Saturday, February 8, 2014

Roving Pittsburgher Report - From McKees Rocks to Easlibberdy, Pittsburghers Should Be Proud of "Judge Jackie Justice"

From McKees Rocks to Easlibberdy, Pittsburghers Should Be Proud
A Review of Judge Jackie Justice, Feb. 7th 2014 Performance

From: Roving Pittsburgher Report and
Written By: Joanne Quinn-Smith | Feb. 8, 2014

From the very beginning of "Judge Jackie Justice", director, writer and co-star, Jason Coll (the bailiff Henry) gets the audience involved in singing the refrain, "Judge Jackie Justice" each time a new scene starts. The effect in the intimate environment of the cabaret theatre is noticeable audience camaraderie.

Another reporter (Stephanie Curtice) and I were seated with a delightful married couple at our table for four very near the stage, second row table actually. What a treat to be able to see up close the antics of the performers and especially the facial expressions of Kara Mikula (Judge Jackie Justice). Jackie Justice is a seemingly hard as nails replica of most TV judges. And therein, without issuing a spoiler alert, lies the comedy and pathos of this "warm your heart on a cold winter night" musical comedy.
Kara Mikula as Judge Jackie Justice
(photo courtesy: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust)

Each skit performed by cast members, Connor McCanlus and Maggie are extreme takeoffs on the ridiculous cases aired on reality court TV. In the intimate Cabaret Theatre you will be watching "Reality Dinner Theater" with “real” cases involving zombies, spaceships and a Super Star father and daughter. Character insets like Henry's "Like Your Mother Does" hysterically explores the "mama's boy" stereotype as Conner McCanless "drags it up" as Henry's overbearing, belittling mother.

There are also comically tender scenes like "If You Only Knew" where Henry (Jason Coll) proves that he is not just writer and director but a versatile actor and singer as well.

Also if you have seen the local presentation of "Oklahoma" by the REP then you will be amazed at the versatility of Jonathan Visser as Shane (played Jud Fry in Oklahoma). He easily transforms from tragic hero to comedic villain as Judge Jackie's ex husband.

This is also a Pittsburgh centric play with loads of Pittsburghese sandwiched in with references to the audience being from McKees Rocks. My associate Stephanie is newly here in Pittsburgh from Kansas so at times she needed an interpreter, but needed no interpreter when Shane pulled her out of the audience to participate as his newest 23 year old flame. When he mentioned her being "nimble" Stephanie unprompted lifted up her leg with her hand and pulled it up to her shoulder. Now that is improvisation from the audience! Wish we could have taken a picture!

If you want to laugh until you cry you must attend one of the upcoming performances of Judge Jackie Justice to experience, good writing, great comedy, and a touch of old time burlesque theatre--the real stuff, where you had to pay attention to really enjoy the humor. And pay attention you will!

Judge Jackie Justice will be holding court through Sunday, April 27, 2014 at the CLO Cabaret Theater

Written By: Joanne Quinn-Smith
Joanne Quinn-Smith, Award winning internet radio broadcaster, blogger, author and internet radio and TV network editor and publisher. Joanne is the owner and CEO, Creative Energy Officer, of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, a successful Pittsburgh-based marketing company. She is a grandmother and great grandmother, an unlikely trendsetter for online journalism and broadcasting.

Joanne is internationally known as the “Get Your Google On” Gal, but better known as Techno Granny™ to over one million accumulated online listeners worldwide. Joanne has created a revolutionary online NEW MEDIA platform in Internet broadcasting, blogging and other social media participation that represents the new second generation of World Wide Web interactions, known in technology circles as Web 2.0. JQS is the online publisher of, an online community magazine to disseminate the Positive News for Positive Pittsburghers. PPL Mag is Pittsburgh’s First Internet radio and TV network with syndicated channels and online radio and TV capabilities.

Posted By: Stephanie Curtice
Good News and Cultural Reporter,,
© 2014

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