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BWW Reviews: THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM: Same Dance, Different Day Review BWW Reviews: THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM: Same Dance, Different Day
by Nancy Grossman - July 27, 2015

Superlative acting, intense staging, and timeless themes are the hallmarks of THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM, Enda Walsh's 2010 Obie Award-winning play now receiving its New England Premiere at Gloucester Stage Company under the direction of Interim Artistic Director Robert Walsh. Its setting in a small fishing village on the west coast of Ireland permeates the story with indigenous peculiarities, but resonates with the realities of life in any little coastal community where gossip and fish tales are the order of the day. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: BELLS ARE RINGING Forces the Comedy in the Berkshires Review BWW REVIEW: BELLS ARE RINGING Forces the Comedy in the Berkshires
by Jan Nargi - July 23, 2015

Berkshire Theatre Group's revival of BELLS ARE RINGING starring Broadway's charming husband and wife duo Graham Rowat and Kate Baldwin can be described in two words: sensory overload. Director Ethan Heard and his entire creative team have worked the 1956 kitsch so hard that the physical elements overwhelm the performances - and challenge the actors to ratchet things up to a fever pitch just to be noticed. (more...)


BWW Reviews: COLOSSAL Blurs the Line Between Sport and Art Review BWW Reviews: COLOSSAL Blurs the Line Between Sport and Art
by Nancy Grossman - July 22, 2015

Three summers ago, Company One Theatre converted the Roberts Studio Theatre into an authentic wrestling arena for its acclaimed production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Kristoffer Diaz's satire of the faux violence and bright lights of the show biz world of professional wrestling. C1's season 16 concludes with the very real brutality of college football simulated on an astroturf stage in Colossal, a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere by Andrew Hinderaker. Accompanied by the sights and sounds of an actual game, the audience is immersed in a 'Friday Night Lights' experience of pounding drumbeats, crunching body contact, and crushing emotional sequences. Blending the physicality of the sport with the artistry of dance blurs the line between the two seemingly disparate activities, resulting in a compelling approach to telling a powerful story. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Magic Really Exists in HJT'S ALADDIN Review BWW Reviews: Magic Really Exists in HJT'S ALADDIN
by Kristen Morale - July 20, 2015

Ever since I attended my first production at the wonderful Harwich Junior Theater a few months ago, I have consistently been amazed by what has appeared on that stage then and thereafter. The shows never disappoint, and I never cease to be impressed by how talented the involved actors of all ages prove themselves to be. Stumbling upon this theater and its magnificent productions has really given that extra spark that not all theatergoers and reviewers alike may receive when attending live productions, and it is always an unequivocal pleasure to find this out for oneself. So saying, HJT's current children's production of Aladdin is yet another beauty of a show that will have audiences of all ages captivated by the tale of Aladdin and his quest to become someone great. Even though most of actors involved in the production are 'small,' there is nothing of that nature in this extremely well done and entertaining retelling of the Aladdin audiences may not know much about. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Get the Wine! Cape Playhouse Presents WOMEN IN JEOPARDY Review BWW Reviews: Get the Wine! Cape Playhouse Presents WOMEN IN JEOPARDY
by Kristen Morale - July 20, 2015

This is one show for which it is imperative that someone yells "Don't forget the wine!" so that each character is mentally prepared for what mess is to come. Now that that has been said and everyone has been sufficiently warned, the audience is give a trio of middle-aged, divorced women who spend their free time in book clubs, Spanish classes and holding female-only sleepovers; if there is not already wine visible on the table, someone is bound to pull it out of her handbag or from some hidden compartment soon enough. There is Mary, Jo and Liz: three women who are more adventurous and eager to prove themselves right than one would ever imagine; between boyfriends, daughters' boyfriends and their images as older women who just need the non-killer type of guy to make their lives that much more dramatic, the Cape Playhouse's production of Women in Jeopardy provides enough excitement and whodunit humor that will have audiences captivated until the final moment when our three heroines are finally able to put the wine down. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Monomoy Theater's LEND ME A TENOR Review BWW Reviews: Monomoy Theater's LEND ME A TENOR
by Kristen Morale - July 16, 2015

Directed by Francesca James, Lend Me a Tenor is beyond brought - it is more like jolted to life in Monomoy's current production of Ken Ludwig's Tony-winning comedy, and to say that it is anything but brilliant this time around is a severe understatement. It is one of the only productions I have seen in a long time where I was actually dreading the end of the first act, not knowing if it ended as it did or if it was to be continued after intermission; thankfully, Act Two did indeed happen and did anything but disappoint. It is also one of those shows which, after the curtain has closed, persuade people to drag their family and friends to see so that they, too, may understand how epic it truly is. It is a shame that there are only a few performances available to see, but if you are free this Friday or Saturday, Monomoy Theater is where you should be spending some time. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: Stellar Cast Wanders OFF THE MAIN ROAD in Williamstown Review BWW REVIEW: Stellar Cast Wanders OFF THE MAIN ROAD in Williamstown
by Jan Nargi - July 15, 2015

Small-town life is anything but a picnic in William Inge's newly discovered, previously unproduced play OFF THE MAIN ROAD currently receiving its decades-delayed world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the Berkshires. This dense and diffuse melodrama meanders through a forest of darkness and despair only to return its three generations of hapless women back to the starting point with little to show for their travels. (more...)


BWW Reviews: HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN:  A NEW MUSICAL PLAY Review BWW Reviews: HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN: A NEW MUSICAL PLAY
by Nancy Grossman - July 12, 2015

ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage presents the East Coast Premiere of HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN: A NEW MUSICAL PLAY at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre. Performances have been extended through August 2nd for this feel-good evening of just over two dozen selections from Berlin's vast catalogue. The program includes unknown gems, lovely ballads, patriotic tunes, and favorites that everyone can sing along with, but Felder's artistry also evokes the man behind the music. Irving Berlin is a delight for any and all who appreciate hearing an array of standards from the great American song book. (more...)


BWW Reviews: DROWSY We Are Not! Review BWW Reviews: DROWSY We Are Not!
by Kristen Morale - July 12, 2015

Now, to continue in the tradition of giving each of us the theatrical experience we truly relish and yearn for this time of year (if not always!), the Playhouse brings a stellar production of five-time Tony Award Winner The Drowsy Chaperone to a Cape Cod audience, and let me just put it out there now that this production does everything but cause any sort of drowsiness; that is reserved for the title character as she joins a cast of beyond talented performers who make this show the great experience we all so hope to have at the theater. As that lovable man in his chair states, audiences hope for a show that will whisk it away to another world for a couple of hours, sucking each of us into the plot of a new, interesting and at times slightly tumultuous show; hold on to your hats for this one. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: Ogunquit's VICTOR/VICTORIA Says Vive la Difference Review BWW REVIEW: Ogunquit's VICTOR/VICTORIA Says Vive la Difference
by Jan Nargi - July 08, 2015

VICTOR/VICTORIA's gender-bending exploration of sexual identity and orientation may have seemed fresh, even daring, in 1982, but by the time it hit Broadway in 1995 it was already a bit tame. Today in a 20th anniversary production at Maine's Ogunquit Playhouse, it feels downright quaint when compared to the courage of Caitlyn Jenner and the recent Supreme Court ruling finally making Marriage Equality the law of the land. (more...)


BWW Review: Butterscott Presents The Slick Overproduced Commercial Pop Thing Review BWW Review: Butterscott Presents The Slick Overproduced Commercial Pop Thing
by Tory Gates - July 07, 2015

...there is musical professionalism amidst the madness. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MULLINGAR OF OUR MINDS Review BWW Reviews: MULLINGAR OF OUR MINDS
by Kristen Morale - July 04, 2015

So saying, the plot of John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar shows just disheartening it is when four characters are discovered to have been strangers for so long due to those undisclosed feelings that have eaten away at their souls for so long; when the time for changes arises, the obstacles which arise and the way in which each character reacts makes this such an epic story. How disheartening it is for four people to have lived over the last few years with the "what is" as the unchanging doctrine of their reality, living in anticipation of something that may or may not come and meandering in this life until fate sticks her ugly hand in to change the bleak, unmoving world that such characters inhabit. Yet, how beautiful it is to see four wildly talented actors bring such inner turmoil to a head in Cape Rep's current production of Shanley's epic play. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: Peace Eludes THOREAU in Return to Walden at BTG Review BWW REVIEW: Peace Eludes THOREAU in Return to Walden at BTG
by Jan Nargi - July 01, 2015

In THOREAU, a world premiere play written by and starring Berkshire Theatre Group's David Adkins, the renowned author, philosopher and activist returns to Walden in search of peace but can't escape his own inner anguish over the horrors of slavery and the execution of abolitionist John Brown. (more...)


BWW Reviews: HJT's THE MUSIC MAN Review BWW Reviews: HJT's THE MUSIC MAN
by Kristen Morale - June 30, 2015

Harwich Junior Theater, a group that boasts productions of ten plays and musicals each year, numerous community outreach and educational programs and a variety of other annual events, is sure to amaze audiences with its current production. Performing such a well-known musical work and presenting it in a new, exciting way that can appeal to children and adults alike (and children were having their share of fun in the audience, which is always a wonderful thing to see) is a daunting task for any creative team; this is especially true because of how vibrant and exhilarating a musical The Music Man is, and keeping that constant energy alive throughout a rather lengthy production is no easy thing to do. It is without doubt, though, that Director Ethan Paulini truly got it right with this production. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: Dancers Bring Something Extra to NEWSIES National Tour Review BWW REVIEW: Dancers Bring Something Extra to NEWSIES National Tour
by Jan Nargi - June 29, 2015

A lot may seem familiar in Disney's Broadway musical NEWSIES now on tour in Boston, but the dancing chorus of a dozen or so able-bodied newsboys makes this production soar. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Academy of Performing Arts' SWEET CHARITY Review BWW Reviews: The Academy of Performing Arts' SWEET CHARITY
by Kristen Morale - June 26, 2015

When I sit down to write a review of a show I've recently seen, I am more often than not tempted to write about the profound storyline of that show, or perhaps the added depth a playwright might add to his plot to make it rather abstract and therefore open to mass interpretation by audiences. I confess that I am drawn to dramatic stories that usually whose characters usually have a lesson to learn towards their respective ends. In saying this, watching The Academy of Performing Arts' production of Sweet Charity can be described as a rarity - not only in terms of its plot, but also how Director Peter Earle presented his vision of this musical to a Cape Cod audience. It is simple and innocent (a word used fairly often to describe the title character), and to keep that simplicity of heart in a character that is perpetually bursting with energy and spirit, who is profound in her own right and becomes her own inextinguishable falling star, is as difficult to put on stage as it is riveting for audiences to behold. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Into the Home of Happy Medium Theatre's DYING CITY Review BWW Reviews: Into the Home of Happy Medium Theatre's DYING CITY
by Alex Lonati - June 24, 2015

Happy Medium's production of DYING CITY by Christopher Shinn was the first hyper realistic piece I've seen in the private home of those performing. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: Company One Hits Bull's-Eye with EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS Review BWW REVIEW: Company One Hits Bull's-Eye with EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS
by Jan Nargi - June 24, 2015

Three abandoned but not lost souls find strength in each other in A. Rey Pamatmat's quirky but penetrating comedy EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM at Company One in Boston. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Cape Playhouse's THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN Review BWW Reviews: Cape Playhouse's THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN
by Kristen Morale - June 22, 2015

How does one go about explaining what playwright Eric Coble describes as "the speed of the end?" Assuming a person knows what the end looks like and how it will come about, the mere realization that each of our lives will someday end and that we must deal with the complete decay of who each of us once was as that life fades away is daunting; it's almost too finite yet still so simple an idea to understand completely. So, what would a woman faced with the elimination of all that she has ever been do when confronted with the prospect of change - a change that will destroy her foundation but improve her life to the extent of prolonging it in a personally undesirable way?The Cape Playhouse begins its 89th season with The Velocity of Autumn; directed by Skip Greer, this is a beauty of a story written by Eric Coble and now brought to the Playhouse following its recent Broadway run. (more...)


BWW Reviews: New Plays and Lovely Ladies in Boston Public Works Theater Company's THREE Review BWW Reviews: New Plays and Lovely Ladies in Boston Public Works Theater Company's THREE
by Alex Lonati - June 16, 2015

Boston Public Works Theater Company's production of THREE, a new play by Emily Kaye Lazzaro (more...)


BWW Reviews: Boston Gay Men's Chorus and Laura Benanti SMILE at Symphony Hall Review BWW Reviews: Boston Gay Men's Chorus and Laura Benanti SMILE at Symphony Hall
by Nancy Grossman - June 15, 2015

The Boston Gay Men's Chorus annual Pride concert on Sunday at Symphony Hall featured Special Guest Laura Benanti, the Tony Award-winning singer/actress, also known to television audiences for her roles on "Nashville" and "The Good Wife." In a program with selections ranging from musical theater greats like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, and Stephen Sondheim, to pop artist Madonna and a newly commissioned piece, the BGMC and Benanti seemed to inspire each other to perform at the highest level of their combined vocal abilities, spiced up with some flashy dancing boys and refreshing comedy stylings by the guest artist. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: Dream Cast Ignites DREAMGIRLS at NSMT Review BWW REVIEW: Dream Cast Ignites DREAMGIRLS at NSMT
by Jan Nargi - June 14, 2015

Director Nick Kenkel has made lightning strike a second time at North Shore Music Theatre with his dazzling and definitive production of DREAMGIRLS. Blessed with a dream design team and a tremendously talented cast of triple threats, Kenkel has dug beneath the glitz and the glamour of the American music industry to explore the hopes, joys, disappointments and sorrows that accompany stars on the way up and back down. (more...)


BWW REVIEW: Great Lyric Cast Charms in LIGHT UP THE SKY Review BWW REVIEW: Great Lyric Cast Charms in LIGHT UP THE SKY
by Jan Nargi - June 13, 2015

Boston theatrical royalty brightens Lyric Stage Company's LIGHT UP THE SKY, Moss Hart's classic comic valentine to the divos and divas of the stage. (more...)


BWW Reviews: HJT's THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL Review BWW Reviews: HJT's THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL
by Kristen Morale - June 09, 2015

Celebrating sixty four years since Betty Bobp founded a group which would come to welcome theater aficionados of all ages to join and take part in the beauty of the dramatic arts, followed by Producing Artistic Director Nina Schuessler's dedication to creating a year-round educational venue on the Cape, the Harwich Junior Theater returns with a triumph with the start of a new, exciting summer season. Audiences have no doubt been telling wondrous tales about The Great American Trailer Park Musical which, simply put, treats audiences to one doozy of a show. (more...)


BWW Reviews: A NIGHT IN HAVANA Review BWW Reviews: A NIGHT IN HAVANA
by Kristen Morale - June 04, 2015

Judging by the immense talent that graced the stage at the Wareham theater Saturday night, it is without doubt that Buzzards Play Productions founder Janice Rogers is beyond thrilled with her choice to treat this one audience to an eclectic and exciting selection of wonderful music from some very talented folks - an array of talent which, when put together, made all experience the wonders of A Night in Havana. (more...)






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