Regional Roundup

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS 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 IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS 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 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Toronto: Contributor Lauren Gienow reviews THE TEMPEST at Stratford. She writes "It has been widely publicized that in this production, the lead character of Prospero is a woman. I was excited to see Martha Henry in this iconic role and I was excited to see this character's story explored through the lens of a woman who had and lost power. I was not disappointed. Henry is masterful in this role. She commands the stage and has the audience hanging on to every word. Something that I had not considered ahead of time, that actually may have been my favourite thing about this casting choice, was how Prospero being a woman influenced the dynamic between Prospero and Miranda. The bond between these two characters as women, and specifically as mother and daughter is immediately different than what a father/daughter relationship would be. Not better or worse, but different. This adds layers to the character of Miranda and makes Shakespeare's text feel fresh and new."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Tulsa: Contributor Jericho Thomas reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Tulsa Performing Arts Center. He writes "But how does it all sound? C'est magnifique! The aforementioned quintet are all triple threats in their own right. McGee Maddox as Jerry is wide-eyed and genuine, his feet and voice barely keeping up with his heart. Lise, played by Allison Walsh, speaks and sings with an accent as precise and as lovely as her dancing. Matthew Scott's acting shines through Adam, his unrequited love, and creative frustrations. He smartly infuses his solo "But Not For Me" with understated defeat. And Kirsten Scott is fantastic as Milo Davenport, the ballet's benefactor. She saves the character from almost certain "blonde plot device" disaster, instead feeling plucked out of the '40s with some Hepburn (Katharine and Audrey) mixed in for good measure."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Santa Barbara: Contributor Anna Jensen reviews HUNCHBACK at Solvang Festival Theatre. She writes "Scenic designer Jason Bolen has crafted a multi-level set opening up the interior of Notre Dame with its stained glass rose window casting color across the action. Lighting design by Jennifer 'Z' Zornow takes advantage of the spectacular effects of stained glass illuminated under a darkened sky. The Cathedral of Notre Dame itself becomes a kind of character in the show, playing up the theatricality of the production with its gothic dimensions."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Nashville: Contributor Jeffrey Ellis reviews LOVE NEVER DIES at TPAC. He writes "Its Coney Island setting provides Love Never Dies with startling visuals: As might be expected, The Phantom is a wizard of a man and his sheer theatricality allows for a design aesthetic that dazzles and delights. Tylesova's ingenious designs are lit with artistic command by Nick Schlieper's evocative illumination, creating the requisite smoke and mirrors that ensure the audience is always engaged, even if they are indifferent to the story told by book writer Ben Elton (who bases his script on Frederick Forsyth's The Phantom of Manhattan, a contemporary novel written in 1999 that utilizes Leroux's original 1909 work for inspiration). This perceived dilution of the story - from Leroux to Forsyth to Elton's interpretation - may explain some of the more consequential plot "holes" and meanderings, and if the success, or lack thereof, of Love Never Dies can be attributed to anything, it's definitely the book. Audience members hoping to see a mere re-tread of The Phantom of the Opera are likely to be disappointed, although there is enough romance and intrigue to please most aficionados of the earlier theatrical megahit."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More! Connecticut: Contributor Joseph Harrison reviews IN THE HEIGHTS at Playhouse on the Park. He writes "The cast of 18 actors fills the Playhouse on Park stage and brings to life all the ensemble numbers in a vibrant way. The "Blackout" number that closes the first act is a great example of the cast working together seamlessly, ending with some amazing fireworks (brilliantly orchestrated by lighting designer Aaron Hochheiser). As Usnavi, Niko Touros is a tour de force, delivering the fast paced and rhythmic lyrics with skill. Hats off to Mr. Touros for making such a challenging role look effortless. The rest of the cast is equally strong with some powerhouse vocals being delivered by Analise Rios (Nina), Sandra Marante (Daniela) and Sophia Introna (Vanessa). As Sonny and Benny, Nick Palazzo and Leyland Patrick give solid performances as do JL Rey and Stephanie Pope as Nina's parents. The real standout for me, however, was Amy Jo Phillips performance as Abuela Claudia. She was warm and lovely in her early scenes, but when given the spotlight ("Patiencia Y Fe") she showed off a powerful voice and gave a passionate and beautiful portrayal of this grandmother who escaped Cuba as a child and lived a long and rich life on this block."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Atlanta: Contributor Amy Zipperer reviews THE COLOR PURPLE at Actor's Express. She writes "John Doyle's 2015 Broadway production had a few missed notes. One of them was his scenic design which featured a wall of hanging chairs... tons of hanging chairs ...some of which were pulled down at intervals to become shovels, weapons, and lots of other things. While Doyle's stripped down, minimalist staging was effective, the chairs were not. They were, at best, distracting. At worst, stupid. David Kote, the director of this production, tips a hat to the chairs of Broadway with walls of chairs that flank the sides of the stage, but Kote doesn't fall into the trap that Doyle does. First, he's reconsidered how many chairs to hang. He comes in at under 10. And he doesn't, for the most part, overuse them, certainly not enough that they become a serious distraction."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Memphis: Contributor Chris Miritello reviews 42ND STREET at Theatre Memphis. He writes "The production is anchored by strong performances across the board by its principal and featured actors. As Julian, Mr. Gilliland shows the command of a seasoned performer, charismatically maintaining his character's eminent likeability, even when he is tough on his young cast of upstarts. Much as his character recognizes that the Pretty Lady chorus is critical to the show's success, Mr. Gilliland restrainedly allows his fellow 42nd Street cast members to shine. That is not to say he does not seize the moment on "Lullaby of Broadway," a true highlight."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Houston: Contributor P'nina Topham reviews GUYS AND DOLLS at TUTS. She writes "What cannot be improved are the spectacular set, lighting, and costume designs by Ryan McGettigan, Steven Young, and Colleen Grady, respectively. McGettigan created a dynamic, colorful, and inviting space, perfectly complimented by Young's bold lighting choices. The set and lighting feel modern, yet well suited to this classic production. Grady's stunning costumes blew me away. Her daring, bright and perfectly-tailored designs help define each character, and add a huge boost to every scene. I won't soon forget the hilarity of Miss Adelaide and the Hot Box Girls performing with chickens on their head during "A Bushel and a Peck." (Somewhat related: I would wear every single one of the Guy's suits. Can we arrange that, please?)"


Regional Editor Spotlight:

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 6/22 - IN THE HEIGHTS, HUNCHBACK, GUYS AND DOLLS and More!Dylan Shaffer
Stratford Contributing Editor

Based out of Stratford, Ontario, Lauren is an Occupational Therapist working in mental health by day and a Theatre Reviewer/TV Re-Capper by night (or by matinee). Lauren enjoys daring new productions, classic plays, and everything in between. She is particularly fond of Musical Theatre but she also has a soft spot for Shakespeare--which she studied at the University level. In addition to her theatrical reviews, Lauren is the resident "Grey's Anatomy" Re-capper for BWW TV. Lauren holds a BA in Psychology and an MSc. in Occupational Therapy. She is a strong advocate for the benefits the Arts have to the overall wellness and happiness of human beings. As much as she loves to perform (she is an alto sax player, and spent her youth working as a mascot), she also takes great pleasure in sitting back and enjoying a good performance. Lauren is very excited to share a variety of reviews, recaps and features as a contributor for Broadway World Toronto and Broadway World TV.


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