SNEAKY OLE TIME Review - Honky-Tonk Live


Imagine being transported to a Tennessee honky-tonk. Then add two pretty and melodic bartenders, a young divorcée, a broken jukebox but a constant vibe of live foot-stomping music accompanying a storyline with an unexpected comical cosmic twist - and you’re now being served the rousing recipe for SNEAKY OLE TIME. It’s about relationships, the absence of them along with the pain, joy, and potential they offer. Steve Mazur skillfully weaves this tale around some very incisive county western lyrics by Paul Overstreet, all precisely punctuated by the strum of a guitar and beautifully accentuated by drums and bass.




How can it be that four men in the bar, a happenstance encounter, all have the exact same things in common? And there lies the crux of an exploration of love in its many forms and stages, blending laughter and reminiscence throughout. Not wanting to sound the spoiler alarm, let’s just say that SNEAKY OLE TIME explores the choices people make and how those choices impact their lives. Are second chances sometimes possible?




A young motorcycle rider who’s just crashed his bike (Alexander Hitzig), a 30ish man who’s the poster boy for one-night stands (Ken Korpi), an older cynical married guy (Robert Craighead), and an aged codger tottering around on his cane never far from the “facilities” (Dave Florek) light up the stage as they share their stories. Add a middle-aged repairman (Chip Bolcik), quietly working on the jukebox while observing the goings-on and babes Amy Motta, Nina Brissey, Nicole Olney, and Lara Jones holding up the bar; and the mystery builds. Until, it gets sorted out by the young and shapely airhead bartender as she delivers a hysterically funny matter-of-fact tutorial on quantum theory.




Songs by two-time Grammy Award winner Paul Overstreet focus the play’s themes. Ranging from a raucous and bawdy “I Think She Only Loves Me for My Willy,” and “It Takes a Whole Lot of Liquor to Like Her,” to the poignant “Sneaky Ole Time” slipping away from me, this stellar ensemble delivers the goods. Sometimes, with exuberance and sometimes with longing – and sometimes just for pure fun. They bring the lyrics alive with their lush voices and dancing feet. The setting is reminiscent of typical honky-tonks that offer all sorts of comfort, a listening ear, flannel shirts cowboy boots, and ever-present toe-tapping music. The attire is just right for the setting and adds to the overall ambience. Director Michael Myers has assembled a strong team to make SNEAKY OLE TIME shine. Kudos to Musical Director Cliff Wagner and his band, and to the entire production staff for their authentic and creative work.   




SNEAKY OLE TIME is a must-see for country music lovers, yet it still has a lot to offer anyone seeking a more profound message about life and the tricks it plays on us. “What if…” becomes a serious question as everyone’s perspective casts a different light on the events around them. Hopefully, those idiosyncratic perspectives can change and grow.




SNEAKY OLE TIME runs from August 1 to October 30, 2015 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm at the Ruskin Group Theatre, 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Tickets cost $30 general admission and $25 for students, guild members, and seniors. For reservations, call 310-397-3244 or go online



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