Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 1/4 - WAITRESS, LOVE NEVER DIES, 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 Book of Mormon, Waitress, Love Never Dies, 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 THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Paramount. He writes "Well looking through the cast bios I began to wonder what we were getting. It seemed a very young cast many of whom noting their tour debuts. No necessarily a bad thing. I mean the leads are all supposed to be young but can they pull off such a complicated show night after night? The answer, HELL YES! Clay is the perfect Mormon poster boy with his perfect smile and good looks and manages the songs and the comedy with seeming ease. As did Peirson who fits into that adorable awkward chubby guy role perfectly and just plain nails it and blissfully seems to have no shame in any of his dance moves. Kayla Pecchioni as the optimistic Nabulungi is delightful with killer pipes and the sunniest of dispositions. And PJ Adzima is a riot as the so very "NOT gay" leader of the missionaries Elder McKinley and manages to steal most scenes he's in. And every member of the ensemble is right there with them with the craziness. The Mormon boys are all earnest and great dancers, the villagers are all wonderfully snarky until they come around and then put on the best church play ever, and the warlord is equal parts terrifying and hilarious."
Milwaukee: Contributor Kelsey Lawler reviews WAITRESS on Tour. She writes "But the most laughs actually went to Jeremy Morse as Ogie, Dawn's seriously smitten speed-date-on-the-cusp-of-stalker. My only regret is that this laugh-out-loud breath of fresh air doesn't enter the story until the end of the Act One. One could argue that more of Ogie could be too much - but I think a dash more, earlier on, would do the trick. His big song, "Never Getting Rid of Me," left the audience grinning from ear to ear with uproarious applause."
Palm Beach: Contributor John Lariviere reviews FINDING NEVERLAND at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. He writes "Billy Harrigan Tighe has a lovely, clear singing voice and an unashamed honesty in his portrayal of J.M. Barrie that speaks to the youthful heart of the character though he visually looks about five years too young for the role. Tighe's has wonderful chemistry with the four Llewelyn Davies children. He is endearingly playful - exactly what is needed to break whatever spell of sadness remains for them over the loss of their father, and forge a bond born of a mutual love of make believe. The four children, as well as their pet dog, steal bits of scenes here and there with their undeniable charm and talent."
Pittsburgh: Contributor Dylan Shaffer reviews LOVE NVER DIES in Pittsburgh. He writes "Played by Meghan Picerno, Christine beautifully delivers a powerful piece and remains consistent throughout the entire show. Gardar Thor Cortes, who plays the Phantom, is able to control his voice as well, but at times I almost wish he did not have a microphone to pick up every sibilant and accentuated consonant noise. The role of Gustave (Casey Lyons) is nicely intertwined with the story of the Phantom, and his youthful voice adds a nice contrast to the booming voices of the adults in the room."
Oklahoma: Contributor Robert Barossi reviews THE COLOR PURPLE at Oklahoma's Civic Center. He writes "Carla R. Stewart is just as stellar in the role of Shug Avery. This is another role that could descent into stereotype if not given a truthful performance by an actress of Stewart's caliber. She also has a fantastic chemistry with Hicks, making their intimate, touching moments together even more real and believable. Their duet "What About Love" is among the musical highlights, but it's a highlight every time that Stewart sings on stage."
Madison: Contributor Scott Rawson reviews RENT at the Overture Center. He writes "The music is phenomenal, and the actors are great at carrying the show. There were some sound issues, and as I walked by the sound booth on my way out I could hear those being worked out. The vocals are what this show is all about, and they have stood the test of time, keeping the audience truly engaged as demonstrated by fervent applause after nearly every number. Mimi singing "Out Tonight" was goose-bump inducing, and her and Roger singing "Without You" was jaw dropping. The top performance of the night was Tom Collins singing "I Will Cover You" in the second act. It got to me the first time I saw the show, and still gets to me today."
Sacramento: Contributor Courtney Symes reviews SOMETHING ROTTEN in Sacramento. She writes "Something Rotten! has something for everyone. Peppered with sexual innuendo, clever Shakespearean references and nods to several Broadway musicals (I lost count at around 12), it will still capture the hearts of those who don't catch the content with its colorful costumes, dazzling lighting, and energetic tap numbers. True musical lovers should go to take the challenge of how many musicals they can recognize and Stratfordians will revel in matching the Shakespearean reference to the work."
Raleigh: Contributor Jeffey Kare reviews ON YOUR FEET at the Durham Performing Arts Center. He writes "Under the slick direction of Jerry Mitchell, the production has a very talented cast dancing to Sergio Trujillo's incredible choreography while wearing Emilio Sosa's stylish costumes under Kenneth Posner's excellent lighting. Christie Prades was out sick at the performance I was at, so her understudy, Arianna Rosario, went on as Gloria Estefan. In any case, Rosario shines like a star up on stage, showing herself as a true triple threat. She's even got some great scenes opposite Mauricio Martinez as Emilio Estefan, who proves to be a perfect match for her. Other highlights include Nancy Ticotin as Gloria's overprotective mother, Gloria Fajardo, and Alma Cuervo as Gloria's encouraging grandmother, Consuelo Garcia. Not to mention some nice juvenile performances from Amaris Sanchez as Little Gloria and Jordan Vergara in the roles of Nayib, Young Emilio, and Jeremy."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
Seattle Contributing Editor
Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jay has been a theater geek for years. He attends as many shows as he can around the country and loves taking in new exciting works.
Instituting a new three letter rating system for my reviews for 2014. They'll range from best to worst as WOW (A can't miss), YAY (Too damn good), MEH+ (Good, with some great things going for it), MEH (Just OK), NAH (You can miss this one) and WTF (I think you can figure out my complex code there).
Jay is also an actor in the local Seattle scene. Follow me on Twitter @SeattleBdwyGeek.
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