Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 1/19 - HAIRSPRAY, RAGTIME, WAITRESS, 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 Hairspray, Ragtime, Waitress, and More!
Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section!
Seattle: Contributor Jay Irwin reviews TWO TRAINS RUNNING at Seattle Rep. He writes "Each member of this ensemble is simply a true professional at the top of their game. Lee delivers such a guarded yet raw performance that it doesn't even feel like a performance but like we're just there eaves dropping. Hall makes for a superb adversary for him yet keeps him real in his own right. Toney and Jackson bring some wonderful added life to the diner. Lewis is simply a force of nature and her chemistry with Byrd is palpable with the two of them giving one of the best and sweetest seduction scenes I've seen on stage. And Riley may not have many lines in the show but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot to say and he does."
Milwaukee: Contributor Kelsey Lawler reviews ANIMAL FARM at Milwaukee Rep. She writes "Along with fine performances, the costumes are truly the jewel of Animal Farm. Costume Designer Izumi Inaba's creations buoy the imagination, as each sculpted animal head captures the look and essence of its character. Though there are multiple pigs and horses in the play, no two look alike. The fussy mare, Mollie, boasts soft curves and a coquettish expression. Boxer the workhorse appears sturdy and strong."
Indianapolis: Contributor Melissa Hall reviews A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Indiana Repertory Theatre. She writes "Dorcas Sowunmi plays Ruth, the disenchanted wife of Walter Lee, and her exhaustion is palpable. Beneatha (Stori Ayers) is all sass and ideals, just like any college student. Walter Lee (Chiké Johnson) dreams big, but lives a life of frustration, beaten down by his circumstances and failed endeavors. Each actor embodies their role wonderfully, making the ensemble as a whole feel like a true family."
New Jersey: Contributor Pati Buehler reviews Ritz Theatre's RAGTIME. She writes "The compelling score is thought provoking and exhilarating as they grab all the appropriate emotions forwarding the plot so well that you barely recover from one scene when your are thrust into another drama. Outstanding songs include the show stopping opening number "Ragtime", "Getting' Ready Rag", "Your Daddy's Son" sung beautifully by Sarah, "The Wheels of a Dream" by Sarah and Coalhouse, "Back to Before" powerfully sung by Mother as she realizes her life and the world can never go back to what is was again, and of course "Make Them Hear You" by the broken yet brave Coalhouse."
Los Angeles: Contributor Michael Quintos reviews Laguna Playhouse's I AM MY OWN WIFE. He writes "Listening to Charlotte regale us with even the minutia of gramophone manufacturing proves to be an unexpected treat, because it is told from a place of pure love for something that brings her joy. But, also however, the journey that has led Charlotte to this moment when we meet her is so fantastical that it's not a surprise that we, along with Wright himself, are left wondering where truth ends and where hyperbole begins. Did she fudge some of the details? Perhaps. But are the absolute truths essential in corroborating her awesomeness?"
Cincinnati: Contributor Abby Rowold reviews WAITRESS at the Arnoff Center. She writes "Desi Oakley does an admirable job as Jenna, her expressive face and eyes doing much of the work. Oakley's voice emanated effortlessly into the house and, every so often, just when you thought it was time for her to run out of air, she could evoke what seemed like hidden bellows of reserve power. Charity Angel Dawson, who plays Becky, a co-worker with a larger than life confidence, could have easily overpowered, but she wields her dynamism skillfully, only really letting loose during her Act 2 opener, "I Didn't Plan It", with a build that could blow out the back wall of the theatre. Lenne Klingaman as nerdy Dawn had impeccable timing and added three dimensions to her flighty, supporting character. When all three sang together, the blend was magical."
San Antonio: Contributor Kathy Strain reviews CINDERELLA at the Majestic Theatre. She writes "The role of Prince Topher was played by Louis Griffin and he proved quickly that he was up for the challenge. When he sang "Me, Who Am I?" with other members of the ensemble, his voice showed strength and power. The role of the Prince was meant to show that an innocent prince can sometimes be fooled but as Griffin sang the parts so well, he also showed off his acting skills as the comedic turned serious prince in keeping the audience riveted to what would happen next."
Palm Beach: Contributor John Lariviere reviews HAIRSPRAY at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. He writes "Tracy's quirky friend Penny Pingleton is played by a funny Taylor Quick. Jeanne Bennett does a nice job playing multiple, quirky adult characters. Her male counterpart, Brian Padgett, is slightly less successful, as his characters are more cartoonish, and he repeats the same comic bit with them of spitting when he talks. A dashing Lukas Poost sings the role of Corny Collins beautifully. Oddly he doesn't dance in the "Corny Collins Show" numbers, and just bops along in place from time to time. It's a directorial choice that takes some of the strength and energy away from the role."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
Milwaukee Contributing Editor
Kelsey Lawler is a copywriter by day and zealot for local theater by night. She earned her BA in Writing Intensive English from Marquette University in 2009, and has been working as an editor, creative & freelance writer, and blogger ever since. Kelsey is thrilled to be doing her part to spread the word about Milwaukee's vibrant performing arts scene.
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