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Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, 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 West Side Story, Mamma Mia!, Something Rotten, and More!

Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More! Cleveland: Contributor Roy Berko reviews NEWSIES at the Porthouse Theatre. He writes "MaryAnn Black has done an excellent job of choreographing the dance-centric show, especially considering the limited stage size. Flips, somersaults, line-dancing, contemporary moves and balletic moves explode on the stage. Especially strong dancers are: Ryan Borgo, Nick Johnson, Matthew Smetana and Jake Rosko. Matt Gittins lacks some of the dynamism of Jeremy Jordan who was the original Jack Kelly on Broadway. However, he is believable as Jack, the leader of the Newsies, the tough guy with a tender underbelly. He has a strong singing voice. Beautiful Katelyn Cassidy charms as Jacks' love interest and defiant daughter of Joseph Pulitzer. Gittins and Cassidy's rendition of "Something to Believe In" is one of the show's musical highlights."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More!St. Louis: Contributor Chris Gibson reviews The Muny's A CHORUS LINE. He writes "Director/Choreographer Denis Jones' conception of this show is startling, and adds a welcome element that I've never encountered in a production of A CHORUS LINE before. Ben Whiteley's music direction is simply sublime, and the orchestra injects a great deal of excitement into this work. Paige Hathaway's scenic design is simple and stark, but still larger than life to fit the vast stage, with huge mirrors reflecting the dancers and the audience. Nathan W. Scheuer's video designs add another dimension to the stories being told, and Rob Denton's lighting keeps each story and dancer in clear focus. Andrea Lauer's costumes fit the characters well, and deftly recreates the vintage look of the flashy costumes that close the show."

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More!St. Louis: Contributor Chris Gibson reviews MAMMA MIA! at the Fox. He writes "Phyllida Lloyd's direction keeps the action moving at fast pace, and for this kind of lightweight, but enjoyable stuff, that's the right approach. Anthony Van Laast contributes the clever and funny choreography, which helps to keep this high energy production moving along with a head of steam. Mark Thompson's simple, changeable set is brilliant, subtly conjuring up the taverna Donna operates from a variety of angles. Howard Harrison's lighting scheme deftly switchesgears from dramatic to concert hall without missing a beat. And, on this particular evening, the small band produced a fantastic sound, with guitarists Alex Domschot and Jonathan Hawkins throwing down some wailing licks."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More!Palm Beach: Contributor John Lariviere reviws THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at Marquee Theater Company. He writes "This production features a beautifully costumed and choreographed ensemble of dancers. It is a pleasure to see the stage used to showcase the size and skill level of that ensemble. I also noticed how strong the bevy of girls who live at the hotel are in their setting the style of the piece, and providing acting responses to what was going on around them. Allow me to quote the late South Florida director Bob Bogdanoff when he would be handling group scenes: "Acting is REACTING!". So, thank you from both me and Bob (directing angels up in heaven) for giving us an active and present ensemble in this production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, along with some wonderful costuming and enjoyable choreography. It may be the welcome light-hearted fare you're looking for as an alternative to the sea of serious Sondheim musical offerings in South Florida this Summer."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More! New Jersey: Contributor Ryan Myers reviews NEWSIES at Surflight Theater. He writes "Standouts from this show include the leading man himself "Jack Kelly" played by Logan Farine, who brings his handsome, boyish looks to the stage, as well as his solid tenacious voice for songs like "Santa Fe" and "Something To Believe In." He has his own version of Jack Kelly, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Daniel Neale also shined as "Davey" by bringing his charm and personality to the role, as well as his fine singing voice in pieces like "Watch What Happens (Reprise), and "Seize The Day".


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More! San Diego: Contributor E. H. Reiter reviews ROBIN HOOD at The Old Globe. She writes "The costumes by San Diego native and double Tony winner Gregg Barnes are gorgeous and not to be missed. They are so richly textured and colored that it's a surprise that Robin hasn't tried to steal those as well. Also, it proves that we should all be wearing more corsets, capes, and clever hats. The set by Tim Mackabee is inventive and interactive, with vines and ropes decorating the entire theatre, the better to allow the cast to drop in from the top. The use of some crates, plates, and doors in the floor allow for quick scene changes, and the cast use the ability to play with heights, and perspective in fun ways."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More! Delaware: Contributor Rosanne DellAversano reviews SPRING AWAKENING at JustArt Theatricals. She writes "The music of SPRING AWAKENING often floods my internal playlist. I absolutely love it. Music Director, Caty Butler, is no stranger to modern musical theater scores, and her treatment of Duncan Sheik's music was on point. The young artist playing Moritz (Brendan Moriak) handled the required vocal nimbleness well enough. Lucy Vavala as Wendla and Jake Collins as Melchoir paired well together. Occasionally, a voice cracked or strained/vocal fatigue could be heard. SPRING AWAKENING is all-around demanding; each artist must be prepared to meet the vocal, physical, and emotional demands in order to execute a fully realized work. Some cast members were at least up for the challenge."


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More!Washington: Contributor Isabella Basco reviews GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING at NextStop Theatre. She writes "All of the cast stands out on their respective songs, but Karen Vincent's charm and pristine voice is a standout in a group of highly professional performers. Marquise White has a smooth voice which will make audiences swoon in "We Kiss in a Shadow," and "This Nearly Was Mine." He also is hilarious in the all-time favorite "Honey Bun," and prepare to be dazzled by Sarah Anne Sillers's "I Can't Say No."


Regional Editor Spotlight:

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More! Roy Berko
Cleveland Contributing Editor

Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.

For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.
He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.


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