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Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 2/12; NCT's GREASE, HAIRSPRAY in Sacramento, StudentsLive in China and More!

What happened all around our Broadway World this week? We're featuring the best stories in Raleigh, Sacramento, China, and more. Check out our top 10 list, which includes NCT's GREASE, HAIRSPRAY in Sacramento, and STUPID F***ING BIRD in Albuquerque, just to name a few.

East/Northeast

SHEER MADNESS

1. Maine: Editor Carla Maria Sullwold reviews Good Theater's SHEER MADNESS. She says, "As always, Brian P. Allen directs with a sure hand and plenty of brio. He keeps the comedy moving at a break-neck pace which builds laugh upon laugh, handling the various forms of humor from situation irony to sight gags to malapropisms with equal skill. Allen is largely responsible for the witty "localisms" in this version, and he leads his energetic cast through the spirited two-hour evening, with hardly a break with deft skill." Read more here.

Midwest

2. Columbus, OH: Editor Paul Batterson reviews Short North Stage's DIE, MOMMIE DIE! He says, "The way Joseph easily morphs from DeMille in theAndrew Lloyd Webber musical to the over-the-top, over-the-hill actress Angela in the campy Charles Busch comedy is just one reason to see the latest offering from the Short North Stage. The two-act play runs through Feb. 21 at the Garden Theater's Green Room (1187 North High Street in downtown Columbus)." Read more here.

South/Southeast

3. Memphis, TN: Editor Joseph Baker reviews THE OTHER PLACE at Circuit. He says, "At the center of this maelstrom is that canny actress Kim Justis as the angry, tormented, and ultimately sympathetic "Juliana"; whether railing at her estranged husband, making snarky comments at the "out of place" young woman at the convention, or endlessly demanding an ashtray from her patient doctor, she is expert. Strong, too, is the frustrated "Ian," an emotionally raw turn by Michael Gravois; he is perplexed, desperate, and supportive." Read more here.

4. Raleigh, NC: Editor Jeffrey Kare reviews North Carolina Theatre's GREASE, directed by husband/wife couple, Hunter Foster and Jennifer Cody. He says, "This show is very much an ensemble piece led by a pair of well matched leads, Raleigh native John Arthur Greene (recently seen on American Idol) as Danny Zuko and Emily Behny as Sandy Dumbrowski. Greene is strong and confident in his role as he goes from macho man to nice guy throughout the show in order to win the heart of his true love. Behny is very sweet in her role as the good girl who later changes her image in order to win the heart of Danny." Read more here.

West Coast

WEIRD ROMANCE

5. Seattle, WA: Editor Amelia Reynolds reviews STAGEright's WEIRD ROMANCE. She says, ""Her Pilgrim Soul" was a heart-wrenching, sentimental tale-the walls of the auditorium literally surround you with memories: hundreds, maybe thousands of poems, letters, and laws of physics line the walls. In scenic designer Brandon Estrella brilliant immersion into Nola's fragile memories, I could not help but feel connected to her, a memory herself, just as Kevin did." Read more here.

6. Costa Mesa, CA: Editor Michael L. Quintos reviews South Coast Repertory's RED. He says, "Running at a well-paced 90 minutes (without an intermission), RED is at its most gripping when one anticipates the next outburst or declarative speech from Rothko (so winningly rendered by Harelik), and how Ken (essayed powerfully by Story) reacts to the varying degrees of passion, passive-aggression, or even the occasional pleasantness that may meet him at any given day. Both actors do their best to go beyond the expected surface traits of their respective characters---Rothko is much more than just a frustrated, cantankerous old man; Ken is much more than the fragile boy desperately seeking a father figure/mentor guide. " Read more here.

7. Albuquerque, NM: Editor Devon Hoffman reviews STUPID F***ING BIRD at The Cell. He says, "So the play requires a uniquely new form of acting, but not in a complicated way. In fact, this new form is so simple, the audience doesn't need drama or commentary to recognize it. In one magic moment in the play, Con asks the audience what he should do next. On the night I went, two people spoke up and gave better acting advice (I assume, spontaneously) than Posner or Chekov could've ever written: "Listen," they said, and "be yourself." Read more here.

HAIRSPRAY

8. Sacramento, CA: Editor Harmony Wheeler reviews HAIRSPRAY at the Playhouse Merced. She says, "Kocher's wife, Dianne, lends her flawless voice to "Corny Collins" manager Velma Von Tussle. Tussle aims to make her daughter (Madison Mitchell) famous and steer the youth of Baltimore in the "white" direction. Tracy, however, has other plans with the help of Motormouth Mabelle and Seaweed Stubbs. Elena Carter and GB Blackmon III are at their best in entertaining and poignant songs like "Run and Tell That" and "I Know Where I've Been." Read more here.

International

9. China: StudentsLive is the premiere Broadway arts, education and events company whose goal is: "To build and increase awareness of all forms of theatre arts and inspire lives through the power of theatre." In their "Passport to Broadway" program, students had the opportunity to travel to China to experience Broadway theatre on a global level. During their travels, they blogged about the program, culture, and performances. Check out their first blog here. Want to read more? Here's blog #2, blog #3 where they share a "breakthrough," blog #4 (connecting to the material), and blog #5 discussing their final show.

National Tour Highlight:

10. Boston Editor Jan Nargi reviews the National Tour of PIPPIN, playing at the Boston Opera House thru Valentine's Day. She says, "The extraordinary journey of the Broadway revival ofPIPPIN began at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge a few years back, and now that triumphant Tony Award-winning musical, directed by Diane Paulus, is back in Boston via the national tour. While some tweaks have since been made to the production that had its Broadway tryout at the A.R.T., the show's exuberant joie de vivre and circus-inspired excitement are still intact. If anything, the show's politics and humor have been heightened in this iteration, thanks largely to its sensational cast." Read more here.

STUDENT BLOGGERS! We'd like to feature a few of our student bloggers below!
College: Tara Folio of Auburn University shares what it's like juggling college with theatre. She says, "Between school, rehearsal, my sorority, homework, and just trying to be a normal college student, it's fairly easy to feel overwhelmed a good ninety percent of the day." Read more here.
High School: High School Student, Hannah Love, talks about attending the Georgia Thespian Conference. She says, "When I wasn't meeting new people and seeing shows, I attended two workshops with my friends, CirqueShop and Yoga for the Creative Artist. In CirqueShop, I learned some of the basics of the aerial silks, which was super fun and if you're not in incredibly good shape, you'll be sore afterwards!" Read more here.

*BONUS* - Did you know that we have 15 BWW spinoff sites, including TV, Movies, Dance, Opera, Classical Music,Books, Food & Wine, Fitness, Travel, and more? Browse our site for all the latest in theatre, entertainment and other news and information!

This week, we'd like to welcome Teresa Budasi who is our newest writer in Chicago, Angie Stanton who is joining our team in Madison, Cynthia Dale and Matthew Arnet who will be our featured guest bloggers for the Stratford Festival in Toronto, NYC Vocal Coach Bob Marks, who will be blogging about his upcoming book release, and Amber Patee Adams who is joining BWW Dance.

Want to join our growing team? We have positions available in several U.S. regions and International countries! Contact christina@broadwayworld.com for more information!


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