Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 11/10 - BIG FISH, SISTER ACT, HAND TO GOD 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 BIG FISH, SISTER ACT, HAND TO GOD and more!
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Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our new "Around The World" section!
Palm Beach: Contributor John Lariviere reviews BORN YESTERDAY at Maltz Jupiter Theatre. He writes "Andrea Burns captures all of the energy, humor, quirkiness and charm of Billie. One could ask for just a bit more emphasis on the innocence in her portrayal, as despite the men with whom she has aligned herself, Billie remains naïve and pure of heart. Hence the title of the show - Born Yesterday. She nails all the comic beats, the funny voice, the jiggle in her walk, and the iconic scene in which she unnervingly insists on animatedly singing while playing cards with Harry."
Omaha: Contributor Christine Swerczek reviews THE LITTLE MERMAID at the Orpheum Theatre. She writes "The cast, headed by Diana Huey as Ariel and Eric Kunze as Prince Eric, is impressive. Huey's voice is crystal clear and Kunze has a rich voice that is a royal treat. Melvin Abston as Sebastian is a hoot as he crabs along the stage sideways. Jamie Torcellini as confused Scuttle and Marco Ramos as the besotted Flounder serve up additional comic pleasures. Dane Stokinger is especially wonderful as Chef Louis, and Meredith Inglesby steals the show as Ursula, King Triton's evil octopus of a sister who tricks her niece into trading her voice for human legs."
UK: United Kingdom Editor in Chief Marianka Swain reviews BIG FISH starring Kelsey Grammer. She writes "Lippa's numbers are frequently delightful, whether bluegrass, hoedown or big ballads (the latter includes one of the best gags of the evening, as a character prepares to hold forth while another is busting for a wee). But they lack story momentum, the lyrics are over-literal, and there are some predictable choices - see: yet another wartime Andrews Sisters pastiche."
Portland: Contributor Krista Garver reviews THE BODYGUARD at the Keller. She writes "Clearly, for this musical to work, you need a powerhouse vocalist as Rachel Marron, and that's exactly what you get with Grammy-nominated multi-platinum recording artist Deborah Cox, who pays excellent homage to Houston while also making the songs her own. Another great performance comes from Jasmin Richardson as Rachel's sister, Nicki, who gets to sing "Saving All My Love" and (one of my personal favorites) "All at Once." The scene in which the two perform "Run to You" as a duet is one of the best moments."
Columbus: Contributor Christina Mancuso reviews WAITRESS on Tour! She writes "As Jenna, Desi Oakley radiates with her warmth and kindness as she courageously moves forward to find happiness in her otherwise unremarkable life. She meets the awkward yet handsome (and married) gynecologist, Dr. Jim Pomatter (played winningly by Bryan Fenkart), who becomes enamored with Jenna and her "biblically good" pies. The two carry on their fling until Jenna finally puts her own dreams ahead of everyone else's and ends the affair. Oakley's ballad in the second act, "She Used to Be Mine," exemplifies her unwavering strength and resilience as it oozes with emotional vulnerability."
Nashville: Contributor Jeffrey Ellis reviews The Circle Players' HUNCHBACK. He writes "As Quasimodo, Tyler Evick gives a startling, heartrendingly authentic performance. His Quasi, a role into which he disappears with stage-bound sleight of hand, is sweetly and endearingly played, his gorgeous voice filling the theater to grand effect. It's a role that Evick may have been destined to play and he seizes the opportunity to create a characterization that is at once inwardly intimate and shockingly over-the-top in operatic fashion."
Sacramento: Contributor Courtney Symes reviews KINGS OF AMERICA at Sacramento Theatre Company. She writes "Will Springhorn, Jr. may have been my favorite actor to watch. He inhabited each of his characters thoroughly and commanded the stage with his presence. As Nixon, he conveyed the paradox that is the office of the American president. Expected to hold true to ethics and yet please every American citizen, then vilified if not performing at a superhuman level. It is an impossible standard for anyone to match."
Kansas City: Contributor Alan Portner reviews SISTER ACT at Barn Players. He writes "I suppose this show could be "habit forming" (pun intended). It is a funny premise performed pretty well by this Barn Players cast. Allison Jones as Deloris or Sister Mary Clarence is very good. Although I have never seen her before, I suspect we will see her again. Ruth Bigus as Mother Superior is right on. You expect her to take out a ruler and rap your fingers. The voices are uniformly appropriate to their rolls. Of special note (no pun intended) are Allison Jones as Deloris, Nathaniel Rasson as Eddie, Anne Haines as TJ, and Ramsey Self as Sister Mary Robert. Direction and Choreography by Guy Gardner are important to control and direct a huge chorus component that is reminiscent of Busby Berekly's massive chorus numbers and in nun's habits."
Connecticut: Contributor Joseph Harrison reviews SEDER at Hartford Stage. He writes "SEDER is an interesting character study of blame and responsibility. Ms. Dillon's Erzsike is stubborn yet broken and she masterfully switches from the rough and bitter woman she is today to the young woman (in flashback) simply trying to change her own fate. Her exchanges with Ms. Huppuch's Judit are fiery and full of defensive anger. Ms. Huppuch's Judit is equally terse, but with an indignant judgement gained from the ability to weigh in on history without living it personally. Mr. Rattazzi's David does his best to keep the night moving forward, spouting background on the reasons for the Passover practices while trying to play armchair therapist for the broken family. Mr. Ingram's Laci is often the calmest and most indifferent, though it is seemingly due to his resignation to his fate and the fate of his country. Margit, as played by Ms. Sirna-Frest is optimistic to a fault as she tries to get the family to take "one step" towards healing the rift that exists there. She and David provide some much needed levity at times, but overall the script is quite confrontational and tense."
Atlanta: Contributor Justin Cole Adams reviews HAND TO GOD at ALLIANCE THEATRE. He writes "The performance that intrigued me the most was Patrick Wade, playing the role of Timothy. Last seen as the leading principle in Horizon Theater's "Nobody Loves Me" (which received some pretty rocky reviews), I was uncertain how Wade would stand up in this particular show. I could not have been more impressed, though. The Gainesville Theatrical Alliance alum landed every single joke and made the character his own - a sexy, bad boy with a really loud mouth. I honestly do not remember this character from the Broadway show but I will not soon be forgetting Wade's performance."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
South Florida Contributing Editor
John Lariviere currently headlining throughout South Florida at local theatres and clubs. In August of 2016, John performed for the second year at the Florida Cabaret Festiva. He has sung live on TV on The Suncoast View (Channel 7 - ABC), and on the Live with Iris Acker show, and on the radio on KDW (97.5FM) and WLRN (91.3FM). Look for him as Theodore in the 2015 independent, horror film spoof Imaginary Movie, and as Robert in the 2016 DMOC web-series King of the Streets.
John has been a Fine Arts Educator for nearly twenty years - teaching/directing assorted performing arts programs, teen conservatories and Summer camps. He is an accomplished private voice teacher specializing in musical theatre, and working with audition/role preparation for aspiring professionals and young professionals alike. John is previously Director of Education & Facilities Manager for Arts Garage in Delray Beach, FL and General Manager of The Plaza Theatre in Manalapan, FL.You can find him at johnlariviere.net.
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