Regional Roundup

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, 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 JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!

Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section!


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More! Seattle: Contributor Jay Irwin reviews FAMILIAR at Seattle Reo. He writes "This play and really all the works of Gurira show how there are so many stories out there that we've yet to see on stage and so many voices we've yet to hear from and when they come from someone as talented as Gurira, you know you're in for something great. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give the Seattle Rep's production of "Familiar" a heartfelt YAY. We definitely need more like this in our theatrical diet."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Austin: Contributor Lynn Beaver reviews LA TRAVIATA at Austin Opera. She writes "Austin Opera ends its 2017 - 2018 season with this final triumph and what a season it's been. Their stunning production of CARMEN is only outshined by the current production of LA TRAVIATA, where Bizet's masterpiece thrummed with a passionate gut-punch, Verdi's tragic heroine is grace, elegance and sorrow. Conductor Steven White and the orchestra are flawless, their every note is perfection. Stage Director, David Lefkowich captures the very soul of beauty with his staging. Costa-Jackson's Violetta is not only ethereal in her exquisite vocals, she has true mastery of the role, holding us in the palm of her hand. As Alfredo, Scott Quinn is outstanding, he is playful and heartbroken in turns, exhibiting true depth in what can be a shallow role. My personal favorite of the evening is Michael Chioldi as Germont, Alfredo's father. Chioldi wrings every ounce of feeling from every note he sings and brought tears to my eyes with his forgiveness and grace."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Raleigh: Contributor Jeffrey Kare reviews WAITRESS at the Durham Performing Arts Center. He writes "The cast also does a solid job with their roles. Desi Oakley gives a strong performance in the leading role of Jenna Hunterson. Charity Angél Dawson and Lenne Klingaman both have their moments as Jenna's respective friends, Becky and Dawn. Nick Bailey does a terrific job as Jenna's abusive husband, Earl Hunterson, though I wish there was a little more background on why and how she ended up with him. Donterrio Johnson (who went on for Bill Nolte the night I went) gives a sincere performance as the diner owner, Joe. Jeremy Morse does a fine job as Ogie Anhorn, but I personally found his character to be creepy, weird, and such an oddball, that I just had a hard time finding him likable."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Denver: Contributor Jon Bee reviews Ragtime at the Midtown Arts Center. He writes "Under the direction of Joseph Callahan, Midtown Arts Center's mounting of this powerful work is produced with high quality production and performance value. Although some of Callahan's blocking choices are elementary, the majority of his work on the production is clever and thoughtful. Scenic and Lighting Design by Chad Bonaker are second to none. His lighting design, specifically, is unique in ways that I have not seen done previously and it truly enhances the moment. In terms of music direction, I do feel as if some sacrifices were made, not to the benefit of the production. With Jalyn Courtenay Webb as both music director and cast member, opportunities to finesse are missed because the person who should be out front listening to what is being created is also on stage. The production could have also benefited from a larger ensemble or pit chorus to really fill out those powerful, choral moments that happen often throughout the show. There were moments in which traditional ensemble songs were changed to brief solos and for those familiar with the production, it was a glaring difference."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Indianapolis: Contributor Melissa Hall reviews NOISES OFF at Indiana Repertory Theatre. She writes "In the first act we meet a cast rehearsing a farce called "Nothing On". This opening gives each character a chance to warm up and establish some basic ticks. The next two acts expertly build on those so that the audience always feels like it's in on the joke. In the second and third act, the audience watches the matinée and evening performances unfold. The hilarity lies in the farce that is unfolding behind the scenes as the cast acts out another on the stage. One character describes the situation as "becoming farcical" and the on-the-nose description is perfect."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Costa Mesa: Contributor Michael Quintos reviews LOVE NEVER DIES in Costa Mesa. He writes "From the colorful circus environments to the stylized rooms dripping in retro-tastic luxury---not to mention every glorious costume or frock or head piece that emerges into the spotlight---the show has been emboldened with a sense of grandiosity as its strongest weapon to entertain the masses. Thus, every attractive or even haunting set piece, every backdrop, and every new piece of stage magic are all audacious, puffed-up attempts to showcase an imaginative and expensive taste that's been purposely displayed to wow---and, well, distract---the audience from its bounty of flaws."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Houston: Contributor Audrey Morabito reviews KISS ME at Theatre LaB Houston. She writes "KISS ME dexterously explores expression, repression, the nuance of interaction, the structure of love, and even the meaning of sin in a brisk 70-minute play with only two actors-a commendable feat to say the least. Throughout this play, the audience is able to witness Adams and Hudson portray characters that, set against the aftermath of World War I, appear to be individually fighting their own internal wars."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Chicago: Contributor Emily McClanathan reviews JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She writes "The cast is led by powerhouse singers in the principal roles, supported by a stellar ensemble, along with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and an onstage rhythm section. As Jesus, Heath Saunders delivers stunning vocals in numbers such as "Gethsemane" and gives an impassioned performance throughout the trial, whipping, and crucifixion scenes. Ryan Shaw is equally impressive as Judas, whose betrayal of Jesus and subsequent guilt feature prominently in Webber and Rice's version of the biblical source material. In a soothing contrast to the rock numbers, Jo Lampert lends her rich voice to Mary's quieter ballads."


Regional Editor Spotlight:

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 5/4 - JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, RAGTIME, and More!Jay Irwin
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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