Cleveland Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: Hockadoo! MEMPHIS Enjoyably Rocks Cain Park With Its Music And Poignant Message BWW Review: Hockadoo! MEMPHIS Enjoyably Rocks Cain Park With Its Music And Poignant Message
by Roy Berko - June 18, 2018

The 1950s was a period of racial stress in much of the south. Lynchings, school segregation, separate lunch counters and drinking fountains, blacks to the back of the bus, laws against black and white mixing. Even separate black and white radio stations was the custom, as were black and white musica... (more...)
BWW Review: ANYTHING GOES Delightfully Sails at Porthouse BWW Review: ANYTHING GOES Delightfully Sails at Porthouse
by Roy Berko - June 17, 2018

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BWW Review:  Playwrights Local Presents THE PANTHER DANCER, a Bio-Play About Michael Jackson BWW Review: Playwrights Local Presents THE PANTHER DANCER, a Bio-Play About Michael Jackson
by Roy Berko - May 19, 2018

The mission of Playwrights Local is to support dramatists of Northeast Ohio by presenting locally written works, with the vision of increasing original theater and raising the profile of area playwrights.... (more...)
BWW Review: Baldwin Wallace Musical Theatre Class of '18 Showcases Their Talents in NY BWW Review: Baldwin Wallace Musical Theatre Class of '18 Showcases Their Talents in NY
by Roy Berko - May 18, 2018

Backstage.com's recent listing of the top Musical Theater Programs in the U.S. included such schools as Carnegie Mellon University, Conservatory of Music at University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, Penn State University and Syracuse University.... (more...)
BWW Review: PASSING STRANGE, A Black Youth's Search for Self-Identity, Rocks Karamu BWW Review: PASSING STRANGE, A Black Youth's Search for Self-Identity, Rocks Karamu
by Roy Berko - May 15, 2018

Mark Stewart, better known as 'Stew,' is noted for being a member of the band, The Negro Problem. He is also the author of the book and lyrics for 'Passing Strange,' a semi-autobiographical musical, co-written with Heidi Rodewald in collaboration with Annie Dorsen. The script is presently rocking Ka... (more...)
BWW Review: THE ROYALE at Cleveland Play House BWW Review: THE ROYALE at Cleveland Play House
by Roy Berko - May 13, 2018

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BWW Review: BEEHIVE Rocks Great Lakes Stage as it Tells a Tale of Change BWW Review: BEEHIVE Rocks Great Lakes Stage as it Tells a Tale of Change
by Roy Berko - May 07, 2018

Jukebox musicals contain a story, wrapped around a series of pre-written songs. Think 'Mama Mia,' 'Jersey Boys,' 'Buddy-The Buddy Holly Story,' 'On Your Feet,' and the present Broadway hit, 'Escape to Margaritaville.'... (more...)
BWW Review:  BWU/Square's “Tick, Tick…Boom!' rocks and delights at The Helen BWW Review: BWU/Square's “Tick, Tick…Boom!' rocks and delights at The Helen
by Roy Berko - May 01, 2018

The story of Jonathan Larson's death before the first scheduled preview of the off-Broadway performance of his 'Rent' has become theater history.... (more...)
BWW Review: ANGELS IN AMERICA, PART TWO Continues Tony Kushner's Saga at Ensemble BWW Review: ANGELS IN AMERICA, PART TWO Continues Tony Kushner's Saga at Ensemble
by Roy Berko - April 29, 2018

Tony Kushner, the award winning author of 'Angels In America Parts One and Two,' says of his work, 'The question I am trying to ask is how broad is a community's embrace? How wide does it reach?'... (more...)
BWW Feature: Cleveland Broadway Connections:  BWU MUSICAL THEATRE SHOWCASES, ARACA, and More! BWW Feature: Cleveland Broadway Connections: BWU MUSICAL THEATRE SHOWCASES, ARACA, and More!
by Roy Berko - April 24, 2018

Several times a year I go to review some of what's on stage on Broadway. This year, I expanded the experience by accompanying the Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theatre program's fifteen seniors.... (more...)
BWW Review: Dobama's Compelling “Appropriate” expands the definition of dysfunctional family BWW Review: Dobama's Compelling “Appropriate” expands the definition of dysfunctional family
by Roy Berko - April 23, 2018

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, author of 'Appropriate,' which is now getting a compelling staging at Dobama, Cleveland's 'off-Broadway theatre,' is noted for writing plays that shimmer in spectacle, theatricality, and melodramatic substance. The African American centers his themes on race in America, white... (more...)
BWW Review: CPH's THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is F-U-N! BWW Review: CPH's THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is F-U-N!
by Roy Berko - April 21, 2018

???????How would you do if asked to spell: 'syzygy,' 'capybara,' 'cystitis,' 'pandemonium,' and 'qaymaqam?' How about 'crepuscule?'... (more...)
BWW Review: THE ADVENTURES OF THE BLACK GIRL IN HER SEARCH FOR GOD is Less Than it Could be at Karamu BWW Review: THE ADVENTURES OF THE BLACK GIRL IN HER SEARCH FOR GOD is Less Than it Could be at Karamu
by Roy Berko - April 08, 2018

George Bernard Shaw's views on religion may be summarized by his statement, 'People believe anything that amuses them, gratifies them, or promises some sort of profit.'... (more...)
BWW Review:  Compelling “The Scottish Play” (“Mac**th”) at Great Lakes Theater BWW Review: Compelling “The Scottish Play” (“Mac**th”) at Great Lakes Theater
by Roy Berko - April 01, 2018

Theater people are superstitious! The practices that relate to the fears have various origins. For example, 'the ghost of Thespis (the first known actor in ancient Greece) is said to wreak havoc upon theaters all over the world. The ghost light tradition-leaving a single lit bulb upstage center when... (more...)
BWW Review: Humorous 'The Oldest Profession” at convergence continuum BWW Review: Humorous 'The Oldest Profession” at convergence continuum
by Roy Berko - March 31, 2018

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BWW Review: Acting Soars in LATE HENRY MOSS at None Too Fragile BWW Review: Acting Soars in LATE HENRY MOSS at None Too Fragile
by Roy Berko - March 19, 2018

Sam Shepard, the author of 'The Late Henry Moss,' which is now in production at none too fragile, once wrote, 'I believe in my mask-- The man I made up is me. I believe in my dance--And my destiny.'... (more...)
Sneak Preview of The Shaw Festival's 2018 Season Sneak Preview of The Shaw Festival's 2018 Season
by Roy Berko - March 14, 2018

Canada's Shaw Festival is a tribute to George Bernard Shaw and his writing contemporaries.... (more...)
BWW Review:  THE EFFECT at DOBAMA is More Effect Than Well Told Story BWW Review: THE EFFECT at DOBAMA is More Effect Than Well Told Story
by Roy Berko - March 05, 2018

Lots of today's science news concerns controlled drug studies done by pharmaceutical companies, as well as government agencies, to insure the safety and identify side-effects of the compounds.... (more...)
BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD, Sondheim at His Most Complicated, Comes to Blank Canvas BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD, Sondheim at His Most Complicated, Comes to Blank Canvas
by Roy Berko - February 28, 2018

Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics for 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,' which is now in production at Blank Canvas, is noted as a brilliant lyricist. Interestingly, that is not the way he sees himself. He is well-trained as a musical composer, having, from a young age,... (more...)
BWW Review: Unnerving, Compelling THE INVISIBLE HAND at Cleveland Play House BWW Review: Unnerving, Compelling THE INVISIBLE HAND at Cleveland Play House
by Roy Berko - February 24, 2018

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BWW Review: MISERY at Great Lakes Theater BWW Review: MISERY at Great Lakes Theater
by Roy Berko - February 19, 2018

When Great Lakes Theater Festival announced in June, 2009, that it's Associate Artistic Director, Andrew May, was no longer going to be part of the company, many CLE theatre-goers were shocked.... (more...)
BWW Review: SASSY MAMAS - Laughs, Laughs and More Laughs at Karamu BWW Review: SASSY MAMAS - Laughs, Laughs and More Laughs at Karamu
by Roy Berko - February 17, 2018

Sometimes theater is high drama. At other times it's for learning about history or philosophy. 'Sassy Mamas,' now on stage at Karamu, is on stage for one purpose only...to create outlandish laughter.... (more...)
BWW Review: RIVERDANCE 20 Delights With its Blend of Dance, Music, and Telling of Tales BWW Review: RIVERDANCE 20 Delights With its Blend of Dance, Music, and Telling of Tales
by Roy Berko - February 15, 2018

Mention the name 'Riverdance' and the general thought of many is Michael Flatley. Yes, Flatley, the Irish dance champion and the theatrical show consisting of mainly Irish music and dance, are synonymous.... (more...)
BWW Review: JELLY BELLY--A Fascinating Investigation of a World That Many Don't Know at Ensemble BWW Review: JELLY BELLY--A Fascinating Investigation of a World That Many Don't Know at Ensemble
by Roy Berko - February 13, 2018

The South Side of Chicago is noted for its gritty streets, drug dealers, drive by shootings and pressure for Black men and boys to not only protect their turf, but be 'prideful' and not allow themselves to be slave to the ways of the 'massa' (the white bosses).... (more...)
BWW Review:  BOY - Truth is Stranger Than Fiction at None Too Fragile BWW Review: BOY - Truth is Stranger Than Fiction at None Too Fragile
by Roy Berko - February 13, 2018

Truth can often be stranger and more compelling than fiction. Such is the case of David (Bruce) Reimer and his identical twin brother, Brian, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.... (more...)