Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/25 - SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, CABARET, ON YOUR FEET, 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 SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, CABARET, ON YOUR FEET, and More!
Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section!
New Jersey: Contributor Amber Kushing reviews the 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE at The Ritz. She writes "Though the show is light-hearted and comical, my heart melted during the "I Love You Song" when Olive Ostrovsky, played by Jennie Krackstedt, is asked to spell chimerical (used to describe something that is wildly fanciful or imaginary) and mirroring the word's definition, she dreams about her parents attending the Bee and giving her the love and support she has craved. This song gave me chills and stood out as a more dramatic moment compared to the joyous ruckus that is the rest of the show."
Kansas City: Contributor Alan Portner reviews ON YOUR FEET at the Starlight Theatre. He writes "While popular among other Latinos, the Estefans found crossing over into mainstream music a challenge because of race. The most frequently quoted line from the show is when Emilio declares to a record producer that "He is what an American looks like." Eventually the group broke through and invented the combination sound that made them famous. The emotional heart of the story is Gloria's prolonged recovery from a horrific bus accident that damaged her spine in 1990."
Washington DC: Contributor Sam Abney reviews FLOOD CITY at Theater Alliance. He writes "While the script and performances fumble a little, the technical elements for Flood City consistently reach inspirational heights. Walking into the theater space of the Anacostia Playhouse is a thrilling moment. Thick fog and theatrical haze fills the air, creating a post-rain atmosphere that lingers throughout the entire production. Andrew Cohen's set design (dressed skillfully by Patti Kalil) gives a versatile play space for the ensemble. Thick wooden boards establish a space in the center of the room as found objects such as doors, desks, barrels and boxes serve as walkways and platforms and heighten the feel of being in a post-flood Johnstown. Couple this scenic decoration with the runway-style stage (with audience members flanking the play space on either side) and the immersive experience is enough to keep any audience member's attention even during the slowest times."
Maine: Contributor Dan Marois reviews SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE at the Ogunquit Playhouse. He writes "Perhaps the most notable updating for the show is that it has an authentic café on the set. With a faux brick and wooden interior, it looks and feels like a neighborhood café. The set extends out over the audience which gives it an intimate feeling. There's incredible detail in the café signage and there's multiple levels in which to perform thanks to two winding staircases and a second level balcony. (You won't believe the number of collectible radios that adorn the set!) The set is among the most intricate and breathtaking that I've seen on the Ogunquit stage."
Portland: Contributor Krista Garver reviews CABARET at Fuse Theatre. She writes "The minute you see Sally Bowles, played perfectly marvelously by Gwendolyn Duffy, you know this CABARET is different. As she makes her entrance onto the Kit Kat Club stage to perform the playfully naughty "Don't Tell Mama," Sally is anything but playful. She looks empty, that is, until a little cocaine instantly transforms her from worn out to wired. Rather than a silly thing who flits from here to there, following every impulse, the Sally here has been chewed up and spit out so many times she can no longer muster any caring for anything or anyone, including herself. It's a disturbing but brilliant take on the character, and Duffy masters the dark intensity -- not to mention she has the agile, powerful voice -- required to make it work."
San Diego: Contributor E. H. Reiter reviews A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS at The Old Globe. She writes "The play is also timely in its portrayal of how women are often the main support for each other, and use their shared strength to find courage, moments of joy, navigate difficulties, and how those bonds can help you survive even the most egregious abuses of power. The title of the play is taken from a line of poetry by Saeb-e-Tabrizi, a seventeenth century Persian poet. It was written to describe and celebrate the beauty of Afghanistan and its cultural accomplishments. This play shows the dimming of those suns as the country and culture are overtaken by the demanding and the brutal."
San Antonio: Contributor Kathy Strain reviews THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at The Public Theatre of San Antonio. She writes "The part of Robert Kincaid was played by the multi-talented Nick Szoeke who you may remember from THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (as Quasimodo). If ever there was a role made for a specific actor in mind, it was that of Robert Kincaid played by Szoeke. His portrayal was that of a true natural in the part as if it was specifically written for Szoeke. Belting out such songs as "Temporarily Lost," "A World Inside a Frame," and "It All Fades Away," you felt as if there could be no other actor to accurately play the part of photographer, hippy, nomad Robert Kincaid. Szoeke has natural talent and strength to carry out such a demanding role (not unlike that of Quasimodo in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME)."
Long Island: Contributor Melissa Giordano reviews SINGIN' IN THE RAIN at The Engeman. She writes "In addition to the outstanding cast, the musical direction is superbly done by Jonathan Brenner leading a fantastic live orchestra with Kurt Alger's gorgeous costumes enhancing the visually stunning production. Yellow colored rain coats and umbrellas adorned the cast for the big final number and it is apparent that everyone in the company is enjoying Mr. Humphrey's energetic choreography. As you can see, everyone on the cast and creative team is truly top-notch."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
Philadelphia Contributing Editor
Amber Kusching is a Cherry Hill-based playwright, director and theatre artist whose original plays have had over eighteen productions at local theatres and festivals in NYC, Philadelphia and South Jersey. Amber graduated in 2015 from Montclair State University with a B.A. in Theatre Studies, and where she minored in creative writing and musical theatre. By day, Amber works in retail management and youth ministry. And her remaining time is dedicated to seeing shows, writing, and producing plays. For more information about Amber and her work, visit: www.amberkusching.wix.com/theatre-artist
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