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.
There is no doubt that Syracuse University has a fabulous Department of Drama. This time around they are showcasing their talented students in the thrilling and cult classic musical Little Shop of Horrors at Syracuse Stage. With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and toe-tapping tunes by Alan Menken, the show certainly provides entertainment. Meticulously directed by Brian Cimmet, the students lift character acting to new heights, show off incredible puppetry skills with Audrey II, and belt out those oh so familiar tunes with pure power backed by the onstage five-person band under the direction of Jacob Stebly.BWW Review: ROCKIN' ROAD TO DUBLIN Rocks The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater May 4, 2018
Is it a rock concert? A musical production? Or an Irish dance show? Rockin' Road to Dublin can be categorized as all three. The one-night-only engagement of this unique Irish dance and rock concert at Syracuse's Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater proved to be a fantastic experience. It offers a fresh take on traditional Irish tunes, showcases some very familiar classic rock hits, incorporates Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's Academy Award-winning song 'Falling Slowly,' along with Irish dance. The combination of all of this results in a powerful and memorable entertainment experience. The concert/dance show is referred to as 'the new generation of Irish rock and dance because there's more than one road to the Heart of Ireland.' I must say this generation of Irish dancers is on point!BWW Review: THE MAGIC PLAY Intrigues at Syracuse Stage April 30, 2018
Syracuse Stage concludes its season with an intriguing and mystifying production of The Magic Play.The unique production features a cast of three actors under the astute direction of Halena Kays. It is positively entrancing thanks to the brilliant cast and unique script.BWW Review: STOMP Sizzles at the Landmark Theatre April 18, 2018
The latest tour to entertain Syracuse audiences is none other than STOMP, the international sensation that features the use of some of the most unlikely instruments. On a blustery and cold April day (welcome to Spring in Syracuse) STOMP sizzles inside the historical Landmark Theatre. The multiple award-winning percussion sensation, created and directed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, brought the house down with its intense rhythms, explosive sound, and top-notch performers.BWW Review: CHESS Has All the Right Moves at Central New York Playhouse April 15, 2018
The Central New York Playhouse has one again stepped up, taken a risk, and created something magical with its current musical, Chess. Under Robert G. Searle's clever direction, the entire talented cast Chess cast works together beautifully to deliver a very intriguing and powerful performance of the musical that has a little bit of rock 'n roll, romance, sex appeal, betrayal, and history.BWW Review: A FEW GOOD MEN is Gripping at the Central New York Playhouse March 18, 2018
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
The Tony Award winner for Best Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is now captivating audiences at Syracuse Stage. This thought-provoking and enthralling production is co-produced with the Indiana Repertory Theatre, where this same cast previously received rave reviews. Impressively directed by Risa Brainin and brilliantly acted, this production is memorable to say the least.