Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 12/23; TITANIC in DC, AMELIE in LA and More!
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This week, we go around our Broadway World to feature stories in Washington, DC, St. Louis, Los Angeles and more. Check out our top 10 stories around our Broadway World below, which include TITANIC at Signature Theatre, AMELIE in Los Angeles, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL in St. Louis, just to name a few.
1. Washington, DC: Editor Jennifer Perry reviews TITANIC at Signature Theatre. She says, "To be truthful, my jaw dropped multiple times during the lengthy opening number that serves as an introduction to the ship, the officers and crew, and some of the more noteworthy passengers. The sound of a seventeen-piece orchestra (playing Josh Clayton's orchestrations) and a multitude of strong voices fill the black box in a way that no other Signature musical (that I can recall) has. Strong soloists abound - with a special shout out to Christopher Mueller who finally gets to show off his unbelievable pipes - and the harmonic blend is delightful. Every note is clear, crisp, and exact with just the right amount of emotion. In fact, I would dare say that the opening is the best sung number I can remember in my years of attending musicals at Signature. Even more impressive, that glorious singing continues for the duration of the performance. " Read more here.
2. Norfolk, VA: Editor Jeffrey Walker reviews FULLY COMMITTED at MetroStage. He says, "I was certainly impressed by Story's performance, the play itself was more dramedy than comedy. I was struck by Sam's plight as a struggling actor and his relationship with his father back in the Midwest, whom we get to know through break-in phone calls. The degradation Sam works through at the hands of the customers and even his boss, the Chef - a pretentious, brutish, coke-sniffing egomaniac - which is also one of Story's most vivid characters. Watching Story switch from the bully chef to the wounded Sam is worth the price of admission." Read more here.
3. Central PA: Editor Marakay Rogers reviews JOY TO THE WORLD at The Trust. She says, "If you appreciate the appeal of the old-fashioned Christmas special, then Servant Stage's JOY TO THE WORLD: A SERVANT STAGE CHRISTMAS is exactly what you need. It's an hour-long (with no commercial interruptions!) revue of most of the best seasonal music, both secular and religious. With everything from a WHITE CHRISTMAS segment to a lyrical and tasteful "reason for the season" reminder, with a rousing singalong on the way, it's a live Christmas show that's exactly what televised Christmas shows used to be. If you never saw a Christmas variety show back in the day, go. If you did, and you loved them, then also go." Read more here.
4. Boston, MA: Editor Nancy Grossman reviews FAITHLESS at Boston Playwrights' Theatre. She says, "Keiller inhabits the complexities of the older, unmarried, school teacher who has been the mother's caretaker. We can virtually see that her white-knuckled hold on her religion is the one thing that tethers her. Her disapproval of her brother is written all over her face when Skip unexpectedly appears, but she also provides a supportive shoulder when needed. Maraio gives a nuanced performance, a mixture of shame and defiance, and draws our sympathy for the things he has survived within the family." Read more here.
5. St. Louis, MO: Editor Chris Gibson reviews A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He says, "John Rensenhouse is absolute perfection as Scrooge, imbuing him with the proper "bah, humbug" attitude that we've come to expect, while also allowing his eventual joy to transform him immensely. It's a wonderful performance, and while the role is certainly the maIn Focus, all the supporting cast of characters is equally splendid. Joneal Joplin, in heavy makeup, makes for a particularly eerie presence as Jacob Marley, and we also glimpse him in flashbacks from Scrooge's life." Read more here.
6. Dallas, TX: Editor Aaron Zilbermann reviews GLORIA at Dee And Charles Wyly Theatre. He says, "A full house watched with joy and shock as the cast of this regional premiere created a world so full of reality and truth, and sprinkled it with a large dose of humor: quite often dark humor. It is rare to find a cast of actors where each individual truly carries her weight and positively contributes to the development of the world of the play. This cast accomplished exactly that. The energy was high, there was a lot of yelling, but silence was also taken advantage of. The chemistry between nearly all of the actors on stage (and off) was remarkable." Read more here.
7. Los Angeles, CA: Editor Don Grigware reviews AMELIE at the Ahmanson. He says, "So fast paced, in fact, that it travels at an electric speed. In spite of this helter skelter pacing, which impedes comprehension of some of the details, Phillipa Soo's performance as the grown up Amelie is a delight. She is a treasure, as is Tony Sheldon as the painter Dufayel who repaints Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party" every year ... and the rest of the dauntless ensemble are terrific as well. In fact, I enjoyed much of the 90 minute piece. The opening, for example, is a real feast for the eyes. All the characters peer out of a picture frame one by one and then en masse and eventually make a grande entrance, again one by one. Fun and exhilarating to watch!" 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. Israel: Editor Ronit Suzan reviews PORGY AND BESS CONCERT at Hot Jazz Series. She says, "While Carter's charming introductions for each song were very interesting and helpful the audience could've easily understood the story thanks to her incredible way of telling the story through song- a skill that is unfortunately becoming more and more rare these days and is a pleasure to witness in a live performance. This was especially clear during the next songs "Here Come De Honey Man", "There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York" and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now". During the latter song Mamelo played Porgy's part on the Tenor Saxophone which even though it was eminent that this isn't a very common switch for trumpeters to go through it did eventually complement the performance." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
10. Los Angeles Editor Don Grigware reviews THE KING AND I at the Pantages. He says, "The entire ensemble of THE KING AND I are first-rate. Llana gives an intensely focused performance as the King. His "Puzzlement" with what to do and how to do it makes him first a man, then a ruler. He is often like a child in his outbursts, and Llana translates this element so beautifully, creating one of the best and most humane Kings I have seen. Kelly makes a lovely Anna, full of passion and good sense, but never going to extremes. Her graceful presence and lovely voice assure a perfect fit. Joan Almedilla brings a sterling strength to Lady Thiang. Her great rendition of "Something Wonderful" is unforgettable." Read more here.
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