Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our Broadway World - 3/31; THE LAST FIVE YEARS in Omaha, CAROUSEL in L.A. 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 LAST FIVE YEARS in Omaha, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES in Tampa, and CAROUSEL in Los Angeles, just to name a few. Check out our top features below!
1. Baltimore, MD: Editor Cybele Pomeroy reviews TWISTED MELODIES at Center Stage. She says, "The show is a warm, realistic look at the human drama of the connection between artistry and madness. It is gripping, funny, touching, frightening, and full of the rich deep melodies and stirring lyrics that Hathaway was known for during his short career. As much as Kelvin Roston, Jr. moves us as an actor, his musical performance blows it all away. Roston is wonderful and genuine with keyboards and vocals, and is riveting to watch." Read more here.
2. Kansas City, MO: Editor Alan Portner reviews SHE LOVES ME at Musical Theater Heritage. He says, "The production is demanding for the female lead not only for vocal range, but also for comic transformations in attitude. Lauren Bratton has an excellent, classically trained, operatic first soprano. She coincidentally has the ability to downshift and mug into musical comedy mode. There is a YouTube clipping of the 2016 Broadway revival available and Lauren compares vocally very favorably. In the 300 seat auditorium at MTH, Lauren has no need of amplification. Patrick Beasley as Georg is a nice complement opposite Lauren and similarly compares favorably with the last Broadway incarnation." Read more here.
3. Omaha, NE: Editor Christine Swerczek reviews THE LAST FIVE YEARS at The Performing Artists Repertory Theatre. She says, "Because this is a complicated story told through the perspectives of two people, you need the right people. Carlson and Jones are those two. Both have strong melodious voices and fine acting skills. Carlson displays an impressive range of emotions from utter despair to hilarity. She is particularly moving in "See I'm Smiling." Her greatest moment, though, is "Climbing Uphill," where she switches back and forth from the auditioning Cathy to the inner Cathy who is agonizing over her performance and acceptability. Carlson is brilliant in this piece!" Read more here.
4. Tampa, FL: Editor Peter Nason reviews LA CAGE AUX FOLLES at the Carrollwood Players. He says, "There is a moment so powerful, so transformative, in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES at the Carrollwood Players that audience members were weeping at intermission.....Their paroxysm of tears weren't flowing over something heartbreaking or sad. They had just witnessed one of musical theatre's strongest anthems--"I Am What I Am"--performed so brilliantly that it made them cry. The song is one of Jerry Herman's supremely crafted numbers, perhaps his finest moment as a lyricist and composer, and the number is a plea for unapologetic individualism and respect. It ranks with "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" as the greatest Act One solo closer in the annals of musical theatre. The song is so well known that it has almost become a cliché, for a while as overdone as "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha. So when the hairs on the back of my neck went up in this current production, and I suddenly got the case of goose bumps and felt that I was hearing the song for the very first time, something has obviously gone amazingly right." Read more here.
5. Seattle, WA: Editor Jay Irwin reviews Seattle Public's GROUNDED. He says, "Anytime a theater does a one person show it's a risky proposition. You, of course, need the right piece. You need a good set that doesn't detract from the lone performer on stage. You need good direction of that performer so it doesn't feel too static. And most importantly, you need a performer who can grab ahold of the audience right away and lead them on their journey. Well lucky for Seattle Public Theater and for us, they have all those things and then some with their current production of "Grounded", a production that will shake you to your core." Read more here.
6. Los Angeles, CA: Editor Don Grigware reviews CAROUSEL at Musical Theatre West. He says, "This is a glorious musical, much like an opera...and a ballet, and also sandwiched within is a story about living and dying that is universal and deeply nurtured. Jerry is a very grounded Julie with a lovely soprano voice. Carpenter manifests Billy's brusque attitude and manner to perfection. Billy is instantly taken with JUlie. She is unlike any woman he has ever met. His "Soliloquy" is not delivered so much as a dynamic musical number but more as an extension of a written monologue in which he is trying desperately to come to terms with his future prospects. A truly marvelous performance from Carpenter! I am happy to say I have seen his work on local stages for the past 10 years; he has a magnificent voice and has most definitely grown into a very fine actor." Read more here.
7. India: Editor Zofeen Maqsood reviews JANNAT CENTRAL at Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai. She says, "A touching story that teaches you how to appreciate life's finer moments while making you laugh and reach out for a box of tissues simultaneously is what makes up the storyline for a play tiled Jannat Central. The play that explores the genre of dance-drama, that has been gaining popularity in the theatre world in India, is a heart-rending expression of an emotional story through the medium of dance." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
8. Columbus, Ohio Editor Amanda Etchison reviews CABARET at the Ohio Theatre. She says, "As British singer Sally Bowles, the Kit Kat Klub's featured performer, Leigh Ann Larkin embraces her character's eccentricities, which are simultaneously endearing and enigmatic. Sally might be frivolously uninterested in the issues facing her adopted city, but Larkin deeply delves into evocative emotions when she showcases her sultry, smooth voice in iconic numbers like "Maybe This Time" and "Cabaret."" Read more here.
9. Dance. Editor Rose Marija reviews American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company in NYC. She says, "Kabalevsky Violin Concerto (Second Movement), beautiful choreography by Marcelo Gomes, to music of Dmitri Kabalevsky ("Concerto for Violin in C Major, Op 48"). Meghan Lynch and Jarod Curley, whom I had seen perform this piece in February, showed improvement. Lynch was particularly improved. Her expression flowed with emotion and professionalism. Even when her partner may not have put her on her leg, she was able to save it, impressive for a young dancer. I could see a change in the shape of her legs and the way she danced on them. I look forward to seeing her dancing evolve in the future." Read more here.
10. Harmony Wheeler, San Francisco, CA: Harmony Wheeler has a degree in Journalism, Public Relations, from Biola University and has worked with theatres including Sierra Repertory, Modesto Performing Arts and Runaway Stage Productions. She also does marketing and events for the chamber of commerce in historic Columbia, California. Harmony's byline has appeared with the Sierra Lodestar, The Modesto Bee, The Chimes student newspaper (where she served as News Editor), StaticMultiMedia.com, and others. Learn more by visiting www.harmonywheeler.com.
Why does she enjoy writing for BroadwayWorld? "In the five years I've written for BroadwayWorld, I've not only had the opportunity to stay active in my writing skills, but also to meet more often with friends, to consider challenging material, and to see amazing shows that I would have otherwise missed. It's professional. It's fun. And it doesn't hurt that I get to see shows for free," Harmony says.
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