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.


BWW Review: 42ND STREET: Thunderous Opening For The Umbrella Stage CompanyBWW Review: 42ND STREET: Thunderous Opening For The Umbrella Stage Company
Posted: Oct. 2, 2019

BWW Review: SUNSET BOULEVARD: Alice Ripley Puts Her Stamp on Norma DesmondBWW Review: SUNSET BOULEVARD: Alice Ripley Puts Her Stamp on Norma Desmond
Posted: Sep. 30, 2019

BWW Review: New England Premiere of TRAYF: You Don't Have To Be JewishBWW Review: New England Premiere of TRAYF: You Don't Have To Be Jewish
Posted: Oct. 16, 2019


BWW Review: 42ND STREET: Thunderous Opening For The Umbrella Stage CompanyBWW Review: 42ND STREET: Thunderous Opening For The Umbrella Stage Company
Posted: Oct. 2, 2019

BWW Review: World Premiere THE HAUNTED LIFE: Kerouac's Back in LowellBWW Review: World Premiere THE HAUNTED LIFE: Kerouac's Back in Lowell
Posted: Mar. 30, 2019

BWW Review: ONCE: Guy and Girl Extend Their Stay at SpeakEasy StageBWW Review: ONCE: Guy and Girl Extend Their Stay at SpeakEasy Stage
Posted: Mar. 7, 2019

BWW Review: MAN IN THE RING Goes The DistanceBWW Review: MAN IN THE RING Goes The Distance
Posted: Dec. 1, 2018

BWW Review: SUNSET BOULEVARD: Alice Ripley Puts Her Stamp on Norma DesmondBWW Review: SUNSET BOULEVARD: Alice Ripley Puts Her Stamp on Norma Desmond
Posted: Sep. 30, 2019

BWW Review: THE EBONIC WOMAN: Gold Dust Orphans Superheroes Restore American ValuesBWW Review: THE EBONIC WOMAN: Gold Dust Orphans Restore American Values
Posted: May. 6, 2019

BWW Review: 1776: A Musical For The AgesBWW Review: 1776: A Musical For The Ages
Posted: Dec. 6, 2018

BWW Review: New England Premiere of TRAYF: You Don't Have To Be Jewish
October 16, 2019

Playwright Lindsay Joelle introduces us to the unique world of the Rebbe's loyal foot soldiers who travel around Manhattan in a Mitzvah Tank, performing good deeds and spreading the gospel of the Chabad-Lubavitch to non-observant and alienated Jews. In its New England premiere at New Repertory Theatre, under the direction of Celine Rosenthal, TRAYF focuses on the relationship between best friends Zalmy and Shmuel as they explore the boundaries of their faith and friendship.

BWW Review: 42ND STREET: Thunderous Opening For The Umbrella Stage Company
October 2, 2019

The red velvet curtain rises on about a dozen pairs of feet tapping up a storm, but there are a few hundred more dancing their way out of the Umbrella Community Arts Center after they pay a visit to 42ND STREET, the blockbuster grand opening production of the Umbrella Stage Company, Greater Boston's newest professional theater in Concord. The 344-seat, state-of-the-art main stage is airy and comfortable, with a generous rake to provide unobstructed viewing from every row. Kicking off the season with the quintessential backstage musical is a stroke of genius that celebrates the performing arts and generates excitement for the Umbrella.

BWW Review: SUNSET BOULEVARD: Alice Ripley Puts Her Stamp on Norma Desmond
September 30, 2019

In the annals of musical theater, Norma Desmond is one of those larger than life characters, like Mame Dennis, Dolly Levi, and Eva Peron, who cries out for an actor with a specific and rare combination of skills to play the role. Tony Award-winner Alice Ripley ascends to playing the faded silent-screen star in the North Shore Music Theatre production of SUNSET BOULEVARD, after originating the role of Betty Schaefer in the 1994 original Broadway cast which starred Glenn Close. In so doing, Ripley joins the pantheon of singular talents who have put their personal stamp on the musical iteration of Norma, stepping out of the shadow of the indelible mark Gloria Swanson made on celluloid in Billy Wilder's 1950 film.

BWW Review: TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS: 'Dear Sugar' Dispenses Joy at MRT
September 17, 2019

TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS is a play that will make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings, teach you to appreciate little things while not sweating the small stuff, and, ultimately, make you glad you decided to spend 85 minutes at the theater. The season-opener at Merrimack Repertory Theatre is based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, a?oeTiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar,a?? and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Living up to their newly-minted mission statement at the starting gate, Merrimack a?oebring(s) joy to our art forma?? with the dramatization of real letters submitted to Strayed's advice column and her empathetic, down-to-earth responses.

BWW Review: THE AMERICA PLAYS: World Premiere at Mount Auburn Cemetery
September 15, 2019

Playwright Patrick Gabridge, the 2018-2019 Mount Auburn Cemetery Artist-In-Residence, is presenting THE AMERICA PLAYS, the second series of site-specific plays, following THE NATURE PLAYS produced in June. Whereas the earlier work explored the richness of the natural environment at the Cemetery, this series of five short plays brings to life the founder, sculptors, strong women of the era, and a compelling immigrant story about some of Mount Auburn's Armenian denizens. Guiding the audience from site to site through the lush grounds enhances their connection to the elements of the stories being told and grounds the drama in the flora and fauna of the landscaped jewel.

BWW Review: LAST NIGHT AT BOWL-MOR LANES: Carroll and Plum Play Out the String
September 9, 2019

LAST NIGHT AT BOWL-MOR LANES is a nostalgia piece in more ways than one. Now having its world premiere to open Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham's 20th season, the play by Producing Artistic Director Weylin Symes imparts a feeling of community, close friendships, and enjoyment of simple pursuits that is rapidly receding in our techno-centric world. Set in a bowling alley on the brink of becoming a Walmart, it challenges us to find ways to stay connected to the people and places that matter most, even as the wrecking ball of progress swings wildly around us.

BWW Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: This Plant's No Shrinking Violet
September 5, 2019

Rachel Bertone has set the bar high for the 45th anniversary season of the Lyric Stage Company with her pitch perfect production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Assuming the mantle of both director and choreographer, with the dependable Dan Rodriguez as music director by her side, Bertone and her design team capture the grit and the innocence of the story set in the early 1960s, while finding ways to punctuate it with flashes of contemporary pizzazz. Puppet designer Cameron McEachern has crafted an Audrey II without gender bias on its menu, and despite being voiced by a woman (Yewande Odetoyinbo), the plant is no shrinking violet.

BWW Review: THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT: Regional Premiere at Gloucester Stage Company
September 2, 2019

Gloucester Stage Company is the first theater in the country to produce THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT following its SRO limited run on Broadway. Based on the 2012 essay/book co-written by John D'Agata and Jim Fingal, the play explores the conflict between an unorthodox author (D'Agata) and the young fact-checker (Fingal) assigned by his magazine editor to vet a groundbreaking piece about a teen's suicide in Las Vegas. GSC mounts its production with local luminary and Academy Award nominee Lindsay Crouse, New York and Off-Broadway actor Mickey Solis, and recent Harvard University graduate Derek Speedy, making his Gloucester debut, under the direction of the estimable Sam Weisman.

BWW Review: LA CAGE AUX FOLLES: The Best of Times at Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
August 12, 2019

In the summer of 1983, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein put on a show that was light years ahead of the zeitgeist, vis-a-vis the awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ people in America, and about twenty years before the legalization of same-sex marriage. Yet, after a successful tryout at the Colonial Theatre in Boston, they boldly went where no Broadway musical had gone before when they opened LA CAGE AUX FOLLES at the Palace Theatre on August 21, 1983. Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston concludes its 51st Summer Season with LA CAGE, and I am pleased to report that the show continues to stand the test of time. The three most important components for a successful staging of this musical are the two actors who play the leading men, Georges (J.T. Turner) and Albin (James Darrah), and the dance troupe who comprise Les Cagelles, the drag performers at the Saint-Tropez title nightclub owned by the latter couple, and they collectively win the trifecta.

BWW Review: BEN BUTLER: Gloucester General's Pivotal Role in the Civil War
August 7, 2019

Gloucester Stage Company presents the Boston area premiere of Richard Strand's BEN BUTLER, a Union army general who was a settler of Gloucester's Bayview neighborhood, a presidential candidate, and the 33rd Governor of Massachusetts. Those achievements came after he retired from the military, where he forged a reputation as a champion of the causes of labor, abolition of slavery, and naturalized citizens. In the play, set in the middle of the Civil War in 1861, Butler faces a moral dilemma, forced to choose between adhering strictly to the law or daring to make a bold move that holds the promise of changing history.

BWW Review: PARAGON PARK: THE MUSICAL: One Last Ride on the Carousel
July 30, 2019

With book by Zoe Bradford and Michael Hammond, and music and lyrics by Adam Brooks, PARAGON PARK: THE MUSICAL is a lovingly-crafted reflection of a moment in time that spans eight decades. There's more than enough small town politics, quirky characters, and human interest in the overstuffed book, but the music soars on the voices of an uber-talented ensemble and a 15-piece orchestra conducted by Musical Director Steve Bass.

BWW Review: THE 39 STEPS: Playing Hitchcock For Laughs
July 15, 2019

If there's one thing that summer theater should be, it's fun, and Gloucester Stage Company's production of THE 39 STEPS happily fulfills the requirement. Actually, it is more than fun - it is laugh out loud funny, thanks to the witty script, the crisp direction by Artistic Director Robert Walsh, and the antics and split-second comic timing of a quartet of actors who play over 150 characters without going off the rails. Joining them on stage is Malachi Rosen, a Foley Artist who produces a litany of sound effects, allowing the audience to see and hear how every door slam, train whistle, and gun shot happens. The 1935 film was a classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller, but the stage adaptation by Patrick Barlow heaps large helpings of farce and satire atop the story, while maintaining a high level of suspense.

BWW Review: The Seth Rudetsky Series: Jessie Mueller Stars as Herself
July 9, 2019

On Monday night, the Emerson Colonial Theatre presented THE SETH RUDESTSKY SERIES STARRING JESSIE MUELLER, the first of three concerts with Cheyenne Jackson (October 4) and Kelli O'Hara (January 9) to follow. The host of Sirius SM's On Broadway channel, Rudetsky is a pianist, a music director, and possesses a vast knowledge of musical theater. In this series, a combination of conversation and musical performances, Rudetsky moves seamlessly between his dual roles as onstage accompanist and interviewer, starting out on the piano bench and ambling over to a quasi-living room ('we have a carpet') with a pair of comfy armchairs. Singing a broad range of selections, both Broadway and pop, Mueller proves herself to be a vocal chameleon, and presents as warm, genuine, and occasionally self-deprecating during the interview portions of the show.

BWW Review: TEA AT FIVE: Light Repast
July 2, 2019

Playwright Matthew Lombardo revisits his 2002 play as a one-act solo vehicle for Faye Dunaway, now receiving a pre-Broadway premiere at the Huntington Avenue Theatre in Boston. Attractive design elements evoke the Old Saybrook, Connecticut world of Katharine Hepburn, but neither the script nor the star can conjure her spirit and engage us in the story.

BWW Review: 42ND STREET at Ogunquit Playhouse: That's a WOW!
June 30, 2019

There's an unmistakeable sound of thunder emanating from the Ogunquit Playhouse these days, commencing with the rhythmic pounding of nearly two dozen pairs of feet, and ending in a crescendo of audience applause. It is not fulsome praise to give DirectorChoreographer Randy Skinner multiple huzzahs and many pats on the back for this fresh and exciting production of 42ND STREET the iconic show-biz musical about a small town girl who pursues her dream and takes Broadway by storm. From the grownups to the kids in the chorus, Tony Award-nominee Skinner seamlessly blends stage veterans and non-Equity performers into one sparkling, magical troupe that really knows how to put on a show.

BWW Review: Dionne Warwick at the Cabot Theatre: Timeless After All These Years
June 29, 2019

A year shy of its 100th birthday, the Cabot Theatre in Beverly, a North Shore treasure for the performing arts, presented multiple Grammy Award-winning recording artist Dionne Warwick in concert before a sold-out house on Friday night. Now in the sixth decade of her singing career, Warwick and her virtuosic five-piece band played hit after hit after hit, each one of them a reminder to the devoted audience of the breadth of her discography and the reasons for her incredible longevity and staying power.

BWW Review: A Nimble BAREFOOT IN THE PARK at Gloucester Stage Company
June 18, 2019

Gloucester Stage Company opens its 40th Anniversary Season with a nostalgic romp in the park, specifically Neil Simon's 1963 hit play, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK. Pairing McCaela Donovan and Joe Short (who are married in real life) as the young newlyweds moving from their blissful six-day honeymoon into a Manhattan sixth-floor walk up is a stroke of luck for Director Shana Gozansky. Making her GSC debut, she didn't have to worry about establishing trust and comfort in the romantic aspects of the characters' relationship. Not only do Donovan (Corie) and Short (Paul) fit together hand in glove, but Paula Plum and Richard Snee, another offstage married couple, complete the cast and contribute immeasurably to the hilarity.

BWW Review: YERMA: Tragic Tale of a Woman's Obsession
June 14, 2019

YERMA, a play with music, adapted and translated by Melinda Lopez from Spanish poet/playwright Federico Garcia Lorca's 1934 work, is receiving its world premiere by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. On press night, in the age-old tradition of the show must go on, Lopez was pressed into service to perform in place of the ailing Jacqui Parker, one of the five women who surround the title character as her emotional support community, even as their multiple children are a stinging reminder of her infertility. It is a tragic tale, but one fueled by hope and infused with beautiful flamenco-inspired music and Spanish culture.

BWW Review: N. E. Premiere of THE VIEW UPSTAIRS Coincides With LGBTQ Pride Month
June 5, 2019

Just in time for LGBTQ Pride Month, and on the cusp of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, SpeakEasy Stage Company presents the New England premiere of the Off-Broadway musical THE VIEW UPSTAIRS in the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts. Inspired by a little-known historical event, Max Vernon pays tribute to '70s gay culture and the victims of the firebombing of the UpStairs Lounge in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1973. Although 32 people perished (the deadliest assault on a gay bar prior to the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub which killed 49 people), Vernon's book and score focus on the personalities of the archetypal characters, the challenges they faced in that era, and the strong ties they forged to make a life in the homosexual community.

BWW Review: THE NATURE PLAYS: World Premiere at Mount Auburn Cemetery
May 31, 2019

Playwright Patrick Gabridge, the 2018-2019 Mount Auburn Cemetery Artist-in-Residence, creates a series of site-specific plays which focus on the natural world of the 175-acre landscaped jewel in the heart of Cambridge. Five short plays inspired by and staged at various locales throughout the cemetery are a mix of comedy and drama, with a quartet of fine actors under the direction of Courtney O'Connor. The 75-minute performance requires walking approximately a mile and a half, but it truly is a splendid walk in the park and seating is provided at each location.