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: 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: Immersive THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at PPACImmersive THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Posted: Feb. 10, 2017


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: Unsettling THE NETHER at The GammBWW Review: Unsettling THE NETHER at The Gamm
Posted: Mar. 8, 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: Thrilling BEOWULF: A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAGGAGEBWW Review: Thrilling BEOWULF
Posted: Sep. 13, 2016


BWW Review: Heavenly SISTER ACT at Theatre By The SeaBWW Review: Heavenly SISTER ACT at Theatre By The Sea
Posted: Aug. 22, 2016


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.

BWW Review: Heartwarming BILLY ELLIOT at Ocean State Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Heartwarming BILLY ELLIOT at Ocean State Theatre Company
October 11, 2016

BILLY ELLIOT, the musical based on the movie of the same name, follows the development of a dance prodigy in Northern England during the 1984 miner's strike. The story examines the juxtaposition between the working class world of mining and the posh world of dancing, along with traditional masculine ideals and family sacrifice. The musical version features some truly fantastic dancing and standout vocal performances that create a show that is both dazzling and heartwarming to watch.

BWW Review: The Gamm's Ambitious but Inconsistent ARCADIABWW Review: The Gamm's Ambitious but Inconsistent ARCADIA
September 26, 2016

Arcadia is considered by many to be one of the best plays in the English language and it manages to walk the line between humor and tragedy very well all while maintaining delightful and rapid reversals of fortune punctuated by moments of real insight. It's interesting to watch a play that is at its core about research and learning, but still come away entertained rather than feeling lectured to. The Gamm has done admirably taking on this potentially daunting work, and though there are a few hiccups and missteps, the overall production is well executed and thought-provoking.

BWW Review: Wicked Good WICKED at PPACBWW Review: Wicked Good WICKED at PPAC
September 23, 2016

The musical WICKED is officially 12 years old, but it isn't showing its age in the slightest. If anything, in the current political climate, the far away Land of OZ feels more real than ever, and the political issues that drive Elphaba to become The Wicked Witch, draw a spooky parallel with current news stories. That's not to say that this show is all doom and gloom, but rather just an incredibly smart prequel to the much-loved Wizard of Oz with some of the catchiest and most powerful songs ever. Marry an excellent story with a phenomenally talented cast, fantastic sets and a powerful orchestra and you have a production that continues to amaze even through multiple viewings. The national tour of Wicked has resulted in nearly 17 million people watching this show, and it's a pretty safe bet that most of those people would like to see it again.

BWW Review: Thrilling BEOWULF: A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAGGAGEBWW Review: Thrilling BEOWULF: A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAGGAGE
September 13, 2016

The thought of seeing a dramatic version of the epic poem Beowulf may make many people cringingly remember the sweaty days of undergrad and trying to parse meaning out of Olde English while being lorded over by a condescending professor and at least one overly enthusiastic classmate who won't shut up about it. Or maybe that's just me. The good news is that Tritnity Rep's production of BEOWULF: A THOUSAND YEARS OF BAGGAGE is not only hilarious, but 100% accessible even to those who have never read, and maybe don't want to read, the book. This play is half academic lecture--but funny, and half manic musical fever dream, which come together beautifully to create a spectacle of light and sound. Punctuated by dramatic, towering sets and scowling warrior maidens, it feels like Mad Max meets Bladerunner set in a wholly new dystopia. This is a play that is fully immersive and unlike anything else out there. It's so exciting to know the basic plot of a story, but still be surprised with what comes next, and this production is unexpected and unique in the best way.



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