Thought. He directs the 25th Anniversary production of his musical, Howard Buys a Motorhome, at the Fringe Theatre Festival in Edmonton, Canada, in August 2012.
70+ productions at LPT. 15 years as an LPT Resident Artist. Co-creator of MixTape (LPT) & Pump Up the Volume (SDMT) (book, musical arrangements). Miracle on 34th Street, a Live Musical Radio Play (music, lyrics) premiered at SDMT in 2016. Oz, an American Musical Fairy Tale (book, music, lyrics) premiered fall 2015 at LPT and was nominated for five Craig Noel Awards. Alice (book, music, lyrics) - part of the 2005 ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop, staged at NYU in 2010, optioned by NBC/Universal Theatricals in 2013. Musical Direction, Original Songs & Arrangements, Sound Design include: Big River (New Village), First Date (SDMT), Traditions of Christmas (CCT), Wit, Twelfth Night, Joseph, Mixtape, Guys & Dolls, Pete n’ Keely, Festival of Christmas 2007-17 (Lamb’s Players). Composes music/lyrics for youth musicals produced nationally. Other Projects: A Room With a View & Scottsboro Boys (Old Globe), A New Brain (Diversionary), Rocky Horror Show (Cygnet), and Sunday in the Park With George (Ion). Thanks to the fire in my heart: Julie, Hudson Fox & Macy Flynn.
For Lamb’s Maria has stage managed: Beau Jest, Shadowlands, The Explorers Club, (then please pick up with OZ!), The Glory Man, and mixtape, in addition to An Inspector Calls; Enchanted April; Godspell; The Glass Menagerie; Room Service; Boomers (x 3); The Voysey Inheritance; The Secret Garden; An American Christmas (x 15); American Rhythm (X2); Metamorphoses; Dial M For Murder; South Pacific; The Great Divorce; 1776; Dr. Faustus; The Glass Menagerie; Room Service; The Fantasticks; Joyful Noise; Hello, Dolly!; An Ideal Husband; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (X2); and Festival of Christmas. Elsewhere she has stage managed The Rocky Horror Show and Dogfight for Cygnet Theatre Company; Travesties, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cabaret, Pageant, and Man of La Mancha for North Coast Repertory Theatre and six productions for Moonlight at the Avo Playhouse and Moonlight Amphitheatre. She has also stage managed for San Diego Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, the Gaslamp Quarter Theatre Company, and the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival. She holds an MFA from UCSD.
Projection Engineer/Properties Design
Michael is an avid Designer, Painter, Builder, Sculptor, Photographer, Videographer, Teacher and "Maker of Things." In San Diego theaters, he has worked as a Scenic Designer/Builder, Scenic Artist, Properties Designer, Multimedia/Video Designer and Technician and Stage Manager for numerous productions and special events. Some favorites: Killer Joe (SDTCC Craig Noel Award - Compass); Pageant, A Christmas Carol (Cygnet); SideMan (Diversionary); American Song (SDTCC Nom.), Quality of Life, End of the Rainbow, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Intrepid Theatre); Seminar, Taming of the Shrew (Innermission); Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella (StageHouse); For Lambs: Silent Sky, Mixtape, Trying (SDTCC Nom.), Joe vs. The Volcano (SDTCC Nom.), 39 Steps. Thanks to all! Check out his work at MichaelMcKeon.com
a graduate of Biola University, Nate is Lamb’s Director of Production. He has been with Lamb’s since 1982 working as photographer, set construction, lighting designer and performer.
Adaptation, Music & Lyrics
Darcy is a pianist, composer, and producer located in Victoria, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Since 1995 Darcy has been keyboardist and vocalist for Universal recording artist Jann Arden, appearing on “The Tonight Show,” and “Good Morning America”, accompanying her on stages throughout the world, and performing on several of her recent recordings. He has composed original scores for numerous television and film productions, including the TV series’ “In the Nick of Time”, and “Shiver”, for Great North Productions. His original score for the feature film “The Road to Saddle River” (with Michael Becker) won the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association’s Score of the Year award. In the recording studio, Darcy has supported many recording artists both as session keyboardist and as producer, and on the stage he has had the pleasure of accompanying such great artists as Sarah Maclachlan, Big Miller, and Tommy Banks. He has worked alongside his friend Scott Hafso for many years, and bringing “Joe” to the stage has been a true labor of love.
Jeanne's work as a designer this year in San Diego includes Shadowlands for Lambs Players, On the 20th Century for Cygnet Theatre, The Perfect Arrangement and Buddy Holly for Intrepid Theatre, She designed last year's Lambs production of American Rhythm for which she received a Critics Circle, Craig Noel Nomination. Her work has achieved theater critics awards in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara. Other productions awarded for costume design include her original designs for The Wonderful World of Oz, A Servant Of Two Masters, The Light in the Piazza, Little Foxes, Joyful Noise, Metamorphosis, and two dozen other productions. Besides designing she currently teaches at San Diego Mesa College.
Colleen Kollar Smith
Lamb's: 100 Hours of Stories, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, miXtape (co-creator), Guys and Dolls, Music Man, The Fantasticks, Godspell, Joseph..., Light in the Piazza, Book of the Dun Cow, American Christmas. New Village Arts: Return to the Forbidden Planet, Nutcracker. Intrepid: Midsummer the Musical. Cygnet Theatre: Man of La Mancha, Dirty Blonde, Private Lies, Moonlight Stage Productions: Ring Round the Moon, You Never Can Tell. USD: Gone Missing. Colleen is a graduate of the University of San Diego's Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program and is proud to work as the Executive Director of San Diego Musical Theatre. Favorite roles to date: wife to the remarkable Lance Arthur, and mom to Scottie and Pepper.
is LAMB's Producing Artistic Director. He joined the staff of Lamb's Players Street Theatre as an actor and director in 1976. In 1978 LAMB'S opened its first resident theatre in National City, and then in 1994 brought the old performance space in Coronado's historic Spreckel's Building back to life as its new home. Robert has directed more than 150 productions for LAMB'S, and performed in over 100, including favorite roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1776, Cyrano De Bergerac, The Boys Next Door, and the one-man show Damien. He and his wife, director, actor, composer, Deborah Gilmour Smyth, make their home in Coronado.
"Joe Banks (Sean Cox) is the factory worker in this musical fable. Joe has always done what he was told – and has become a sick (not to mention cowardly, hypochondriacal and lonely) person in the process. When Dr. Ellison (Jason Heil) tells him he has five months to live and should “Live It Well,” Joe summons the courage he didn’t know he had and quits – and invites office secretary Dede (Eileen Bowman) to dinner.
This is the beginning of a wild-haired adventure that will start when driver Marshall (Antonio “TJ” Johnson, in a gem of a scene) takes him to get some new duds (after all, “It’s The Clothes That Make The Man”) and ends (almost) with the leap into that volcano. Along the way, he’ll meet the colorful natives of Waponi Woo, find increasingly adventurous girlfriends (all played splendidly by Bowman) to match his spiffy new threads, and discover a reason to live, love and be grateful.
Cox is usually seen in the classics (he and his wife Christy Yael run Intrepid Shakespeare Company), but he proves equal to the task, and makes a great foil for Bowman, one of the best musical comedy actors around. Most of the cast play multiple roles; all are splendid actors, and Colleen Kollar Smith has given them some fine choreography as well.
It’s a fun ride, and Lamb’s gives JOE vs THE VOLCANO...THE MUSICAL! a terrific production!"
Jean Lowerison - SDGLN
"Sean Cox, co-founder of Intrepid Shakespeare Company, can sing and dance. Who knew? And he does both well as the newly awakened Joe. Eileen Bowman shows remarkable versatility as Dede, Angelica, and Patricia (her rendition of "Dede's Song" a special treat).
A gruff, sprawling, hilarious John Rosen heads the supporting as Mr. Waturi, Joe's primeval boss, and as the Waponi Chief (whose costume and headress are decked with crushed Orange Crush cans - costume designer Jeanne Reith's imagination runneth freely). Jason Heil (Dr. Ellison), Antonio Johnson (Marshall), and Jim Chovick (Graynamore) do memorable work.
Like The Wizard of Oz, the musical goes from black-and-white to Technicolor. Along with Robert Smyth's smart direction and Jon Lorenz' musical direction, Michael McKeon's projections on a huge rear screen - an endless ocean, a tropical storm, a gigantic moon - are a major ally. But everything points to Joe's leap into the lava. Can the creative minds at Lamb's get it right?
Mystical, curling smoke, two ladders, Nathan Peirson's red-on-red-in-red lighting, and Stephanie Celuska's booming sounds make the leap heroic."
Jeff Smith - SD Reader
"With all the problems a saga like Joe vs The Volcano can present, Lamb’s Players Theatre under the deft direction of Robert Smyth and some outrageously wonderful costumes and head dresses by designer Jeanne Reith, gets the story pretty well defined. The sum total of the extras that go in to making it a visual and auditory spectacle outweigh the goofy plot.
More than helpful in the execution of location changes and visual landscapes are Michael McKeon’s projections, Stephanie Celustka’s and Deborah Gilmour Smyth’s theatre rumbling sound design and Mike Buckley’s minimalist set design not to mention the snappy chorus of dancers by an enthusiastic ensemble/chorus who perform everything from tap, to an hysterically funny ‘bottle dance’ with orange crush cans (the native’s favorite drink) balanced on their heads to Irish line dancing to local native dance rituals. (Choreographer, Colleen Kollar Smith)
Smyth has assembled a multi talented cast with the likes of Cox, who heads up his own theatre company, Intrepid Shakespeare, and who is completely invested as Joe, the extremely talented Eileen Bowman who takes on the part of no less than three of the women in Joe’s life and John Rosen who is a kick as Joe’s abusive boss, Mr. Waturi and the more colorful Waponi Chief. Jim Chovick is Joe’s wealthy benefactor and T.J. Antonio Johnson who is noted more for his dramatic prowess than as a song and dance man moves around the stage very nicely, thank you.
Jon Lorenz directs the four musicians who manage to fill the theatre nicely with what the limited musical score allows and Nathan Pierson’s lighting design enhances Joe’s nautical journey. Ironically, the number that is the most engaging, sung by Joe with a ukulele, is “The Cowboy Song” written by Shanley.
Though the movie was a flop, there are those that follow Joe vs The Volcano somewhat like a small cult, so don’t make up your minds until after you’ve seen Lamb’s production. You just might become a follower too. Enjoy! "
Carol Davis - examiner.com
"Robert Smyth briskly directs a 13-member cast of energetic actor/singers, backed by a superb band. The shifting locales are marked by attractive, humorous projections, and the costumes are a hoot, especially on the orange soda-loving Polynesian-Jewish-Celtic island of Waponi Woo.
As Joe, Sean Cox is engaging, in a Tom Hanks kinda way, and Eileen Bowman is a knockout as his three love interests. The music is pleasant, the lyrics clever. It’s lightweight summertime fluff that fairly flies by."
Pat Launer - Center Stage, Jazz88
"The show opens with Caitlin Grady singing a haunting beautiful rendition of “The Flower,” that leads into “Ad Te Domine” by the entire company, which combined is worth the price of admission!
Joe Banks, trapped in monotony, learns he is afflicted with a ‘brain cloud’ and is on his way out. He quits his job and finds the courage to ask out his co-worker, Dede (actor Eileen Bowman, in the first of her incarnations, balances the comical and emotional in a way few can.)
Joe goes on to take the offer of a wealthy merchant to “Live Like A King” and then… jump into a volcano. Every question you may or may not have about what follows is answered quite delightfully in Lamb’s production!"
Elizabeth Guiten - Eagle & Journal
Producing Artistic Director:
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an exotic voyage to a rumbling South Seas island...the musical
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