Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 4/22; World Premiere of SENDER in Chicago, SPAMALOT in St. Petersburg and More!

This week, we go around our Broadway World to feature stories in Chicago, St. Petersburg, Sydney and more. Check out our top 10 stories around our Broadway World below, which include the World Premiere of Ike Holter's SENDER in Chicago, SPAMALOT in St. Petersburg, and SHUT UP AND DRIVE in Sydney, just to name a few.

East/Northeast

MURDER BALLAD

1. Rhode Island: Editor Andria Tieman reviews MURDER BALLAD at the Wilbury Group. She says, "At its core, MURDER BALLAD is a simple and timeless story of a love triangle (or quadrangle) gone wrong. What makes this show so fresh and compelling, is the fantastic addition of catchy, funny, heartfelt songs and the excellent direction of Wendy Overly and set design of Josh Christofferson. Wilbury Theatre Group is quickly developing a reputation for staging exciting and fresh musicals, and Murder Ballad is no exception." Read more here.

2. Washington, DC: Editor Barbara Johnson reviews THE MYSTERY OF LOVE AND SEX at Signature Theatre. She says, "Blass and Evans are superb in showing the development of this complex friendship from adolescence to adulthood within the play's timeline of five years. Blass is outgoing in her portrayal of Charlotte's open struggle with her sexual desires, while Evans' uneasy posture hints at Jonny's hidden layers of secrets. As the characters discover themselves and become more secure in their individual identities, the actors start to radiate confidence." Read more here.

Midwest

3. Chicago, IL: Editor Rachel Weinberg reviews the World Premiere of Ike Holter's SENDER at A Red Orchid Theatre. She says, "Under the direction of Shade Murray, the actors have similarly strong work throughout the course of SENDER. As Lynx, Haggard carries himself with the attitude of a nonchalant man-child. He seems to sway across the stage, almost as if he's floating--a fitting choice as Lynx is reluctant to put down roots. As Tess, Williamson's performance runs the full gamut of emotions, and we feel both the pain and ecstasy of her reunion with Lynx--and the implications it may have for her drinking problem." Read more here.

4. Minneapolis, MN: Editor Jill Schafer reviews The Jungle Theater's CONSTELLATIONS. She says, "In one of my favorite plays that I've seen all year, we are taken on a journey of a relationship, but not just one single linear journey, rather countless iterations of that journey, some funny, some heart-breaking, some hopelessly romantic, all focused on these two people that are connected in some way in every one of the universes traveled." Read more here.

JANE EYRE THE MUSICAL

5. Kansas City, MO: Editor Alan Portner reviews JANE EYRE THE MUSICAL at Barn Players. He says, "While Alisha is a musical theater soprano who could easily sing "Christine" in "Phantom of the Opera" at some point in the future. Matt is a strong operatic baritone who it is easy to picture as Javert in "Les Miserables." The third distinctive voice in this production belongs to Joanna Geffert as Blanche Ingram. Ms. Geffert is a wonderful mezzo-soprano who easily overpowers many of the other voices around her." Read more here.

South/Southeast

6. St. Petersburg, FL: Editor Peter Nason reviews SPAMALOT at American Stage in the Park. He says, "Becca McCoy plays a fierce Lady of the Lake. Her rousing rendition of "Diva's Lament," her big belting number bemoaning that she doesn't have much to do in Act 2, deservedly received roaring applause. And she turned her playful jazz scatting in "Knights of the Round Table" into a thing of beauty. And when she's fuming, she lets it all out--her eyes bulge, her face reddens, and her booming voice causes the castle walls to shake." Read more here.

West Coast

7. Phoenix, AZ: Editor Herbert Paine reviews Arizona Broadway Theatre's THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS. He says, "Yeehaw! Arizona Broadway Theatre blows the roof off the THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS with a non-stop hit parade of Lone Star big star moments. Leading the pack is Cassandra Norville Klaphake as Miss Mona, the madam of the legendary brothel that inspired Carol Hall,Larry King, and Peter Masterson to pen the tale of tricks and treats. Klaphake delivers a commanding performance as the mother hen who guards her coop with a righteous blend of good business sense and sentimentality. She has to be on guard as the forces of morality inveigh against her enterprising ways." Read more here.

8. Thousand Oaks, CA: Editor Cary Ginell reviews MEN OF TORTUGA at Elite Theatre Company. He says, "The acting by the cast is uniformly superb. The frequently overlapping dialog works like a musical fugue, with rising and falling cadences (mostly loud and profane, at fortissimo levels). Perlmutter is especially explosive as Kling, sometimes spitting his lines with venom like a cobra while Blanchard is perfect as the near-psychotic Taggart." Read more here.

International

SHUT UP AND DRIVE

9. Sydney, Australia: Editor Brodie Paparella reviews SHUT UP AND DRIVE at Kings Cross Theatre. He says, "Performances are commendable, particularly Sonya Kerr who took command of both character and audience in her portrayals from comically overprotective mother to corporate cut-throat to meta-narrator. Maddy McWilliam also stood out as the relatable but exasperating Sarah, keeping consistency in a show shuttling swiftly between one sub-plot and the next." Read more here.

National Tour Highlight:

10. Charlotte Editor Perry Tannebaum reviews BEAUTIFUL: A CAROLE KING MUSICAL at the Belk Theatre. He says, "Maybe the first time you hear the introductory chords for "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" won't wrench your guts and tear ducts, but I was pretty helpless the second time around. Abby Muellerhas captured King's sound so completely that I had to check my playbill to make sure that she hadn't sung the role on Broadway. No, that Tony Award winner was Jessie Mueller, whom I've confirmed is Abby's sister." Read more here.

STUDENT BLOGGERS! We'd like to feature a few of our student bloggers below!

College: New Zealand college student, Dearna Doglione, blogs about growing up in New Zealand and describes what she calls "Tall Poppy Syndrome." Read her blog here.
High School: Toronto high school student, Katie Ready-Walters, blogs about everyday Broadway in her new "Broadway from Far Away" blog series. Read her first post 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 welcome several new student bloggers, including: Dearna Doglione - College student blogger in New Zealand, Samantha Tirrell - College student blogger in Troy, NY, Kate Caton - Teacher/Director student blogger in Massachusetts, Chase Walker - High school student blogger in Palm Bay, FL, Nanjibah Khan - High school student blogger in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Amanda Bohlmann - College student blogger in NY, Katie Ready-Walters - High school student blogger in Toronto, Annalise Prentis - High school student blogger in Central PA, Maty Cameron - College student blogger in Wyoming, Christopher Panella - High school student blogger in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Daniella Ignacio - High school student blogger in New Jersey, Sarah Osman - High school student blogger in New Jersey, and Marina Maldonado - High school student blogger in New Jersey. We'd also like to welcome Liz Shivener as our latest guest blogger in the re-imaged production of GHOST: THE MUSICAL in Central PA, and Michelle Ross who is our newest visual art editor.

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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