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Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 3/4; 1984 at A.R.T., BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in LA. and More!

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This week, we go around our Broadway World to feature the top 10 stories in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more. Check out featured list, which includes 1984 at American Repertory Theater, MARY POPPINS in Chicago, and 3-D Theatricals' BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, just to name a few.

East/Northeast

Darren Criss, Betsy Wolfe, and the National Symphony

1. Washington, DC: Editor Jennifer Perry reviews Darren Criss, Betsy Wolfe, and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. She says, "Top highlights for me include Steven Reineke's swinging orchestral arrangement of Ahrens and Flaherty's RAGTIME, as well as Betsy Wolfe's vocally stunning rendition of "Meadowlark." Most associate this latter song with Patti LuPoneor Liz Callaway, but Wolfe's take on it is one of the best I've heard and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. Her vocal control, impressive range, and ability to convey the emotional intent behind a lyric made this one to remember. " Read more here.

2. Rhode Island: Editor Larry O'Brien reviews LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE at 2nd Story. He says, "Particularly excellent wereJoanne Fayan as Gingy, the only named character, and Valerie Westgate. Fayan opens the show with a monologue about a dress her mother had worn and if she had not set the proper tone, all may have been lost. No need to fear: whenever she spoke, we listened." Read more here.

3. Long Island, NY: Editor Melissa Giordano reviews Theatre Three's GODSPELL. She says, "As often as Godspell is presented, I always encourage seeing it again particularly when you have a cast as superb as Theatre Three's. Under the marvelous direction of Artistic Director Jeffrey Sanzel, the stunning company is exemplary for the perfect execution of this important story that is told time and time again." Read more here.

4. Boston, MA: Editor Jan Nargi reviews 1984 at A.R.T. She says, "Dutton, Spencer and Yannas are all 100% committed in their performances, and remarkably they are able to find ways to bring life to the stultifying material. Dutton, in particular, is chilling as Big Brother's ironically titled Minister of Love. He crushes the last vestiges of resistance and hope out of Winston and Julia with a calm that is terrifying." Read more here.

Midwest

THE SNOW

5. Milwaukee, WI: Editor Peggy Sue Dunigan reviews First Stage's THE SNOW. She says, "An impressive Tim Linn embodies an amazing, tenderhearted giant, against type, that paired with the small Hoffman visually emphasizes the 'very tall,' Oliver, a physical force, complemented by the 'very brave," Teddy, the clever mind. Other adult actors in The Snow include Music Director Andrew Crowe strumming the fiddle, Karen Estrada's Margareta also playing accordion, and Matt Daniel's' burly, bearded Rajev, who also accompanies on ukulele." Read more here.

6. Chicago, IL: Editor Misha Davenport reviews a "practically perfect" MARY POPPINS at NightBlue Performing Arts Company. She says, "As Mary's wards Jane and Michael Banks, Sage Harper and Liam Dahlborn thankfully resist the normal temptations of child actors to overact. Having seen multiple productions of this show through the years, I can honestly say this is the least cloying portrayal of the Banks children with Harper's portrayal of Jane being particularly well-rounded (Dahlborn was having body microphone issue during this performance and might have been over-projecting to compensate)." Read more here.

West Coast

7. Seattle, WA: Editor Jay Irwin reviews AN OAK TREE and SEAGULL at the Seattle Fringe. About AN OAK TREE, He says, "Beyond being a funny and very moving piece it was also a fascinating look at the theatrical process. And so with my three letter rating system I give "An Oak Tree" a YAY not only for the moving story but for the daring element of risk throughout the evening. And you can still catch the remaining performances with local talent such as Sara Porkalob, Brandon J. Simmons and Kate Jaeger joining Gassner." Read more here.

8. Los Angeles, CA: Editor Don Grigware reviews a "gorgeous" BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at 3D Theatricals. He says, "Sprague, Jr. kept the action magnificently alive from second to second throughout and were supported by a tremendously gifted cast. Afton Quast made the oddly spirited Belle a symbol of perfection, the self-educated provincial girl who understands what it means to be different. " Read more here.

International

HALF HOUR HAMLET

9. Adelaide, Australia: Editor Barry Lenny is covering the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Guest Editor Christine Pyman reviews HALF HOUR HAMLET. She says, "Actor extraordinaire, Patrick Hercamp, takes his audience on a whirlwind exposé of the tragedy of Hamlet, utilising essential audience participation in the style of the Globe Theatre so that we experience the story in a manner with which audiences of the time would have been familiar. This approach still works four hundred years later, with sly references to popular culture and catcalling de rigour." Read more here.

National Tour Highlight:

10. How many times have you seen the musical WICKED? South California Editor Michael L. Quintos shares the "Top 10 Reasons Why WICKED is Still Worth Seeing On Tour." He shares, "Baum's fantastical tale filtered through Maguire's origin story rightly serves as the blueprint for Holzman's witty book that all but guaranteed its continuing status as an audience favorite. A perfect blend of pop culture nostalgia and modern inventive story layering, WICKED smartly hooks in people who've only ever heard of that darn twister that brought a Kansas house down on a witch right in front of a yellow brick road." Read more here.

STUDENT BLOGGERS! We'd like to feature a few of our student bloggers below!
College: Columbus Editor Amanda Etchison reviews Off the Lake Productions' HAIRSPRAY at OSU. She says, "One of the most noteworthy aspects of OTL is the impressive group it assembles to present a large-scale musical production each year. A quick glance at the program reveals that, while there are are some art and theater majors in the cast, several of those involved hail from academic disciplines such as criminology, engineering and psychology. Yet what unites those both on and off the stage is a love of theater and performance -- and it definitely shows." Read more here.
High School: New South Carolina High School blogger, Rebecca Donaldson, shares "Confessions of a High School Theater Addict." She says, "I live in the Hilton Head Island area of South Carolina, and when I say the performing arts are my entire life, that is an understatement. I habitually find myself compromising sleep and homework for something as simple as memorizing lines or counting out the steps of a dance break for a large musical number. I never know when I am biting off more than I can chew until it is much too late to do anything about it, but, I am a passionate optimist, therefore I am a strong believer in the "if you love what you are doing, you'll never work a day in your life" concept." 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 Maeve Martinez as our newest high school blogger in California, Emel Ertugrul in Norfolk, Hannah Herner in Columbus, and Stacy Davies in Los Angeles.

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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