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 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.BWW Review: AMERICAN IDIOT Sparks Many Emotions at the Central New York Playhouse July 24, 2017
The Central New York Playhouse has once again chosen to take on a musical that most audience members would not expect to see at a community theatre. This time, the show is American Idiot, featuring the music of the punk band Green Day, and I applaud Director Liam Fitzpatrick for taking it on. The risks, the choices, and the hardworking people are what make the little 'theatre in the mall' so special. The devotion and dedication is very much evident in this latest production rocking the stage at The Central New York Playhouse. July 10, 2017
The Celtic Woman returned to Central New York this week for a one-night-only engagement of the group's current concert tour, Voices of Angels. They were welcomed with open arms once again to Syracuse, a city full of Irish pride, as they passionately performed music and dance of the Emerald Isle at the Crouse Hinds Theatre. The beautiful and inspiring concert showcased the best from the talented singers and musicians.BWW Review: CHICAGO Delivers Killer Performances at The Central New York Playhouse June 20, 2017
Central New York (CNY) Playhouse's production of Chicago is a dream come true for Director Dustin M. Czarny, the ambitious Syracuse area community theatre's Artistic Director. The show is one of the hardest productions to receive the rights to perform in North America and the devoted director's request has been rejected eight times. His dedication and determination to acquire the rights to the "dream of a show" has paid off. What we see onstage at the "Theatre in the Mall" is entertaining and memorable to say the least.BWW Review: RING OF FIRE Captivates at Syracuse Stage June 12, 2017
Syracuse Stage ends its season with the jukebox musical Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. The musical, created by Richard Maltby Jr. and conceived by William Meade with orchestrations by Steven Bishop and Jeff Lisenby, features the familiar and well-loved music of Johnny Cash. So, expect to hear hits such as Ring of Fire, Get Rhythm, Going to Memphis, Jackson, I Walk the Line, just to name a few.BWW Review: GUYS AND DOLLS is a Sure Hit at The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse June 10, 2017
The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse has officially kicked off their 2017 season of Broadway in the Finger Lakes with none other than the multiple Tony Award-winning musical of Guys and Dolls. Featuring a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, along with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, the musical is widely known thanks to numerous revivals and the film adaptation starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Vivian Blaine, and of course Frank Sinatra. The long-awaited production, perfectly directed by Richard J. Hinds, as part of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival is classic and fresh, making it a sure hit.BWW Review: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is a Groovy Good Time at The Landmark Theatre May 17, 2017
The U.S. tour of Motown the Musical is lighting up the stage at Syracuse, New York's Landmark Theatre. The jukebox musical based on Berry Gordy's (book) autobiography To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown features familiar music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalog and focuses on the Motown greats like Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and many more. The cast under the direction of Charles Randolph-Wright has the energy, confidence, and amazing vocals to fully embody these legendary musicians.BWW Review: SU Drama's BERLIN TO BROADWAY WITH KURT WEILL: A MUSICAL VOYAGE Connects Weill's Music and Today's World at Syracuse Stage May 8, 2017
The Syracuse University (SU) Department of Drama is performing the powerful and engaging music of German composer Kurt Weill in its production of Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage at the Storch Theatre at Syracuse Stage. The entertaining production, directed by Syracuse University faculty member David Lowenstein, sets course from 1930s Berlin to 1950s America, the time in which Weill's avant-garde style and gorgeous music gained international fame.BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL is Stunning at The Landmark Theatre April 19, 2017
The latest musical to grace the stage at Syracuse's Landmark Theatre is the U.S. tour of the jukebox musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Featuring a book by Douglas McGrath it showcases the early life and career of singer and songwriter Carole King. The music and lyrics featured in the production are by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, along with other top hits written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.