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Jan Nargi

Jan Nargi

Jan Nargi is owner and creative director of JMN Publications, a marketing and public relations firm based in Boston, Mass. She provides consultation, communications, and writing services to clients in the health care, entertainment, financial, retail, manufacturing, non-profit, and sports industries. As a freelance writer, Jan has had hundreds of articles published in business and high-tech magazines. Theatrically, she has reviewed, written, directed, acted, produced, sung, danced, managed publicity, pounded nails, and designed lighting and sets. Jan has even acted in the occasional B-movie, playing a zombie, a psycho shrink, and a clueless news reporter. You may visit her on the web at


BWW Review: MEAN GIRLS at Citizens Bank Opera House
February 9, 2020

With friends like The Plastics, who needs enemies? That's the basic premise for the surprisingly fresh and sometimes scathingly funny high school musical MEAN GIRLS written by Emmy Award winner Tina Fey based on her 2004 hit film. Treading the familiar teen angst territory of cafeterias, locker rooms, gymnasiums and shopping malls, Fey puts her characteristically satirical spin on the tensions between the cool kids, the athletes, the math wizards and theater nerds all vying for allegiance from Cady, an innocent newly arrived from the African savanna where her parents worked and home schooled her with only animals for companions.

BWW Review: A BRONX TALE at Hanover Theatre In Worcester, MA
January 19, 2020

If you like your coming-of-age-on-the-mean-streets stories served with an extra side of red sauce, then Chazz Palminteri's semi-autobiographical A BRONX TALE is for you. Featuring characters with names like Rudy the Voice, Eddie Mush, Jojo the Whale and Frankie Coffeecake, this musical adaptation of Palminteri's acclaimed movie, later made into a one-man Broadway play in which Palminteri also starred, pits the young Calogero (Trey Murphy) in a tug of war between his upstanding blue collar Dad, Lorenzo (American Idol winner Nick Fradiani), and the flashy mob boss Sonny (Jeff Brooks) whom the newly dubbed a?oeCa?? idolizes.

BWW Review: COME FROM AWAY Soars at Boston's Opera House
November 15, 2019

COME FROM AWAY, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical warming Boston audiences now through November 17, is just the uplifting human tonic we need during these difficult and divided times. Charming, witty, heart-breaking but ultimately inspiring, COME FROM AWAY is the remarkable story of the 9000 Newfoundlanders who welcomed 7000 strangers with open hearts and open arms when 38 planes from around the globe were suddenly diverted to their airport in Gander on September 11, 2001. The opening number is a rousing Celtic-influenced a?oeWelcome to the Rock,a?? and it couldn't be a more apt introduction to the people, the spirit, and the comfort that greeted terrified passengers from 95 different countries stranded a?oein the middle of nowherea?? on their way from one corner of the world to another.

BWW Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Hanover Theatre In Worcester, MA
November 2, 2019

It turns out that Halloween weekend is a great time to see THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, the hilarious Tony Award-winning Broadway comedy that is a virtual bag full of tricks and treats. A madcap play-within-a-play that gives off a distinct a?oehaunted manora?? vibe, this murder mystery farce (ending its very limited run at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester with two shows on Sunday, November 3) is every small theater company's nightmare of wobbly sets, missing props and malapropisms, miscues and missed cues, and reticent understudies who eventually can't get enough of the limelight.

BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL at Hanover Theatre In Worcester, MA
September 28, 2019

While the Earth didn't exactly move during the national tour stop of BEAUTIFUL at the Hanover Theater in Worcester this week, this more successful than most biographical jukebox musical did set off an occasional temblor. No surprise, those moments came when the show's legendary subject, Carole King, was channeled by her doppelganger Kennedy Caughell alone at the piano.

BWW Review: CHOIR BOY IS PITCH PERFECT at SpeakEasy Stage In Boston
September 23, 2019

Just as the centuries-old spirituals sung by American slaves created community and gave voice to the thoughts and emotions they were forced to repress, so too the music in CHOIR BOY serves to give hope and healing to the young men struggling to find and express their true identities at a boarding school designed to shape them into society's culturally approved version of a?oestrong, ethical black men.a?? As classroom students, they must live up to the high standards set by the Headmaster and a strict 50-year honor code. As members of the school's acclaimed choir, they are set free when they sing.

BWW Review: THE PURISTS at Huntington Theatre Company In Boston
September 19, 2019

There's more gray than black and white in the scintillating new play THE PURISTS written by Dan McCabe and directed by Billy Porter. Receiving its rollicking world premiere at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, this rap versus Broadway battle for musical purity between an ex-rapper, a hip-hop DJ and a showtunes aficionado finds common ground among this disparate group of stoop dwellers and thus throws staunchly held beliefs about music, self, and others into serious question.

September 3, 2019

Divorced. Beheaded. Died. Divorced. Beheaded. Survived. That's how the six wives of Henry VIII snidely introduce themselves in a?oeEx-Wives,a?? the rocking opening number of the rollicking new 80-minute musical concert SIX by newcomers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. Fusing patriarchal history from 500 years ago with the authority of 21st century female empowerment, SIX wrests common folklore away from the king and creates a new narrative told from the wives' points of view. The result is a raucous, joyous, and at times poignant celebration of herstory that unites rather than divides the queens.

BWW Review: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at Ogunquit Playhouse
August 27, 2019

Whether you know 'whodunnit' or not, you're bound to enjoy this rollicking MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS adapted by Ken Ludwig at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Fans of Agatha Christie, or murder mysteries in general, will find plenty of false identities, red herrings and over-the-top suspense to keep them guessing till the infamous mustached detective Hercule Poirot (a pitch-perfect Steven Rattazzi) inevitably solves the crime.

August 21, 2019

Sometimes all you need to lift your spirits is a good old-fashioned star-driven musical comedy, and, boy, does the national tour of HELLO, DOLLY! with Betty Buckley deliver. Keeping all of the Tony Award-winning revival's energy and joyful spirit intact, this high-stepping celebration of life, love and second chances grabs the audience's heart with the first notes of the overture and never lets go till the final bow.

BWW Review: CABARET at Ogunquit Playhouse
August 2, 2019

There's no doubt that dark times are ahead for the people of Berlin in this faithful recreation of the tawdry 1998 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of CABARET. Using the original Broadway sets by Robert Brill and costumes by William Ivey Long, this Ogunquit Playhouse version, running now through August 10, is rough, tough and gritty, taking the implied decadence and hedonism of pre-World War II Germany and attaching it blatantly to every denizen of the speakeasy known as the Kit Kat Klub.

July 20, 2019

How much one enjoys THE LIGHTNING THIEF, The Percy Jackson Musical, currently at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston through July 28, may correlate directly with one's familiarity with the source material. On opening night, the large number of teens and tweens in the audience - who were clearly anticipating the appearance of every monster, plot twist and special effect - were laughing, cheering and clapping with unbridled vigor. However, the adults whom I queried at intermission, who had no such prior exposure to the immensely popular Rick Riordan children's book series that mashes up teen angst with Greek mythology, were considerably less enthralled.

BWW Review: DEAR EVAN HANSEN Taps Into Teen Loneliness And Despair But Delivers Hope At Boston Opera House
July 18, 2019

DEAR EVAN HANSEN, the 2017 Tony Award-winning musical currently at the Boston Opera House through August 4, is that rare teen angst story that neither trivializes nor over dramatizes the challenges of coming of age in modern America. Rather, this at times funny, at times penetrating, and always tender exploration of alienated youth draws us deeply into the world of an anxious young man who feels like he's forever on the outside looking in.

BWW REVIEW: Testosterone Fuels Riveting TAP DOGS at Hanover Theatre in Worcester
April 12, 2019

There are times when the percussion in TAP DOGS, the testosterone-fueled tap dance extravaganza now at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester through April 14, is so penetrating that your diaphragm literally pulses in rhythm to the beat. A workman-themed sound and dance performance that seems like the love child of STOMP and BLUE MAN GROUP, TAP DOGS combines the athleticism of urban gladiators with the precision of six-part (and 12-footed) harmony to deliver a thrilling 75 minutes of non-stop tap invention.

BWW REVIEW: MOULIN ROUGE Spins Wildly At Boston's Restored Emerson Colonial
August 5, 2018

The opulent, newly restored Emerson Colonial, the historic crown jewel among Boston's glittering theatrical houses, is the perfect setting for the equally opulent but imperfect stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's anachronistic 2001 movie musical MOULIN ROUGE. Originally opened in 1900, the ornately adorned gilt and red velvet theater is now celebrating its grand re-opening with a glitzy, gaudy pre-Broadway tryout of a mash-up of 1900 Bohemian Paris and a contemporary jukebox of pop rock, techno, disco and punk music. The result is a whirling dervish of sights and sounds designed more for effect than affect. The audience, obviously familiar with and adoring of the original movie, rapturously cheers on cue. But for those seeking a more nostalgic emotional connection to the material, this MOULIN ROUGE may seem more rock concert than musical theater.

BWW REVIEW: ALADDIN Is a Manic Ride on Disney's Magic Carpet
July 21, 2018

The mania with which the late Robin Williams brilliantly voiced the Genie in the 1992 Disney animated film ALADDIN infuses every inch of Casey Nicholaw's high-octane Broadway musical production. Now on tour at the Boston Opera House through August 5, ALADDIN is a gilt-edged treasure chest of sensory overload that unabashedly begs for cheers - and gets them - throughout its two-and-a-half hour running time.

May 26, 2018

There's a lot to digest in the American Repertory Theater (ART) premiere of the new musical JAGGED LITTLE PILL, billed as a story of 'pain, healing, and empowerment' based on Alanis Morissette's landmark rock album of the same name. Directed and choreographed - sometimes too aggressively - by Diane Paulus and Sidi Larbi, this exploration of a suburban Connecticut family's extensive sturm und drang packs a checklist of contemporary issues into one explosive package.

BWW REVIEW: SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE Is Hot, Hot, Hot in Ogunquit's Off-Broadway Preview
May 25, 2018

An unequivocal hit is currently heating up the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine in preparation for its transfer Off-Broadway to Stage 42 in NYC July 6. Featuring a veritable goldmine of 40, count 'em, rock 'n' roll, blues, and R&B classics, SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE: The Songs of Lieber and Stoller is a stunning revival of the landmark musical revue that makes all other juke box musicals pale by comparison.

BWW REVIEW: ALLEGIANCE Is an Earnest Celebration of Resilience and Redemption
May 25, 2018

FDR called the attack on Pearl Harbor "a day that will live in infamy." Equally ignominious, though, was his knee-jerk response: the decision to authorize the incarceration of 110,000 Japanese Americans in internment camps - without cause, trials, or hearings - for close to the duration of WWII. The Broadway musical ALLEGIANCE, championed by actor/activist George Takei and based on his true life experiences, attempts to shed light on that particularly ugly chapter in American history precisely at a time when a new generation of immigrants is being persecuted, detained and deported. In its New England regional premiere at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston, that mission is only partially achieved.

BWW REVIEW: BRIGHT STAR Flickers at Hanover Theatre in Worcester
April 16, 2018

In a brief engagement at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, Mass. (which ended this Sunday), the national tour of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's southern musical BRIGHT STAR flickers between down-home country charm and maudlin storytelling. Strong performances and a kickin' on-stage bluegrass band, though, manage to knock off the tarnish of this tepid tale of hope and redemption to deliver an uplifting message in the end.