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 how to find and use information. She is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association 2016-present.


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: ANASTASIA Sparkles at Providence Performing Arts CenterBWW Review: ANASTASIA Sparkles at Providence Performing Arts Center
Posted: Nov. 28, 2018


BWW Review: Another Fantastic UP CLOSE ON HOPE at Festival BalletBWW Review: Another Fantastic UP CLOSE ON HOPE at Festival Ballet
Posted: Nov. 12, 2018


BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Charms Again at Trinity RepBWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Charms Again at Trinity Rep
Posted: Nov. 14, 2018


BWW Review: The Gamm's GLORIA Plays With Notions of Comedy and TragedyBWW Review: The Gamm's GLORIA Plays With Notions of Comedy and Tragedy
Posted: Nov. 28, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Highs and Lows at THE BODYGUARD: THE MUSICALBWW Review: Highs and Lows at THE BODYGUARD: THE MUSICAL
Posted: Jan. 10, 2018


BWW Review: Trinity Rep's World Premiere INTO THE BREECHES is an Absolute DelightBWW Review: Trinity Rep's World Premiere INTO THE BREECHES is an Absolute Delight
Posted: Feb. 2, 2018


BWW Review: CHICAGO Sizzles at Theatre by the SeaBWW Review: CHICAGO Sizzles at Theatre by the Sea
Posted: Aug. 20, 2018


BWW Review: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Delights at Burbage Theatre CompanyBWW Review: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Delights at Burbage Theatre Company
Posted: Aug. 27, 2018


BWW Review: UNCLE VANYA at The Gamm is Close to PerfectionBWW Review: UNCLE VANYA at The Gamm is Close to Perfection
Posted: Jan. 23, 2018


BWW Review: Technically Stunning MISS SAIGON at PPACBWW Review: Technically Stunning MISS SAIGON at PPAC
Posted: Sep. 30, 2018


BWW Review: ANASTASIA Sparkles at Providence Performing Arts CenterBWW Review: ANASTASIA Sparkles at Providence Performing Arts Center
Posted: Nov. 28, 2018


BWW Review: ANASTASIA Sparkles at Providence Performing Arts CenterBWW Review: ANASTASIA Sparkles at Providence Performing Arts Center
November 28, 2018

ANASTASIA, based on the 1997 animated musical film of the same name, tells the tale of the supposed daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, who was alleged to have escaped her family's execution. Though the plot is based on historical events, it's not necessarily historically accurate, preferring instead to gloss over the larger events and focus on the people like the Dowager Empress, who escaped the Russian Revolution and is alive in Paris, and Anya, the young girl who may be the lost princess. This romantic plot glosses over the nuances of Russian history, and focusing on one girl with no memory, and who she actually might be, and she happens to live in Leningrad. That's not to say this is all fluff, there are some stunning visuals that hint at the violence of the revolution. This show has clearly tried to appeal to both children and adults, and it's walked that line very well.

BWW Review: The Gamm's GLORIA Plays With Notions of Comedy and TragedyBWW Review: The Gamm's GLORIA Plays With Notions of Comedy and Tragedy
November 28, 2018

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins seems like a man who likes to make theatre audiences uncomfortable, and make them question their most basic reactions. Rhode Islanders will be familiar with his play Appropriate, which was at Trinity Rep in 2016, and may have left many scratching their heads in a 'what did I just watch?' way. GLORIA, playing through December 16 at the Gamm is a similar head scratcher, but is remarkably well-executed with a strong cast and excellent direction. The mental gymnastics this play asks of the audience are confounding, and there are plenty of moments where the script feels manipulative, but the end result is satisfyingly perplexing in a way that feels new.

BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Charms Again at Trinity RepBWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL Charms Again at Trinity Rep
November 14, 2018

Trinity Rep's annual A CHRISTMAS CAROL production is always delightful in new and exciting ways. This year, they've partnered with 56 choirs from Rhode Island (and a few from Massachusetts) to make each show unique and feature even more local talent. This is a lovely addition to the classic story, and another way that Trinity manages to give this play something new year after year. Set in a classic Victorian backdrop, this year's production features lots of singing and dancing, and some pretty fantastic effects and performances.

BWW Review: Another Fantastic UP CLOSE ON HOPE at Festival BalletBWW Review: Another Fantastic UP CLOSE ON HOPE at Festival Ballet
November 12, 2018

Festival Ballet's UP CLOSE ON HOPE series is always an opportunity for the company to branch out from the classical ballet most are familiar with to really show the range and talent of the dancers and choreographers. This fall program features five world premiere pieces largely in a more modern style that showcase some outstanding choreography by resident choreographer Viktor Plotnikov and a star making performance by dancer Tegan Rich. It's a night of terrific performances, and unexpected delights.

BWW Review: THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA Kicks Off The Gamm's New SeasonBWW Review: THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA Kicks Off The Gamm's New Season
October 17, 2018

THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA is among Tennessee Williams' least-know plays, but still one that resulted in over 300 performances on Broadway and a 1964 film version starring Richard Burton and directed by John Huston. Unlike Williams' more famous works, it's likely that audiences don't know much about this play going into it, and while there are some interesting characters and poignant lines, it becomes easy to see why this play is not often produced. The double whammy of a tedious and heavy-handed script paired with performances that beg for more nuance leave this first production in The Gamm's new Warwick location an unfortunate slog.

BWW Review: Flirty Fun at Trinity Rep's PRIDE AND PREJUDICEBWW Review: Flirty Fun at Trinity Rep's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
October 9, 2018

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE has been adapted over and over (once with zombies!) because it's a classic tale of manners, social mores, love and determination. The version currently playing at Trinity Rep was adapted by Kate Hamill who is known for her contemporary adaptations of classic works. Unfortunately, in the case of this production, the excellent cast and cheeky adaptation were marred by clunky staging and what seemed like an unwillingness to fully commit to to the contemporary premise. Interesting double casting makes the show fun and unexpected in many ways, but also causes the stage to be set up in a way that doesn't do the audience any favors. True devotees of Pride and Prejudice will no doubt find much to love with the exceptional cast, but some of us may just be underwhelmed.

BWW Review: Technically Stunning MISS SAIGON at PPACBWW Review: Technically Stunning MISS SAIGON at PPAC
September 30, 2018

MISS SAIGON, the tragic love story of a Vietnamese woman who falls in love with an American GI during the Vietnam War, is certainly not short on drama. Based on Puccini's Madame Butterfly, this retelling focuses both on the love affair between the two main characters, but also the horror of war and desperate hope to better one's circumstances. This is one of the most elaborate sets this reviewer has ever seen, and the drama almost takes a backseat to the phenomenal technical and sound design. This new tour, from the 2017 revival, features some outstanding vocal performances, but also doesn't try to hide away or reconcile previously controversial content.

BWW Review: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Delights at Burbage Theatre CompanyBWW Review: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Delights at Burbage Theatre Company
August 27, 2018

It may seem a bit odd to base a play on a movie, but when one considers that SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE was co-written by Tom Stoppard and won him an Academy Award, it becomes a no-brainer. Under the capable direction of Jeff Church this witty and heart-warming story comes alive in a new way that will make you laugh out loud and also feel awfully smart. The script is chock full of references to other Shakespeare plays/themes and well-known writers of the day, then layered with a tale of two star-crossed lovers portraying star crossed lovers. Set in the round, this production hits all the right notes and is cerebral, fun and perfectly cast.

BWW Review: CHICAGO Sizzles at Theatre by the SeaBWW Review: CHICAGO Sizzles at Theatre by the Sea
August 20, 2018

The Merry Murderesses of Cook County have set up in South County Rhode Island to close out Theatre By the Sea's 85th season with a bang. This production is stacked with talent, as well as the outstanding songs and dance numbers one can rely on. Even as the days are (finally) getting a bit cooler, CHICAGO is keeping things hot right into September.

BWW Review: Well Executed CONSTELLATIONS at Epic Theatre CompanyBWW Review: Well Executed CONSTELLATIONS at Epic Theatre Company
July 16, 2018

Playwright Nick Payne is someone who asks a lot of his audience. On its surface, CONSTELLATIONS is the story of the relationship between Marianne and Roland, in execution though, the play examines every possible iteration of that relationship a bit like if the movie Sliding Doors had 50 Gwyneths in it. The requires the two actors in this 75 minute play to become multiple different versions of their character with just a brief pause and audio signal to the audience that things are changing. Thankfully, Epic Theatre regulars Hannah Lum and Christopher Crider-Plonka are up for the challenge and manage to create what feels like a masterclass in character creation. The wonderfully spare set design by Jillian Eddy serves the story and creates visual interest without distracting from the drama and humor of the love story.

BWW Review: Entertaining but Staid MAMMA MIA! At Theatre by The SeaBWW Review: Entertaining but Staid MAMMA MIA! At Theatre by The Sea
July 2, 2018

If you take a second to think about it, MAMMA MIA is a very strange musical. Based on the musical catalog of Swedish superstars ABBA, it takes place on a Greek island where nearly everyone is American. Classic ABBA hits (with minor lyrical changes) are shoehorned into a skimpy plot, but somehow, probably since this show doesn't take itself too seriously, it all works. Theatre by The Sea in summer is the perfect venue for a show like this, especially since the audience is likely to also be dressed in the type of summer resort-wear the cast is also wearing. The whole vibe is a bit like a fancy summer camp with really good singers. The only real hiccup with this production, oddly, is the direction and choreography of TBTS's Artistic Director Kevin P. Hill. Hill has directed many exceptional shows over the years (Sister Act, The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz), but the blocking and lack of movement in key moments of Mamma Mia caused the show to drag in certain spots.

BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! is Something Absolutely WonderfulBWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! is Something Absolutely Wonderful
May 17, 2018

If you take a step back and really think about it, musical theatre is pretty absurd. Actors stop talking and burst into elaborate song and dance numbers, which are often great to watch, but you feel like if aliens landed on Broadway and went to a show, they would have a very strange idea of what human beings are like. That's just one of myriad themes in SOMETHING ROTTEN. Not the part about aliens, but this show is more of a snarky love letter to musical theatre that also happens to contain insanely great song and dance numbers, as well as a few excellent dick jokes. It's something for everyone, and it's a show so layered with inside jokes that it begs to be watched over and over again.

BWW Review: LIFE SUCKS at Epic Theatre, Doesn't SuckBWW Review: LIFE SUCKS at Epic Theatre, Doesn't Suck
May 7, 2018

It probably takes a certain level of masochism to spend part of a weekend at a play called LIFE SUCKS, but it's (probably) been proven that watching the struggles of other people makes us feel better about our own circumstances. In the case of this play, viewers can feel doubly smug because it's based on Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, and therefore counts as high culture. Playwright Aaron Posner is making a career of turning the classics on their head--Wilbury Theatre company recently produced Stupid F%&*ng Bird, a play of his based on The Seagull, and there is a lot in the production to enjoy and identify with, even for those not intimately familiar with the source material.

BWW Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE IN CONCERT is a Magical Night of DelightsBWW Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE IN CONCERT is a Magical Night of Delights
May 1, 2018

Music is such an essential element of a movie watching experience, but like the involuntary act of breathing, it often gets taken for granted. This fantastic concert series pairs the much-beloved first Harry Potter film with the Rhode Island Symphony Orchestra in a live experience that is truly magical. Though the film is 17 years old, it remains a timeless treasure for all ages, and getting to experience it in the awesome setting of the Providence Performing Arts Center is a fantastic opportunity all on its own. The true delight of the evening though is getting to witness the outstanding musicianship (and sheer numbers) of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Shih-Hung Young scoring the film live as the audience watches. Any stuffy ideas one may have about a night at the orchestra go out the window, as the musicians play for three straight hours without a single hiccup.

BWW Review: Trinity Rep's NATIVE GARDENS Unpacks the Complicated World of Neighbors and FencesBWW Review: Trinity Rep's NATIVE GARDENS Unpacks the Complicated World of Neighbors and Fences
April 10, 2018

What do you do when you finally buy your dream house and then immediately run into issues with the next-door neighbors? On the surface, that's essentially what Native Gardens is about, but as the plot starts to develop, issues of age, race, gender, immigration, privilege, environmentalism, class, heritage and more start to percolate to the surface in what began as a feud about a fence. Despite all those heavy topics, it's a comedy, and a genuinely hilarious one at that. Smart comedies like this serve to shine a light on genuine issues without becoming didactic and preachy, and all the characters get a chance to have their say, while also getting contradicted by someone else.

BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS S'Wonderful Spectacular of Dance and SongBWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS S'Wonderful Spectacular of Dance and Song
March 16, 2018

The current touring production of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is an absolutely resplendent musical from start to finish. Heavy on the dance and with stunning sets, this show is a feast for the senses that will have your toes tapping and fill your heart with joy.

BWW Review: The Gamm's A HUMAN BEING DIED THAT NIGHT Can't Quite ConnectBWW Review: The Gamm's A HUMAN BEING DIED THAT NIGHT Can't Quite Connect
March 14, 2018

The Gamm's current production A HUMAN BEING DIED THAT NIGHT, is a play written by Nicholas Wright in 2013 based on the book of the same name by Dr. Pumala Gobodo-Madikizela about her time on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which began in 1995 after the fall of apartheid. It's an incredibly interesting premise that deals with complex political and racial issues that should be both explored and remembered, but as a dramatic production, it falls unfortunately flat due to a number of factors both in the writing and the production of the play.

BWW Review: Wilbury Theatre Group's THE FLICK is Fun and UnexpectedBWW Review: Wilbury Theatre Group's THE FLICK is Fun and Unexpected
March 13, 2018

Ever wonder what movie theatre employees do after the projector is shut down for the night? Well, there's a lot of sweeping, but there's also the perfect atmosphere for those types of relationships that develop when you're in your 20s working a job that is neither intellectually stimulating, nor likely to last past a certain stage in the inevitable slog toward adulthood. THE FLICK captures that sweet spot of drama that's not life or death; romances that seem to be based more on proximity than actual feelings, but still feel VERY IMPORTANT; and trying to learn your role in a system that's ever changing. On its surface, the tension in this play seems a bit low-stakes, but the talented cast managed to win our hearts and take the audience back to a simpler time when everything is ahead of you, but the big picture is a bit scary, so you focus instead on the smaller, more manageable things.

BWW Review: Another Stunning UP CLOSE ON HOPE from Festival Ballet ProvidenceBWW Review: Another Stunning UP CLOSE ON HOPE from Festival Ballet Providence
March 12, 2018

Festival Ballet's Spring offering of their Up Close on Hope series offers a charming mix of old favorites and exciting new works. There are two world premiere pieces in this selection, as well as a new interpretation of a world premiere from two years ago.

BWW Review: Trinity Rep's World Premiere INTO THE BREECHES is an Absolute DelightBWW Review: Trinity Rep's World Premiere INTO THE BREECHES is an Absolute Delight
February 2, 2018

Playwright George Brant seems to have a strange hold on the state of Rhode Island. INTO THE BREECHES is the third play of his to be produced locally in four years, and this one was commissioned by Trinity Rep, and takes place in Providence. While it's always fun to hear places you know like Woonsocket and Federal Hill name checked, this play is also so lovingly and obviously written for Trinity's company of actors, that it almost feels familiar. The play itself is thought-provoking and heartwarming, and would likely be good on any stage, but these performances click so perfectly that the whole experience is like a breath of fresh air that will leave one smiling like a dope at the end.



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