Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 12/16; THE CRUCIBLE in Minneapolis, ANNIE in Memphis and More!
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This week, we go around our Broadway World to feature stories in Minneapolis, Memphis, Portland and more. Check out our top 10 stories around our Broadway World below, which include THE CRUCIBLE in Minneapolis, ANNIE in Memphis and Irving Berlin in Portland, just to name a few.
1. New Jersey: Editor Marina Kennedy reviews BLACK NATIVITY at Crossroads Theatre. She says, "The musical score in BLACK NATIVITY is outstanding. It includes traditional favorites like 'Joy to the World' and lively numbers like 'Whatcha Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby.' There are also affecting songs like 'Trust in the Lord' and 'Thank You.' And the modern interpretive dance numbers that include 'Most Done Traveling' and 'Fix me Jesus' are stunning." Read more here.
2. South Bend, IN: Editor Katherine Waddell reviews IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at the South Bend Civic Center. She says, "The South Bend Civic Theatre recently opened their new show, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, for the holiday season under the direction of Jewel Abram-Copenhaver. Being one of the most classic stories of all time, SBCT really put on all the bells and whistles to make this show a spectacular piece of Christmas theatre. There were a few details that were outstandingly done in this rendition of an ageless show; these few things really made SBCT's version of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE one of the better ones I've seen." Read more here.
3. Minneapolis, MN: Editor Jill Schafer reviews Theatre Coup d'Etat's THE CRUCIBLE. She says, "In one of the best examples of site-specific theater I've seen, THE CRUCIBLE is performed in a church, which makes the themes of religious fanaticism ring even louder. Scenes take place in multiple locations as the audience watches from the pews (which are not built for comfort, but at least they keep you alert for the 3-hour show). The play begins in the poor afflicted girl's bedroom at the back of the sanctuary, while the Proctor home (where they actually eat stew and knead bread dough) is set up in the area just in front of the pews. The best use of the space is in the trial scenes, with the judge standing at the pulpit often talking to us the audience as the trial's audience, the accusers carrying on in the box on the side, and some of the citizens sitting in the front pews." Read more here.
4. Kansas City, MO: Editor Alan Portner reviews SANTALAND DIARIES at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. He says, "From Kansas City Repertory Theatre comes SANTALAND DIARIES, a huge gift to stressed-out Moms and exhausted Dads on the run up to the holiday. This delightful jab at holiday hustle and bustle runs through December 24 on the Copaken Stage downtown in the H&R Block building ... If you feel a need to unload from all the pressure, this is the show for you. Leave the kiddies home, go out for an early meal, and laugh your way through all those 'Santa' experiences that typically raise blood pressures behind the forced smiles. Are we having fun yet?" Read more here.
5. Memphis, TN: Editor Caroline Sposto reviews ANNIE at Memphis Orpheum. She says, "In the title role of Annie, 11 year-old Tori Bates makes her national debut. She is the first biracial actress in the role, though ANNIE has a legacy of non-traditional casting dating back to Nell Carter as Miss Hannigan in 1997. Bates isn't just a charismatic child who can sing, dance. She's a real actress. The strength and subtleties in her performance make it obvious that 'cutesy' isn't the commodity she banks on. Her Annie is a believable combination of childlike innocence and hard knocks toughness. It's impossible not to only to root for her, but also to believe in her." Read more here.
6. Austin, TX: Editor Joni Lorraine reviews REQUIEM FOR TESLA at The Off Center. She says, "Once we'd cozied up to one another in the iconic and unheated (c'mon, how often do we really need heat in Austin?) Off Center space and settled in for the thrill of the evening we couldn't help notice the rumbling current underneath our seats and the literal and figurative electricity in the air. REQUIEM FOR TESLA, like any production The Rudes offer, is immersive theatre. And in the case of REQUIEM, it's almost like an exhibit at Disney World, complete with an animatronic Mark Twain." Read more here.
7. Portland, OR: Editor Krista Garver reviews Portland Center Stage's Irving Berlin. She says, "From the moment Felder steps on the stage as Berlin, you're totally hooped. You'll hang on his every word, swoon a little when he sings, and, of course, sing along when he asks you to. You should also be prepared to cry... At a time when the patriotism is unpopular and the percentage of American adults who are "extremely proud" to be Americans has hit a new low, Irving Berlin gives us something to be proud of. It also reminds us that you don't have to be born here to be an American." Read more here.
8. Tempe, AZ: Editor Erin Kong reviews ANYTHING YOU CAN HEAR AND ONLY HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE at Stray Cat Theatre. She says, "The entire cast is extremely talented, each actor well-versed in the emotions and intricacies their particular character has to offer. George, a mailman accused of being witness to a horrible crime, is played by David Weiss, who embodies George's ambiguous behavior with complete credibility. Devon Nickel, as Phil, and Nathan Spector, as Steve, play a tremendous part as the interrogators who complement the other in temperament--Phil is the more volatile of the pair and Steve is his smooth and charismatic partner. Both actors play with nuance and blatant aggression equally well." Read more here.
9. South Africa: Editor David Fick reviews OH BABY, I'M A WILD ONE at the Alexander Upstairs. He says, "Directed by Viljoen himself on a sparse but visually arresting set, OH BABY, I'M A WILD ONE stars Emma Kotze, who once again proves to be a captivating actress, despite some problems with fluency in her delivery of the text at the first performance. While never losing her way, Kotze struggled at times to master the rhythms of Viljoen's writing, some of which - of course - exist only in the unique moment of performance with each audience. As the piece plays on, these will likely be resolved, allowing Kotze to push even deeper into the character." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
10. Chicago editor Kailey Hansen interviews CURIOUS INCIDENT star Gene Gillette. Hansen asks, "This show has done so well in the West End, on Broadway, and now touring across the nation. What keeps people coming through those theater doors?" and Gillette responds, "First and foremost, this show is a marriage of spectacle and storytelling. It's the story of a boy named Christopher as he tries to solve a mystery about a dog who was killed. Along the way, he discovers some other things too. The special thing about Curious Incident is that we are seeing this entire plot unfold through Christopher's eyes. We aren't even certain if we're getting the full truth; but we're completely in his shoes." Read the full interview here.
STUDENT BLOGGERS! We'd like to feature a few of our student bloggers below!
This week, we'd like to welcome Carolan Trbovich, who is heading up our newest division of BroadwayWorld -- Sarasota!
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