Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 4/27 - THE LION KING, SCHOOL OF ROCK, SISTER ACT 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 BRIGHT STAR, ALADDIN, THE MUSIC MAN and More!
Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section!
Central PA: Contributor Rich Mehrenberg reviews MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at The Fulton. He writes "The group consists of the insecure Carl Perkins (James Barry), wacko showboat, Jerry Lee Lewis (Brandyn Day), cross-over country star, Johnny Cash (Scott Moreau), and Sun Record's prodigal son, Elvis Presley (Ari McKay Wilford). The four leads are consistently believable and immensely talented. Their portrayals highlight the musicians' quirks, styles, and mannerism without ever veering off into exaggeration. All instruments are played live on stage by the performers, which gives the show a sense of immediacy and excitement."
St. Petersburg: Contributor Peter Nason reviews THE PRODUCERS at American Stage. He writes "Director Rye Mullis guides the cast winningly, and choreographer Shain Stroff adds so much verve to the big numbers. There was a messiness to it during opening weekend, and I'm sure it will tighten as the run continues. Jerid Fox's yummy set is like an art deco pop-up book sprung to life. Mike Wood returns to the area as lighting designer, and once again does a superb job. I really like the rainbow flag lighting during the aforementioned "Keep It Gay." Although there were sound issues, they have improved greatly after the disastrous sound of the past few park productions (much of that improvement is thanks to Stephen Kraack)."
Appleton: Contributor Meredith Kreisa reviews SCHOOL OF ROCK at Fox Cities P.A.C. She writes "On the surface, SCHOOL OF ROCK seems dangerously ambitious. It features a rock band of children playing instruments live onstage, a first in musical theater. With a lesser cast, such a show could easily go off the rails, but in SCHOOL OF ROCK, the young cast is the show's greatest strength. As soon as the kids are on stage, the show comes alive. Each child is phenomenally and unbelievably talented. Not only do they play their instruments better than most professional, adult musicians, they also have charisma and charm."
Westchester: Contributor Kathryn Kitt reviews SISTER ACT at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. She writes "Donna Drake has staged a fully realized production complete with sassy, cohesive choreography ably supported by Musical Director Bob Bray and Associate Director/Choreographer Rhonda Miller. Steve Loftus nicely balances the austere church vibe eye popping visuals for the ensemble numbers. Heather Carey's costumes pop with sparkles and accoutrements. Andrew Gmoser's lighting design and Mark Zuckerman's sound design nicely adds to the overall structure of the show."
Minneapolis: Contributor Karen Bovard reviews Guess Who's Coming TO DINNER at The Guthrie. She writes "All the actors must navigate no fewer than six sets of steps or stairs on the terrific set, designed by Matt Saunders. This provides some of the flavor of French farce, and also ever present peril in an ostensibly safe domestic setting. That home can be a prickly place is underscored too by the cactus garden that surrounds the living space. And one of the script's best lines goes to the elder Prentice, who leaves the gathering in a huff at one point, but returns some time later, having realized that as a black man sitting in a car parked on the street in this neighborhood, he is a likely target for the local police. Twin Cities audiences know too well that this is so."
Sacramento: Contributor Courtney Symes reviews MAN OF LA MANCHA at Sacramento Theatre Company. She writes "With the contents of the trunk, he makes himself into Don Quixote, an errant knight with a side-splitting sidekick, Sancho Panza. He sets off to right wrongs, spread idealism, and revive chivalry for his beloved Dulcinea (who is actually a kitchen wench/prostitute named Aldonza). When he encounters his sworn enemy, The Enchanter, he is thrown into a battle where he is forced to see himself as he really is-an old man named Alonso Quijano who is on the verge of death. After falling into a coma and being revived by Sancho and Aldonza, he resumes his identity of Don Quixote for a moment-long enough to instill the courage into his friends that they will need. Cervantes then successfully completes his defense to his fellow prisoners just as he is summoned to his trial at the Inquisition, the unfinished manuscript of his novel, Don Quixote, in hand."
Arkansas: Contributor Mike Noland reviews THE LION KING at Robinson Performance Hall. He writes "What can be said about the extraordinary set and staging? It hardly seems possible that this show travels with all of the set pieces, puppets and costumes needed to create the amazing world of the African plains. It is nothing short of miraculous and the audience was in awe. The second the first voice is heard and the animals and people start coming down the aisles to the stage is the definition of a transportive experience. The Little Rock crowd was thrilled beyond belief and with good reason. The show was absolutely flawless. It has everything -soaring music and voices, spectacular costumes and stunning dancers. The only downside is, if you wanted to see it again, it might be difficult because the few seats available are going very fast. Get on the phone, jump online or even stand out front begging for a ticket, because this show is perfect. So go and Feel the Love Tonight..."
Anchorage: Contributor Mary McCormick reviews SPIKES at RKP/Cyranos. She writes "Despite fully enjoying Spikes, it is intentionally not a fun play to watch. The story is a harsh look at corporations and businesses destroying peoples' lives. An aura of anxiety grows steadily as the play climaxes. The stage (designed by Brian Saylor) is set is separated into three different sections: the Blue Room for entertaining, the office, and Aurora's living room chair. Each actor takes on their roles beautifully, yet Bess's performance steals the show. From the first scene she sets the tone for the feel of the play-funny, yet sad. The choice to have Garret, Barrister, and Man be played by the same person is brilliant. The end leaves you with goosebumps, and wanting desperately to know just a bit more of what happened to the characters. Schaefers' witty script impressively touts incredibly realistic and relatable characters that reach the heart. It is my hope that Schaefers' script is taken outside of Alaska and continues to be performed for many more audiences."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
Anchorage Contributing Editor
Mary McCormick was born and raised in Anchorage, AK. Her passion for musicals took center stage after seeing Beauty and the Beast and Thoroughly Modern Millie in NYC. In 2012 she graduated with a BA in Writing from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Since then, Mary has been writing continuously, watching every play she can, while anxiously awaiting the next good Original Cast Album to be released. Outside of theatre and writing, Mary is an avid hiker and traveler. Mary currently lives in Anchorage where she assists tourist in planning their dream Alaska vacations. Her favorite musicals are Bare, Spring Awakening, and South Pacific.
Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!