West Virginia Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: CATF PEN/MAN/SHIP is a Dramatic, Dark and Unforgettable Theatrical Voyage BWW Review: CATF PEN/MAN/SHIP is a Dramatic, Dark and Unforgettable Theatrical Voyage
by Johnna Leary - July 28, 2016

Unlike Anything Goes or some other lighter summer shows set on ships, Christina Anderson's phenomenal new play, pen/man/ship, currently running at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, is a stunningly crafted and unforgettable voyage that confronts modern controversial issues, such as race, re... (more...)
BWW Review: CATF THE WEDDING GIFT is Visually Stunning, but Difficult to Decipher BWW Review: CATF THE WEDDING GIFT is Visually Stunning, but Difficult to Decipher
by Johnna Leary - July 21, 2016

At its basic essence, a play tells a story. But when the audience has difficulty understanding the story and the language, the message, no matter how poignant or powerful, is lost. The Wedding Gift, a world premiere play at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, is a visual feast for audience m... (more...)
BWW Review: CATF NOT MEDEA Is a Deeply Imaginative and Powerful Piece of Theater BWW Review: CATF NOT MEDEA Is a Deeply Imaginative and Powerful Piece of Theater
by Johnna Leary - July 19, 2016

The 2016 CATF mission statement lists their vision as 'The Ultimate Theater Experience', and Not Medea, one of the five plays in rotating rep at the festival, completely satisfies this expectation. A highly creative and completely immersive theatrical experience, Not Medea is brilliantly written by ... (more...)
BWW Review: CATF THE SECOND GIRL is a Stunning and Spirited Show BWW Review: CATF THE SECOND GIRL is a Stunning and Spirited Show
by Johnna Leary - July 15, 2016

Take a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead approach to O Neill's classic Long Day's Journey Into Night, and you have Ronan Noone's fantastically crafted The Second Girl, now running at the Contemporary American Theater Festival.... (more...)
BWW Review: CATF 20th CENTURY BLUES is a Comedic and Poignant Crowd Pleaser BWW Review: CATF 20th CENTURY BLUES is a Comedic and Poignant Crowd Pleaser
by Johnna Leary - July 13, 2016

A show about older women celebrating and commiserating aging has been done countless times in entertainment, from Steel Magnolias on stage to The Golden Girls on television. However, 20th Century Blues, a world premiere play at the Contemporary American Theater Festival written by Susan Miller and d... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF: WE ARE PUSSY RIOT is Cleverly Staged and Immersive Experience for Audience BWW Reviews: CATF: WE ARE PUSSY RIOT is Cleverly Staged and Immersive Experience for Audience
by Johnna Leary - July 18, 2015

We Are Pussy Riot, currently running at CATF, is an immersive and outstanding theatrical experience, filled with unique choices and the sobering undercurrent that this story is not just theatrical fiction.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF: EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH is Visually Spectacular but Lacking in Depth and Development BWW Reviews: CATF: EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH is Visually Spectacular but Lacking in Depth and Development
by Johnna Leary - July 17, 2015

Everything You Touch, a black comedy focusing on the fashion industry and two intertwining stories about how it affects two separate women's self worth, is very similar to the industry it portrays. The overall look, visual appeal and staging is phenomenal, but beneath the gorgeous costumes and flair... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF: ON CLOVER ROAD is an On-The-Edge-of-Your-Seat Experience BWW Reviews: CATF: ON CLOVER ROAD is an On-The-Edge-of-Your-Seat Experience
by Johnna Leary - July 17, 2015

Exquisitely directed by Ed Herendeen with a strong script by Steven Dietz, On Clover Road at CATF is truly an edge-of-your-seat thriller which leaves the audience guessing and gasping at every new suspenseful situation.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF: THE FULL CATASTROPHE Stuffed Full of Laughs BWW Reviews: CATF: THE FULL CATASTROPHE Stuffed Full of Laughs
by Johnna Leary - July 16, 2015

In a twist on the typical modern American romance, The Full Catastrophe shows just how funny and futile our modern ideas about love can be. Dr. Jeremy Cook is a successful linguist, now unemployed, and accepts a mysterious job offer from an eccentric businessman, Mr. Pillow. As part of the "Pillow P... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF: WORLD BUILDERS Displays the World Between Imagination and Insanity BWW Reviews: CATF: WORLD BUILDERS Displays the World Between Imagination and Insanity
by Johnna Leary - July 16, 2015

In an intimate show with epic possibilities, World Builders at the Contemporary American Theater Festival raises important questions about the fine line between imagination and insanity in today's medical society.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF 2014 - NORTH OF THE BOULEVARD Is an Authentic Comedy About Middle-Class Conflicts BWW Reviews: CATF 2014 - NORTH OF THE BOULEVARD Is an Authentic Comedy About Middle-Class Conflicts
by Johnna Leary - August 01, 2014

Written by Bruce Graham and directed by Ed Herendeen, North of the Boulevard is an enjoyable modern-day comedy with enough undertones of familial dysfunction and economic inequality to make the humor hit a little too close to home for many viewers. North of the Boulevard focuses on one evening ne... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF 2014 - In THE ASHES UNDER GAIT CITY, Old Sociological Problems Face a Social Media Conflict BWW Reviews: CATF 2014 - In THE ASHES UNDER GAIT CITY, Old Sociological Problems Face a Social Media Conflict
by Johnna Leary - July 28, 2014

Written by Christina Anderson and directed by Lucie Tiberghien, the World Premiere production of The Ashes Under Gait City displays an age-old conflict through the modern lens of our reliance on social media technology.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF 2014 : UNCANNY VALLEY Uses Artificial Intelligence Technology to Display Genuine Emotion BWW Reviews: CATF 2014 : UNCANNY VALLEY Uses Artificial Intelligence Technology to Display Genuine Emotion
by Johnna Leary - July 27, 2014

For a show heavily focusing on artificial intelligence and technology, Thomas Gibbon's Uncanny Valley displays a genuine feature of human emotion. Directed by Thomas Dugdale and set in the "not-distant future", Uncanny Valley portrays the relationship between retiring neuro-scientist Claire (Ba... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF 2014: ONE NIGHT Features Excellent Special Effects and Performances, but Poor Plot and Pacing BWW Reviews: CATF 2014: ONE NIGHT Features Excellent Special Effects and Performances, but Poor Plot and Pacing
by Johnna Leary - July 21, 2014

Though featuring excellent individual performances by talented actors and spectacular lighting and special effects, One Night suffers from a confusing script, two dimensional characters and dragging pace.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: CATF 2014: DEAD AND BREATHING is a Sarcastic and Sentimental Comedy with Show-Stopping Laughs BWW Reviews: CATF 2014: DEAD AND BREATHING is a Sarcastic and Sentimental Comedy with Show-Stopping Laughs
by Johnna Leary - July 18, 2014

Hospice care and cancer are not generally topics which leave audiences roaring with laughter. However, in the world-premiere comedy Dead and Breathing, written by Chisa Hutchinson and directed by Kristin Horton, audiences are left in stitches as a sharp tongued and sickly elderly woman cajoles, brib... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Hub Opera's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Features an Evening of Clever Characters and Beautiful Music BWW Reviews: Hub Opera's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Features an Evening of Clever Characters and Beautiful Music
by Johnna Leary - May 30, 2014

The Hagerstown Hub Opera production of one of Mozart's most famous operas, The Marriage of Figaro, is an enjoyable way to spend an evening, providing audiences with gorgeous music and vocals and very clever caricatures of the well known opera buffa stereotypes.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: REEFER MADNESS Deserves Some Buzz: It Really Is a 'Hit'! BWW Reviews: REEFER MADNESS Deserves Some Buzz: It Really Is a 'Hit'!
by Johnna Leary - April 07, 2014

One certainly doesn't need to get high to enjoy all the buzz from the Being Revived production of Reefer Madness, running at Frederick Community College through April 13. Expertly directed in the hands of David Norman, this rarely-produced, cult classic musical is an outstanding production, wi... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Hagerstown Hub Opera Presents Delightful Double Bill of Operas BWW Reviews: Hagerstown Hub Opera Presents Delightful Double Bill of Operas
by Johnna Leary - January 16, 2014

The Hagerstown Hub Opera Ensemble concert production of Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana on January 11 and 12 was an enjoyable double bill of one-act operas and a delightful way to break up the winter doldrums.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's SHREK: THE MUSICAL is an Entertaining and Enchanting Modern Fairy Tale...with Fart Jokes BWW Reviews: Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's SHREK: THE MUSICAL is an Entertaining and Enchanting Modern Fairy Tale...with Fart Jokes
by Johnna Leary - July 25, 2013

The final production of the 2013 Shenandoah Summer Musical Theatre season, Shrek: The Musical, is an entertaining and enchanting modern fairy tale filled with wildly comedic moments and, of course, fart jokes. The regional premiere of the musical is the closing production for the summer musical the... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Shenandoah Summer Music's CRAZY FOR YOU is a Phenomenal Evening of Entertainment and Great Gershwin Standards BWW Reviews: Shenandoah Summer Music's CRAZY FOR YOU is a Phenomenal Evening of Entertainment and Great Gershwin Standards
by Johnna Leary - July 12, 2013

Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's production of Crazy for You is a phenomenal evening of entertainment filled with fantastic tap-dancing and great Gershwin standards. The 1992 musical comedy featuring music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin and an updated book by Ken Ludwig was a perfect evening... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's CHICAGO is Stuffed with Star Turns, But Lacks a Little 'Razzle Dazzle' BWW Reviews: Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre's CHICAGO is Stuffed with Star Turns, But Lacks a Little 'Razzle Dazzle'
by Johnna Leary - June 27, 2013

Chicago, the second production in the Shenandoah Summer Musical Theater 2013 season, was stuffed with star turns by the talented leads of the production, but the production as a whole lacked a little of the conventional "Razzle Dazzle" one would expect from the sexy and scandalous 1975 musical.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: HONUS AND ME is a Charming Crowd-Pleaser BWW Reviews: HONUS AND ME is a Charming Crowd-Pleaser
by Johnna Leary - April 28, 2013

Honus and Me is a charming and quaint crowd-pleaser concerning one pre-teen's struggle with adolescence, family and acceptance issues. Running this weekend at the Old Opera House in Charles Town, WV, the modern comedy portrays a young boy, Joey Stoeshack ( brilliantly played by Zachary Little) an av... (more...)
Troika Entertainment Launches National Tour of WEST SIDE STORY at Paramount Arts Center Troika Entertainment Launches National Tour of WEST SIDE STORY at Paramount Arts Center
by Robert Hazlette - October 29, 2012

More than 50 years since the musical, West Side Story first appeared, it has been revived countless times and become a fundamental of musical theater companies of both professional and amateur standing. Although many productions are "attempted", it's very seldom that one is lucky enough to see a pro... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Contemporary American Theater Festival Brings Exciting New American Plays to the Stage
by Jeffrey Walker - July 24, 2012

The Contemporary American Theater Festival, an annual summer showcase for new plays is back for the 22nd season. Five new plays by American playwrights are presented at different venues on the Shepherd campus through July 29, 2012.... (more...)