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BWW Review: A Tale of Disinterring Bodies Makes For Wild Night of Irish Black Comedy at none too fragile BWW Review: A Tale of Disinterring Bodies Makes For Wild Night of Irish Black Comedy at none too fragile
by Roy Berko - March 27, 2017

Partake in the free shot of Jamison, which is the hallmark of the pre-show ritual at none-too-fragile, sit back, and allow yourself to be immersed in an Irish black comedy, complete with skull battering, blunt language and a wee bit of fun.... (more...)
BWW Review: HARM'S WAY Examines the Underbelly of Humanity at Convergence Continuum BWW Review: HARM'S WAY Examines the Underbelly of Humanity at Convergence Continuum
by Roy Berko - March 27, 2017

Cleveland is in the midst of 'The Mac Wellman Homecoming Festival,' presented by Playwrights Local, in partnership with Cleveland State University Department of English, the NEOMFA Creative Writing Program, and the Michael Schwartz Library, with performances by Playwrights Local, Theater Ninjas, c... (more...)
BWW Review: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Connor-Palace/Cleveland BWW Review: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Connor-Palace/Cleveland
by Roy Berko - March 23, 2017

When the 2016-17 Key Bank Broadway series was announced, I was ecstatic. Three of my favorite recent Broadway shows were listed: 'Something Rotten,' 'An American in Paris,' and 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.'... (more...)
BWW Review: Ensemble's 2017 COLOMBI NEW PLAYS FESTIVAL Features OCCUPATION DAD at Ensemble BWW Review: Ensemble's 2017 COLOMBI NEW PLAYS FESTIVAL Features OCCUPATION DAD at Ensemble
by Roy Berko - March 23, 2017

Ensemble Theatre's 'Playwrights' was established in the early 1990's by Don Bianchi, one of the founders of Dobama, and Park Goist, a professor of American Studies at Case Western Reserve. It was started with the hope of creating an opportunity for local playwrights to have their works staged.... (more...)
BWW Review: 'Honey, Honey,' MAMMA MIA! Makes Yet Another Stop at Cleveland's Connor Palace BWW Review: 'Honey, Honey,' MAMMA MIA! Makes Yet Another Stop at Cleveland's Connor Palace
by Roy Berko - March 16, 2017

Yes, the jukebox musical 'Mamma Mia!' is back in Cleveland. And, as has consistently happened in the past, the audience was on its feet dancing and singing in the rows and aisles during the extended curtain call.... (more...)
BWW Review: HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE Makes For a Slow Haunting Trip at Cleveland Play House BWW Review: HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE Makes For a Slow Haunting Trip at Cleveland Play House
by Roy Berko - March 13, 2017

The mission of the Cleveland Play House is to produce plays that 'inspire stimulate and entertain.' It further intends to bring bold, necessary, personal stories told in imaginative ways to the public.... (more...)
BWW Review: FLOYD COLLINS Melodramatically Spelunkers Into Eternal Fame at Blank Canvas BWW Review: FLOYD COLLINS Melodramatically Spelunkers Into Eternal Fame at Blank Canvas
by Roy Berko - March 13, 2017

'Floyd Collins,' now on stage at Blank Canvas Theatre, isn't your typical musical. There is no dancing, no show-stopper production numbers, no intentional humor, no subplot, no 'I wish for' numbers. It's a tale of simple folks, a story focused on a man with an obsession to spelunker (explore caves),... (more...)
BWW Interview: Nancy Maier and OPEN A NEW WINDOW:  THE SONGS OF JERRY HERMAN by The Musical Theater Project BWW Interview: Nancy Maier and OPEN A NEW WINDOW: THE SONGS OF JERRY HERMAN by The Musical Theater Project
by Roy Berko - March 09, 2017

Nancy Maier left New York and a budding career to move to Cleveland. Yes, she traded the Big Apple for Cle!... (more...)
BWW Review: Controversial, Thought-Provoking A GREAT WILDERNESS at Beck Center for the Arts BWW Review: Controversial, Thought-Provoking A GREAT WILDERNESS at Beck Center for the Arts
by Roy Berko - March 07, 2017

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BWW Review: Compelling THE FLICK Unreels as a Must See Production at Dobama BWW Review: Compelling THE FLICK Unreels as a Must See Production at Dobama
by Roy Berko - March 06, 2017

Annie Baker, who deservedly won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her play The Flick, was perceived by the awarding committee as one of 'the most impressive dramatists of her generation.' They went on to say she, 'writes with tenderness and keen insight.'... (more...)
BWW Review:  I CALL MY BROTHERS Challenges and Confounds at Cleveland Public Theatre BWW Review: I CALL MY BROTHERS Challenges and Confounds at Cleveland Public Theatre
by Roy Berko - March 01, 2017

It's no wonder in this age of xenophobia, racial profiling and baiting, irrational interpretation of regulations, police brutality and alternate facts being spewed, that when a car bomb goes off in the center of a large American metropolis, a Muslim young man would become paranoid.... (more...)
BWW Review:  Well Done BARBECUE Lights Up Cleveland Public Theatre BWW Review: Well Done BARBECUE Lights Up Cleveland Public Theatre
by Roy Berko - February 27, 2017

Addiction, whether it's alcohol, drugs, sex, racism, obsessive compulsion or eating, is no funny matter. That is unless it's in a play written by playwright Robert O'Hara.... (more...)
BWW Review: Ensemble Hits a Hole-in-One with RADIO GOLF BWW Review: Ensemble Hits a Hole-in-One with RADIO GOLF
by Roy Berko - February 27, 2017

August Wilson is considered not only one of the greatest of African American playwrights, but of all theatrical writers. His themes of self-identity, racism, loyalty, religion, deception, love, gentrification and historical verification form the centerpiece of his well-received 'Century Cycle' about... (more...)
BWW Review: Well-Conceived BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Lakeland Civic Theatre BWW Review: Well-Conceived BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Lakeland Civic Theatre
by Roy Berko - February 21, 2017

The capsule judgement of my review of the Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County stated, 'The Bridges of Madison County' is one of those special, intimate, meaningful, well-conceived and performed shows that deserved a longer shelf-life than it is getting.'... (more...)
BWW Review: WAIT UNTIL DARK Underwhelming at Great Lakes Theater BWW Review: WAIT UNTIL DARK Underwhelming at Great Lakes Theater
by Roy Berko - February 21, 2017

Over the last number of years Great Lakes Theater has cobbled together seasons consisting of Shakespearean classics, musicals and mystery plays. The combination has proven to be very successful, with many award winning productions and audience pleasing shows being produced.... (more...)
BWW Review: BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL at Beck Center For The Arts/Baldwin Wallace University's Musical Theatre Program BWW Review: BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL at Beck Center For The Arts/Baldwin Wallace University's Musical Theatre Program
by Roy Berko - February 20, 2017

Mention Lin-Manuel Miranda and the musical sensation Hamilton comes to mind. If not, then, In the Heights, which had a run at Beck Center last year, is noted. Few know Miranda also wrote both the music and lyrics, along with Tom Kitt and Amanda Green for Bring It On: The Musical, with book by Jeff... (more...)
BWW Review: BASKERVILLE A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY at Cleveland Play House BWW Review: BASKERVILLE A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY at Cleveland Play House
by Roy Berko - January 30, 2017

Ken Ludwig is the crown king of writing modern farcical plays. He and the Cleveland Play House seem to have a 'thing' for each other. Ludwig has had world premiere productions of his scripts A Comedy of Tenors (2015), The Games Afoot (2011) and Leading Ladies (2004) on CPH stages.... (more...)
BWW Review: DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM, CLEVELAND BALLET, GROUNDWORKS at Ohio Theatre BWW Review: DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM, CLEVELAND BALLET, GROUNDWORKS at Ohio Theatre
by Roy Berko - January 26, 2017

Founded in 1969, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which is housed in the Harlem section of New York City, was the first black professional classical ballet company. Since that time, as was evidenced in their recent Cleveland concerts, the organization has extended its purpose to being racially diverse a... (more...)
BWW Review: THE NIGHT ALIVE at Dobama BWW Review: THE NIGHT ALIVE at Dobama
by Roy Berko - January 23, 2017

Conor McPherson, author of THE NIGHT ALIVE, now on stage at Dobama Theatre, is considered one of the important new breed of playwrights who delve into the lives of people. In this case, Irish people, usually Irish men. He has an eye for loneliness and despair. His plays often are 'meditations on reg... (more...)
BWW Review: Innovative INTO THE WOODS Examines 'Happily Ever After' at Connor Palace BWW Review: Innovative INTO THE WOODS Examines 'Happily Ever After' at Connor Palace
by Roy Berko - January 16, 2017

Contemporary musical theater and jazz, are two major contributions to the arts of the world that have come from the United States. Originally filled with escapist reviews and song and dance shows, with no story or purpose other than to entertain, the American musical has evolved into a format to tel... (more...)
BWW Review: THIS IS NOT ABOUT MY DEAD DOG at Playwrights Local BWW Review: THIS IS NOT ABOUT MY DEAD DOG at Playwrights Local
by Roy Berko - January 16, 2017

A present trend in entertainment is story telling before an audience. 'The Moth: True Stories Told Live,' is one of Public Radio's highest rated offerings. The publicity for the show states, 'The Moth is deeply rooted in the desire [of humans] to connect with each other through shared experiences in... (more...)
BWW Review: THE PHANTOM TOOL BOOTH at Ensemble Theatre BWW Review: THE PHANTOM TOOL BOOTH at Ensemble Theatre
by Roy Berko - January 16, 2017

Much like Lewis Carroll's ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND and L. Frank Baum's THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF OZ, Norton Juster's THE PHANTOM TOLL BOOTH is a fantasy adventure. All three are perceived as tales for children, but, in reality, though they are intended to teach youngsters, the messages are ofte... (more...)
BWW Review: Compelling and Relevant CLYBOURNE PARK by CPH/CWRU BWW Review: Compelling and Relevant CLYBOURNE PARK by CPH/CWRU
by Roy Berko - December 09, 2016

This country is in political and social turmoil. There is a President-elect who appears will win the Electoral College endorsement, while losing the election by a reported 2-million plus votes. There is a rise of xenophobia, the Alt-right, the presence of hate groups, possible destruction of the hea... (more...)
BWW Review: Applause, But No Standing Ovation for CABARET at Blank Canvas - But Big Time Accolades of Alan Cumming in Concert BWW Review: Applause, But No Standing Ovation for CABARET at Blank Canvas - But Big Time Accolades of Alan Cumming in Concert
by Roy Berko - December 06, 2016

Cabaret. It's 1931 in Germany, a country of unrest. We find ourselves at the Kit Kat Klub, a seedy cabaret, a place of decadence and emotional abandonment. Hanging over the entire scene is the aura of the growth of the Nazi party and the impending reign of terror.... (more...)
BWW Review: Delightful THE LITTLE MERMAID at Beck Center BWW Review: Delightful THE LITTLE MERMAID at Beck Center
by Roy Berko - December 05, 2016

One of the difficulties of doing the Disney Theatrical, The Little Mermaid, is how to do the underwater scenes. Yes, much of the story of Ariel, the daughter of King Triton, the master of the sea, in her search for 'a world in which I feel truly realized in my own terms,' takes place, as the songs s... (more...)