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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2007

'Shopping! The Musical' and 'Stomp' on Toledo stages

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Theater League presents "Stomp" at 8 p.m. tomorrow, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Tickets, $23 to $44, are available at the Stranahan box office, 381-8851, and through Ticketmaster, 474-1333.
Theater League presents "Stomp" at 8 p.m. tomorrow, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Tickets, $23 to $44, are available at the Stranahan box office, 381-8851, and through Ticketmaster, 474-1333.
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Speaking in broad stereotypes, women love it, men hate it, and everyone does it.

"It" is shopping, and the universal emotions that surround this necessary activity intrigued Morris Bobrow so much, he decided to write a musical.

"It's a challenge to take a subject and see how many sides there are and how many things you can say about it," he said in a telephone interview last week from San Francisco, where Shopping! The Musical has been running for more than a year.

In its first foray outside of the city by the bay, Shopping! opens Wednesday for six performances in the Collingwood Arts Center.

Bobrow said that the CAC's directors, heartened by the success of Menopause the Musical in January, were looking for another show with the same appeal and found his revue. "They came to us and said, 'When the show closes in San Francisco ' and we said, 'Sure, but it ain't closing.'"

However, there were plenty of performers with experience in the show to create two casts, so Bobrow and his team decided to send Shopping! to the Midwest.

There's no plot, per se, just a series of songs and comedy sketches about shopping in all its various forms performed by David Goodwin, Jennifer Graham, Kim Larsen, and Deborah Russo.

"I started out thinking about shopping. For women, it's a social occasion. Men say, 'Gimme a shirt that's green and let me get out of here.'•"

But get men in a hardware store or a big-box home improvement warehouse, and the tables are turned, he said. There's a song about that, of course, just as there are songs about trying to get service at a department store, Internet shopping, and the various TV shopping channels.

Shopping! is only one of several shows that Bobrow has written, composed, and produced. Others include Party of One, about being single, which ran for seven years in San Francisco, Are We Almost There, about travel, and With Relish, about food.

Shopping! The Musical is scheduled at 8 p.m. Wednesday-May18, 3 and 8 p.m. May 19, and 3 p.m. May 20 in the Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets, $33 and $38, are available from the center, 1-800-838-3006, or www.collingwoodartscenter.org.

The percussion extravaganza Stomp opens tomorrow in the Stranahan Theater as a special engagement from Theater League.

Created in Brighton, England in 1991 by percussionist and one-time busker Luke Cresswell and actor/musician/writer Steve McNicholas, Stomp was a success in Scotland, England, Australia, Japan, and France, among other places, before it opened in New York, where it's still going strong.

The performers in the show use everyday objects such as bristle brooms and wooden poles, Zippo lighters and hubcaps to create an infectious rhythm that appeals to all age ranges.

Among the show's awards are an Olivier (London's equivalent of the Tonys) for best choreography; an Obie for off-Broadway shows; and a Drama Desk Award for unique theater experience.

Theater League presents "Stomp" at 8 p.m. tomorrow, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday in the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Tickets, $23 to $44, are available at the Stranahan box office, 381-8851, and through Ticketmaster, 474-1333.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com or 419-724-6130.



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