Larisa has been a Broadway fan since before she can remember. When she's not teaching kindergarten, she's seeing every show possible! Her three favorite shows are Hair, Spring Awakening, and In the Heights.
Currently playing at Theatre Raleigh's Hot Summer Nights, Other Desert Cities, by playwright John Robin Baitz, is the tumultuous story of the Wyeth family. Brooke Wyeth and younger brother Trip are both visiting their parents Polly and Lyman in Palm Springs, California for Christmas. Brooke has just finished writing a book about a tragic event in the family's past having to do with her older brother Henry. The book brings up a lot of tension and, of course, drama for the family. Differing political views add a layer to the story that rings very true for many American families. Adding another dimension to the family drama is Polly's sister Silda, who is staying at the family home after just finishing a stint in rehab.BWW Reviews: RLT's BLITHE SPIRIT is Simply Delightful June 16, 2014
Right now at Theatre Raleigh is a piece of theater that you won't want to miss. Blood Done Sign My Name, based on the book of the same name, tells the true story of the killing of 'Dickie' Marrow in Oxford, North Carolina, in 1970. Told by researcher and interviewer Tim Tyson (through playwright and performer Mike Wiley), there's plenty of personal details of Tyson's life as well, as his father was a progressive Methodist minister who found himself in the middle of tense racial debates, including this one. Wiley tells the story in an almost documentary sort of format, playing narrator Tyson as an adult and as a child, identifying the speaker, and playing all the other townspeople Tyson interviewed for his book. The content and the performance bring up plenty of important questions about the state of race in America today in a way that feels experiential and authentic rather than didactic. Work of this caliber belongs on a New York stage.BWW Reviews: TWO NOBLE KINSMEN Brings Theater Outdoors May 29, 2014
As we reach that wonderful time to be North Carolinians when the mildness of spring begins to fade into the heat of summer, the folks at Bare Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre, and Cirque de Vol Studios are capitalizing on Mother Nature's generosity by bringing theater outdoors to present Two Noble Kinsmen at the Stephenson Amphitheatre at Raleigh Little Theatre. Audience members can bring their picnic blankets and beach chairs, enjoy food trucks and cold beverages while the sunset provides ambience that the best lighting designers in the world could never create and the fireflies join to watch a unique piece of theater by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher. One would be hard-pressed to think of a better way to welcome summer.BWW Reviews: VANITIES Has Regional Premiere at Theatre Raleigh May 22, 2014
Opening the 2014 season at Theatre Raleigh's Hot Summer Nights is Vanities, a musical which bowed Off-Broadway in 2009. Featuring three talented actresses, a heartfelt story, and interesting music, it's a great kick-off to what promises to be an awesome summer of theater.BWW Reviews: JOSEPH Brings Fun and Excitement to Durham May 16, 2014
Green Day's American Idiot is making a brief stop in Durham this week, on Tuesday April 29th and Wednesday April 30th. It's punk rock score and in-your-face style may seem like it's for a small subgroup of potential audience members, but it's got something for everybody. Even folks like myself, who only listen to Broadway showtunes, find ourselves hopelessly enthralled in the story and the sound.BWW Reviews: PRC's ASSASSINS Brings a Killer Story to Chapel Hill April 18, 2014
Having made its debut Off-Broadway in 1990 and bowing on Broadway in 2004, Assassins is the creative musical telling of the lives of the most notorious killers of American presidents, as well as those who had varying degrees of success in their attempts at the life of a president. Now playing at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, these bad guys include such famous names as John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as less well-known names as Leon Czolgosz (assassinator of President McKinley), and those who have gone down in history for their less-than-solid relationship with reality, Squeaky Fromme among them. The show's music and lyrics were written by Stephen Sondheim, accompanied by a book by John Weidman.BWW Reviews: THE WIZARD OF OZ Flies into Durham April 13, 2014
The latest project of Raleigh Little Theatre's Youth Series is a modern-day fable called OPQRS, Etc. OPQRS, Etc. is the story of Otto the Official, who is always right and has decided that orange is the official - and only - color in the town. 'O' is declared by Otto to be the best letter, and children learn their OPQs instead of ABCs. To add to the orange oppression, Otto has given every townsperson one specific character trait - silly, quiet, and so on - to which that person must adhere. It's not until art student Edward Johnson wanders into town that the people realize just how terribly Otto is treating them. Eventually, they discover that no person is just one thing, and the world needs all the colors to be interesting. It's a new spin on the always-worthwhile be-true-to-yourself lesson.BWW Reviews: EVITA Enthralls Durham March 15, 2014
North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre is taking audiences back to the roaring 1920s with Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party. Originally performed Off-Broadway in 2000, The Wild Party is based on a long-form poem of the same name by Joseph Moncure March, published in 1928. The plot revolves around unsatisfied lovers Queenie and Burrs, and their subsequent love interests, Black and Kate. It begins as vaudeville couple Queenie and Burrs throw the titular party, as Queenie decides she needs to do something about Burrs' increasingly violent demeanor. The show progresses largely over the course of one roaring party featuring plenty of bathtub gin, a little bit of drugs, some violence for good measure, and plenty of partygoers who aren't sure what they really want.BWW Reviews: PRC Brings New Work to the Triangle with LOVE ALONE March 10, 2014
Those who enjoy medical or legal dramas are ideal audience members for this show, though it has elements that will appeal to plenty of other folks as well. It is always a privilege to see new work, and this regional premier of Love Alone is no exception.BWW Reviews: NC Theatre Scores Big with LES MISERABLES February 15, 2014
North Carolina Theatre is taking on an iconic work of musical theater with their current staging of LES MISERABLES. Such a piece is quite a feat to put on, and to do it well is a great undertaking, but NC Theatre manages to accomplish something spectacular by combining the best talent of the Triangle with amazing New York actors. The result is a production which does justice to the cultural monolith which is Les Mis. It's a perfect production for die-hard fans and first-timers alike.BWW Reviews: PlayMakers' PRIVATE LIVES is a Comedic Gem January 31, 2014
1. Top East Coast Editor 2013: Marina Kennedy, New Jersey. Our Senior Editor of New Jersey, Marina Kennedy writes articles and reviews for Broadwayworld.com on performance venues in New York and New Jersey. She also has a weekly column in BWWFitnessWorld.com, 'Fit Food Finds,' which discusses healthy eating in the New York City area. Her interest in fitness, dance, and theatre stem from the many years she owned and operated a dance school, 'Dance Unlimited' in New Jersey in the late 70's and 80's. She enjoys an active journalism career and loves writing for BroadwayWorld.com.
2. Top West Coast Editor 2013: Don Grigware, Los Angeles, CA. Our Senior Editor of Los Angels, Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website: www.grigwaretalkstheatre.com. Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. Don is a teacher of foreign language and ESL. Don is a member of the prestigious Road Theatre Company in NoHo and is in his fifth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page.
3. Top Southeast Editor 2013: Jennifer Perry, Washington, D.C. Our Senior Editor of Washington, D.C., Jennifer Perry has been a DC resident since 2001 having moved from Upstate New York to attend graduate school at American University's School of International Service. When not attending countless theatre, concert, and cabaret performances in the area and in New York, she works for the US Federal Government as an analyst. Jennifer previously covered the DC performing arts scene for Maryland Theatre Guide, DC Metro Theater Arts, and DC Theatre Scene.
4. Top Southwest Editor 2013: Jeff Davis, Austin, TX. Jeff Davis is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Theater with an emphasis in Directing.
5. Top International Editor 2013: Oliver Oliveros, Philippines. Our Senior Editor of the Philippines, Oliver recently received a master's degree in public relations and corporate communication from New York University while serving as regional director for BroadwayWorld.com. For nearly 20 years, Oliver has been handling public relations and corporate communication for numerous brands (including Pepsi), Broadway shows, Broadway stars, non-profit organizations, and mainstream celebrities. He is also the editor-in-chief for FIL-AM WHO'S WHO, a monthly magazine that tells the real-life success stories of Filipino Americans from the New York Tri-State area.
6. Top New International Editor 2013: Barry Lenny, Adelaide, Australia. Our Senior of Adelaide, born in London, Barry was introduced to theatre as a small boy, through being taken to see traditional Christmas pantomimes, as well as discovering jazz and fine music at a very young age. High school found him loving the works of Shakespeare, as well as many other great playwrights, poets and novelists. Moving to Australia, he became a jazz musician, playing with big bands and his own small groups, then attended the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, playing with several orchestras. This led to playing in theatre pits, joining the chorus, playing character roles, playing lead roles (after moving into drama), then directing, set and lighting design, administrative roles on theatre boards and, finally, becoming a critic. After twenty years of writing he has now joined the Broadway World team to represent Adelaide, in South Australia. Barry is also a long time member of the prestigious Adelaide Critics Circle.
7. Top New Editor 2013: Teresa Rodrick, Boise, ID. Senior Editor of Boise, ID, Teresa Rodrick was born in Edmonds, Washington - grew up in Mountlake Terrace (WA), married a man from Everett (WA) and her folks moved to Lake Stevens (WA). She lived in England for 2 years, Germany for 6 years and moved to San Antonio, Texas. In San Antonio, she decided she had put her own career off long enough and started going to Palo Alto Community College. She got my Associates Degree in Drama in May 2005. From San Antonio, she moved back to England for just over 3 years. She did one stint in community theatre then moved to Boise, Idaho where she received her Bachelors in Arts in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Secondary Education in May 2012 from Boise State University.
8. Most Creative Male Editor 2013: Stephen Hanks, Cabaret. Senior Editor of BWWCabaret. During more than 30 years as a magazine editor/writer, website writer, and book author for a variety of national magazines and websites,Stephen Hanks has written about sports, health and nutrition, parenting, politics, the media, and most recently, musical theater, and cabaret. While by day, Stephen is the Advertising Sales Director forHabitat Magazine (a publication covering life in New York Metro area co-ops and condos), by night he writes reviews and columns about New York City cabaret for BroadwayWorld.com. Stephen also writes feature stories about cabaret for Cabaret Scenes Magazine and CabaretScenes.org. He is also the Board President of Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab, which workshops new musicals in New York City, and he is the founder, producer and director of theBroadway Musical Fantasy Camp, which is a workshop for amateur performers that rehearses and presents staged readings of classic Broadway Musicals. In 2011, Stephen was an Associate Producer for the Off-Broadway show The Fartiste. Stephen most recently staged his debut solo cabaret show, 'Beyond American Pie: The Don McLean Songbook' at the Metropolitan Room in New York. Please contact Stephen with your comments and questions at: email@example.com
9. Most Creative Female Editor 2013: Marakay Rogers, Central PA. Senior Editor of Central PA. America's most uncoordinated childhood ballet and tap student before discovering that her talents were music and writing, Marakay Rogers finally traded in her violin for law school when she realized that she might make more money in law than she did performing with the Potomac Symphony and in orchestra pits around the mid-Atlantic. Unfortunately, she forgot to factor in the student loan repayments! She has never recovered from being chewed out by Terrence Mann in public for hanging up her bow. A graduate of Wilson College (PA), Marakay is also a writer, film reviewer and interviewer for the Wilkes-Barre (PA) Independent Gazette, science-fiction publications, and other news outlets. Additionally, as of 2014, she serves as vice-chair of the Advisory Board of the revived Beaux Arts Society, Inc. She's also taught college-level communications, writing, and English literature classes, has received multiple writing awards for several small-press novels, and is listed in Marquis' 'Who's Who in America'. She has done additional post-collegiate coursework with Open University (UK) in drama and literature. Her junior high English teacher was Broadway star Katrina Yaukey's mother, Kay Yaukey. (Her high school math teacher was Ordean Yaukey, Katrina Yaukey's father, but between Marakay's mother, an editor, and Katrina's mother, English won out.) Marakay is senior theatre critic for Central Pennsylvania and a senior editor for BWWBooksWorld as well as a classical music reviewer. In her free time, Marakay practices law and often gets it right.
10. Best Overall Editor 2013: David Clarke, Houston, TX. Senior Editor of Houston, TX and Editor-in-Chief of Broadway Recordings, David Clarke has had a lifelong love and passion for the performing arts, and has been writing about theatre both locally and nationally for years. He joined BroadwayWorld.com running their Houston site in early 2012 and began writing as the site's official theatre recording critic in June of 2013.BWW Reviews: ONCE on Tour Shines in Durham January 25, 2014
Monologist Mike Daisey was commissioned by PlayMakers Repertory Company to create a piece about one of America's biggest 'hot button' topics: guns. In his The Story of the Gun, Daisey explores Americans' relationship with guns using historical anecdotes and personal history, to create a thought-provoking exploration of how Americans feel about guns and why they feel that way.