Theater Review: Escanaba in Da Moonlight—Jeff Daniels’ deer-hunting farce

My trip to the North Woods prevented me from seeing the opening of Pec Playhouse’s latest production, so here is a brief impression of the show. Performed earlier under the direction of Mark Kann, audiences seemed to love every aspect of the deer-hunting fiasco. Michael Dice directed the latest version to sold-out houses.

Uppers, as the residents of Upper Michigan are called, represent a special culture. The characters in Escanaba go over the top. The dialogue reaches ear-splitting levels, and although spitting up various liquids on stage and sometimes literally on the audience may be hilarious, it is not my version of comedy.

With the formation of Riverfront Theatre, Mark Kann, Bill Beard, Jennifer Nordloff and others have left Pec Playhouse, and only the future will reveal the effect on the company. Their next production, The Sound of Music, opens Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 2.

from the Oct. 10, 2007, issue

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