Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 12/30; A CHRISTMAS CAROL in Maine, MAMMA MIA! in Columbus and More!
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This week, we go around our Broadway World to feature stories in Maine, Columbus, Santa Barbara and more. Check out our top 10 stories around our Broadway World below, which include A CHRISTMAS CAROL in Maine, MAMMA MIA! in Columbus, and HARD RAIN in Santa Barbara, just to name a few.
1. Maine: Editor Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold reviews A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Portland Stage. She says, "The venerable production uses a combination of Equity actors and local children to retell Dickens' classic tale. The almost two-hour adaptation stays close to the novel, making use of many of the Dickens' most famous passages, interspersed with snatches of familiar Christmas carols. Hans Indigo Spencer provides an atmospheric background score, played vividly by Shane Van Vliet; Stewart and Chris Fitze adds the supernatural touches in the sound design. moves the action swiftly, employing the ensemble as a spoken chorus to cement the narrative thread." Read more here.
2. New Jersey: Editor Patrick Kennedy reviews THE NUTCRACKER at American Repertory Ballet. He says, "With its ballet renditions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and other works of classic literature, the ARB has excelled in melding sophisticated narrative with expressive dance. Its version of The Nutcracker does something similar; it finds points of storytelling interest even as the dances intrigue and entertain." Read more here.
3. Chicago, IL: Editor Misha Davenport reviews Lookingglass Theatre Company's MR. AND MRS. PENNYWORTH. He says, "Hara's production succeeds in feeling both epic and intimate, but the true stars of the show are Blair Thomas' small and large scale puppet designs, shadow puppet animations by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace and Julie Miller (for Manual Cinema Studios) and projection design by Mike Tutaj. All manage to conjure up some magical imagery that enhances the tapestry of the storytelling." Read more here.
4. Columbus, OH: Editor Paul Batterson reviews MAMMA MIA! at The Weathervane Playhouse. He says, "Brickey does a great turn as a mom trying to control the chaos of a wedding while simultaneously handling a reunion with her former bandmates - the party-loving Tanya (Kaitlin Descutner) and the women libber Rosie (Cheryl McFarren) - and her three former beaus. Descutner and McFarren are scene-stealing comic foils. Roate, Trieger and O'Daniel-Munger bring to life the reactions of three men realizing some potentially life altering news." Read more here.
5. Nashville, TN: Editor Jeffrey Ellis presents his annual review of the best in Tennessee theater in FIRST NIGHT 2017, which includes nominees in the categories of outstanding plays, outstanding musicals, outstanding performances by actors/actresses and ensembles, outstanding directors, choreographers and musical directors. Check out his top 10 list here.
6. Tampa, FL: Editor Peter Nason reviews the Best Theater of 2016. He says, "Theatre saved my life in a tumultuous year. The plays I saw and reviewed, as well as so many individual performances, must be celebrated. We have to find our pockets of happiness, those things that we can hold onto and that bring us joy as the world seems like it's being eclipsed by darkness." Read his top list here.
7. Los Angeles, CA: Editor Don Grigware reviews Tony Winning JERSEY BOYS Star John Lloyd Young who performed at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. He says, "It is absolutely amazing to see how enthusiastically the fans respond to his first entrance onstage, and how they scream and stand up after many of the show's songs. He is revered and idolized almost as much as yesteryear's Elvis or Michael Jackson. And the ladies present...I am happy to say, are not that young. They are middle age and up, some in their 60s and 70s. These ladies whoop it up and jump to their feet and feel the music. Yeah!" Read more here.
8. Santa Barbara, CA: Editor Maggie Yates reviews HARD RAIN: A THEATRICAL PROTEST. She says, "HARD RAIN: A THEATRICAL PROTEST offered a workshop view of six new dramatic renderings of the American experience in this time of political turbulence. Commissioned and curated by John Blondell, this festival included short works inspired by the recent election. These early drafts functioned well as "think" pieces, and represented raw, immediate reactions to the cultures clashes lately highlighted by the presidential election." Read more here.
9. UK/West End: Editor Debbie Gilpin reviews SAINT JOAN at the Donmar Warehouse. She says, "Robert Jones's design is simple but effective, encapsulating the contemporary feel without overdoing it. Howard Harrison's lighting design is stunning, in particular highlighting Joan at the closing moment, fading until all that remains is candlelight." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
10. Los Angeles Editor Michael L. Quintos reviews ELF at OC's Segerstrom Center. He says, "For the most part, ELF---which performs at SCFTA through January 1, 2017---delivers enjoyable laughs sprinkled here and there throughout its two acts, and even offers up a non-equity cast equipped with lovely singing voices. I also enjoyed much of Connor Gallagher's choreography, Gregg Barnes' eye-popping, colorful costumes, and the boisterous orchestra under Michael Uselmann's baton." Read more here.
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