What we have here is a failure to communicate.
That famous line from the classic Paul Newman movie “Cool Hand Luke” is exactly the point of “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical,” which opened Friday at the Rose…
and Kirstin Kluver is the beautiful, patient, understanding Mom (and wife) everybody wants.
If you don’t have Adelaide, you don’t have a show,” she (director Susie Collins)) notes. So she found a young woman she describes as “a significant performer.” For Kirstin Kluver, the director promises, “This is her role of a lifetime.” And that’s saying a lot for a talent most recently displayed in the Blue Barn play by Edward Albee, Three Tall Women. The Creighton University grad first seen at the Playhouse as the prize virgin in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum understands that some of her early roles might have stressed visual appeal over acting. Her first Playhouse lead was the title role in the musical Gypsy, but she soon took grittier parts and her Albee role “gave me a little more ambition for what I could tackle.
Kirstin Kluver is simply tremendous as Miss Adelaide, the ditsy showgirl celebrating her 14th anniversary with gambler Nathan Detroit (Jonathan Hickerson). That would be as in it has been 14 years since they were engaged.
I’ve never found myself in a position to write such words in comparing a local production to a Broadway or Hollywood classic, but Kluver’s interpretation of the character is every bit as fun as that of Vivian Blaine, who inaugurated the role on Broadway before reprising it in the 1955 film version of the comedic musical.
The leggy actress had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand, especially with such vamp-a-liscious numbers as “Adelaide’s Lament” and “Take Back Your Mink.”
Perhaps the most statuesque beauty to be found on any local stage (yes, that’s also her and her blazing red hair in the oft-played Nebraska Lottery TV commercial), Kluver can play it saucy (her Omaha Entertainment & Arts Award-winning title role in Gypsy) and sultry (the vixen in Intimate Apparel).
Whether you’ve seen Frank Loesser’s classic “Guys & Dolls,” a dozen times or never since it hit Broadway 60 years ago, there are two big reasons to catch the Omaha Community Playhouse musical, which opened Friday. […] those two reasons: Kirstin Kluver steals a big chunk of the show as Miss Adelaide, head dancer at the Hot Box Club and perennial fiancee of gambler Nathan Detroit. With a thick Bronx accent, inerrant comedic timing and just about the best character work seen in musical theater all season long, Kluver commands your attention every minute she’s onstage. With feminine wiles, curves to spare and shapely legs that seem to go on forever, she’s a sensation. I can’t decide if my favorite song was “Adelaide’s Lament,” in which she squawks that her chronic head cold is a result of matrimonial disappointment; “Sue Me,” a patter song in which she finally blows her stack at Nathan; or “Marry the Man Today,” when she and Salvation Army doll Sarah strategize on how to snag their guys. (20XX roll as Adelaide in Guys And Dolls, Omaha Community Playouts)
A star was born when Kirstin Kluver played Adelaide last spring in the Omaha Community Playhouse musical Guys and Dolls. She’s back as Roxie Hart in Chicago.
This ‘World” is top-flight musical theater. By Bob Fischbach | OMAHA WORLD-HERALD
The two leading ladies, Melanie Walters and Kirstin Kluver, were boundless in exuberant pomp and glorious, mischievous energy. The closing number requires the two of them to see the show out by merely dancing through the finale. They exuded such a powerful ease and pleasure that the audience shot to their feet the moment the two women exited the stage. It was a fantastic display of true skill and vivacious fun. This ‘World’ is top-flight musical theater
Take it from a guy who’s seen a lot of cabaret and musical revues in the metro area in recent years:
“The World Goes ‘Round,” based on the hits of composers John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Chicago,” “Cabaret”), is the best-staged, best-choreographed, best-performed revue to come around in a long time. […] Red-headed siren Kirstin Kluver turns up the sexual heat with the flirty lust of “Arthur in the Afternoon” and “All That Jazz,” then turns reflective in “A Quiet Thing.”