Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our Broadway World - 3/17; RAGTIME in D.C., HAMILTON Parody in Chicago, SWSX 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 RAGTIME at Ford's Theatre, SPAMILTON in Chicago, SWSX coverage in Austin and more. Check out our top features below!
1. Washington, DC: Editor Heather Nadolny reviews RAGTIME at Ford's Theatre. She says, "What a cast this is. Reprising the role that earned him a Helen Hayes award, Kevin McAllister gives his whole heart and energy as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. Nova Y. Payton, fresh off the successful CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at Round House Theatre, delivers a beautiful, sweet innocence as the shy, questioning Sarah. You instantly love her, and I will happily watch the both of them in as many productions as are possible... Jonathan Atkinson's emotional journey as Tateh is well demonstrated, and he is engaging to watch even as part of the background action. His voice is a force, and his character's determination pulls at all the emotions this current political climate has evoked. Felicia Curry's performance in "Til We Reach that Day" soared from the start, stealing the stage." Read more here.
2. Chicago, IL: Editor Misha Davenport reviews a "must-see" SPAMILTON. He says, "Gerard Alessandrini's SPAMILTON, doesn't just satirize the hit musical HAMILTON and its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, it brilliantly mocks and celebrates the business we call show. It's easily Alessandrini's best work in years -which is saying a lot. With his Forbidden Broadway series, Alessandrini has proven time and again that he is the reigning king of Broadway parody." Read more here.
4. Nashville, TN: Editor Cillea Houghton reviews THE FINAL DAYS OF WOLFE TONE at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. She says, "Sheehan is impeccable as the title character, playing a commanding, yet sensitive Tone who, even while staring death in the face, manages to find the humor in life, a theme we can all relate to, cracking joke after joke while shackled in heavy chains (Tone himself asks for forgiveness for his "gallous humor"). The British guard (Brian Maffitt), while not in Tone's original autobiography, adds an even more emotional touch to an already captivating story." Read more here.
5. Austin, TX: Editor Kathy Strain is once again covering all things SWSX. Check out highlights of the Austin Music Awards here, and BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Todrick Hall here. Want more? Here's her coverage of Buzz Aldrin, Frank Oz, Donny Osmond and more here!
6. Salt Lake City, UT: Editor Tyler Hinton interviews Ashley Brown and Kevin Kern on Performing with Frank Wildhorn at BYU. Ashley Brown says, "I've always been a huge fan of Frank's work. He doesn't know this yet, but almost every song I sang in high school for any drama competition or performance was one of his songs. I was obsessed with Linda Eder and his music. I still to this day view her as one of my favorite voices. So I've loved revisiting this material as an adult and more settled in my own talent and being able to make them completely my own. I'm also learning songs of his that are completely new to me. So I guess I'm looking forward to singing his material with him for the first time. His songs are so much fun to sing." Read more here.
7. New Zealand: Editor Monica Moore reviews EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED at Auckland Music Theatre Company at Westpoint Performing Arts Centre. She says, "Creator, Director, Musical Director Emma Bishop along with Choreographer Amber Dixon, have put together an original cabaret, that not only showcases the superb talent of the cast but provides a great night out... The concept of taking well known songs and 'playing with them' to make them appealing but different is challenging but Bishop's notable music skills came to the fore. Songs were stylised into unexpected genres. Slow ballads transformed into pop genre and others into post-modern jukebox with do wapping and jazz inspiring rock songs. This is not easy to do but was achieved and delivered with aplomb." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
8. Denver Editor Chris Arneson reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at the Buell Theatre. He says, "There's nothing like seeing a new musical that feels like it was ripped from the Golden Age. An American in Paris, currently on tour at the Buell Theatre, brings out a definitive theatrical recipe you rarely witness of late... The musical, based on the 1951 classic film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George and Ira Gershwin, is a stunning tribute to the ecstasy of classical movement paired with an exquisite modern design." Read more here.
9. Dance. Los Angeles Editor Gil Kaan reviews MARTHA starring Christina Carlisi. He says, "The Whitefire Theatre's west coast premiere of playwright Ellen Melaver's MARTHA possesses all the creative elements, exquisitely combined, for a stunning one-woman show on modern dance revolutionary Martha Graham... The incredible Christina Carlisi totally embodies this movement innovator with her very first hand gestures. Carlisi nails the physicality (the dancer's posture and carriage) of the aging, yet eternally youthful dancer effortlessly demonstrating Ms. Graham's iconic moves. The charismatic Carlisi authentically communicates Ms. Graham's delicious and creative spirit via Melaver's clever, snappy-lined narratives." Read more here.
10. Juanjo González, Spain. Juanjo González was always an avid theater-goer, especially musical theatre. He founded Palco5.com in 2008, and he's been part of BroadwayWorld Spain since 2010. He's produced several concerts in Madrid including Broadway Baby: A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim (2011), Susan Egan: The Belle Of Broadway (2012), Human Again (2014), Mireia Mambo My Soul (2015) and Lucy Lummis Jazz Trio (2016), among others. Also he's produced the BroadwayWorld Spain Awards from 2011 to 2015. He has his own producing company, La Coja Producciones.
Why does Juanjo enjoy writing for BroadwayWorld? He says, "Being part of BroadwayWorld since 2010 has been a great joy, letting people in Spain and all over the world know what's going on stage in our country, with a dream team that makes it so easy!"
STUDENT BLOGGERS! We'd like to feature a few of our student bloggers below!
This week, we'd like to welcome our newest contributing writers: Courtney Symes (Sacramento), Emily Holzman (New Hampshire high school blogger), Maria Nochin (Opera), Jaime Redfern and Brenton Surgenor (Dance bloggers), Amanda Ribnick (Ft. Lauderdale high school blogger), and Jose German (Spain).
*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!