Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/25 - HAMILTON, HEDWIG, 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 HAMILTON, SISTER ACT, HEDWIG and More!
Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!
Sacramento: Contributor Courtney Symes reviews SISTER ACT at California Music Circus. She writes "Rounding out an impeccable cast is the ensemble of nuns, who almost made me wish that I was Catholic. Who knew that church could be so fun? Their group numbers were so energetic and the disparity between old and young nuns was so perfectly positioned that it made every song memorable. A standing ovation from the audience on opening night was indicative of the energy that this cast put out. Everyone was on their feet and clapping their hands for the final number, "Raise Your Voice." Don't miss Sister Act-it is the perfect finale to a great summer of Music Circus shows."
Kansas City: Contributor Alan Portner reviews MOTOWN the Musical. He Writes "In addition to the music, there are glimpses of important moments in African -American and mid 20th century history including Joe Louis's 1938 championship victory over Max Schmeling, the Kennedy and King assassinations, the Viet Nam War, racial unrest, and the Jim Crowe laws. The audience is made aware of conflicts inside the Motown business model and how companies with more financial heft eventually hired away the label's biggest stars. Personally, Gordy is seen as a controlling, parental figure who wanted to exercise near total control over his stable of stars, especially his long time lover, pop diva Diana Ross."
Rhode Island: Contributor Andria Tieman reviews Theatre by the Sea's THE PRODUCERS. She writes "Stuart Marland is hilariously campy as Roger De Bris, the "worst director in New York", who Max and Leo seek out to direct "Springtime for Hitler". The sets by Kate Fernandi are almost overwhelming at certain points, especially when mirrors are used very well to amplify the number of things on stage. There are seemingly more sets than usual in this musical, and all of them are exquisitely crafted with enormous attention to detail that's a pleasure to see."
Maine: Contributor Elaine Bard reviews HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at Cast Aside Productions. She writes "This is a big show for a small company, and could easily go awry, but Cast Aside Productions puts it in the hands of two performers who carry the weight effortlessly. Michael Jenkins tackles the transgender Hedwig with tenacity and a tenderness that befits this role. With its heavy song load, Jenkins impeccable, crystal-clear tenor vocals never falter and are goose bump inspiring. He is inexhaustible, taking us on a journey that weaves its way deeper into the broken soul that lies within this enigmatic character. Jenkins has the ability to hold the audience in the palm of his hands. His witty banter, incredible timing, and ability to adapt and change as the audience responds takes a level of confidence usually seen in older performers, but Jenkins is the complete package and tackles this big role with style and grace."
Kansas City: Contributor Paul Bolton reviews SPRING AWAKENING at Musical Theater Heritage. He writes "A number of the cast pull double duty as instrumentalists in this show which is quite impressive. While the men of the cast provided the raw grittiness the script commands, the women seemed a bit more tentative. At times, a few in this young cast seemed to rely too heavily on mic's when, given the compact performance space, they could have easily belted to the back row. As a result, more lyric voices seemed a bit lost. Sharp character development provided some standout performances and there were some fresh interpretations providing levity and fun for such an intense show. Given the small stage, the choreography (by Fernando Moya Delgado) was clean, precise, and added punch where needed."
Connecticut: Contributor Joseph Harrison reviews OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY at Hartford Stage. He writes "In presenting OUR GREAT TCHAIKOVSKY, Hartford Stage provides theater-goers with an intimate yet heartbreaking portrait of man whose music they may know, but not necessarily his life's struggles. And while Mr. Felder's performance shines on so many levels, he is supported greatly by a well-designed set (also designed by Mr. Felder - make that a quintuple threat!), lighting and projection design by Christopher Ash which serves as a beautiful backdrop for the music and the stories, and costumes by Abigail Caywood that capture the period well."
Adelaide: Contributor Barry Lenny reviews JANE EYRE at ARTS Theatre. He writes "Dansie has assembled a strong cast and they each produce some very good characterisations, although the Yorkshire accents are somewhat variable. Sue Wylie is a great Mrs. Fairfax, Rochester's housekeeper, and Georgia Stockham is nicely mean as Mrs. Reed, Jane's aunt. Lindsay Dunn is quite evil as Mr. Brocklebank the head of the school to which Jane is sent, while Miriam Keane gives a sympathetic performance as the kindly teacher, Miss Temple. There are too many roles and performers to mention everybody but suffice to say, there are no weak links."
Nashville: Contributor Jeffrey Ellis reviews THE FANTASTICKS at Springhouse Theatre. He writes "But, as with so many productions of The Fantasticks, the show really belongs to Will Sevier, the Nashville stage veteran with a beautiful voice whose past credits are notable and who adds the role of El Gallo to his burgeoning resume. Sevier sounds as good as ever and his El Gallo is interesting, perhaps even intriguing. Sevier's smooth-as-silk performance adds a fillip of romance and mystery to the proceedings, even as he provides a soupcon of danger to the tale. His show-opening rendition of "Try to Remember" is as good as it gets."
Los Angeles: Contributor Don Grigware reviews HAMILTON on Tour. He writes "Under Thomas Kail's stellar direction and with Andy Blanenbuehler's dynamically performed choreography, the ensemble deliver unforgettable work. As Hamilton Michael Luwoye pushes the native Caribbean man's ambition to the limits. As Aaron Burr, Joshua Henry is big and bold. bringing Hamilton down in a duel that climaxes their lifelong rivalry. Isaiah Johnson makes a sturdy George Washington the commander in chief who was indeed a strong force to be reckoned with. There is stunning comedic work from Rory o'Malley as King George whose "You'll Be Back" is one great satirical song that I am still humming today. Also very amusing are Jordan Donica in dual roles as the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson and Mathenee Treco also in two roles as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison. On the female side of the cast, Dolea Pfeiffer sweetly plays Eliza Schuyler who marries Hamilton, and her sister Angelica is played splendidly by Emmy Raver-Lampman. Angelica was also in love with Hamilton and delivers some very powerful monologues in song as to what might have been. Ruben J. Carbajal shows the tender side of Hamilton's son, Philip, who also unexpectedly died in a duel."
Washington DC: Contributor Andrew White reviews OTHELLO at Shakespeare Theatre. He writes "As Desdemona, Madeleine Rogers gives us all the vulnerability of a teenage bride, many years younger than her husband (again, common in those days), and as a result her emotional collapse is riveting to watch. Pilar Witherspoon, meanwhile, offers the worldly-wise counterpoint of Emilia, Iago's wife and Desdemona's confidante. Iago's suspicion that Emilia might have slept with Othello drives the action, so that throughout the play we sit and wonder whether Iago (like Othello) is simply indulging in dark fantasy, or whether she really did sleep with her husband's boss. To her credit, Witherspoon's Emilia plays her cards close to her chest; in the famous closet scene where the two women discuss marital infidelity she coolly recites a list of reasons why a wife might stray from her husband's bed. Not a hint of whether she speaks from experience, and that is as it should be."
Regional Editor Spotlight:
Sacramento Contributing Editor
Courtney Symes is a long-time theatre aficionado who is currently taking a hiatus from the work force to raise four children. She is a board member of the La Sierra Soccer Club and volunteers in various capacities for Runaway Stage Productions. She has been seen in various productions in the Sacramento area. After trying law school, she decided that a life in the arts was the way to go. She is excited to join the team at Broadway World.
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