Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our Broadway World - 4/28; IN THE HEIGHTS in DC, HERE LIES LOVE at Seattle Rep 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 Spanish adaptation of IN THE HEIGHTS in Washington, DC, HERE LIES LOVE at Seattle Rep, and WEST SIDE STORY in Los Angeles, just to name a few. Check out our top features below!
1. Washington, DC: Editor Vanessa Michaud reviews a Spanish adaptation of IN THE HEIGHTS at GALA Hispanic Theatre. She says, "As the electric opening number, I was immediately transported to the streets of Washington Heights. The production still retained some of the English lyrics, even if the production was mostly in Spanish. I felt that this was a smart choice, not only for the character of Benny (Vaughn Ryan Midder), who does not speak Spanish, but to also still appeal to a wider range of audiences as the original production did. The Spanish phrases sometimes got lost to me among the rapid delivery of lyrics in the songs, but as I sang along in English and referred to the English and Spanish subtitles that played throughout the production on screens, I was constantly reminded of how a story of making a better life for oneself transcends all languages. The actors handled the tricky shifts between English and Spanish almost flawlessly, especially Juan Luis Espinal (Usnavi), who's energy and charisma throughout the production reminded me of Lin-Manuel Miranda's portrayal of Usnavi that I have seen in YouTube videos." Read more here.
2. Rhode Island. Editor Barb Burke reviews TAKING SIDES at Granite Theatre. She says, "Marcus Fisk commands the stage as US Army Major Steve Arnold, a no-nonsense insurance adjustor who hails from the Midwest. As a first-hand witness to Nazi atrocities, Arnold is determined to bring the famous conductor down. Fisk convincingly switches from wise-cracking military man to war-wounded soldier. He also perfectly delivers the play's well-placed and well-needed laughs." Read more here.
3. Cleveland, OH: Editor Roy Berko reviews FREAKY FRIDAY at Cleveland Play House. He says, "Broadway star Heidi Blickenstaff (SOMETHING ROTTEN, [TITLE OF SHOW], THE ADDAMS FAMILY, THEH LITTLE MERMAID, and THE FULL MONTY) who displays a big voice and solid acting chops, is dynamic as Katherine. She flips from wrought mom to hyper-driven teen, with compelling believability and ease. Her vocal version of "I Got This" is delightful, her "Parents Lie" endearing, and "After All of This and Everything" a vocal winner. This is a star in her element!" Read more here.
4. Minneapolis, MN: Editor Karen Bovard reviews the World Premiere of GIRL SHAKES LOOSE at Penumbra Theatre. She says, "This fresh new musical is a terrific addition to the American musical canon, a show a lot of us have been waiting for. It's a rare thing: the central character is a young African-American woman struggling to find her way in present day USA. Without oversimplifying her struggles with love, sexuality, and work, it takes us all along on her search for self. Tuneful, funny, and soulful, GIRL SHAKES LOOSE is decidedly contemporary while incorporating poetry from the great Sonia Sanchez, a shining light of the Black Arts Movement." Read more here.
5. Jacksonville, FL: Editor Heather Vollman reviews STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Theatre Jacksonville. She says, "With a script that is second to none, characters who have big hair and even bigger personalities, the potential for a truly great show hangs in a cloud of hairspray, waiting for execution. Mother/daughter duo M'Lynn and Shelby are actually a real-life mother/daughter duo, and their chemistry was clear throughout. In the second scene, Shelby arrives at Truvy's and has a special moment with her momma, sharing some exciting news. Both stumbled through a few lines along the way, and yet it was a beautiful theatrical moment: never once did one let the other down. Their eyes stayed locked, they maintained pristine character, and they gave of themselves equally, carrying the moment elegantly." Read more here.
6. Seattle, WA: Editor Jay Irwin reviews Seattle Rep's HERE LIES LOVE. He says, "The music is brilliant and completely moves each element of the story along beautifully. Whether it's a soulful ballad or thumping dance number the music from David Byrne and Fatboy Slim not only invests you into the story but into the club atmosphere. If you can sit still during much of the show then you may want to check your pulse." Read more here.
7. Los Angeles, CA: Editor Don Grigware reviews WEST SIDE STORY at La Mirada. He says, "Thankfully the current production at La Mirada Theatre is the original, traditional staging with the theatrical ending in tact. The ensemble, under the exemplary direction of Richard Israel, is quite remarkable. It is such a joy to see young triple threats throughout the ensemble, in which there are no weak links. If these guys aren't dancer dancers, they sure could fool me with their unbounded energy and athletic leaps and bounds. One thing I particularly like in this production is that all the gang members are clean-shaven, for in the 50s guys were less likely to sport beards or moustaches, which is all the rage now." Read more here.
8. Sydney, AU: Editor Jade Kops reviews BIG FISH at Hayes Theatre. She says, "Parke has teamed up with production designers Anna Gardiner and Martelle Hunt to create a seemingly simple space, filled with little surprises, for Edward's stories to unfold.Whilst they have refrained from an attempt to replicate the big budget Broadway production, Gardiner and Hunt have been delightfully inventive with hints to the implausibility being implied with imagery that seems lifted out of a child's imagination, similar to what the young Will would have conjured up based on his father's stories. This pared back simplicity allows the audience to also imagine, rather than having everything handed to them, thereby sharing in the wonder of Edward's stories." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
9. Nashville, TN: Editor Jeffrey Ellis reviews THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at TPAC. He says, "Bunny Christie's awe-inspiring scenic design provides the appropriate backdrop as we delve into Christopher's psyche to learn what makes him think as he does and to revel at the brilliance that is perhaps undetectable when faced with his lack of social skills and his inability to physically touch another human being without screaming. Paule Constable's exquisite lighting design helps to elevate the onstage action beyond what is expected, while Finn Ross' stirring video design allows us to see inside Christopher's brain and to experience, like some psychological interloper fearing sudden detection, the intricacies of the young man's mind." Read more here.
Regional Editor Spotlight:
10. Carolan Trbovich, Sarasota, FL. Carolan studied at UCLA, The Film Actors' Workshop, The Hollywood Film Institute and The American Film Institute where she received extensive professional training in various areas of entertainment operations in theater, film and music business development. Trbovich has numerous board memberships/affiliations including, American Marketing Association, National Public Relations Committee Board, The Gospel Music Association, The Country Music Association, The Recording Academy, The Country Connection NYC, Manhattan Association of Cabarets, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and The National Association of Record Merchandisers.
Ms. Trbovich has made great strides in increasing productivity and profitability for many clients through inspired marketing and creating trend-setting new standards of operation. Her efforts have made Trbovich a popular speaker at retail trade and arts conventions nationwide. Carolan is the Broadway correspondent, writing reviews and interviews for BroadwayWorld.com and Dish Magazine and has published articles in various business journals, entertainment blogs and magazines.
From her love of the Arts, she has pioneered MasterClass Guild, Conservatory of the Arts, designed for creative arts students to study with artists and industry professionals. Out of her passion for all things Broadway, Carolan created the first Broadway cabaret in the state of Tennessee, Absinthe, A Broadway Cabaret, bringing Broadway performers and cabaret artists to perform standards from The Great American Songbook repertoire of classics by such beloved composers as Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwin, Berlin and Cole Porter.
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