Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our Broadway World - 4/14; A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Arena Stage, JC SUPERSTAR in Raleigh 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 A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Arena Stage, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR in Raleigh, and SCOTTSBORO BOYS in Phoenix, just to name a few. Check out our top features below!
1. Washington, DC: Editor Benjamin Tomchik reviews A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Arena Stage. He says, "This production is anchored by the endearing performances of Lizan Mitchell as the matriarch Lena Younger and Dawn Ursula as her daughter-in-law Ruth Younger. Mitchell captures the very heart of the play and essence of Hansberry's words. Ursula displays the fierce determination and powerful struggle to achieve a better life that has made A Raisin in the Sun a beloved classic. It's their drive, and especially Mitchell's mastery of Lena's sage and wry personality, that propels this production with terrific spirit." Read more here.
2. Cleveland, OH: Editor Roy Berko reviews BETWEEN RIVER AND CRAZY at the Cleveland Play House. He says, "The CPH production, as directed by Robert Barry Fleming, the theater's Associate Artistic Director, in his local directing debut, is well-paced, nicely nuanced, and plays the humor against the angst. The cast is excellent and nicely textures their performances, walking the thin line between comedy and drama.... Larry Marshall so well develops Pop that his naturalness makes you forget you are watching an actor portraying a role, but are peeking into the apartment and seeing reality." Read more here.
3. Sarasota, FL: Editor Carolan Trbovich reviews AN INTIMATE EVENING WITH Kristin Chenoweth at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. She says, "What made Kristin so personable was her loyalty in showing some love to friends in the audience and a tribute she paid to the parents of a young lady who impressed her with her poise and sense of propriety, attributing them with benevolent parenting. Although the Van Wezel is a good size performance hall, Kristin's interactions with the audience, frequent chats and stories woven between her set list, draw you in and really do make for an intimate evening." Read more here.
4. Austin, TX: Editor Joni Lorraine reviews SENSE AND SENSIBILITY at Austin Playhouse. She says, "he cast of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY are tasked with playing multiple characters AND performing the work of a running crew. It's a smart concept given the excessive scene changes that would otherwise make it impossible to mount this story on a stage. Jess Hughes and Marie Fahlgren deliver clean performances as Elinor and Marianne respectively while Joey Banks and Stephen Mercantel show both charm and endurance as Edward Ferrars and John Willoughby. Of particular note the evening I attended were Katie Kohler, Lara Wright and Bernadette Nason, all of whom embraced a commitment and enthusiasm for their characters that gave them a particular shine." Read more here.
5. Raleigh, NC: Editor Jeffrey Kare reviews North Carolina Theatre's JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. He says, "This has always been a show where so many different directors get try any approach they want in order to make it their own. In this production currently playing at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium through Easter Sunday, director Eric Woodall begins it with having every costume (elegantly designed by LeGrande Smith) displayed on stage with each cast member picking them up to get into character before revealing Chris Bernier's neatly designed coliseum set. The production also features some energetic choreography by Marc Kimelman and dynamic lighting designed by Samuel Rushen." Read more here.
6. Phoenix, AZ: Editor Herbert Paine reviews SCOTTSBORO BOYS at Phoenix Theatre. He says, "In its current iteration at Phoenix Theatre, SCOTTSBORO BOYS is a tour de force. Director/choreographer Jeff Whiting embraces minstrelsy as metaphor while never allowing the buffoonery of the authorities to overshadow the desperation of the inmates. It's a perfect balance, amplified by performances that leave you unsettled, breathless, and inspired." Read more here.
7. Singapore. Editor Rocky Christopher Fajardo features BOYS IN THE BAND in Singapore. He says, "Boys in the Band is a show with superstar credentials performing alongside Bon Jovi, Pharrell Williams and Maroon 5 at the 2015 Singapore F1 Grand Prix in addition to a two week season at Mandela Theatre, Johaneesburg where critics labelled them "a cut above the rest". Hailing from Australia they have performed sell out shows across two national Australian tours including iconic venues such as Arts Centre Melbourne, Sydney Taronga and Melbourne Zoo Twilight festivals and Jupiters Theatre, Gold Coast. Avid cruisers will recognise them from special guest performances on board Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity Cruises." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
8. South Carolina Editor Neil Shurley reviews SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Peace Center. He says, "The performances are uniformly excellent. Rob McClure is perfect as Nick, with a scruffy physical energy and enthusiasm - as well as formidable comedy chops - that bring to mind the great Nathan Lane. He's well-paired with Josh Grisetti, who gives Nigel a warm sincerity that makes for a great contrast.... As Shakespeare, Adam Pascal embodies the notion of a rock & roll god, while also being able to mine the humor written into the role. His "Will Power" and "Hard to Be the Bard," are standouts in an evening full of knockout production numbers." Read more here.
9. Cabaret. Editor Troy Frisby interviews Lance Horne on his current residency at Joe's Pub, his iconic collaborators, and trying to recruit Neve Campbell. On how Alan Cumming became his "musical husband," Horne says, "We began by musically dating. And that went really well. Then one of us musically proposed, and the other accepted. (Laughs) Honestly, we really are meant for each other. I had always admired his work. He had likewise seen and admired mine, and when he was asked to put an AMERICAN SONGBOOK SERIES together for Lincoln Center, he and I were sitting next to one another at a Liza Minnelli concert in Glasgow, as you do. He asked if I would be interested in putting that concert together with him, based, honestly, on a lot of the work I'd been able to do with Justin VivIan Bond and Meow Meow and Taylor. And we put that concert together, I think, eight years ago now, and took it immediately to Sydney Opera House to work with a woman named Virginia Hyam, who had programmed us there. From then on, we started to tour and develop and perform together, and now we host parties together. Club Cumming is in full force around the country, leaving revelers in its wake since 2015... Or, I guess, 2016. I don't plan anything without checking Alan's schedule, and if I can't do something, he's very gracious and works around mine as well. The work we do is really singular." Read the full interview here.
10. Katricia Lang, Houston, TX. Katricia is an Independent Journalist and Senior Editor (BWW Houston) who enjoys writing about the vast, vibrant Houston arts and culture scene. Why does she enjoy writing for BroadwayWorld? Katricia says, "At BroadwayWorld, you have an amazing amount of creative freedom. You can take a crack at deathless prose or write something tongue-in-cheek!"
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: Leslie Becker (Vermont), Nick Komjati (Columbus), Bob Leggett (Montana), Jeremy Bustin (Norfolk), Erica Garcia (Los Angeles), Robert Sokol (San Francisco), and T. Michael Vest (New Jersey).
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