Natasha Ashley is a reviewer for productions throughout Central New York. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Syracuse, New York. Natasha has grown up seeing many theatrical productions with her sister, Jennifer Perry, in New York City and in Washington D.C. Natasha and her sister have always shared the love for theatre. She graduated and received her Bachelors degree from Houghton College in 2008 with a double major in English and Communications. While attending Houghton College she acted in numerous productions. She was also the Assistant Director of the college production of You Can't Take it With You. Natasha was in charge of securing patrons, ticket sales, costume management, hair, and makeup for the college shows. She now resides in Cicero, New York with her husband and two children. For the last three years she has attended and reviewed many productions throughout Central New York for NY Theatre Guide.
The latest production entertaining audiences at the Central New York Playhouse is Aaron Sorkin's suspenseful play, A Few Good Men. Sorkin later adapted the play into a major motion picture of the same name starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore. Director Dustin M. Czarny has once again brought local theatergoers an intense and memorable production. The acting, set design, and meticulous direction are top notch, especially for a community theatre.BWW Review: KINKY BOOTS Plays The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater March 14, 2018
The Syracuse City Ballet, the only professional ballet serving the Central New York community, brought the enchanting ballet of Aladdin to life this past weekend at Crouse Hinds Theater in Syracuse, New York. The production was directed and choreographed by founding artistic director Kathleen Rathbun and it once again brought down the house. Like all Syracuse City Ballet productions, this one provided a wonderful opportunity for local professional, pre-professional, and student dancers to perform alongside national and international guest artists.BWW Review: ON GOLDEN POND is Heartwarming at The Redhouse at City Center March 10, 2018
Devotion, passion, and drive are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of The Redhouse, 'a nonprofit, multi-arts organization dedicated to the production and presentation of interdisciplinary works, theatre, music and visual art.' The Redhouse has become a large part of the theatre scene within the Central New York area and it now has a new location at Syracuse, NY's City Center, just a few blocks away from its starter home. The Redhouse may have moved on to a larger venue with three performing spaces, but the heart is still very much there. What better way to open a new space than with the touching, entertaining, and heartwarming production of Ernest Thompson's On Golden Pond, brilliantly directed by Vincent J. Cardinal.BWW Review: A RAISIN IN THE SUN is Compelling at Syracuse Stage February 25, 2018
The national tour of the classic musical A Chorus Line is entertaining audiences at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds theatre in Syracuse, New York. The production - restaged by Baayork Lee based on Michael Bennett's original direction and choreography - is 'One Singular Sensation.' With masterful music by Marvin Hamlisch, unique lyrics by Edward Kleban, and a flawless book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, it is no wonder that the original production received nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize in 1976.BWW Review: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is Powerful at The Baldwinsville Theatre Guild February 4, 2018
Baldwinsville Theatre Guild, an ambitious community theatre in Central New York, repeatedly tackles some challenging large-scale musicals to show off local talents. Their latest musical production is none other than The Hunchback of Notre Dame, featuring a principal cast of ten, an ensemble of seven, a 22-member choir, and a live orchestra under the meticulous direction of Abel Searor.BWW Review: NEXT TO NORMAL is Electrifying at Syracuse Stage January 28, 2018
Under the brilliant direction of Robert Hupp, the Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage, Next to Normal is thrilling audiences at Syracuse Stage with its intense story, dynamite singers, and powerful score. The uniquely brilliant musical covers many controversial topics such as grief, suicide, drug abuse, and modern psychiatry. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical is one that demands excellent actor-singers to properly showcase the music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Director Hupp has assembled a top-notch group of performers that beautifully capture the emotional and powerful music and story. The lead role of Diana is played by Broadway veteran Judy McLane. Among her impressive credits includes more than 4,000 performances of the Broadway hit Mamma Mia!. She and the other cast members, deliver intense, emotional, and delivers truly electrifying performances.BWW Review: MOSCOW BALLET'S GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER 25TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR Enchants at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theatre December 18, 2017
The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker has once again returned to Syracuse, New York for two performances at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theatre. This annual tour, produced by Akiva Talmi, is a holiday tradition that many look forward to seeing again and again and for good reason; it is breathtakingly inspiring.BWW Review: 1940's Radio Hour at The Central New York Playhouse December 10, 2017
The holiday production at Syracuse Stage is always a family favorite to look forward to and this year is no different. Syracuse Stage and the Department of Drama have joined forces with New York City-based 2 Ring Circus to bring a twist on the iconic story of The Wizard of Oz. Cleverly directed by Donna Drake, The Wizard of Oz comes to life with all the familiarity of the 1939 film starring Judy Garland, but with a unique infusion of acrobatic arts into the story and choreography. The end result is truly hypnotizing.BWW Review: THE LION KING Opens New North American Tour at The Landmark Theatre November 1, 2017
Broadway in Syracuse opens its new season with the hilariously entertaining A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. The musical comedy, based on the 1907 novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman, features a clever book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak. The touring production of the four-time Tony Award-winning musical, including the 2014 Tony for Best Musical, offers pure entertainment with its over the top characters, memorable tunes, and engaging plot.BWW Review: Syracuse University Department of Drama's CRAZY FOR YOU is a Toe-Tappin' Good Time at Syracuse Stage October 10, 2017
Crazy For You is one of those musical comedies that helps the audience escape reality. You immediately become absorbed in the hysterical and uplifting score by the renowned George and Ira Gershwin, Ken Ludwig's timeless love story, and, of course, stellar dancing. The Syracuse University production of this Tony Award-winning musical, now playing in the Syracuse Stage Drama Complex, is no exception. Director and Choreographer Brian J. Marcum has brought a passionate and talented cast together to create a toe-tappin' production of this audience favorite.BWW Review: THE THREE MUSKETEERS is Riveting at Syracuse Stage September 25, 2017
Syracuse Stage begins its new season with the enthralling play of The Three Musketeers. The production marks the directorial debut of Syracuse Stage's Artistic Director Robert Hupp, and it's a good one. The swashbuckling adventure is packed with sword fighting, dramatic entrances, gorgeous period costumes, original music compositions, impressive sets, and highly talented actors. September 23, 2017
The Merry - Go - Round Playhouse in Auburn, New York ends their 2017 season with Always...Patsy Cline the musical based on a true story of the legendary Patsy Cline. The show shines light on the talented singer Patsy Cline and the memorable music she brought to the country music industry during her very short life. Director Douglas S. Hall brings the toe-tappin' and comedic musical to life with the two stellar female cast membersBWW Review: GHOST THE MUSICAL Captivates at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse September 5, 2017
The current production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas now performing at The Merry - Go - Round Playhouse in Auburn, New York brings comedy, dancing, a lot of attitude, and very little clothing. Director and choreographer Parker Esse brings a rowdy, toe-tapping, and carefree good time with his high energy cast.