Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our Broadway World 5/5 - IN THE HEIGHTS in DC, 42ND STREET in Denver, TITLE OF SHOW in Baltimore 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, 42ND STREET in Denver, [TITLE OF SHOW] in Baltimore, CHICAGO in Rhode Island and more!
Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!
Washington DC: Guest Blogger Gabriella Perez writes about her work in GALA's IN THE HEIGHTS. She writes "I'm not going to lie: it feels like an enormous responsibility and duty. We owe truth to the original writers, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes, and honest, proud representation to the Latino community in both Washington, D.C. and the nation. We are simultaneously telling the Tony-Award winning story that so many of us know and love, and breathing life into words that have never before been uttered by another company of actors. How do we navigate these yet uncharted waters? We must let go of the safety of "knowing". The curse of the actor, Luis tells us, is in the not knowing. The more you know in life, the more you realize you don't know. The more you know about the Broadway production, the more you must let go of those preconceived notions. The more you want to know your lines, know your blocking and vocal technique, all the more you must trust your homework, and give into the spontaneity of your character "not knowing" her next line."
Los Angeles: Contributor Michael Quintos reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS on Tour! He writes "Costars Benson and Spanger are both not only strong singers and hoof-sters but are also genuinely likable as well, making it easy for the audience to root and care for their respective characters' journeys, too. Benson, with his character's aww-shucks attitude and can-do demeanor will definitely win hearts, while Spanger (whose Henri sports a subtle "is he gay or is he not gay" story arc) will win our empathy for his struggle to be who wants to be during a time when it is much more difficult. I especially love their standout work in "I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise" which had the audience rightfully cheering."
Denver: Contributor Samantha Saunders reviews 42nd STREET. She writes "The opening number is just a glimpse into what the ensemble brings to this production and the stunning image at the top of the show conjures a nostalgia for the good ol' days. With quick stepping feet and challenging dances, choreographed by Kate Vallee, the ensemble fills the stage with high energy, holding nothing back in numbers like, "42nd Street," "Dames," and of course "Lullaby of Broadway."
Israel: Editor Ronit Suzan reviews the opera LA GAZETTA. She writes "The story of La Gazzetta takes place in a small hotel in Paris called Hotel L'Aquila. Many tourists arrive at the hotel and among them are Don Pomponio, a Neapolitan merchant, his daughter Lisetta and his assistant Tommasino, as well as Anselmo and his daughter Doralice. As Pomponio, played by the spectacular Enrico Maria Marabelli, places an advertisement in the news website "LaGazzetta.com" in search of a husband for his daughter, a comedy of errors begins with many misunderstandings regarding possible matches for Lisetta, a short mix-up between the two daughters, new visitors in the hotel, and more. Though the story itself isn't very profound or challenging, Rossini's music is exquisite and rich, especially with the harmonies during the duets and quintets. That being said, as much as the orchestra of the Opera Royal de Wallonie played magnificently, in many cases the music was lacking the much needed volume and strength that both the scenes and conductor Jan Schultsz required from it."
Baltimore: Contributor Kristen Price reviews [TITLE OF SHOW] at Fells Point Corner Theatre. She writes "What I liked specifically about this production, was their ability to add some of today's theater references into their plot. The show's about 10 years old, so hard core "theater dorks" may have gotten the references but not your everyday theater goer. However, this team added a few references to shows currently running on Broadway like AMELIE and even added a few bars of HAMILTON in for good measure, which got one of the biggest laughs of the night. That attention to comedy as well as the story is what made this particular production so enjoyable."
Chicago: Contributor Patrick O'Brien reviews ANNIE KING. He writes "Krista Pioppi's book is credibly incredible; as in, things spiral out of control in a plausible (and retrospectively inevitable) way. It could be tauter, though, which is not the worst problem for a brand-new musical to have. In the case of a musical thriller, that oh-so-special case, they could forego more obvious attempts at levity in favor of something wryer. (There's a song called "Squirrel Stew," in case the group's backwoods bona fides were unclear.) I'm also of two minds on its two-act format. On the one hand, claustrophobic musicals like this one almost seem to demand a single uninterrupted act. On the other hand, there's enough tension at the break to draw us back in for more, punctuated as it is by a suitably creepy juxtaposition of Lucas's elation at being accepted into the fold and the violent means by which he severs his ties with the outside world. Perhaps if the hints and clues to the mystery were a little more evenly dispersed, that could tone things up."
Toronto: Contributor Taylor Long reviews Canadian Stage's THE RETURN. He writes "There were a few performers who stood out to me. Bridie Hooper, contorting her body into wickedly surreal positions, is an incredible physical storyteller. Nathan Boyle's fixed gaze as he holds his arms open and empty, had me near tears. Mezzo-soprano Kate Howden accompanies the action with excellent legato lines and intelligent baroque ornaments. She sings with a fine balance of sound technique and emotion."
Rhode Island: Contributor Larry O'Brien reviews CHICAGO. He writes "So what's to like? This show is almost all music-I'd bet ninety percent of the time-and can this cast dance and sing, and sing and dance. From the opening number, "All That Jazz," through to the finale they never missed a step or a note. I have always enjoyed "Cell Block Tango" ("He had it coming; he had it coming."), and the cast did not disappoint. Same for Paul Vogt's version of "Mister Cellophane." MacLeod and Croman also nailed "Hot Honey Rag." John O'Hurley consistently delivered as Billy Flynn-he sang, he hoofed, he pattered; in short, he had the old "Razzle Dazzle." That was a fun number. The music dominates the show, and the music is great."
Nebraska: Contributor Christine Swerczek interviews Nebraska Native Daniel Beeman who is on the road with SOMETHING ROTTEN. Beeman tells her he has a lot of family and friends coming to the show. "I sure do! I'm always texting my family and my mom is telling me every other day that "these people are coming" and "oh, this person is coming, too." Every night I'm going to see a lot of people I haven't seen in years so it will be fun."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
Shenandoah Conservatory Student Blogger
Christopher Castanho is a performer, creator, and optimist originally from Rocky Hill, Connecticut. He is also a proud soon-to-be alumnus of Shenandoah Conservatory's BFA Musical Theatre program. His theatrical obsession blossomed at age eight when his grandmother (Meme) took him to see the national tour of "The Sound of Music". He has been hooked on performing, writing, and experiencing theatre ever since he witnessed Fraulein Maria frolicking through the Austrian hills.
Some of his BWW highlights include interviewing West End star Marissa Wallace, Annie national tour member Katie Davis, and blogging about all things theatre related! Christopher is extremely thankful for the opportunity to publish and create content for BroadwayWorld, as conducting interviews is his favorite excuse to talk to amazing people.
BroadwayWorld welcomes new contributor Emily Yorgey in Ft. Myers, Florida!
Join Team BroadwayWorld! 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!