Andria Tieman

Andria Tieman Andria Tieman is a lifelong theatre fan, writer and librarian. She has an MFA in fiction, play and screenwriting and presently she works as an academic librarian and special lecturer in Providence teaching students the joys of research.


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Engrossing and Altogether Too Real SKELETON CREW at Trinity RepBWW Review: Engrossing and Altogether Too Real SKELETON CREW at Trinity Rep
Posted: Oct. 26, 2017


BWW REVIEW: UP CLOSE ON HOPE Has Something For EveryoneBWW REVIEW: UP CLOSE ON HOPE Has Something For Everyone
Posted: Nov. 11, 2017


BWW Review: The Gamm's INCOGNITO Will Make Your Head SwimBWW Review: The Gamm's INCOGNITO Will Make Your Head Swim
Posted: Nov. 15, 2017


BWW Review: FUN HOME is a Touching Coming of Age Story with Real HeartBWW Review: FUN HOME is a Touching Coming of Age Story with Real Heart
Posted: Nov. 10, 2017


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: No Trouble with Theatre by the Sea's THE MUSIC MANBWW Review: No Trouble with Theatre by the Sea's THE MUSIC MAN
Posted: Jun. 26, 2017


BWW Review: Trinity Rep's DEATH OF A SALESMAN is Theatre At Its BestBWW Review: Trinity Rep's DEATH OF A SALESMAN is Theatre At Its Best
Posted: Oct. 11, 2017


BWW Review: Haunting THE YELLOW WALLPAPER at OUT LOUD TheatreBWW Review: Haunting THE YELLOW WALLPAPER at OUT LOUD Theatre
Posted: Jun. 23, 2017


BWW Review: Magical MATILDA: THE MUSICAL at PPACBWW Review: Magical MATILDA: THE MUSICAL at PPAC
Posted: May. 19, 2017


BWW Review: Engrossing and Altogether Too Real SKELETON CREW at Trinity RepBWW Review: Engrossing and Altogether Too Real SKELETON CREW at Trinity Rep
Posted: Oct. 26, 2017


BWW Review: Intricate and Compelling THE DIANA TAPESBWW Review: Intricate and Compelling THE DIANA TAPES
Posted: Jun. 27, 2017


BWW Review: The Gamm's INCOGNITO Will Make Your Head SwimBWW Review: The Gamm's INCOGNITO Will Make Your Head Swim
November 15, 2017

INCOGNITO is an incredibly ambitious play--not in terms of sets, but in terms of what is asks both the actors and the audience to comprehend. Each of the four actors in this production plays multiple characters over the course of four different but tangentially related vignettes that shift rapidly from one to another, and back and forth in time. Sound confusing? Don't worry, it is. The talented actors and director do quite well with a script that seems like a logistical nightmare, but what the playwright favored in cleverness, he neglected in terms of empathy and character development. There are some moments of genuine heart, but ultimately it feels like for the mental gymnastics the play asks of the viewer, the payoff isn't quite enough.

BWW REVIEW: UP CLOSE ON HOPE Has Something For EveryoneBWW REVIEW: UP CLOSE ON HOPE Has Something For Everyone
November 11, 2017

The UP CLOSE ON HOPE productions are always a delightful way to see the range of talents--both in dance and choreography that Festival Ballet brings to the table, and this Fall program continues that standard of excellence. There are several classical ballet pieces, some whimsical and some surreal, but each are delightful in their own way. The best aspect of the UP CLOSE ON HOPE series, is that one never knows what to expect except another fantastic evening.

BWW Review: FUN HOME is a Touching Coming of Age Story with Real HeartBWW Review: FUN HOME is a Touching Coming of Age Story with Real Heart
November 10, 2017

FUN HOME, the Tony Award winning musical based on the graphic novel style memoir by Alison Bechdel initially seems like something that just can't work. The story, framed around her relationship with her father, is about Alison growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, working at the family funeral (fun) home then going off to college, and learning more about her father as she grows up and after he dies rather suddenly. The source material hits every emotion, and the stage production manages to really capture the feel of the book and elevate the emotion in a way that's hard to do just in text. The trouble of adapting a graphic novel too, is that the audience who have read it, already have very specific ideas of how a stage production should look. Great care was evident in the set design and costuming to make sure that the stage show matches the book. Book and lyrics writer Lisa Kron was also very canny to keep the story about the Bechdel family, but hone in on universal themes of growing up, finding independence and starting to see your parents and real people, rather than just as an extension of yourself. This may be the story of one family, but everyone can see a bit of themselves in it too.

BWW Review: Engrossing and Altogether Too Real SKELETON CREW at Trinity RepBWW Review: Engrossing and Altogether Too Real SKELETON CREW at Trinity Rep
October 26, 2017

SKELETON CREW, currently running in rotation with Death of a Salesman at Trinity Rep is a story similar to Death of a Salesman in that it focuses on workers being forced away from their careers. This group works in an auto factory and face plant closure while realizing that all the hard work and years they've put into their jobs can be snatched away with little-to-no-notice. The cast is small and the sets are minimal but the layers in this play are sprawling and completely relatable, even to people who have never been in this kind of work. Everyone has suffered the jolt of unrealized expectations; everyone has had their loyalties and priorities tested and everyone has made mistakes. This may be a play about factory workers on the surface, but it's an incredibly human story of choices, perseverance and relationships.

BWW Review: Trinity Rep's DEATH OF A SALESMAN is Theatre At Its BestBWW Review: Trinity Rep's DEATH OF A SALESMAN is Theatre At Its Best
October 11, 2017

DEATH OF A SALESMAN is a story so human and massive that it's almost impossible to summarize. Like all great drama, every word feels perfectly selected to heighten tension, despair and frustration, but it doesn't leave the audience demoralized or depressed, but rather full of questions and theories and appreciation for the fine craft of storytelling. Trinity Rep does a fantastic job with the source material, and somehow manages to make it seem current, even though it's clearly set in the 1940s. It's startling to be confronted with the fact that the problems of the 40s are still things we are grappling with today, even as we seem to be yearning for those simpler times. This is obviously something director Brian McEleney had in mind, as did Artistic Director Curt Columbus when he titled the fall season The American Dream, Then and Now , and paired DEATH OF A SALESMAN with Skeleton Crew, a current story of another type of displaced worker. This play is a masterpiece for a reason, and seeing a masterpiece performed in the intimate Dowling Theatre is a pure pleasure.

BWW Review: Theatre by the Sea's Oddly Timely THE PRODUCERSBWW Review: Theatre by the Sea's Oddly Timely THE PRODUCERS
August 23, 2017

THE PRODUCERS has the odd pedigree of being a movie (1967) that became a Broadway musical (2001) and then returned to the silver screen as a movie version of the 2001 musical (2005). With this many iterations on offer, it's clear that this is a show with staying power that it beloved by many. The mind of Mel Brooks is a twisted space to spend some time in, but even the subtle cringiness that comes with good satire doesn't last long, as the laughs keep coming. It can be difficult to find humor in mocking nazis so close on the heels of the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, VA, but it's still very satisfying to, probably even more than when the musical premiered. Even so, there is a bit of queasiness that comes from looking at so many swastikas, and it's hard to shake.

BWW Review: BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S Charms at 2nd StoryBWW Review: BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S Charms at 2nd Story
July 17, 2017

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S is a literary and movie classic that always charms, and 2nd Story Theatre's production captures the setting and characters perfectly. If you haven't been to 2nd Story lately, it's worth a visit just to see all of the changes. The sets for this production, by Max Ponticelli, take the previous stadium seating configuration into a theatre in the round with brownstone facades, cobbled stones and a lovely balcony perfect for singing Moon River. Every aspect of this production is so well thought out that you immediately feel like you've slipped into 1940's New York City the second you sit down. There are a couple aspects of this production that dull the magic slightly, but overall, this is charming summer theatre that will also tugs at heartstrings.

BWW Review: Uneven CALENDAR GIRLS at Granite TheatreBWW Review: Uneven CALENDAR GIRLS at Granite Theatre
July 6, 2017

CALENDAR GIRLS is a charming story about some Yorkshire women who think outside the box in order to raise money to celebrate one of their late husbands. The ladies of the Women's Institute sell a calendar every year as a fundraiser, but the calendar is usually pictures of local churches or similar. This time, they decide to get a bit risque', but also run the risk of running afoul of the head of the national Women's Institute. It's a charming play that is genuinely funny, and the cast of the Granite Theatre are clearly enthusiastic, unfortunately the production is marred by numerous technical elements that normally an audience doesn't even notice, but when they do, it creates something that's hard to watch.

BWW Review: Intricate and Compelling THE DIANA TAPESBWW Review: Intricate and Compelling THE DIANA TAPES
June 27, 2017

Diana, Princess of Wales remains a fascinating figure, despite the two decades that have gone by since her death. The relatively new play, THE DIANA TAPES, by James Clements takes an interesting approach to the princess, her motivations and involvement with the tabloid writer Andrew Morton, when he wrote Diana: In Her Owns Words in 1992. Diana was typically portrayed as a beautifully fragile woman with a pure heart who was cuckolded and had a tremendous amount of difficulty in her life, but this play presents her as a canny manipulator using the press to control her own narrative, rather than allowing the royal family's media machine dictate what others think of her. It's a complicated portrait of a public figure who everyone likely has an opinion about, but also an interesting look into the potential problems created for her friends and her biographer when she decides she wants to tell her own story.

BWW Review: No Trouble with Theatre by the Sea's THE MUSIC MANBWW Review: No Trouble with Theatre by the Sea's THE MUSIC MAN
June 26, 2017

One thing that is incredibly reliable about summer musicals at Theatre by the Sea is that they take the classics you know and love, and perform them at a very high level without trying to go outside of the box. Shows like Meredith Willson's THE MUSIC MAN are classics for a reason, and even if the script seems slightly dated at times, it hearkens back to a nostalgia that's warm and fuzzy, where you can just sit back and revel in the great songs without having to think too much. Theatre by the Sea's take on this beloved musical is comforting like a giant vanilla waffle cone on a hot summer's day, but filled with high energy musical numbers, absolutely amazing sets and talented performances. This is musical theatre at its best, and it's a pleasure to experience it.

BWW Review: Haunting THE YELLOW WALLPAPER at OUT LOUD TheatreBWW Review: Haunting THE YELLOW WALLPAPER at OUT LOUD Theatre
June 23, 2017

THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, a short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, was published in 1892. The first-person narrative takes the reader inside the mind of an unnamed suffering from postpartum depression, who has been prescribed The Rest Cure, which calls for her to be confined to a room, alone, to let her mind rest and heal itself. The cure turns out to be worse than the disease, and the seemingly innocuous yellow wallpaper in the room where she lives starts to play tricks on her already fragile mind, eventually leading her into total madness. The short story is all within the woman's mind, but in order to dramatize it, OUT LOUD Theatre has put The Woman center stage in a kind of freak show/mental hospital setting where the audience observes different aspects of her struggle for sanity. Meticulous stage design and costumes managed to convey volumes of information and set the tone perfectly, and the wordless performances are powerful and haunting.

BWW Review: Celebrating Girl Power with BEEHIVE The 60's MusicalBWW Review: Celebrating Girl Power with BEEHIVE The 60's Musical
June 5, 2017

BEEHIVE is a musical so jam-packed with hits that it's almost overwhelming. Though this show is not a traditional musical so much as it's a musical revue, there is a nice loose plot running through the whole production that serves to give the songs political and social context and really drive home how tumultuous the 1960s were and how dramatically different the early part of the decade was from the end of it. The cast of seven women start out as young adults, and then as the time of the songs passes, they grow up, learn more about the world, and channel that knowledge back into the music. It's a fun night of nostalgia, but also one that doesn't completely sugarcoat the problems of the past.

BWW Review: Thunderous RIVERDANCE at PPACBWW Review: Thunderous RIVERDANCE at PPAC
June 5, 2017

RIVERDANCE, the celebration of Irish song and dance phenomenon created by Moya Doherty, composer Bill Whelan and director John McColgan is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an extensive world tour. Though the current iteration is much more stripped down than it was during the glory days, it still packs a wallop with lightning fast feet, boot stomping fiddle and a stage just bursting with talent. The microphones on the stage mean that you can hear every click and tap, and you don't quite realize the intensity of the sound until you realize that your ears are ringing afterward. Long time fans may be a bit somewhat underwhelmed, but despite the more subdued feeling, there is still a joy and electricity in seeing this show live that is thoroughly delightful.

BWW Review: Magical MATILDA: THE MUSICAL at PPACBWW Review: Magical MATILDA: THE MUSICAL at PPAC
May 19, 2017

Adapting a beloved children's classic to Broadway is so fraught with landmines that it's a wonder people even attempt it since it seems like there's no way to possibly make something as fantastic as the original. Good thing Denis Kelly (Book) and Tim Minchin (Music & Lyrics) are braver and more creative than most because they managed to create something that is both brand new and also incredibly faithful to the original. Roald Dahl, author of the book Matilda, has such a unique voice and bizarre ways to torture the children in his stories, usually by placing them at the mercy of moronic adults that one worries anything based on his work coming out post 2010 would be sanitized and inoffensive to the point of being a pale shadow of the original. Well, MATILDA: THE MUSICAL has all the pigtail tossing and forced feeding one requires from the Matilda story, along with some fantastically cheeky songs, and excellent performances all around.

BWW Review: Power to the People of FUENTE OVEJUNABWW Review: Power to the People of FUENTE OVEJUNA
May 16, 2017

Like Sheep to Water, or Fuente Ovejuna, by Lope de Vega, was written in the early 1600s, but has been largely unproduced in the United States. Similar to a Shakespearean history, it's based on actual events that occurred in the Castilian region of Spain in 1476. This production was translated and adapted by Trinity Rep Artistic Director Curt Columbus, and manages to stir up plenty of emotion while injecting much-needed moments of comic relief. While the production, costumes and performances are excellent as they always are at Trinity Rep, the play itself is somewhat underwhelming despite containing classic themes of romance and triumph over oppression.

BWW Review: Emotionally Raw RENT Is Not To Be Missed at PPACBWW Review: Emotionally Raw RENT Is Not To Be Missed at PPAC
April 9, 2017

It's hard to believe that the musical RENT is 20 year old, but watching it in 2017 it remains shockingly relevant, and strangely stuck in time. The story of the bohemian squatters in New York's Alphabet City seems almost like a museum piece about the horrors of AIDS, but at the same time, considering all of the technological developments of the last 20 year, the time of RENT should feel even more foreign. Gay marriage is now the law of the land and AIDS is no longer a death sentence, but many of the other struggles these beloved characters face are still real and universal. RENT is a story of the 90's, but it's also a beautiful story of friendships and how they evolve. The cast of this current touring production certainly have some big shoes to fill, but many of them manage to shake off the albatrosses of previous classic performances and make these roles uniquely their own.

BWW Review: Powerful and Unexpectedly Timely INHERIT THE WINDBWW Review: Powerful and Unexpectedly Timely INHERIT THE WIND
April 4, 2017

Ocean State Theatre Company Artistic Director Amiee Turner introduced Friday night's production of INHERIT THE WIND by saying that she was somewhat surprised and saddened that a play about what's appropriate to teach in public schools, written in 1955 but based on events of the 1920's, is still so timely today. Indeed, this script may be a Baby Boomer, but this production isn't showing its age at all, and is scarily relevant. One of the biggest tells of an older play is often the length, and this script may have been edited down a bit, but the pacing is absolutely perfect. Director Fred Sullivan Jr. fills the moments of brief set changes with appropriate moments of song, which may seem like an odd choice for a play of this nature, but it works perfectly. Some of the songs are in the original script, but a few seem to have been added for this show. The songs also give the actors a chance to trot out their vocal chops including men singing in four part harmony, and violin and ukulele performances.

BWW Review: Festival Ballet's Stunning CARMEN, Up Close on HopeBWW Review: Festival Ballet's Stunning CARMEN, Up Close on Hope
March 27, 2017

CARMEN is a classic story, and one that Festival Ballet has mounted before with great success due to the talents of resident choreographer Viktor Plotinkov and dancers Jennifer Ricci and Mindaugas Bauzys. This time around, the grand production is shrunk down to fit into the black box theatre on Hope Street, which strips away most of the sets and dramatic lighting and leaves the viewer with a production which is minimalist but powerful. The principal dancers rotate each performance, so every one is a unique experience. The Friday night premiere featured Eugenia Zinovieva as Carmen, Alex Lantz as Don Jose and Kirsten Evans as Micaela.

BWW Review: Surreal MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAYBWW Review: Surreal MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY
March 20, 2017

MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY takes place in the near future, and then further into the future, and then way into the future as the world as we knew it becomes increasingly distorted and warped seemingly via a century long game of telephone. It's a play that analyzing will just leave a person more discombobulated, so it's probably best to just strap in any enjoy the ride. Regardless of whether or not you understand it, you will come away thoroughly entertained by the phenomenal cast and skillful music direction of Wilbury favorite David Tessier. The people Wilbury Theatre Group are masters of the strange and unexpected, and even if the audience can't completely grasp what's going on, the cast has everything handled, so that it's best to just sit in their thrall and trust that we're all going to make it out ok.

BWW Review: Unsettling THE NETHER at The GammBWW Review: Unsettling THE NETHER at The Gamm
March 8, 2017

THE NETHER, is a twisted look into a not-so-distant future where the internet becomes an immersive and physical experience. Unexpected reveals keep the plot moving, but the subject matter overall is uncomfortable to say the least. Playwright Jennifer Haley manages to avoid shock for the sake of shock, but this production certainly raises some thorny ethical dilemmas. Director Judith Swift manages to get a little close to taking things too far, but then pull back at the last second leaving the audience grappling with who the real monsters are.



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