Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our Broadway World - 2/10; THE WHO'S TOMMY in Connecticut, THE BOOK OF MORMON in Melbourne and More!
BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature THE WHO'S TOMMY in Connecticut, HAND TO GOD in Columbus, THE BOOK OF MORMON in Melbourne and more. Check out our top features below!
1. Connecticut: Editor Joseph Harrison reviews THE WHO'S TOMMY at the Warner Theatre. He says, "Speaking of the band, they are the real stars of this production THE WHO'S TOMMY. Featured prominently on a metal scaffold that fills the stage, the band, led by Music Director Dan Ringuette, gives everything they have as they move through each classic number by The Who. Their presence also serves as a strong set piece, constantly reminding the audience that what we are seeing is more rock concert than musical. As the narrator, Tommy, Noel Roberge shines. He handles each of his numbers with strength and skill, displaying a soaring tenor voice on some very difficult numbers. "Amazing Journey" and "I'm Free" are particularly memorable, and Mr. Roberge commands the stage as the focal point for the evening." Read more here.
2. Washington, DC: Editor Roger Caitlin reviews 1st Stage's TREVOR. He says, "While Wilder's manic energy steals the show, the cast is uniformly strong, with Jameson particularly good as the sympathetic keeper and the versatile Forstrom doing double duty as the neighbor and, with a big 70s wig, Morgan Fairchild (though it was a different hairstyle in the neighbor that is one of the reasons given for the Connecticut attack)." Read more here.
3. Columbus, OH: Editor Paul Batterson reviews HAND TO GOD at Short North Stage. He says, "Carignan's subtle touches with the set and the music add to the show. In the show's opening, the audiences hear the soft refrains of the Carpenters' "Top of the World" as they see the Sky Blue cinder blocks of a church basement decorated with posters of Donald Trump and cute sayings like "Wash your hands and say your prayers because Jesus and germs are everywhere." As the show progresses, the music between set changes and the scenery becomes darker and darker until AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" is blaring, Elmo is affixed on a cross and black lights reveal the words "Lucifer Lives" painted across the walls." Read more here.
4. Austin, TX: Editor Frank Benge reviews THR3E ZISTERS at Salvage Vanguard Theater. He says, "What is remarkable about this piece is how it switches with lightening fast precision from educating the audience about Chekhov's work and his place in theatrical history, to a critique on doing essentially dead theatre vs theatre that speaks to the audiences of today, to a wild, bawdy and riotously funny parody of Russian drama. While the piece is a scant 65 minutes, this is one of the most visually and verbally dense yet entertaining and thought provoking hours I have ever spent in a theater." Read more here.
5. Seattle, WA: Editor Amelie Reynolds reviews Seattle Public Theater's THE LIAR. She says, "As Dorante, Trevor Young Marston is precocious, seductive and spry. Rafael Molina's portrayal of his counterpart Cliton had the awe and concerns of a preteen in a very charming way. Jéhan Òsanyin's Clarice was grounded and in-charge, and complimented Adria LaMorticella's mousy Lucrece perfectly. Pilar O'Connell was equally funny as the coquettish Isabelle as she was the dominant Sabine. Rudy Roushdi portrayed Alcippe as a walking, well-dressed nerve ending: volatile, but not unjustly, and had the standout costumes of the evening." Read more here.
6. Portland, OR: Editor Krista Garver reviews COMPANY at Broadway Rose. She says, "Renee Lawrence is stellar as Marta, one of Robert's love interests. Sondheim had to rewrite a scene to preserve Marta's song "Another Hundred People" from being cut from the show. I think if he heard Lawrence sing it, that would reaffirm he'd made the right choice. Also, Dru Rutledge, who has one of the most beautiful voices around and whose facial expressions bring everything to a whole new level (especially during "Getting Married Today"). And Norman Wilson, who has the distinction of being the first one to make me cry in this show during the song "Sorry-Grateful."" Read more here.
7. Melbourne, AU: Editor Victoria Beal reviews THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Princess Theatre. She says, "A.J. Holmes is the standout of the show as the bumbling Elder Cunningham, Price's newly appointed companion and "best friend". Elder Cunningham has a penchant for bending the truth and an infectious laugh. Holmes' comedic timing is impeccable and his voice is exceptional. The triumph performance of the show!" Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
8. Los Angeles Editor Michael L. Quintos reviews MATILDA at the Sergerstrom. He says, "The surprisingly demanding title role, appropriately enough, is played by three rotating child actors who each take their turns for each performance. For my "make-up" return visit to the show, Matilda was played by Jenna Weir, who at her young age displayed some remarkable acting and vocal skills that can rival even many actors multiple times her age (Hannah Levinson and Jaime MacLean alternate with Weir at different performances)." Read more here.
BWW Site Highlight:
9. Books. New Editor Bonnie Lynn Wagner reviews WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones. She says, "I've read it twice already, once really early last summer, and once this past week--and the book only came out this past week! Both times, I was utterly enchanted and spellbound, caught up in 1800 Germany, bespelled by the wonders of the Goblin Market, entranced by the dangers of the Underground. I've been on this journey right there with Liesl, and truly come to know her. It's ironic, really: Liesl doesn't even know herself for a good portion of the book. She's been so intent on the needs of her family that she's never taken the time to know herself. It's only in the Underground that she begins to bloom and accept herself, from the good to the ugly." Read more here.
10. Kyle West, Dallas, TX. Kyle Christopher West is obsessed with the arts. Growing up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Kyle trained as a gymnast and dancer where he performed across the East Coast in productions of West Side Story, Damn Yankees, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fame, Footloose and more. He began professionally choreographing summer stock musicals at the Cape's Academy Playhouse at only sixteen years old (working alongside director Kim Croker, sister of Broadway's Scott Ellis), and made his directorial debut with A Chorus Line just two years later.
Upon moving to New York City in 2004, Kyle continued his education working hands-on with various Broadway and off-Broadway productions. As a promotional marketing manager, Kyle worked under Broadway producer Barry Weissler (Chicago, Grease, Annie Get Your Gun) on the Christina Applegate revival of Sweet Charity, and for Ken Davenport (Spring Awakening, It's Only A Play, Godspell, 13) on his first New York productions. Kyle also worked closely with producer Tom D'Angora (Marvelous Wonderettes, Newsical) marketing Broadway's 42nd Street, Dracula, Little Women, Jersey Boys and Forbidden Broadway. Kyle spent his evenings working in various Broadway theatres on productions of Chicago, The Color Purple, A Chorus Line and Avenue Q, and he held management positions at Disney's New Amsterdam Theatre (Mary Poppins) and off-Broadway's I Love You Because.
Kyle performed a handful of small roles in New York, and appeared on TV in All My Children, as well as in commercials for Sony and American Eagle Outfitters. His relationship with American Eagle created several once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, including styling Jennifer Gardner for Seventeen Magazine and set dressing for TV's The Apprentice. He's also made character appearances costumed as all three of the Yogi Bear friends, Nickelodeon's Rugrats and more!
Since leaving New York, Kyle has taught educational theatre at four Boston-area public schools, and has served as a director, choreographer, scenic designer, and costume designer at various theatres throughout the U.S. For his work, he has been recognized with the AriZoni Award of Excellence, MET Award, Annie Award, and the BroadwayWorld Award, among others. He has served on the Board of Directors for both the Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre and Mesa Encore Theatre, and managed a performing arts studio in Phoenix, Arizona where he co-created and trademarked a youth dance program. Collectively, Kyle has professionally directed and choreographed over 50 full-scale productions since 1999.
Kyle became an editor for BroadwayWorld.com in January of 2015, managing coverage at three national touring theatres, as well as several dozen professional and amateur theatres in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. He also serves as a guest writer for several other theatre communities, and intermittently moonlights as a travel editor.
In his free time, Kyle is a semi-professional photographer who has shot weddings, engagements, headshots, family portraits and live theatre. He enjoys jet-setting, warm weather and interior design.
On why he enjoys writing for BroadwayWorld, Kyle says, "Although it's always a joy to see the many national tours and professional productions that frequently fill our local stages, writing for BroadwayWorld has enabled me to provide a great deal of support for my local theatre scene. I've discovered so many companies that I hadn't known before I began covering the Dallas/Fort Worth scene in 2015. My greatest joy comes from watching some of the areas rising stars as they tackle new opportunities on stage."
STUDENT BLOGGERS! We'd like to feature a few of our student bloggers below!
This week, we'd like to welcome our newest contributing writer in Cincinnati, Abby Rowold, Kristy Johnson and Geoffrey in Orlando, Dylan and Celeste Caraker and Melissa Hall in Indianapolis, Tiann Nerng Chong in Singapore/Malaysia, and Ofelia Adame Williams, our latest guest blogger in Houston.
*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, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!