Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 11/18; SPAMALOT in Raleigh, Darren Criss in Costa Mesa and More!
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This week, we go around our Broadway World to feature stories in Connecticut, Raleigh, Costa Mesa and more. Check out our top 10 stories around our Broadway World below, which include an interview with Chita Rivera, SPAMALOT in North Carolina, and Darren Criss in Costa Mesa, just to name a few.
1. Rhode Island: Editor Veronica Bruscini reviews Trinity Rep's A CHRISTMAS CAROL. She says, "Trinity's outstanding cast is at its very best in this CHRISTMAS CAROL. Brian McEleney returns to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge for a fifth time and the quality of his characterization has never been better. All the warmth and gentle good humor he radiates as the grandfather melts away by degrees as he layers on various garments from Scrooge's wardrobe. By the time the old humbug is in his frock coat counting out his pounds and pence, the flinty, unyielding expression in McEleney's eyes reads as downright menacing. McEleney brings depth to the performance, adding wonderful touches of comedy early on without compromising his close-fisted, hard-hearted character." Read more here.
2. Connecticut: Editor Bob Rizzo interviews Chita Rivera on her upcoming concerts CHITA: A LEGENDARY CELEBRATION. Rizzo asks, "Your upcoming solo show 'Chita: A Legendary Celebration' will give audiences a chance to see you in more intimate venues. What a treat. How does that affect your performance?" and Chita responds, "You become how you are at a small party versus how you are at a larger one. You can see almost every face and it becomes simpler. It's still you, but it's less people. When you're in a big theater you want to reach the very top of the place. Up to the highest seat, so that each person feels like you're talking to them. There's really no difference when you're in a smaller place, you just don't overdo it. It becomes far more personal." Read the full interview here.
3. Chicago, IL: Editor Kailey Hansen reviews Drury Lane's CRAZY FOR YOU. She says, "Led by two of Broadway's own, Crazy For You boasts vibrant choreography and powerful pipes. Alves, seen on Broadway in On The Town, Bullets Over Broadway, The Music Man and more, is worth the price of admission. From his energetic tap numbers to his charming wit, the veteran performer works well opposite Hurder." Read more here.
4. St. Louis, MO: Editor Chris Gibson reviews MOTHERS AND SONS at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He says, "Harry Bouvy does wonderful work as Cal, trying to deal with Katharine's sudden appearance while also attempting to come to grips with the feelings she stirs up. It's a brilliant balancing act, and Bouvy handles it with aplomb. Darrie Lawrence is a formidable presence as Katharine, and though she may be clueless in regards to homosexuality and AIDS, she's not beyond redemption. Lawrence, too, walks a fine line as she seeks answers which Cal cannot provide. Michael Keyloun gives a great performance as Will, Cal's husband. He brings energy and enthusiasm to a a role that finds his character in the shadow of someone he never met, but is nonetheless slightly jealous of. Simon Desilets neatly rounds out the cast as Cal and Will's son, Bud. Desilets charms with his youthful exuberance." Read more here.
5. Minneapolis, MN: Editor Jill Schafer reviews Park Square Theatre's A RAISIN IN THE SUN. She says, "I highly recommend A RAISIN IN THE SUN, both for adults and school groups (more details on student performances here). It's a beautifully written play that was ahead of its time and still relevant today, painting a full and rich portrait of a black family, beautifully brought to life by director Warren C. Bowles and this talented cast." Read more here.
6. Raleigh, NC: Editor Jeffrey Kare reviews North Carolina Theatre's MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT. He says, "Director Jennifer Werner keeps things moving very swiftly with a very enthusiastic ensemble. Not only does Jeff McCarthy makes a dashing leading man as King Arthur, but his Knights of the Roundtable get their own standout moments. Brandon Haagenson as Patsy gets to shine in his big number 'Always Look On the Bright Side of Life'; James Ludwig as Sir Robin also shines in his big number 'You Won't Succeed On Broadway'; Danny Bernardy has his moments as Sir Lancelot; Benny Elledge seems to be having fun onstage as Sir Bedevere (and others) along with JacoB Smith as Sir Galahad. Pierce Cassedy also stands out in his three roles as the Historian, Not Dead Fred, and Prince Herbert. And last but not least, Ta'Rea Campbell portrays a real diva as King Arthur's voice of reason, The Lady of the Lake." Read more here.
7. New Orleans, LA: Editor Tara Bennett reviews MACBETH at Mahalia Jackson Theatre. She says, "As the title character, Michael Chioldi's rich baritone voice powered relentlessly through the music, his earthy resonations packing a real punch. Ambitious and authoritative, he is the ideal portrayal of one of the most infamous characters put to page. Watching his psyche splinter as his paranoia increased in the second act was projected well. Overall, his character's development was exciting to watch as the intensity of his emotions came in waves, from his first spark of ambition, to the dismissal of his wife's suicide, to his lamenting death as he curses the witches who brought this fate upon him. This was an ideal portrayal of Macbeth." Read more here.
8. Costa Mesa, CA: Editor Michael L. Quintos reviews Darren Criss in Pantages Stop of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. He says, "Explosive, sassy, and utterly mesmerizing, Criss---as evidenced in his recent Opening Night performance in L.A.---easily elevates the already exhilarating production tenfold, as he sings (well, rocks) his way to narrate his out-and-proud character's story up to this very point. In this case, that point in time is playing a gig on a theater stage in Hollywood that just the night before housed an ill-fated, just-shuttered production of "Hurt Locker - The Musical" (fake Playbills for the fictional musical are scattered about the theater and its abandoned grungy set, has, apparently, been left behind for the band)." Read more here.
9. New Zealand: Editor Monica Moore reviews AVENUE Q at Gore Musical Theatre. She says, "The singing is sensational. The belt style vocals are strong, deliberate and controlled. Great work Musical Director, Sonya Barker... Casting a first-timer in the role of Gary Coleman was indeed a risk but one that paid off. Fraser Gulliver is convincing in his role and endeared the audience." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
10. Editor Katie Laban reviews ELF THE MUSICAL at the Fox Theatre. She says, "Spenser Micetich plays Buddy the Elf and does a great job at it. Fans of the film will love his performance, but fans of the stage will be in love with his voice. Micetich is so humorous on stage that he really makes the audience love Buddy for the first time or fall in love with him all over again. Daisy Carnelia is Jovie and she is the perfect pairing for Micetich. The two of them bring out a lot of laughter from the audience. Carneila can also sing beautifully and her solo song "Never Fall in Love" is a showstopper." Read more here.
STUDENT BLOGGERS! We'd like to feature a few of our student bloggers below!
This week, we'd like to welcome our newest contributing editor in Boise, Leesa Williams, and our newest art contributor, Milette Shannon.
*BONUS* - Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, BWW sites and more! Check it out here!