From producing and starring in family holiday pageants as a child, to avid member of Broadway Across America and Show of the Month Club, Nancy has cultivated her love of the art and respect for the craft of theatre. She fulfilled a dream when she became an adult-onset tap dancer in the early 90's ("Gotta dance!"); she fulfills another by providing reviews for BroadwayWorld.com and serving on the Executive Board of the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE). Nancy is an alumna of Syracuse University and a retired Probation Officer-in-Charge in the Massachusetts Trial Court system.
Over the course of the last twenty years, Producing Artistic Director Spiro Veloudos has been a man with a mission. During that time period, he has systematically presented the works of composer Stephen Sondheim at the Lyric Stage Company, beginning with ASSASSINS in the 1998-1999 season, and concluding with PACIFIC OVERTURES to wrap up the 2018-2019 season. In spite of the daunting nature of the undertaking, Veloudos has tackled it with gusto and proven himself to be a meritorious interpreter of the Sondheim canon. Collaborating with Music Director Jonathan Goldberg, Choreographer Micheline Wu, and his familiar roster of designers, Veloudos recreates the musical in his own vision, downsizing what originated as a behemoth show to fit the parameters of the Lyric's thrust stage.BWW Review: Israeli Stage Bows Out With N.E. Premiere of THE RETURN May 13, 2019
Even as Artistic Director and Founder Guy Ben-Aharon rings down the curtain on Israeli Stage after nine seasons, his final offering draws back the curtain to give us a peek at the human collateral damage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Playwrights Hanna Eady and Edward Mast's collaboration on THE RETURN, receiving its New England Premiere production at Deane Hall at the Boston Center for the Arts, holds a mirror up to the deep fracture caused by the long-running and controversial hostilities within the State of Israel and throughout the Middle East. Philana Mia (Her) and Nael Nacer (Him) combine in a tours de force performance to portray the humanity of two people, virtually powerless in an inhumane world.BWW Review: OPENING NIGHT AT BOSTON POPS WITH BERNADETTE PETERS May 9, 2019
Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra opened the 134th Spring Pops season with a 50th anniversary tribute to the watershed events of the summer of 1969, two stunning short films, a homegrown astronaut, and a celestial Broadway legend. Commencing with the 'Opening Fanfare' from Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra (the theme used in '2001: A Space Odyssey'), and concluding with the Pops' signature song, John Philip Sousa's 'The Stars and Stripes Forever,' the two selections bookended the program that took us to the moon, to the past, and to the Great White Way.BWW Review: SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY: Light Privilege May 8, 2019
SpeakEasy Stage Company presents the New England premiere of the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award-winner for Outstanding Play (tie), Jocelyn Bioh's SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MAN GIRLS PLAY, directed by Summer L. Williams. A Ghanaian-American playwright, Bioh sets the play in 1986 at a top boarding school in Ghana. The action centers on self-anointed queen bee Paulina (Ireon Roach) who aspires to win the Miss Ghana Beauty Pageant in order to represent her country in the coveted Miss Global Universe Pageant. When Headmistress Francis (Crystin Gilmore) introduces Ericka (Victoria Byrd), a new student from Ohio, just before the audition, Paulina is unexpectedly faced with a formidable challenger, not just for the competition, but also for the attentions and loyalty of her crew.BWW Review: THE EBONIC WOMAN: Gold Dust Orphans Superheroes Restore American Values May 6, 2019
Never mind all those Marvel heroes and the new bladder buster movie 'Avengers: Endgame,' if you want to see a real heroine in action, line up for the Gold Dust Orphans' final show at the soon-to-be repurposed Machine Nightclub. Kiki Samko takes the director's reins and wrangles all of the players into a cohesive ensemble, with several of the actors taking on two (and, in one case, three) roles. Qya Marie has moved up the ranks of the Orphans to become a dynamic leading player. Tim Lawton wears multiple hats as music director, Trump, and Bald Eagle, and his hilarious and eerily spot-on rendition of the orange one is among the finest performances I've seen him give. Ryan Landry's writing also lands a flurry of blows, expressing more transparent social and political commentary than usual. If you're in the mood for some super (hero) entertainment, make it THE EBONIC WOMAN.BWW Review: INDECENT: A Work of Art, A Story of Love May 3, 2019
INDECENT is a beautiful work of art that exists in a realm above and beyond the conventional category of a play, or, in this case, a play with music. It has an ethereal quality that suggests an oil painting in motion, with every movement and every utterance in service to telling a story that cannot be communicated by words alone. The Huntington Theatre Company presents the Boston premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel's play, under the direction of Tony Award-winner Rebecca Taichman, featuring many members of the original Broadway cast.BWW Review: BECOMING DR. RUTH: Rising From The Ashes to Washington Heights May 1, 2019
New Repertory Theatre presents BECOMING DR. RUTH, Mark St. Germain's (FREUD'S LAST SESSION) biographical comedy that tells you everything you didn't even know you wanted to know about Dr. Ruth, but were glad the playwright asked. Set in her Washington Heights, NY, apartment with a panoramic view overlooking the Hudson River, the play introduces us to the 69-year old Westheimer in the throes of moving after thirty years in the location. Surrounded by an array of boxes and clutter, the conceit provides a plethora of talking points as she unearths items that serve as important markers in her life story. Anne O'Sullivan reaches through the fourth wall to grab our attention with warmth and Ruth's indomitable joie de vivre.BWW Review: CRY IT OUT Concludes Merrimack Rep's 40th Season April 30, 2019
Merrimack Repertory Theatre concludes its 40th season with Molly Smith Metzler's CRY IT OUT, a delightful human comedy that surfs along on the waves of a burgeoning friendship between a pair of mothers of newborn babies, while also acknowledging the myriad challenges that lurk beneath the surface. The playwright examines some of the decisions faced by families when baby makes three, bringing up socioeconomic differences, stresses on the marriage, and debating child-rearing best practices. Over coffee in their adjoining backyards, the women help each other navigate the waters of their new realities and learn that modern day motherhood is no day at the beach.BWW Review: MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET: Rock 'n' Roll Is Here To Stay April 28, 2019
On December 4, 1956, at Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, a great moment in rock 'n' roll history occurred, almost by chance. Record producer Sam Phillips, sometimes referred to as the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll," brought together the past, present, and future artists of his recording company for an impromptu jam session which was photographed and recorded for posterity. Nile Scott Hawver (Carl Perkins), Scheider (Jerry Lee Lewis), Austin Wayne Price (Johnny Cash), and Luke Linsteadt (Elvis Presley) act out their characters with just enough imitation to evoke the originals, while never sliding into caricature.BWW Review: CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at Moonbox Productions April 24, 2019
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE is Tony Kushner's (book and lyrics) semi-autobiographical, sung-through musical, with music by Jeanine Tesori (FUN HOME), that had its origins Off-Broadway in 2003, before transferring to Broadway in 2004 for 136 performances and receiving six Tony nominations. In the ensuing years, it had numerous productions in regional theaters and London, and it has long been on Moonbox Productions' short list, according to Producer and Artistic Director Sharman Altshuler. Under the direction of Allison Olivia Choat, the Moonbox staging is a solid effort with a cohesive ensemble, excellent musical direction and vocals, and vivid design elements. Yewande Odetoyinbo is a force in the title role.BWW Review: Boston Playwrights' Theatre Concludes Season of New Plays With DEAD HOUSE April 22, 2019
The Boston theater community is enriched by the presence of Boston Playwrights' Theatre, founded in 1981 at Boston University by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. The BU New Play Initiative is an element of the Boston University College of Fine Arts which fosters a commitment to the School of Theatre's development of new work. Together, BPT and NPI are producing the final entry in the 2018-2019 season of new plays, DEAD HOUSE by Beirut Balutis, a member of the BU M.F.A. Playwriting Program, class of 2019. M.F.A. directing candidate Adam Kassim (THE HONEY TRAP, 2017) returns to BPT to direct this new drama.
The cast of Dead House features one faculty member and six current undergraduates who tell the story of a small town Pennsylvania community reeling with shock and grief after a car accident claims the life of Whitney, a popular high school football player.BWW Review: SYLVIA: The Lady Is A Tramp April 20, 2019
Theater UnCorked drains the bottle of its inaugural season this weekend with a fully-staged production of SYLVIA, prolific playwright A.R. Gurney's homage to man's best friend. Hilarious and heartwarming in equal measure, the play is a welcome respite from the spate of heftier, more serious dramatic works meant to resonate with our times and make us think. The only thing that Gurney wants us to think about is the inescapable joy shared between a man and his dog, and how their connection changes three lives and one marriage for the better. Supported by strong performances by Allan Mayo, Kimberly McClure, and David Anderson, Theater UnCorked's Artistic Director Shana Dirik is the top dog.BWW Review: Zeitgeist Stage Company Cements Its Imprint With World Premiere of TRIGGER WARNING April 15, 2019
The world may end with a whimper, but Zeitgeist Stage Company goes out with a bang, presenting the world premiere of Jacques Lamarre's TRIGGER WARNING. David J. Miller and company bring down the curtain after eighteen seasons on the Boston theater scene, leaving a void that will not be soon or easily filled.BWW Review: A BRONX TALE: Standin' On The Corner April 5, 2019
The North American tour of A BRONX TALE doo-wops its way into the Citizens Bank Opera House through April 14th as part of the 2018-2019 Lexus Broadway In Boston Season. It is at once a nostalgic stroll down memory lane with an original rock 'n' roll score, a gritty depiction of urban turf wars, and a well-told story about loyalty, love, and family. Based on Chazz Palminteri's 1989 one-man Off-Broadway play that inspired a 1993 film, the musical reunites the author with his directors, Jerry Zaks and Robert DeNiro, and they are joined by composer Alan Menken, lyricist Glenn Sater, and choreographer Sergio Trujillo. Like other musicals that have come before it (HAIRSPRAY, JERSEY BOYS, WEST SIDE STORY, to mention a few), A BRONX TALE feels familiar as it evokes a time, a place, and a genre that we recognize. It is a good, solid show with great music, performances, and design elements that provides a couple of hours of entertainment and escape.BWW Review: World Premiere THE HAUNTED LIFE: Kerouac's Back in Lowell March 30, 2019
It's a different time and a different war, but the protagonist in this coming of age story faces many of the same challenges as would a young person today. What do I want to do with my life? Where do I fit in the world? How can I make my mark? Meanwhile, set in the City of Lowell in 1941-2, as it is struggling to come to terms with a surfeit of immigrants, that city today remains a diverse community in a nation that is roiled by the debate over how to deal with a flood of immigrants and asylum seekers. Artistic Director Sean Daniels has adapted Lowell native Jack Kerouac's unfinished, long-lost novel THE HAUNTED LIFE into a play of the same name, now having its world premiere at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, with Daniels co-directing with christopher oscar pea.BWW Review: New England Premiere of CARDBOARD PIANO at New Repertory Theatre March 28, 2019
What does God want, and who truly knows? Who gets to decide what is right? These are just a couple of the questions raised in Hansol Jung's wrenching new play, CARDBOARD PIANO, in its New England premiere at New Repertory Theatre. Set in Northern Uganda at the turn of the millennium, a forbidden love story unfolds with the backdrop of rising civil unrest, setting in motion a series of events that spans fifteen years in the lives of the principals who survive the violence and hostility that is endemic to the African nation. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush with a quartet of outstanding performances from Marge Dunn, Rachel Cognata, Michael Ofori, and Marc Pierre.BWW Review: NOT MEDEA: Motherhood Gone Awry March 20, 2019
Playwright Allison Gregory combines myth and magic to craft a non-linear narrative about betrayal, death, motherhood, and the darkest tragedy. It is to her credit that she weaves a great deal of humor and humanity through the play, and Juliet Bowler is adept at playing both sides of the character. Toga-clad Gene Dante is cocksure in the dual roles of the mythological Jason (of Golden Fleece fame) and modern-day Jason, the woman's ex-husband who left her for a younger wife. Every Greek play must have its Chorus to contribute commentary, ably provided here in both spoken and sung verses by Cassandra Meyer. Elizabeth Yvette Ramirez directs with a clear-eyed vision of both the real world and allegorical components of the play, and elicits strong performances from her tight-knit ensemble.BWW Review: ONEGIN: Russian Romantic Collusion March 19, 2019
The Greater Boston Stage Company presents the U.S. premiere of a new musical by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille, based on the poem by Pushkin and the opera by Tchaikovsky. The pop rock score takes flight, but the sung-through libretto doesn't rise to the same lofty level as the music. Depending on your point of view, ONEGIN pays homage to NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 and HAMILTON, or borrows from both.BWW Review: AN INSPECTOR CALLS: Gripping Revival Rings True March 17, 2019
The U.S. tour of the National Theatre's multiple award-winning production of J.B. Priestley's classic thriller, AN INSPECTOR CALLS, presented by ArtsEmerson at Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, features masterful direction by Stephen Daldry (who also directed the 1992 West End revival), Ian MacNeil's grand-scale set, spectacular design elements (lighting, sound, and music), as well as a sterling cast of British actors in the principal roles, making you feel as if you have crossed the pond and are in attendance at the venerable National Theatre. Written in 1945 at the end of World War II, Priestley set the action in the fictional town of Brumley, England, in 1912, when the winds of the Great War were in the offing, and these bookends provide a sociopolitical arc to the plot. Pitting the attitudes of the wealthy proponents of industrial capitalism against the socialist view of the needs of the working class, the play strikingly resonates with the current climate of privilege, income inequality, and #MeToo.BWW Review: ROMEO AND JULIET: Capturing the Zeitgeist March 9, 2019
The Huntington Theatre Company digs into the William Shakespeare canon and pulls out a plum written more than four centuries ago. After dusting it off and giving it a spin in the time machine, Artistic Director Peter DuBois has crafted a contemporary, muscular version of the romantic tragedy ROMEO AND JULIET, featuring a who's who of the Boston acting community and introducing a pair of engaging newcomers to the local stage as the ill-fated young lovers. Inspired by the zeitgeist of American tribalism, DuBois' updating affirms the timelessness of one of the Bard's most enduring works.