Regional Roundup: Top 10 Stories This Week Around the Broadway World - 9/18; A COMEDY OF TENORS at Cleveland PH, BIG FISH in Birmingham and More!
This week, we go around our Broadway World to feature stories in Cleveland, Birmingham, Denver and more. Check out our top 10 stories around our Broadway World below, which include Ken Ludwig's A COMEDY OF TENORS at the Tony Award-Winning Cleveland Play House, BIG FISH in Birmingham, and the Regional Premiere of ROCK OF AGES in Denver, just to name a few.
1. Baltimore/Washington, DC: Editor Charles Shubow reviews HAY FEVER at Olney Theatre Center. He says, "Director Eleanor Holdridge (making her Olney debut) has the entire cast in good form and utilizes their great comedic abilities. They must have had so much fun during rehearsals and it shows on the stage.... She has assembled a superb group that adds so much to the evening from Kendra Rai (terrific costumes), Nancy Schertler (great lighting), and Christopher Baine (Sound Designer responsible for the jazzy violin and guitar score). Read more here.
2. Cleveland, OH: Editor Roy Berko reviews the World Premiere of Ken Ludwig's A COMEDY OF TENORS at Tony Award Winning Cleveland Play House. He says, "Laugh after laugh greets one improbable scene after another. Ludwig knows no ridiculous limits. There's a talking deli tongue, lots of people in underwear, cast members diving off a balcony, sexual innuendoes that might shock, some Swedish put downs that are sure to bring groans, and making fun of death. Even the curtain call is hysterical." Read more here.
3. St. Louis, MO: Editor Chris Gibson reviews The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' 'powerful and compelling ALL THE WAY'. He says, "Brian Dykstra is phenomenal as LBJ, making the man more than just a caricature, instilling him with an unexpected humanism that actually plays on our sympathies at times. But, he also shows us a man who could charm congressmen with homespun, colorful homilies, while stabbing them firmly in the back. He relied heavily on those around him to keep him grounded, such as Chief Aide Walter Jenkins (a cool and collected Michael James Reed, who also plays William Colmer), and his spouse Lady Bird Johnson (the highly capable Bernadette Quigley who also takes on the roles of Katherine Graham and Katharine St. George). A perfect example of how LBJ operated is shown in his treatment of Hubert Humphrey (a solid Kurt Zischke), a chief author of the Civil Rights Act, who was promised the vice presidency if Johnson was elected in 1964." Read more here.
4. Birmingham, AL: Editor Marietta Lunceford reviews BIG FISH at Red Mountain Theatre Company Cabaret Theatre. She says, "For those of you that are used to the big sets and props of a RMTC show, be prepared for the "less is more" approach of this show. But you will never miss them. Between the interesting stories, the amazing talent and the emotional performances, you will have all you want in a production." Read her full review here.
5. Austin, TX: Editor Frank Benge reviews THE 39 STEPS at The Wimberley Players. He says, "Director Laura Haygood has done a brilliant job with this material, infusing it with a manic energy and inspired physical comedy. The bit with the handcuffed fugitives is both complex and hysterical. Owing to the cinematic nature of the story, the set pieces are minimal and wrangled by cast and crew alike. Rather than a traditional set, the entire evening is backed by projected animation created by Scott Wade. Wade has done an amazing job here. (Be sure to look for the Hitchcock cameo in the mountains). Also worth mentioning are the lighting by Bill Peeler, the Sound Design of MacAnn Ross and the costuming by Susan Blankenship, all of which are top notch. I particularly enjoyed the bit with Richard's tie as he was running from the plane chasing him in the homage to North by Northwest." Read more here.
6. Orlando, FL: Editor April Montgomery reviews THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES at The Winter Park Playhouse. She says, "Playhouse Artistic Director, Roy Alan, directed and choreographed the show. With a cast full of young talent, I expected the production to have some awkward pauses and missed beats ... but I found none. Instead, the show is packed with delicious harmonies and unbeatable entertainment. Other than some mic issues in the second act (which all performers handled seamlessly) the show was flawless." Read more here.
7. Tampa, FL: Editor Peter Nason reviews ALMOST AN EVENING at Jobsite Theater. He says, "The entire ensemble (including Matthew Frankel, a puckish Landon Green, and Molly Schoolmeester) does first rate work. Brian Smallheer's set is appropriately minimal (I like the small touches, like the red telephone with a dial--a phone so outdated that many Millennials may find it strange). Set-wise, don't expect Hieronymus Bosch's busy view of the underworld, or Fra Angelico's bizarre, people-chomping "Last Judgment" beast (or for that matter, the wild ride of "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" from The Book of Mormon). The hell (and earth) in these vignettes is different, everyday and slightly dull, like real life (John Astin's hippie character in that "Night Gallery" episode would be disappointed in the lack of Satanic pomp and circumstance, but less is more in this case)." Read more here.
8. Denver, CO: Editor Chris Arneson reviews the Regional Premiere of ROCK OF AGES at Midtown Arts Center. He says, "Midtown's production, directed by Kurt Terrio, ranks with the best of them, electrifying '80s earworms with a killer cast, stellar band (led by Jason Tyler Vaughn) and, honestly, nothing but a good time. (But that's a bit of an understatement.)" Read his full review here.
9. Ireland: Editor Chris McCormack reviews YOU ARE NOT ALONE at the Peacock Stage of the Abbey Theatre as part of Tiger Dublin Fringe. He says, "The brave degree of self-exposure will stun, and even make some uncomfortable. But the search for companionship is undoubtedly epic. To stroll out into the night with a willing participant suggests new possibilities. Because to be anything more than strangers can take a miracle." Read more here.
National Tour Highlight:
10. Denver Editor Colin Roybal reviews MATILDA THE MUSICAL, now playing at the Buell Theatre through September 20th. He says, "The production is very magical, in all senses. The scenery and set design are truly spectacular, and create a world made out of books and scattered letters, because Matilda's world is so immersed in her books. The lighting design helped to enhance the magic of the world, and flowed in and out of reality as the story unfolded on stage. The world that was created was beautifully imaginative and vibrant." Read more here.
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This week, we'd like to welcome Olla El as our newest Dance editor, Katherine Waddell who will head up coverage in South Bend, Brodie Paparella in Melbourne, Kiley Gipson in Atlanta, Rennes Carbaugh in West Virginia, and Carissa Chesanek in Miami.