Regional Roundup

Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!

Check out our top news and features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section!


Top Stories

Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!THE LITTLE MERMAID at the Hollywood Bowl to Star Lea Michele, Harvey Fierstein, Peter Gallagher & More... - DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID will be given new life for two special evenings at Hollywood (Fish)Bowl on Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the classic Disney film, the production features an all-star cast of performers including Lea Michele (as Ariel), Harvey Fierstein (as Ursula), Cheech Marin (as Chef Louis), Peter Gallagher (as King Triton), Leo Gallo (as Prince Eric), and Ken Page (as Sebastian) who will perform the songs from the Oscar® and Grammy®-winning score as the film plays on the Bowl's movie screen accompanied by a full, live orchestra. Eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken will take the stage to treat the audience to a special encore performance and the concert will be directed by Richard Kraft. (Read more)


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!Lesli Margherita, Marc Kudisch And More Announced For THE FLAMINGO KID At Hartford Stage - Hartford Stage announced today the cast and creative team for the world premiere musical The Flamingo Kid, helmed by Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak. The musical, which closes the 2018-19 season, boasts an impressive cast of Broadway and regional theatre talent. Performances for The Flamingo Kid begin on Thursday, May 9, and run through Sunday, June 9. (Read more)


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!Update: BAT OUT OF HELL Cancels Tour Stops Prior to NY Run - As BroadwayWorld reported back in October and November of 2018, the Bat Out of Hell National Tour which was to launch in Toronto during the summer of 2018 and play the country prior to a run at NYC's City Center had been postponed. At the time, the production announced that it would instead launch in 2019 with stops in St. Paul, Dallas, and Washington D.C. ahead of the previously announced run at New York City Center. (Read more)


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!Exclusive Video: Go Inside Opening Night of DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto with Pasek & Paul, Catherine O'Hara and More - The Toronto company of Dear Evan Hansen celebrated their official opening night on March 28th! Check out the video below as the creatives and guests walk the special blue carpet, the cast's opening night bow and more! The cast includes Robert Markus as 'Evan Hansen', Stephanie La Rochelle as 'Zoe Murphy', Jessica Sherman as 'Heidi Hansen', Claire Rankin as 'Cynthia Murphy', Evan Buliung as 'Larry Murphy', Sean Patrick Dolan as 'Connor Murphy', Alessandro Costantini as 'Jared Kleinman', and Shakura Dickson as 'Alana Beck', along with Zachary Noah Piser as the 'Evan' alternate and understudies Erin Breen, Malinda Carroll, Jay Davis, David Jeffery, Laura Mae Nason, Kaitlyn Santa Juana and Josh Strobl. (Read more)


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!Abby Mueller, Samantha Pauly, and More to Lead SIX in Chicago- Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces today the Queens of the critically acclaimed new musical SIX, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, which makes its North American premiere in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, May 14-June 30, 2019. The six ex-wives of King Henry VIII headline an electrifying pop-concert spectacle-flipping the narrative on the one-sided story from our history books. After its runaway debut at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a sold-out UK tour, the musical phenomenon is now taking London by storm with an open-ended run on the West End, now nominated for five Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical. (Read more).


Top Reviews

Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!Toronto: Contributor Taylor Long reviews DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto, writing "Pull out your kleenex now. The international premiere of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, written by songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, with a book by Steven Levenson, has arrived in Toronto. The Grammy and Tony Award-winning musical comes to life at Mirvish's Royal Alex Theatre with an impressive, all-Canadian cast. The magnetic energy created by this cast is so perfectly crafted, you'll be reduced to tears more than once."


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!New Zealand: Contributor Monica Moore reviews THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Harlequin Theatre, writing "I've never felt quite so transported into the realities of a convent or the freshness of a mountain or the sadness of a man who has lost his wife and is too aggrieved to notice his children. This is quite discombobulating (in the best possible way) considering I've grown up with the movie, appeared in the musical twice and directed it. The singing is sensational. Under the guise of Musical Director Andrew Christie assisted by Vocal Coach Kerry Ackerman the harmonies are on point and the light and shade most definitely in all the right places. Accolades to the orchestra who supported the performers so ably. Michael Potts (Captain von Trapp) has a voice that is almost too big for the senses. He worked it to perfection bringing us near the point of 'overwhelm' then subtly pulling back. Potts took the feelings evoked by the music to new heights. I could literally smell the edelweiss and those top notes - wow. He is a gifted being."


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!New Jersey: Contributor Matthew Michaels reviews Jersey City's HAMLET by Shakespeare, writing "Church, thy name is theater. Shakespeare@ kicks off their inaugural run in Jersey City with a sharp production of HAMLET. William Shakespeare's Danish tragedy of revenge and mental insanity transforms the space of Grace Church Van Vorst, a New Jersey Episcopal church on the National Registry of Historic Places. The first few minutes of this HAMLET are in Wittenberg as the prince studies beside his school chums with inaudible whispers; the rest, as they say, is silence. The audience does not hear any dialogue until Hamlet begins his famous 'to be or not to be' soliloquy, moved up from Act 3 to be juxtaposed with Hamlet reading a letter and learning of his father's death. Beneath the scene, the sound of what seems to be a ticking clock quickly turns into the pulsating heart beat of Hamlet as he begins his swift descent into madness."


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!Fort Lauderdale: Contributor Cristina Pla-Guzman reviews CONFESSIONS OF A COCAINE COWBOY at the Colony Theatre writing "God, I love Lincoln Road. And nope, I am not a tourist. Even though I have lived in Miami my whole life, I still get a thrill of walking down Lincoln Road people watching: girls in barely-there outfits with thongs exposed, men with chains heavy enough to weigh them down walking dogs who are dressed like people and people dressed like statues fully covered in sliver paint... BECAUSE MIAMI! Last night there was an added excitement that buzzed just steps away from South Beach and all the craziness surrounding Ultra. You can feel the excitement of the crowds entering the Colony Theatre to watch Miami New Drama's World Premier of Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy in collaboration with the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning studio rakontur, written by Billy Corben and Aurin Squire, directed by Michel Hausmann. There was a sense of anticipation and energy entering the theatre as people poured into an almost sold out show. As the seats filled, I likened the energy of people talking excitedly in their seats to the party atmosphere of Miami Beach's lifestyle. It was obvious that, like myself, the crowd was filled with people who were fans of the documentary and were thrilled to see if the play would do it justice. And that it did."


Global Roundup 4/5 - Lea Michele in THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE FLAMINGO KID at Hartford Stage, DEAR EVAN HANSEN in Toronto and More!Long Island: Contributor Anthony Hazzard & Scott Stolzenberg review THE PRODUCERS at The Argyle Theatre, writing "In the smash hit musical 'The Producers,' veteran producer Max Bialystock explains to his accountant/new producing partner Leo Bloom the step by step instructions of producing a Broadway show. He advised to find the worst play ever written, hire the worst actors in town, find the worst director in town, and finally open on Broadway. Luckily, the Argyle Theatre in Babylon Village did just the opposite. They chose one of the best musicals ever written by Mel Brooks as their season closer, gathered a troop of top notch professionals to perform it, and chose Broadway veteran Evan Pappas, the best in the business, to direct it."


Regional Editor Spotlight:

Natasha AshleyCristina Pla-Guzman

Cristina Pla-Guzman is a 2016 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher awardee. She has been working in the theatre for the last fourteen years. She has her Masters' in Science for Special Education from St. Thomas University and a Bachelor in Fine Arts Magna cum Laude in Acting from Florida International University. She studied Dialects and Voice with Lesley-Ann Timlick, Music Theatre with Elise Augenblick, Voice with Jeanette Hopkins and Movement with Katherine Kramer to name a few. She has taken part in a Collaboration Workshop with Allison Bergman from Carnegie Mellon, and a Performance Art Workshop with Sayda Trujillo from Dell' Arte.

Cristina was also awarded the 2016 Top-Notch teacher by the National Varsity Brands' School Spirit Awards, Dedication and Achievement award by the Miami Lakes Town Council, Teacher of the Year 2012- 2013, Nova Southeastern University's Cervantes Educator Award, and an Award for Outstanding Service in Theatre from Florida International University.

She has performed in several productions. Her favorites include "Cabaret" where she played Fräulein Kost, "Urinetown" where she played Penelope Pennywise, "Tartuffe" where she played Madam Pernelle, and "Hair": The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical where she played Sunshine. But the role that's dearest to her heart was as Mae West in her one woman show which she wrote and starred in.

Her educational theatre credits include membership in the Educational Theatre Association and International Thespian Society Troupe Sponsor. She is also a member of the South Florida Theatre League, Florida Association of Theatre Educators as well as Dade Association of Theatre Educators.

Cristina is currently the Upper School Theatre teacher and director for Miami Country Day School. Besides being a Drama Mama, her most important roles are as mom to her daughters and a being loving wife.


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