Andria Tieman

Andria Tieman Andria Tieman is a lifelong theatre fan, writer and librarian. She studied fiction, play and screenwriting in her previous life as an MFA student. Presently, she works as an academic librarian and special lecturer in Providence teaching students the joys of research.


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Festival Ballet's Stunning CARMEN, Up Close on HopeBWW Review: Festival Ballet's Stunning CARMEN, Up Close on Hope
Posted: Mar. 27, 2017


BWW Review: Powerful and Unexpectedly Timely INHERIT THE WINDBWW Review: Powerful and Unexpectedly Timely INHERIT THE WIND
Posted: Apr. 4, 2017


BWW Review: Emotionally Raw RENT Is Not To Be Missed at PPACBWW Review: Emotionally Raw RENT Is Not To Be Missed at PPAC
Posted: Apr. 9, 2017


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Heartwarming BILLY ELLIOT at Ocean State Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Heartwarming BILLY ELLIOT at Ocean State Theatre Company
Posted: Oct. 11, 2016


BWW Review: Crazy For You, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Trinity RepBWW Review: Crazy For You, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Posted: Feb. 15, 2017


BWW Review: Classic, Fantastic WEST SIDE STORYBWW Review: Classic, Fantastic WEST SIDE STORY
Posted: Jun. 28, 2016


BWW Review: Magical THE WIZARD OF OZ at Theatre By The SeaBWW Review: Magical THE WIZARD OF OZ at Theatre By The Sea
Posted: Jul. 26, 2016


BWW Review: Charming  LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL At Ocean State Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Charming LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL At Ocean State Theatre Company
Posted: Mar. 6, 2017


BWW Review: Thrilling BEOWULF: A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAGGAGEBWW Review: Thrilling BEOWULF
Posted: Sep. 13, 2016


BWW Review: Magical MATILDA: THE MUSICAL at PPACBWW Review: Magical MATILDA: THE MUSICAL at PPAC
May 19, 2017

Adapting a beloved children's classic to Broadway is so fraught with landmines that it's a wonder people even attempt it since it seems like there's no way to possibly make something as fantastic as the original. Good thing Denis Kelly (Book) and Tim Minchin (Music & Lyrics) are braver and more creative than most because they managed to create something that is both brand new and also incredibly faithful to the original. Roald Dahl, author of the book Matilda, has such a unique voice and bizarre ways to torture the children in his stories, usually by placing them at the mercy of moronic adults that one worries anything based on his work coming out post 2010 would be sanitized and inoffensive to the point of being a pale shadow of the original. Well, MATILDA: THE MUSICAL has all the pigtail tossing and forced feeding one requires from the Matilda story, along with some fantastically cheeky songs, and excellent performances all around.

BWW Review: Power to the People of FUENTE OVEJUNABWW Review: Power to the People of FUENTE OVEJUNA
May 16, 2017

Like Sheep to Water, or Fuente Ovejuna, by Lope de Vega, was written in the early 1600s, but has been largely unproduced in the United States. Similar to a Shakespearean history, it's based on actual events that occurred in the Castilian region of Spain in 1476. This production was translated and adapted by Trinity Rep Artistic Director Curt Columbus, and manages to stir up plenty of emotion while injecting much-needed moments of comic relief. While the production, costumes and performances are excellent as they always are at Trinity Rep, the play itself is somewhat underwhelming despite containing classic themes of romance and triumph over oppression.

BWW Review: Emotionally Raw RENT Is Not To Be Missed at PPACBWW Review: Emotionally Raw RENT Is Not To Be Missed at PPAC
April 9, 2017

It's hard to believe that the musical RENT is 20 year old, but watching it in 2017 it remains shockingly relevant, and strangely stuck in time. The story of the bohemian squatters in New York's Alphabet City seems almost like a museum piece about the horrors of AIDS, but at the same time, considering all of the technological developments of the last 20 year, the time of RENT should feel even more foreign. Gay marriage is now the law of the land and AIDS is no longer a death sentence, but many of the other struggles these beloved characters face are still real and universal. RENT is a story of the 90's, but it's also a beautiful story of friendships and how they evolve. The cast of this current touring production certainly have some big shoes to fill, but many of them manage to shake off the albatrosses of previous classic performances and make these roles uniquely their own.

BWW Review: Powerful and Unexpectedly Timely INHERIT THE WINDBWW Review: Powerful and Unexpectedly Timely INHERIT THE WIND
April 4, 2017

Ocean State Theatre Company Artistic Director Amiee Turner introduced Friday night's production of INHERIT THE WIND by saying that she was somewhat surprised and saddened that a play about what's appropriate to teach in public schools, written in 1955 but based on events of the 1920's, is still so timely today. Indeed, this script may be a Baby Boomer, but this production isn't showing its age at all, and is scarily relevant. One of the biggest tells of an older play is often the length, and this script may have been edited down a bit, but the pacing is absolutely perfect. Director Fred Sullivan Jr. fills the moments of brief set changes with appropriate moments of song, which may seem like an odd choice for a play of this nature, but it works perfectly. Some of the songs are in the original script, but a few seem to have been added for this show. The songs also give the actors a chance to trot out their vocal chops including men singing in four part harmony, and violin and ukulele performances.

BWW Review: Festival Ballet's Stunning CARMEN, Up Close on HopeBWW Review: Festival Ballet's Stunning CARMEN, Up Close on Hope
March 27, 2017

CARMEN is a classic story, and one that Festival Ballet has mounted before with great success due to the talents of resident choreographer Viktor Plotinkov and dancers Jennifer Ricci and Mindaugas Bauzys. This time around, the grand production is shrunk down to fit into the black box theatre on Hope Street, which strips away most of the sets and dramatic lighting and leaves the viewer with a production which is minimalist but powerful. The principal dancers rotate each performance, so every one is a unique experience. The Friday night premiere featured Eugenia Zinovieva as Carmen, Alex Lantz as Don Jose and Kirsten Evans as Micaela.

BWW Review: Surreal MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAYBWW Review: Surreal MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY
March 20, 2017

MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY takes place in the near future, and then further into the future, and then way into the future as the world as we knew it becomes increasingly distorted and warped seemingly via a century long game of telephone. It's a play that analyzing will just leave a person more discombobulated, so it's probably best to just strap in any enjoy the ride. Regardless of whether or not you understand it, you will come away thoroughly entertained by the phenomenal cast and skillful music direction of Wilbury favorite David Tessier. The people Wilbury Theatre Group are masters of the strange and unexpected, and even if the audience can't completely grasp what's going on, the cast has everything handled, so that it's best to just sit in their thrall and trust that we're all going to make it out ok.

BWW Review: Unsettling THE NETHER at The GammBWW Review: Unsettling THE NETHER at The Gamm
March 8, 2017

THE NETHER, is a twisted look into a not-so-distant future where the internet becomes an immersive and physical experience. Unexpected reveals keep the plot moving, but the subject matter overall is uncomfortable to say the least. Playwright Jennifer Haley manages to avoid shock for the sake of shock, but this production certainly raises some thorny ethical dilemmas. Director Judith Swift manages to get a little close to taking things too far, but then pull back at the last second leaving the audience grappling with who the real monsters are.

BWW Review: Charming  LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL At Ocean State Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Charming LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL At Ocean State Theatre Company
March 6, 2017

The story of the March sisters has been charming people since Little Women was first published in 1868. To date there have been six film adaptations, four television series, a full-length state play as well as a one act, and a stage musical. This production is the Broadway musical version, which was initially performed in 2005. While strong acting and excellent vocal performances make this a treat to watch, there are a few hiccups that unfortunately detract from what is an obviously classic story.

BWW Review: Crazy For You, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Trinity RepBWW Review: Crazy For You, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Trinity Rep
February 15, 2017

Shakespeare can be a hard sell sometimes. His plays are long, they're frequently hard to understand, and often going to one seems like something you should do, rather than something you want to do. Well, Trinity Rep's production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is the spoonful of sugar that makes the cultural medicine go down. Every detail of the sets and the costumes of this production is so well thought out that they create the perfect mashup of 1980's high school culture, which suits the storyline of the play to a T. After all, so many of Shakespeare's plays are about teenagers in love, why not set them at a prom in the 80's? Similar to Beowulf earlier this season, the cast and crew hold absolutely nothing back and this production is a cascade of color, glitter and Aqua Net with some excellent musical choices that need to be on their own mixtape.

BWW Review: Immersive THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at PPACBWW Review: Immersive THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at PPAC
February 10, 2017

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME debuted in London in 2012 and went on to win a slew of awards as well as capture the respect of experts in set and lighting design for creating a world that perfectly captures the mind of a hyper-sensitive teen. There is something so unique and magical about this production that the audience really feels like they are experiencing it, rather than merely viewing. Compared to the traditional Broadway musical, this is a wholly different type of play that seems at the outset like it shouldn't work, but actually succeeds in surprising and touching ways.

BWW Review: Powerful THE CHILDREN'S HOUR at The GammBWW Review: Powerful THE CHILDREN'S HOUR at The Gamm
January 19, 2017

Lillian Hellman's THE CHILDREN'S HOUR is a classic play, which premiered in 1934 and is just as timely and relevant today. The Gamm's production is a near-flawless retelling of this disturbing story about how much words matter and how the power of a lie can have repercussions far greater than expected. The intricate and methodical script comes to life under the talents of Madeleine Lambert and Gamm resident actor Karen Carpenter and as two women who run an all-girls boarding school and find themselves with a pupil who seeks to destroy anything that gets in the way of her agenda.

BWW Review: Compelling THE MOUNTAINTOP at Trinity RepBWW Review: Compelling THE MOUNTAINTOP at Trinity Rep
January 18, 2017

THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall, reimagines Martin Luther King's last night in a Memphis hotel room with an unexpected amount of humor and some magical realism. It is daunting to take on the task of humanizing such a larger-than-life figure, but Joe Wilson Jr.'s portrayal is compelling, endearing and perfectly captures both the challenge and the pain that comes with being a public figure called to tackle a seemingly impossible task. This two-person production also stars Mia Ellis as Camae, the hotel maid who delivers coffee to King's room and who quickly becomes a friend and confidant. This is an intimate production that manages to avoid getting too preachy, delivering a night of excellent theatre.

BWW Review: Smoldering CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at Epic Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Smoldering CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at Epic Theatre Company
January 17, 2017

Epic Theatre Company kicks off the new year with a delightful twist on the classic Tennessee Williams play CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Under expert direction from OUT LOUD Theatre's Kira Hawkridge the talented cast bring this complicated story to life with minimal fuss and a strong focus on making the dialogue shine--as it should.

BWW Review: ONCE Was Enough at PPACBWW Review: ONCE Was Enough at PPAC
December 5, 2016

ONCE, the award-winning stage musical based on the award-winning film of the same name, is an obvious addition to Broadway. Featuring songs written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who also starred in the film, this production seems like it can't miss. Unfortunately, despite excellent music and vocal and musical performances from an obviously talented cast, this production's book, by Irish playwright Enda Walsh, seems to assume that the only people who would be interested in this show are those who have seen the movie. Therefore, there is next-to-no character development, and random scenes inserted that make no sense to anyone not intimately familiar with the source material. Since this is a show about music and musicians, one would think that story goes out the window then in favor of reworking this as almost a musical revue, rather than a traditional narrative. That would have worked, since the story is a sweetly simple one and doesn't require much, but the choice was made instead to shoehorn in extra scenes of dialogue, most of which take far longer and meader far more than necessary to advance the plot, and wind up creating something that is just dull and lazy.

BWW Review: Unique and Hilarious JAMES FRANCO AND ME At Epic Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Unique and Hilarious JAMES FRANCO AND ME At Epic Theatre Company
November 21, 2016

James Franco and Me is an idea that could only have come from the brain of Kevin Broccoli. Set in a hospital waiting room as the protagonist waits for his father to die, this play becomes a kind of meta commentary on life, celebrity, loss, failure and friendship. Featuring 13 different actors as James Franco with each production completely unrehearsed, there's almost a sinister 'what if it all goes wrong' feeling that the audience has. That also adds to the drama in a completely unexpected way, especially when the viewer gets completely wrapped up in the performances and then reminds herself that these two people, on this night, have never done this before, and it seems seamless. One of the things that still gives me chills is the thought that when you're viewing a live production, the performers and the audience are sharing a moment that no one else will ever get to experience. Broccoli has blown that up into 13 moments, and it's hard to not feel a little frustrated to have missed out on 12 of those.

BWW Review: Darkly Hilarious THE FLU SEASON at Burbage Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Darkly Hilarious THE FLU SEASON at Burbage Theatre Company
November 21, 2016

THE FLU SEASON is a darkly funny, incredibly touching and thoroughly strange production. At its core, it's a simple story about love and relationships. The setting of a mental hospital, with additional commentary from two men known as Prologue and Epilogue, who are dueling over creating the story as it unfolds for the audience, complicates things and interjects unexpected twists and turns. Burbage Theatre Company has never been afraid to take on the surreal and strange, and with The Flu Season, they have proven once again that odd little stories are in very good hands. Under the expert direction of Wendy Overly, this simple premise becomes wholly immersive and heartbreaking.

BWW Review: THE FINAL VOYAGE OF X MINUS ONE at Counter-Productions Theatre CompanyBWW Review: THE FINAL VOYAGE OF X MINUS ONE at Counter-Productions Theatre Company
November 14, 2016

As a theatre reviewer, I have the privilege of watching all kinds of productions. Everything from Shakespeare to locally-written original works is up for grabs. Occasionally, though, one needs to bring in an expert, which is what I opted to do for my review of The Final Voyage of X Minus One at AS220's Black Box theatre. It's not that this production is hard to understand, or less entertaining to those who are not intimately familiar with sci-fi, but genre works tend to have a lot of subtle nods and winks that may go over the layperson's head, and I was concerned about missing something important. So I brought in a ringer, in the form of my geeky husband Ryan Michney, and I've included his thoughts below.

BWW Review: UP CLOSE ON HOPE at Festival Ballet ProvidenceBWW Review: UP CLOSE ON HOPE at Festival Ballet Providence
November 8, 2016

Once again Festival Ballet has put together an Up Close on Hope fall program that is both beautiful and exciting. This year the focus was on shorter pieces, many choreographed by resident choreographer Viktor Plotnikov, as well as Yury Yanowsky and resident dancer Ty Parmenter. While the short pieces are mostly very strong, at times they almost feel too short. Such is the mark of fine performance, the Up Close on Hope series always leaves one wanting more.

BWW Review: ONE FLEA SPARE at Playhouse Creatures Theatre CompanyBWW Review: ONE FLEA SPARE at Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company
November 4, 2016

ONE FLEA SPARE is a play with a deceptively simple premise, but one that becomes almost overwhelmingly complex as secrets are revealed, motivations get murky and time takes its toll on people. Mr. and Mrs. Snelgrave are upper class Londoners during the plague. As they're quarantined in their home, the acquire two additional people who are then forced to stay in the Snelgrave home to avoid spreading the disease. Morse, a young girl, and Bunce, a retired sailor shake up the staid Snelgrave dynamic and as the four of them are forced to remain in close quarters, class distinctions break down and skeletons come out of the closet. This is a very spare production, set in a black box theatre in the round, but once that is made incredibly compelling through exceptional performances and tight, complex writing. What few props and costumes there are become larger than life and perfectly communicate the heightened and somewhat frantic circumstances the characters find themselves in. By stripping away all the distractions, the performances create an intimacy with the audience that is palpable and electric.

BWW Review: Complicated APPROPRIATE at Trinity RepBWW Review: Complicated APPROPRIATE at Trinity Rep
October 11, 2016

APPROPRIATE is a show that manages to be both genuinely funny, but also somewhat hard to watch. At its core, it's about family, legacy and secrets, but it manages to become something much larger and more complicated and messy than that. Author Branden Jacobs-Jenkins manages to punctuate moments of extreme discomfort with the perfect injection of levity to avoid this turning into something that is exclusively difficult to watch, and excellent performances from Trinity resident actors Phyllis Kay, Fred Sullivan Jr. and Angela Brazil keep the dark narrative compelling even when it's squirmingly uncomfortable.



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