Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 10/20 - THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, KINKY BOOTS, THE LITTLE MERMAID, and more!
BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, KINKT BOOTS, THE LITTLE MERMAID, and more!
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Toronto: Contributor Taylor Long review SALT-WATER Moon at the Panasonic Theatre. He writes "Nguyen and Ada carry the show as the two lovers - and their chemistry is "some lovely". Do you know what else is lovely? Seeing two people of colour in these roles. Generally, the show is played pretty straight with two caucasian actors, set in the early 1900s, Newfoundland accents and all. In Jain's production, time, place and race doesn't matter as much as the connection between Mary and Jacob. That's the real story. Nguyen and Ada lose the accents, but maintain the style through their pacing of the text - lines like "some lovely" keep it all connected to Newfoundland."
Raleigh: Contributor Jeffrey Kare reviews THE LITTLE MERMAID at the Durham Performing Arts Center. He writes "As for the physical production directed with elaborate staging by Glenn Casale, it probably features the best simulation I've been able to see in any stage production of The Little Mermaid. In creating that illusion, it utilizes some astonishing flying sequences courtesy of Paul Rubin (not to be confused with actor Paul Reubens, otherwise known as Pee-Wee Herman), puppet work, and roller skates. Not to mention that all of the designs from Charlie Morrison's lighting to Kenneth Foy's sets to Amy Clark & Mark Koss' costumes are all very colorful."
San Francisco: Contributor Linda Hodges reviews THE PRINCE OF EGYPT at TheatreWorks. She writes "The careening carts and horses are one of the most amazing examples of stagecraft and choreography in recent memory. The rigs are made up entirely of dancers upon whom the privileged princes sit, capes blowing in the wind as they carelessly wreak havoc on the marketplace and reduce a temple to rubble in their quest for a good time. We can thank choreographer Sean Cheesman for this rapturous ride. (Later, he gives us a human river that carries the precious cargo of baby Moses into the arms of Queen Tuya --playEd Strongly by Christina Sajous -- and the writhing, burning bush that will lead a more subdued Moses to seek an end to the slavery of his people.)"
Cincinnati: Contributor Abby Rowold reviews DRACULA at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. She writes "The cast on Friday night managed to squeeze emotion and terror out of a script that had very little of either. But the antics on stage weren't what made my hair stand on end. In the 1997 Playbill article Deitz says: "A metaphor doesn't wait outside your window under a full moon. A metaphor doesn't turn into a bat and land on your bed...the actual being is the most haunting." But, I disagree. Some of us are terrified of those "metaphors." Those are the true monsters, lurking in America's shadows, resurrected from their slumbers and emboldened by a sympathetic new regime. Kudos to the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for choosing a play that is as dark as the times we live in."
San Diego: Contributor Ron Bierman reviews THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at San Diego Civic Center. He writes "Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley's strong voice and stage presence make him a natural for serious dramatic roles, but he seemed to enjoy letting his hair down as the pirate king. The part is often played, tongue-in-cheek, in the athletic swashbuckling tradition of early film stars such as Errol Flynn. Director Seán Curran instead made Grimsley possibly the clumsiest pirate king in the history of piracy. That was consistent with his emphasis on broad farce and physical comedy."
St. Louis: Contributor Chris Gibson reviews HAMLET at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He writes "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is filled with a brooding mix of anger and despair after his father is killed, and the throne, and his mother, usurped by his Uncle Claudius. A meeting with his father's ghost confirms what he already suspects, and sets him on a ruthless and cunning course of revenge. He makes clever use of a traveling troupe, having them perform a specially written piece for the King and Queen that is intended to mimic the circumstances surrounding his father's murder. Hamlet's hope is that it may provoke a guilt-ridden response from Claudius and, sure enough, his outrage provides sufficient evidence for Hamlet to continue with his own murderous plan. But there are further bloody twists ahead and, by the end, there will only be a few left standing in the wake of the events that transpire."
Maine: Contributor Mika Lindsay Ouelette reviews MISERY at Penobscot Theatre. She writes "The set, designed by Tricia Hobbs, rotated to follow the action around the various rooms of Wilkes' home with the focus mostly being in Sheldon's bedroom. Fans of the novel will notice that the play does well in following the basic storyline with some scenes being modified for the stage. This, however, is not a disappointment as there is plenty of suspense to keep audience members on the edge of their seats. One could argue that the author in the novel and play is really an adaptation of King himself. The truth is that the inspiration for "Misery" came to him in a dream."
Arkansas: Contributor Mike Noland reviews KINKY BOOTS at the Robinson Performance Hall. He writes "The cast is perfection in every way. Lance Bordelon brings just the right amount of innocence and energy to his part, along with a wonderful voice that hits all the right notes. He shows a quiet fear in "Charlie's Soliloquy" and then blows that away with his determination on "Step One." Jos N. Banks is stunning, flawless and powerful throughout. Whether singing the brassy "Land of Lola" or the thrilling "Sex is in the Heel" We also see his gorgeous softer side along with Charlie on "Not My Father's Son."
Sarasota: Contributor Carolan Trbovich reviews IN THE HEIGHTS at Westcoast Black Theatre. She writes "Those familiar with WCBTT performances know their history for stellar productions and this is no exception. Reminiscent of the ambience of West Side Story with a touch of the camaraderie of Rent, Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights takes us to upper Manhattan's Washington Heights immigrant community on a sweltering 4th of July weekend. We join Usnavi (Michael Mendez), the local bodega owner who runs the corner market and through him get to know his neighbors who have come from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean island nations seeking a better life in America. Abuela Claudia (Maite Uzal), a godmother figure to Usnavi, holds a place deep in his heart. To his nephew Sonny (Troy D. Wallace), despite his cockiness, Usnavi bestows his mentorship. On one side of his store is the local hair salon where you can get the latest gossip on everyone in the barrio. The salon employs Vanessa (Marissa Buchheit), the girl of Usnavi's dreams. On the other side is a limo service run by a couple that are proud parents of their daughter Nina (Nina Negron), attending college. She has the eye of their dispatcher Benny (Brian L. Boyd), to her father's disfavor."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
Toronto Contributing Editor
Fairly new to Toronto, Taylor Long was born and raised on the east coast of Canada in Halifax, NS. Full of maritime charm, he moved to Toronto to be closer to more live theatre. Taylor studied opera at Dalhousie University and has performed in various musicals, plays and operas over the past 8 years. Taylor joined BroadwayWorld in April 2017 and is the Senior Editor for Toronto.
"Writing for BroadwayWorld is a dream job for a theatre nerd. I am beyond grateful that I have the opportunity to experience the incredible talent that Toronto has to offer. I love writing for BroadwayWorld because it gives me a chance to hopefully inspire someone who has never been to the theatre, or never been to an opera or a ballet - to take a chance, and take it in."
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