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Nancy Grossman

Nancy Grossman

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 Nancy is a member of the Boston Theater Critics Association, the organization which bestows the annual Elliot Norton Awards which honor the outstanding achievements of the Boston theater community, and she formerly served on the Executive Board of the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE). Nancy is an alumna of Syracuse University, has a graduate degree from Boston University, and is a retired Probation Officer-in-Charge in the Massachusetts Trial Court system.



Review: WEST SIDE STORY: You've got to be taught
July 11, 2022

What did our critic think of WEST SIDE STORY at Reagle Music Theatre Of Greater Boston: There's a new spring in the step of Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston in Waltham. Award-winning director and choreographer Rachel Bertone takes over as Artistic Director and opens the season with WEST SIDE STORY, with Dan Rodriguez by her side as music director.

BWW Review: THE CONJURORS' CLUB: Magic in Cyberspace
March 17, 2021

THE CONJURORS' CLUB is an immersive virtual experience in which the audience gets to see their fellow patrons on the zoom screen, try their hand at sleight of hand, and have a close-up view of the tricks and illusions as the magicians ply their trade live. It may be the best opportunity you could ever have to “catch” how they do it, but here’s the one spoiler in my review: don’t count on it.

BWW Review: Arlekin Players' STATE VS NATASHA BANINA: Live Theater on Zoom
May 18, 2020

Fresh on the heels of a solid showing at the virtual 38th Annual Elliot Norton Awards, where the Boston Theater Critics Association recognized their achievements during the abbreviated 2019-2020 season with ten nominations and four wins, the Arlekin Players Theatre boldly launches a new production in cyberspace. STATE VS NATASHA BANINA is a live, interactive theater art experiment which manages to engage the audience as a collective and unified body, thanks to creative direction by Igor Golyak and Darya Denisova's uncanny portrayal of the adolescent title character.

BWW Review: THE CHILDREN: Cleaning Up Our Own Mess
March 3, 2020

The Boston premiere of Lucy Kirkwood's 2018 Tony Award-nominated play THE CHILDREN at SpeakEasy Stage Company is an affecting drama, thanks to a combination of the playwright's excellence at her craft, Director Bryn Boice's focus, and the trio of Elliot Norton Award-winning actors whose portrayals constitute a collective master class. Inspired by the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, THE CHILDREN puts issues of climate change, the environment, and a generation's responsibility for stewardship under an unforgiving spotlight, challenging the audience to engage in self-reflection.

BWW Review: HUNDRED DAYS: Every Song Tells a Story
January 28, 2020

HUNDRED DAYS and the intimate Black Box at the Umbrella Stage Company in Concord are a perfect match, not unlike Abigail and Shaun Bengson, the couple whose true story of their romantic and musical journey is told in this original song cycle. Staged like a concert before a few cabaret-style tables and rows of stadium seating, with the band seated behind the vocalists and totally engaged, HUNDRED DAYS has elements of ONCE with everyone having a grand old time making music as the vehicle for their storytelling.

BWW Review: LAST CATASTROPHIST: Don't They Know, It's the End of the World?
January 26, 2020

David Valdes has seen the future and it doesn't look good. If you're already losing sleep over the onrush of climate change, if the rollback of environmental regulations makes your blood boil, and if you fret about the steady departure of actual scientists from government agencies, Valdes' play LAST CATASTROPHIST can feel like the final nail in the coffin, or it may be the clarion call that prompts you to action. Either way, this new play being staged by Fresh Ink Theatre Company under the direction of Sarah Gazdowicz makes you sit up and pay attention.

BWW Review: THE CAKE: Two Brides, One Conundrum for North Carolina Baker
January 20, 2020

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a narrow victory to a Christian baker from Colorado who refused for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Hailing from a conservative North Carolina background, playwright Bekah Brunstetter is personally familiar with people like Della, the protagonist of THE CAKE, and ideally positioned to protect her and defend her humanity, while also setting her on a path to self-reflection and change. Although the story may be ripped from the headlines, Brunstetter tells it from the perspectives of a quartet of ordinary, yet multi-faceted characters, each of whom comes with a strong set of beliefs.

BWW Review: PASS OVER: Poetic, Profane, and Powerful Drama of Search for a Promised Land
January 17, 2020

SpeakEasy Stage Company presents the New England premiere of Antoinette Nwandu's PASS OVER, in a co-production with The Front Porch Arts Collective. In this intense drama performed without intermission, two young Black men represent the lives of countless others like them who have dreams of reaching a promised land that is too often unattainable in these United States. With influences from WAITING FOR GODOT and the Old Testament saga of Exodus, and inspired partly by the killing of Trayvon Martin, PASS OVER is a haunting treatment of the present day state of affairs that proves discomfiting and cathartic on many levels. Directed by Monica White Ndounou and marked by a trio of vivid performances by Kadahj Bennett, Hubens a?oeBobbya?? Cius, and Lewis D. Wheeler.

BWW Review: MAYTAG VIRGIN: Folding Laundry, Mending Hearts at Merrimack Rep
January 14, 2020

MAYTAG VIRGIN is a slice of life, character-driven romantic comedy about two forty-something school teachers, both widowed, who meet cute in their connecting yards in a fictional town in Alabama. Good fences make good neighbors and their lack of one leads to many challenges, but they are both warm people with good (albeit broken) hearts who keep looking for a way to bond. David Adkins and Kati Brazda are seasoned actors who create indelible impressions of their characters as individuals, and then merge those impressions into a pair whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

BWW Review: THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: A Long Tradition of Community Forged Through Music
December 19, 2019

From what I can tell, THE CHRISTMAS REVELS is one of those much-loved traditions that people look forward to revisiting year after year, like a performance of THE NUTCRACKER or A CHRISTMAS CAROL, or taking the kids to see Santa Claus. However, unlike those other holiday seasonal shows, the REVELS is billed as a celebration of the winter solstice, and it not only allows, but encourages (requires?) the audience to participate in a number of singalongs throughout the program. This year marks the 49th annual REVELS, but it was my first experience, which caused me to wonder what took me so long. Each year features a different cultural theme and this year's journey takes us back to the 1930s, to Dust Bowl-era America.

BWW Review: New Rep's OLIVER!: Singing and Dancing Orphans, But No Dog
December 17, 2019

New Repertory Theatre dusts off an old chestnut for a family-friendly, non-holiday, crowd-pleasing offering as their gift for the season. Lionel Bart's OLIVER!, based on Charles Dickens' novel OLIVER TWIST, is known to be a little dark, with its themes of orphans, child exploitation, and vast income inequality (sound familiar?), but in the hands of New Rep's new Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt, the darkness is lightened up with jaunty performances, a smattering of silly antics, and a set design (Luciana Stecconi) that skews to the cartoonish. With almost a dozen capable adults anchoring the cast, the seven children of all ages are given free rein to behave like children, albeit amazingly talented and spirited ones.

BWW Review: Moonbox Productions' PARADE: Attention Must Be Paid
December 16, 2019

As the year winds to a close, and the holiday hustle and bustle keeps us spinning our wheels, it can be a salve for the spirit and rest for the weary to sit in a darkened theater for a couple of hours. There is a plethora of seasonal fare competing for your entertainment dollars, but may I suggest something completely different from the colorful, holly jolly? A departure from the ballerinas, Christmas ghosts, and department store Santas? How about a two-time Tony Award-winning musical (1999 Best Book/Best Score) written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Alfred Uhry (DRIVING MISS DAISY) and Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown (SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD, THE LAST FIVE YEARS), that will pump the blood to your heart, and push you back in your seat until the very end, when you will rise up and salute this Moonbox Productions' PARADE.

BWW Review: MOBY DICK: The One That Got Away
December 14, 2019

The much-anticipated MOBY DICK (A Musical Reckoning), from the team that brought you NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 in 2015, has finally surfaced at the Loeb Drama Center of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. Based on the iconic American novel by Herman Melville, the three-and-a-half-hour-long musical endeavors to theatricalize about 40 of the book's 135 chapters, taking a much larger bite from the source material than the mere 70- page section of Leo Tolstoy's WAR AND PEACE adapted for THE GREAT COMET. Oh, would that Dave Malloy (music, book, lyrics, and orchestrations) and Rachel Chavkin (director, co-developer) had approached this project with such surgical skill, rather than casting the broadest of nets upon the waters.

BWW Review: TUCK EVERLASTING: If You Could Live Forever, Would You?
December 12, 2019

There's not a Christmas tree in sight, but there's plenty of uplifting, feel good spirit in the Umbrella Stage Company's TUCK EVERLASTING, the third production of their inaugural season in their gleaming new building in Concord. Under the direction of Elliot Norton Award-winner Nancy Curran Willis, the simplicity and magic of the story shine through the captivating performance of Madi Shaer as 11-year old Winnie Foster, a girl whose life is inexorably changed when she runs away and meets the Tuck family in the woods of Treegap, New Hampshire.

BWW Review: CHRISTMAS ON URANUS: Gold Dust Orphans Launch Laughs In Space
December 9, 2019

Space, the final frontier, has finally been explored by Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans, and their little dog, too. Following the trail blazed by her predecessor, the late, beloved Rhoda the dog, Dolly the Mustache Pup has a featured spot in CHRISTMAS ON URANUS as one of the flying dogs of Pluto. She joins a cast of fifteen humans, many of them veteran Orphans, as they blast off on their mission to rescue Santa Claus from alien kidnappers and save Christmas. It is up to the Robinson Family from a?oeLost In Spacea?? to track down Saint Nick and return him to Earth in time to make his rounds and bring happiness to children across the world.

December 6, 2019

DOLLY PARTON'S SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS CAROL delivers on the simplicity of its message of faith, family, and love, especially during the holiday season, and is a reflection of the heritage and values of its namesake. On opening night, the acclaimed country singer-songwriter surprised and delighted the audience by making an appearance onstage before the show, but the main event couldn't compete with Dolly's star wattage.

December 4, 2019

Merrimack Repertory Theatre presents the second installment of what will become a trilogy co-written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, about the close-knit sisters from Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Paralleling the upstairs Christmas-time festivities featured in last year's MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY at Pemberley Estate, the lives, loves, and intrigues of the downstairs denizens take center stage in THE WICKHAMS: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY. Mr. Darcy, lord of the manor, his wife Lizzy, and her sister Lydia are all back to link the two worlds, and they are joined by Lydia's roguish husband, George Wickham, and three of the hard-working house staff.

November 26, 2019

Producing Artistic Director Emeritus Spiro Veloudos is in the director's chair for AGATHA CHRISTIE'S MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and stages Ken Ludwig's adaptation with distinct shadings of film noir and a who's who of Lyric Stage Company veterans (and a couple of newbies) on board to play the rogue's gallery of characters. If you already know whodunnit, the fresh take on telling the story will be worth the fare, and if you don't know who commits the dastardly deed, you're in for more than a few juicy surprises.

BWW Review: RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL: Spawn of Eve Harrington
November 23, 2019

What do you get when you mix aspects of GYPSY, THE BAD SEED, and ALL ABOUT EVE with a heavy dose of camp and a soupçon of soap opera? RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL, an all-female homage to overly-ambitious child actors, sleazy agents, poison pen critics, and jealous understudies that is a star vehicle for a little girl with stars in her eyes. In its second season on the Boston theater scene, Theater UnCorked takes a first crack at musical comedy and, even as it hits a few bumps along the way, it hits the funny bone again and again.