There's something to be said for a small theater space. It's intimate, it's personal, and there isn't a bad seat in the place. But with a musical as beautifully tragic and human as Next To Normal, it is downright claustrophobic. A family attempting to overcome the past - a mother suffering from a mood disorder, a husband upholding his vows, a daughter fading into the background, and a son who hovers and coddles his mother. The lights are in your eyes, you can see the vacant look on this mother's face, the tears of a father, and the heavy emotions fill up all the empty space in the room and it's hard to breathe.
BWW Reviews: Let Your HAIR Down at Cultural Arts Playhouse July 10, 2012
If anyone overheard the conversation in Ida's Queen's apartment, they might assume they were listening to a bunch of gal pals in their early 30s giggling and chatting over dating, men, and buying secondhand furs. But as we find in Ivan Menchell's The Cemetery Club, the last production in Lantern Theatre's season, the threesome featured in this dramedy are older women who have all recently lost their husbands. There's Lucille, confident ando utgoing; Ida, dependable and sweet; and Doris, stubborn and loyal.Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks - Long Island Part 2! June 7, 2012
Set in the middle of a carnival-like atmosphere where neither time nor death are powerful enough to stop 9 such assassins from mingling and forming a destructive cult, Assassins flips the American Dream on its head and reveals an entirely different, startling yet human perspective. In the latest productionf rom Merrick Theatre, playing through June 17, a strong cast takes this unique musical and makes it their own.BWW Reviews: 3 Paws Way Up for CATS at Gateway Playhouse May 22, 2012
This past weekend, Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, New York jumpstarted their 2012 season with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. The winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1982, Cats still holds the distinction for second longest running musical on Broadway despite the fact that the show closed in 2000.BWW Reviews: DON'T DRINK THE WATER (In Charge & Out of Control) April 24, 2012
Thus begins the farcical antics of the Woody Allen play, Don't Drink the Water, presented by Synergy Ensemble Theatre Company in their last show of the season. Almost 50 years since its premiere on Broadway, the humor holds up well in this production, directed by J. Timothy Conlon. But it doesn't always pack the punch it should due to sluggish pacing and some missed cues. Call it first-night jitters but this cast as a whole seemed to ease into their roles as the show went on before settling into a fine routine.
BWW Reviews: Go Dream a Little at John W.Engeman Theater's 42ND STREET April 20, 2012
In 42nd Street, the latest production tap dancing its way on stage at the John W. Engeman Theater through June 17th, Peggy Sawyer is that girl. A rookie actress from Allentown, PA, she quite literally bumps into the opportunity of a lifetime - the chance to be part of big time director Julian Marsh's new musical. Darien Crago is instantly likeable as Peggy - bright-eyed and full of positivity. And she has every reason to be that way - the girl can dance circles around anyone without breaking a sweat (especially in the delightful dance competition between Crago and Drew Humphrey on a city street). In the right place at the right time, she gets a part in the show and more off-stage drama than she bargained for.BWW Reviews: Brotherly Love in Bare Bones Theater Company's TRUE WEST April 16, 2012
Exceptional casting, gorgeous piano accompaniment, and a powerful piece of theater come together to make the Lantern Theater's first attempt at a musical in 60 years a complete masterpiece. The first song of Falsettos, "Four Jews in a Room Bitching" (complete with flashlights), begins the evening on a quirky note but soon transitions into a story about five people (and in the second act, two more) who are trying to find their own happiness, their own rhythm, when life is confusing, unruly, and out of control. BWW Reviews: Stinging in A [STEADY] RAIN with Arena Players Repertory Company March 13, 2012
Smartly directed by Frederic De Feis, A Steady Rain is being performed at the Vanderbilt Carriage House Theater until March 25th. Essentially a black box theater, the focus of this particular work is on John Leone as Denny and Christopher Tyrkko as Joe - as a team these two strong performers bring much power and intensity to this intimate space. They impressively touch upon the tension and humor of their lives, whether they are talking to the audience or interacting with one another.BWW Reviews: Township Theatre Company Works It Out in THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG March 5, 2012
Peter Scarpinato and Patrice Richardson, as Vernon and Sonia respectively, take centerstage of Township Theater Group's current presentation of They're Playing Our Song, now playing through March 11 at the Helen Butler Hall at Dominican Village in Amityville, New York.BWW Reviews: Corps Values -- A FEW GOOD MEN Stands and Delivers February 6, 2012
Now this challenging piece of theater is being presented by BayWay Arts Center in East Islip until February 12th and moving with its full cast to the extension of BayWay Arts Center in Elmont, Long Island from February 18th through March 4th.BWW Reviews: Smokey Joe's Cafe Rocks & Rolls at CMPAC January 25, 2012
It's 1957 on an excruciatingly hot day in New York and twelve men of different upbringings, professions, demeanors, beliefs, and ages are locked in a room to decide the fate of a young man who has been accused of stabbing and killing his father. The guys are sure they will be home in time to catch the Yankees game. It's an open and shut case. Everyone thinks so until Juror #8 reveals that he's not positive that the young man is guilty.
This admission of reasonable doubt ignites the unreasonable amongst these strangers, and so begins the riveting production of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men playing through February 5th at Merrick Theatre and Center for the Arts.
BWW Reviews: Decking the Halls -- A WONDERFUL LIFE: THE MUSICAL December 1, 2011
Holiday carols play in the background. The tree is nicely decorated. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, Long Island, where the delightful A Wonderful Life: the Musical is playing through January 8, 2012.BWW Reviews: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Buzzes at Merrick Theatre November 21, 2011
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar is being presented by the Merrick Theatre in Merrick, Long Island from November 12 to December 11.