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Erica Cataldi-Roberts

Erica Cataldi-Roberts

A life-long Rhode Islander, Erica has been an avid theatre-goer since being taken to children's shows at the Warwick Musical Theatre. She is also an academic librarian in Boston, an occasional ballet dancer, and is working on a series of novels about the lives of people in the performing arts. Follow her on Twitter: @FrontCenterECR


Review: THE HUMANS at Wilbury Theatre Group
November 20, 2022

What did our critic think of THE HUMANS at Wilbury Theatre Group?

November 10, 2022

What did our critic think of SWEAT at THE GAMM THEATRE? For the better part of the last 40 years, things have been a nightmare for the American working class, especially across the so called 'rust belt' where factories once thrived and have now fallen silent and abandoned. In SWEAT, Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer prize winning play, the playwright takes us directly into that world with a piercing look at small town America and the destruction wrought in those communities by de-industrialization, racism, violence, and addiction.

BWW Review: Radiant NATASHA, PIERRE, & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 At Wilbury Theatre Group
May 31, 2022

When Dave Malloy’s NATASHA, PIERRE, & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 closed on Broadway in late 2017, fans of the show (myself included) lamented when, or if, it would be possible to see any iteration of this show again. Thanks to the Wilbury Theatre Group, our hopes have been answered! Known for its eclectic score, ranging through music styles from electronic dance music to folk, GREAT COMET featured a 360 degree, interactive experience no matter where one sat in the theatre. And, with a cast who could act, sing, and play instruments, it seemed unlikely that the show would ever have legs in a regional setting. Fortunately, the Wilbury Theatre Group is more than up to the challenge.

BWW Review: Brilliant OKLAHOMA! at the Providence Performing Arts Center
March 24, 2022

Warning: this is not your traditional version of OKLAHOMA!, and good riddance. Without changing a word of the book or lyrics, director Daniel Fish has created a revival of the 1943 musical that highlights different aspects of the material simply by changing the tone in which scenes are presented. The story has always been one of a community banding together against an outsider, but that aspect of the show is usually buried in favor of the sunnier, romantic elements of the plot. Not so this time. While the show loses some of its oomph by no longer being presented in the round, as it was during its run on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre, there is still plenty to like even when presented in a traditional space like the Providence Performing Arts Center’s.

BWW Review: Festival Ballet Providence's UP CLOSE ON HOPE Returns
February 19, 2022

Festival Ballet Providence’s popular UP CLOSE ON HOPE series returns to their black box theatre. This innovative program is comprised of four unrelated pieces – two contemporary, one neoclassical, and one romantic, two of which are world-premieres. These shows are the perfect way for audiences to experience different styles of dance, and that is certainly true with this specific line-up.

BWW Review: Triumphant JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at the Providence Performing Arts Center
January 28, 2022

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR landed at the Providence Performing Arts Center this week as part of its 50th anniversary tour, and the show does not disappoint. Originally scheduled to visit Providence in 2020, the tour was cut short and delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, however, its return was triumphant and well worth the wait. The familiar tale, set against the final weeks of the life of Jesus Christ and told through the eyes of Judas, features some modern design embellishments that succeed in updating the look of the show without altering the outstanding original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, all while allowing the actors’ performances to shine.

December 19, 2021

Festival Ballet Providence’s new version of THE NUTCRACKER contains new sets, new costumes, new roles, new choreography, and even a new venue, but retains its charm while being exactly the shake-up this Rhode Island tradition needed.

BWW Review: HAMILTON Returns to the Providence Performing Arts Center
December 2, 2021

In a recent interview with CNBC, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the highly acclaimed composer and lyricist of HAMILTON, stated how the live show is as popular as ever due to the filmed stage version that has been available on Disney+ since July 2020. That certainly seemed to be true on Wednesday evening, based on the nearly full Providence Performing Arts Center auditorium and enthusiastic response of the audience as Hamilton’s Philip Tour began its approximate 2-week stint in Rhode Island.

BWW Review: Trinity Rep's Joyous Return to Live Theatre with A CHRISTMAS CAROL
November 12, 2021

This year marks not only Trinity Repertory Company’s 45th annual production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, but also the company’s return to live theatre after nearly two years - and what a return it is! This production feels particularly joyous, and, as directed by resident company member Joe Wilson, Jr., celebrates community, culture, and ritual with the unique flair Trinity Rep is known for.

October 6, 2021

A LIE AGREED UPON is an excellent rewrite of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play, AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, and the performances are more than equal to the bold material.

BWW Review: ASSASSINS at The Gamm Theatre Hits the Mark
March 10, 2020

ASSASSINS, the 1990 Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman show featuring the stories of nine successful and would-be presidential assassins, may seem like an odd choice of subject for a musical, particularly as the first musical in the Gamm Theatre's 35 season history. However, with inventive staging and a top-notch cast guided by artistic director Tony Estrella, this selection pays off.

BWW Review: Absolutely Magical ALADDIN at the Providence Performing Arts Center
November 1, 2019

Nearly six years after opening on Broadway and 27 years after appearing as a beloved animated Disney film, the national touring cast of the musical ALADDIN soars into the Providence Performing Arts Center. This version of the story contains many callbacks to the original 1992 film, but also adds many new elements, such as new songs, new characters, and even a new spin on the Genie. No matter one's familiarity with the source material, audience goers are in for a flashy and thoroughly entertaining evening, suitable for adults and children alike.

BWW Review: JQA at The Gamm Theatre
October 30, 2019

When it comes to United States history, it can be easy to gloss over the period between the early 1800s to the cusp of the Civil War. The generation who lived during this forgotten era, however, faced no less tumultuous times than we do in modern times. Aaron Posner's play, JQA, specifically looks at this time period through the eyes of John Quincy Adams, who, as the son of founding father John Adams, and later a statesman in his own right, was uniquely poised to survey the era's ups and downs. Through the use of fictionalized encounters with some of America's most dynamic figures, the political and personal issues raised in JQA are as relevant now as they've ever been.

BWW Review: Fantastic WAITING FOR GODOT at The Wilbury Theatre Group
October 6, 2019

Samuel Beckett's classic play, WAITING FOR GODOT, opens the Wilbury Theatre Group's 2019/2020 Main Series with a production that gets to the heart of the text a?" at equal turns funny, philosophic, and sad.

BWW Review: Captivating QUEEN MARGARET at Head Trick Theatre
July 14, 2019

Head Trick Theatre opens their 2019-2020 season, "In War With Time," with Jennifer Dick's small cast adaptation of the play QUEEN MARGARET, which takes a closer look at Margaret of Anjou. A character in several of Shakespeare's "history plays," she is finally given her time in the spotlight, with a fuller look at her role in the 15th century War of the Roses. The audience is left to decide whether she is a hero or a villain.

BWW Review: DADA WOOF PAPA HOT at Epic Theatre Company
June 9, 2019

DADA WOOF PAPA HOT, the 2015 play by Peter Parnell, attempts to grapple with the complications gay couples may face after gaining marriage equality, and whether it's possible to avoid some of the same traps that straight couples also face. Epic Theatre Company's production, directed by Theodore Clement (previously the Artistic Director of Counter-Productions Theatre Company) is well-cast and makes some interesting choices, but is sometimes hampered by the source material itself.

BWW Review: FUN HOME at The Wilbury Theatre Group
May 26, 2019

The Wilbury Theatre Group is closing out their 2018-2019 main series season with FUN HOME, the musical based on the highly acclaimed 2006 graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. Fun Home, directed here by Josh Short, deals with both Bechdel's coming of age, as well as her coming out, but is as much her entire family's story than just hers alone.

BWW Review: Twisty GIDION'S KNOT at Counter-Productions Theatre Company
May 20, 2019

Counter-Productions Theatre Company's GIDION'S KNOT may run at just about an hour in length, but their effective production of this one-act play, directed by Kira Hawkridge, leaves the audience with plenty to mull over.

BWW Review: JERSEY BOYS at the Providence Performing Arts Center
May 11, 2019

As an older Millennial, songs by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons have always been part of the landscape during my lifetime, on the radio, in stores, etc. But who were the men behind the music? Enter JERSEY BOYS, subtitled 'The Story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons' which is exactly that, portraying the rise, success, and eventual decline of the popular 1960s group.

BWW Review: Fantastic and Fantastical GOBLIN MARKET at Head Trick Theatre
March 31, 2019

Head Trick Theatre closes out their spectacular 2018-2019 season with the musical GOBLIN MARKET, directed by Rebecca Maxfield. Based on the 19th century poem by Christina Rossetti, the verses have been adapted for the stage by Polly Pen and Peggy Harmon.