Robert Barossi

Robert Barossi Robert Barossi has worked in just about every possible job in professional theater, from actor to stage manager to company manager to box office and house manager. This has included time spent immersed in the theater and arts scenes in places like Philadelphia, D.C., Boston and Rhode Island. He has also been a staff writer for Motif Magazine in Rhode Island, writing reviews, previews and features, for six years, leaving the publication just recently. Though not working in professional theater currently, he continues to work on being an aspiring playwright and getting to as much theater as possible.
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BWW Review: Hilarious Puppets Take over Ocean State Theatre in AVENUE QBWW Review: Hilarious Puppets Take over Ocean State Theatre in AVENUE Q
August 8, 2016

There are certainly many strange and unusual musicals appearing regularly on stages in New York City and across the country. Avenue Q does not shy away from being something different and unique. Rather, it proudly owns every bit of its wonderful uniqueness and accompanying hilarity. From songs about internet porn to full-frontal puppet nudity, this is a musical that constantly surprises, bringing undeniable laughs along the way. And it's hard to imagine that any theater could create as perfect a production of Avenue Q as the one currently running at Ocean State Theatre Company.
BWW Interview: Kate Kataja of Wilbury Theatre Group Talks Third Annual PROVIDENCE FRINGE FESTIVALBWW Interview: Kate Kataja of Wilbury Theatre Group Talks Third Annual PROVIDENCE FRINGE FESTIVAL
July 22, 2016

Promising to be bigger than ever, and not just because of added performance venues, the Providence Fringe Festival returns for its third year on July 26. I spoke with Kate Kataja of The Wilbury Theatre Group, which has produced the festival in each of its first three years, about her role and what audience's can expect at this year's Fringe.
BWW Review: Fabulous Voices Can't Save Dull, Unoriginal IF/THEN at PPACBWW Review: Fabulous Voices Can't Save Dull, Unoriginal IF/THEN at PPAC
June 16, 2016

It's always a challenge to find a fresh, new, innovate way to tell a story. It seems at times like every story out there has already been told so the only option is to tell it again, but tell it differently. Use a storytelling technique that excites and engages the audience, and maybe it won't even matter what the story is. That idea, while it might sound good, just doesn't work in reality, as demonstrated by the current touring production of If/Then, now playing at Providence Performing Arts Center. The interesting way of telling the story just can't mask the fact that the story being told is incredibly ordinary, unoriginal and dull.
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY Brings Campy, Madcap Fun to PPACBULLETS OVER BROADWAY Brings Campy, Madcap Fun to PPAC
June 2, 2016

Going into any play, movie, television show, etc., there are certain expectations. And certain things that the audience will be asked to buy into, to embrace. If you're going to see a horror movie, expect blood and gore. If you're seeing a Tennessee Williams play, expect realism and southern drama. And if you are seeing the Broadway musical Bullets Over Broadway at Providence Performing Arts Center, expect silliness, fun, little that's grounded in reality and some solid entertainment.
BWW Review: OUT LOUD Theatre Brings Intense and Stunning DRACULA to LifeBWW Review: OUT LOUD Theatre Brings Intense and Stunning DRACULA to Life
May 9, 2016

Storytelling is something that, fundamentally, defies definition. Who is to say how a story should best be told? How many different ways have stories been passed down over the centuries? Whatever our own preferences are for storytelling forms and devices, there are countless others, often used in successful ways. In its three years of existence, OUT LOUD Theatre has at times defied conventional definitions of storytelling and developed their own unique style. With its spectacular use of that style, their current production of Dracula is a gorgeous example of the company's storytelling prowess, wrapped in a unique and surprising piece of theatrical art.
BWW Review: Ocean State Ends Season with Effervescent ANYTHING GOESBWW Review: Ocean State Ends Season with Effervescent ANYTHING GOES
May 2, 2016

Like any art form, theatrical musicals can run the gamut in tone, style, tenor and execution. You can find everything from dark, serious brooding drama to light-as-a-feather, fluff-filled entertainments. Which is not to say that either side of the spectrum is better or worse than the other, there are highs and lows at both ends of the spectrum. When it comes to the lighter, fluffier fare, there are few as effervescent and entertaining as Cole Porter's Anything Goes, now receiving a top-notch production at Ocean State Theatre Company.
BWW Review: FirstWorks Presents Iconic ROSANNE CASH at The VetsBWW Review: FirstWorks Presents Iconic ROSANNE CASH at The Vets
April 12, 2016

FirstWorks has been connecting Rhode Island residents with artistic expressions of all kinds for more than a decade. Their previous Providence International Arts Festival, just one example of their diverse programming, has been rebranded as PVDFest and looks to be even more spectacular this summer. They have also brought a series of incredibly diverse and stunning performances to the stage at The Vets in their Artistic Icons Series, which culminated with an incredible and incredibly moving performance by country singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash.
BWW Review: Community Players Creates Heavenly Hilarity with NUNSENSE 2: THE SECOND COMINGBWW Review: Community Players Creates Heavenly Hilarity with NUNSENSE 2: THE SECOND COMING
April 11, 2016

You might be hard pressed to come up with a musical that is or has a sequel. Sequels seem to primarily be the domain of movies, books and perhaps television shows. There is one musical, though, that actually has a number of sequels to its credit. The hit show Nunsense hasn't just spawned one or two follow-ups, it actually has nine shows which are considered sequels or spin-offs of the original. Now, Community Players is presenting the second in that line, Nunsense 2: The Second Coming.
BWW Interview: Kristin Chenoweth Brings AN INTIMATE EVENING to PPAC StageBWW Interview: Kristin Chenoweth Brings AN INTIMATE EVENING to PPAC Stage
April 4, 2016

While Kristin Chenoweth may best be known for originating the role of Glinda in the Broadway musical Wicked or one of her many film and television roles, the amazingly versatile performer has had a career spanning just about every medium and genre. Chenoweth's work on TV has included The West Wing, Glee and an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Pushing Daisies. In addition to Wicked, she has lit up the stage in Promises, Promises, On the Twentieth Century and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, for which she won a Tony. She has also performed concerts to sold-out audiences around the world and has released five studio albums. Now, she arrives on the Providence Performing Arts Center stage with a very special concert performance, accompanied by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, all part of PPAC's annual gala event.
Burbage Theatre Creates Bloody but Shallow Spectacle with TITUS ANDRONICUSBurbage Theatre Creates Bloody but Shallow Spectacle with TITUS ANDRONICUS
March 4, 2016

One might argue that Titus is the perfect kind of play for a bold young company like Burbage Theatre Company. Willing and able to take risks, to go places other theater companies might not be so interested in going. And while there are some high points for Burbage and their production, it seems that they've fallen into the trap of focusing too much on one thing, to the detriment of other important aspects of Shakespeare's work. Primarily, they seem to have spent most of the time perfecting all of that carnage, all the blood and gore, while not spending enough time on perfecting the actual text, the words and language that make up the work and create its true life. As a friend and Shakespearean scholar noted to me, That's always the danger with Titus, I'm afraid, and her fears would have been realized in this production.
BWW Review: Ocean State Theatre Tells a Timely Story of Politics and History with 1776BWW Review: Ocean State Theatre Tells a Timely Story of Politics and History with 1776
February 29, 2016

Some events in history cry out to be made into a movie or a book or a stage play. Others don't seem like such an obvious choice at first glance. One might guess it would be quite difficult to pull off creating a musical out of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, of all things. But, as Ocean State Theatre Company proves with its current production, 1776 is both fascinating and fun, both engaging and entertaining, as it tells the story of the Declaration's creation and our country's birth.
Astonishing PIPPIN at PPAC is a Spectacular Must-SeeAstonishing PIPPIN at PPAC is a Spectacular Must-See
February 17, 2016

There are some shows that tempt a reviewer to write a lengthy essay going into great detail about the many reasons why the show succeeds or fails. Other shows make a reviewer simply want to say, 'Just go see this show,' and nothing more. While there is, of course, much to say about the touring production of the Broadway musical Pippin, now at Providence Performing Arts Center, the production's merits can absolutely be summed up briefly: See. This. Show.
BWW Review: Stellar Ensemble Soars in Wilbury Group's Fantastic STUPID F#%*ING BIRDBWW Review: Stellar Ensemble Soars in Wilbury Group's Fantastic STUPID F#%*ING BIRD
January 26, 2016

There's a moment in the play Stupid F#%*ing Bird, currently playing at The Wilbury Group, where a character talks about how contemporary theaters adapt and reimagine Shakespeare. Certainly, it's always a tricky proposition, reconfiguring a classic work and attempting to bring it into the current era while maintaining all the aspects, themes and characteristics that made it great. Or, at least, finding a way to reshape it so it will hold up in front of today's audiences, keeping them engaged and entertained within of our modern-day context. As written by Aaron Posner, adapted from the classic Anton Chekhov play The Seagull, Bird is a play that more than holds its own as a thought provoking, entertaining and hilarious modern take on a theatrical classic.
BWW Review: Ocean State Theatre Gives the Gift of Holiday Musical Perfection in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFEBWW Review: Ocean State Theatre Gives the Gift of Holiday Musical Perfection in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
December 7, 2015

The holiday season brings many things, including some important seasonal debates. Real tree or fake? Multi-colored lights or just white? Your family, the in-laws or both? And among those yearly discussions is which holiday theatrical production to enjoy. This year, if you choose to see just one holiday play or musical during the season, the one to see is at Ocean State Theatre Company.
BWW Review: Wilbury Group Finds What's Real in Fantastic PASSING STRANGEBWW Review: Wilbury Group Finds What's Real in Fantastic PASSING STRANGE
November 30, 2015

The struggle to find something real, something true or something meaningful, in life is certainly something everyone can relate to. All of us, or most of us, at least, spend some or maybe even all of our lives searching for just that. True love. Meaningful work. Artistic expression that has a real impact. Our true selves. Searching for these things is at the heart of our lives and our life's work. And it's at the heart of the excellent musical Passing Strange, now receiving it's Rhode Island premiere at The Wilbury Group.
BWW Review: MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL Brings the Music to PPAC In All the Best WaysBWW Review: MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL Brings the Music to PPAC In All the Best Ways
November 4, 2015

Any music fan trying to own a copy of every record ever put out by a Motown artists would end up with a very large collection. Or, in this day and age, a very full iPod. Even trying to have copies of the just biggest hits of Motown would lead one to amass a lengthy playlist. There's no denying that Motown Records changed the world of music forever, leaving an impact on not only fans of the music, but also our culture and society at large. And like filling that aforementioned iPod, trying to fill a musical with all of those huge hits is also a tall order, one that Motown: The Musical, now playing at Providence Performing Arts Center, accomplishes with a high level of success.
BWW Review: Ocean State Theatre Kicks Off Season with Frightfully Disappointing THE ADDAMS FAMILYBWW Review: Ocean State Theatre Kicks Off Season with Frightfully Disappointing THE ADDAMS FAMILY
October 5, 2015

There are certainly no perfect formulas for creating the perfect musical. Lately, it seems that many new shows are following one of two "tried and true" formulas for success, both of which can actually lead to pretty epic failure. One is trying to turn something like a movie, television show, cartoon or comic book into a musical. The second is trying to create a musical that has something for everyone, a show that tries to please every audience member with a little bit of everything. The Addams Family, which kicks off the new season at Ocean State Theatre Company, is an example of how both of those formulas sometimes fall very, very flat.
BWW Review: Odeum Theater Brings Hilarious MST3K WEEKEND to East GreenwichBWW Review: Odeum Theater Brings Hilarious MST3K WEEKEND to East Greenwich
September 20, 2015

There's no denying that Rhode Island has numerous venues for exciting entertainment events. There are the big ones that are well-known, like Providence Performing Arts Center and The Vets in downtown Providence. But there are also a number of smaller venues throughout the state, like the Stadium Theater in Woonsocket and the Odeum in East Greenwich, which also bring in great events. This weekend, the ninety year old theater tucked into historic buildings along Main Street in East Greenwich is hosting a two-day event celebrating the hit comedy TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
BWW Review: Burbage Theatre Company Sings a Beautiful LOVE SONGBWW Review: Burbage Theatre Company Sings a Beautiful LOVE SONG
August 31, 2015

Plays, like anything else, come in all shapes and sizes. There are the extra-long, three hour epics. And there are the much shorter forms, such as one-acts, which can sometimes be just as epic. You can certainly craft an exceptional piece of drama in a short period of time, even something as short as ten minutes. On the other hand, some of these shorter works can feel like a story and a journey cut too short, leaving the audience wanting more, and such is the case with John Kolvenbach's Love Song, currently being presented by Burbage Theatre Company at Aurora Providence.
BWW Review: Out Loud Theatre Presents Unique, Fascinating Take on JANE EYREBWW Review: Out Loud Theatre Presents Unique, Fascinating Take on JANE EYRE
August 15, 2015

Adapting a work of literary fiction into a stage play is always tricky. Especially so if it's something extremely well-known and beloved, something that has stood the test of time, something considered a classic. The novels of the Bronte sisters have been the subject of adaptations many times over, in a variety of mediums and each one with its own strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures. Polly Teale's recent stage version of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre proves that an adaptation can breathe new, unique life into a well-known tale while honoring and maintaining the classic and beloved story.


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