Cleveland Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: THE CHASTE GENIUS AND HIS DEATHRAY GUN,  an interesting history lesson unfolds at convergence continuum BWW Review: THE CHASTE GENIUS AND HIS DEATHRAY GUN, an interesting history lesson unfolds at convergence continuum
by Roy Berko - December 09, 2017

'The Chaste Genius and His DeathRay Gun,' now on stage at congruence continuum, tells the tale of an obsessive, germ phobic genius who lived most of his life trying to get financial backing from the likes of JP Morgan, to develop his ideas.... (more...)
BWW Review: On Your Feet! Leaves Audience On Their Feet And Dancing at Connor Palace BWW Review: On Your Feet! Leaves Audience On Their Feet And Dancing at Connor Palace
by Roy Berko - December 08, 2017

Last year, within a short time after getting off the plane in Havana, it became apparent that the Cuban people adore art, music, bright colors, personal style and family unity. And, after long periods of dictatorships, revolution, communism, deprivation of food and other necessities of life, they ha... (more...)
BWW Review: URINETOWN, Bad Title, Fun Show, Flushed With Success @ Blank Canvas
  BWW Review: URINETOWN, Bad Title, Fun Show, Flushed With Success @ Blank Canvas  
by Roy Berko - December 06, 2017

'Urinetown: The Musical' opened on Broadway in 2001, but its path from lyricist Greg Kotis traveling Europe, encountering a pay toilet, getting an idea for a story, joining with Mark Hollman, writing the lyrics together, Hollman writing the music, previewing the show at the New York's Fringe Festiva... (more...)
BWW Review: “THE LITTLE MERMAID” Goes Under The Sea Again at the Beck Center BWW Review: “THE LITTLE MERMAID” Goes Under The Sea Again at the Beck Center
by Roy Berko - December 04, 2017

Yes, Beck Center has decided to recycle 'The Little Mermaid,' last year's holiday production so that more children of all ages can follow Ariel, the daughter of King Triton, the master of the sea, in her search for 'a world in which I feel truly realized on my own terms.'... (more...)
BWW Review: “The game's afoot” as “The Baker Street Irregulars” snoop @ Dobama BWW Review: “The game's afoot” as “The Baker Street Irregulars” snoop @ Dobama
by Roy Berko - December 03, 2017

In October of 1978 Will Eisner published 'A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories.' The fictional tale ushered in a new venue, the graphic novel, using the drawing media to tell tales.... (more...)
BWW Review: O'Neill's THE HAIRY APE opens Ensemble's 28th season BWW Review: O'Neill's THE HAIRY APE opens Ensemble's 28th season
by Roy Berko - November 20, 2017

Ensemble Theatre is opening its 28th season, entitled 'We the People,' with O'Neill's 'The Hairy Ape.' The script fits into the theatre's selection of plays that 'celebrates the diversity and dynamics of the population that makes up this 'great nation' while also speaking to the challenges we still ... (more...)
BWW Review:  Touring Wonderful WICKED Wows Yet Again at State BWW Review: Touring Wonderful WICKED Wows Yet Again at State
by Roy Berko - November 13, 2017

Okay, I'm a 'Wicked' junky. I've seen the show five times, including seeing it in its first week of the New York run.... (more...)
BWW Review: “Diary of Anne Frank” Conveys Important Message at the Cleveland Play House BWW Review: “Diary of Anne Frank” Conveys Important Message at the Cleveland Play House
by Roy Berko - November 07, 2017

The Holocaust was a horrific series of experiences. As the years go by, and the survivors of the atrocities die off, leaving no one to attest to the actual pain and suffering, those who want to make sure that such experiences do not repeat themselves turn to tangible objects and written accou... (more...)
BWW Review:  Karamu and Ensemble Team Up for Dealing with THE LAKE EFFECT BWW Review: Karamu and Ensemble Team Up for Dealing with THE LAKE EFFECT
by Roy Berko - November 06, 2017

Karamu, the joyful meeting place, is the oldest continually running Black theatre in America. Ensemble, whose purpose is to showcase classical American drama, has some of its history steeped in Karamu.... (more...)
BWW Review:  Con-Con's “In the Closet,” a thoughtful journey into whether anyone can ever emerge from hiding BWW Review: Con-Con's “In the Closet,” a thoughtful journey into whether anyone can ever emerge from hiding
by Roy Berko - October 23, 2017

Have you ever wondered if your life would have played out differently if, at a young age, you had been able to meet 'yourself' a couple of years older, forty years older, and then you as a person near the end of your life? Would the knowledge of the path you would follow, what pitfalls you would enc... (more...)
BWW Review: Touring Company of WAITRESS Serves Up Sumptuous Treat in Premiere at Connor Palace BWW Review: Touring Company of WAITRESS Serves Up Sumptuous Treat in Premiere at Connor Palace
by Roy Berko - October 21, 2017

The quality of the music, the staging, the performances and the story line of Waitress assure that it will delight audiences as it traverses the country. It's a must see for anyone who loves musical theater at its creative best.... (more...)
BWW Review: LES SYLPHIDES at Cleveland Ballet BWW Review: LES SYLPHIDES at Cleveland Ballet
by Roy Berko - October 18, 2017

The 'new' Cleveland Ballet, under the artistic leadership of Puerto Rico-born Gladisa Guadalupe, a former member of the 'old' Cleveland Ballet, the Dennis Nahat-led company which left CLE for San Jose, California, has been officially named the Resident Ballet Company of Playhouse Square.... (more...)
BWW Review: MARJORIE PRIME is Prime Offering at Dobama BWW Review: MARJORIE PRIME is Prime Offering at Dobama
by Roy Berko - October 15, 2017

Local theater-goers are familiar with the outstanding performance work of Dorothy Silver, often called 'the first lady of Cleveland theater.' Many are also aware of the creative writings of Jordan Harrison from his script development of the television hit, 'Orange is The New Black.' The two merge in... (more...)
BWW Review: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (MUSICAL) rings in at Great Lakes Theater BWW Review: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (MUSICAL) rings in at Great Lakes Theater
by Roy Berko - October 13, 2017

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is not a typical Disney stage creation. It is a dark, brooding musical and probably not appropriate for children. While the first act is rather slow, the second act is strong. It is well worth seeing.... (more...)
BWW Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Delights at Great Lakes Theater BWW Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Delights at Great Lakes Theater
by Roy Berko - October 09, 2017

Those who are afraid of seeing Shakespeare because of the oft abstract language and confusing plot twists should fear not. This production is a total delight, with a nice mash-up of comedy and outlandish farce, mixed in with a little lover's stardust. It's definite must see!... (more...)
BWW Review: Farcical, Slapstick THE ROCKY HORRO SHOW Fun at Blank Canvas BWW Review: Farcical, Slapstick THE ROCKY HORRO SHOW Fun at Blank Canvas
by Roy Berko - October 08, 2017

On June 20, 1973 I had one of my mind-blowing experiences in a theater.... (more...)
BWW Review:  Compelling, Must see “Well” @ Ensemble BWW Review: Compelling, Must see “Well” @ Ensemble
by Roy Berko - October 02, 2017

Well is one of those special scripts and performances that showcases the message of what theater is all about. It's a must see experience.... (more...)
BWW Review:  Mesmerizing, emotion-laden “Last of the Boys” at none too fragile BWW Review: Mesmerizing, emotion-laden “Last of the Boys” at none too fragile
by Roy Berko - September 19, 2017

War is hell and, as highlighted in Last of the Boys, its aftermath is often worse. Kudos to Sean Derry and his cast for creating a compelling evening of theater. This is must see theater for anyone interested in fine acting and a more real than life picture of the outcomes of combative and emotion... (more...)
BWW Review: Finely Performed “Simply Simone” Jazzes Up Karamu BWW Review: Finely Performed “Simply Simone” Jazzes Up Karamu
by Roy Berko - September 18, 2017

Mention the name Nina Simone and your mind probably conjures up jazz. Yes, Nina, the jazz superstar and writer/performer of such powerhouse songs as 'My Baby Just Cares for Me,' 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black,' and 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.' But, were you aware that the terms child prodigy, ci... (more...)
BWW Review: Cleveland Play House opens 2017-2018 with entertaining “Shakespeare in Love” BWW Review: Cleveland Play House opens 2017-2018 with entertaining “Shakespeare in Love”
by Roy Berko - September 18, 2017

Cleveland Play House opens 2017-2018 with entertaining Shakespeare in Love... (more...)
BWW Review: Irreverent BWW Review: Irreverent "Book of Mormon" Delights in Return Visit at State Theatre
by Roy Berko - September 14, 2017

One of the major concerns in attending a return visit by a Broadway touring show is that the production will be a lesser version. Those planning on attending 'Book of Mormon,' now on stage at the State Theatre, should have no fears. This reincarnation is equally good as any of the other versions tha... (more...)
BWW Review: Jordan Wine Dinner at Johnny's Downtown - The Finest of Sonoma in the Heart of the Midwest BWW Review: Jordan Wine Dinner at Johnny's Downtown - The Finest of Sonoma in the Heart of the Midwest
by Christina Mancuso - September 11, 2017

Why travel to the West Coast to sample delicious wines when wine country can come to you? Lisa Mattson, Director of Marketing of Jordan Vineyard & Winery, brought a stellar lineup of exclusive Jordan vintages to Johnny's Downtown in Cleveland, Ohio, for a one-night sold-out event that featured the b... (more...)
BWW Preview:  Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's award winning Baroque orchestra, opens new season with “Israel in Egypt” BWW Preview: Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's award winning Baroque orchestra, opens new season with “Israel in Egypt”
by Roy Berko - September 05, 2017

Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's award winning Baroque orchestra, opens new season with "Israel in Egypt"... (more...)
BWW Review: Opening night standing ovation for Dobama's “brownsville song (b-side for tray) well-deserved BWW Review: Opening night standing ovation for Dobama's “brownsville song (b-side for tray) well-deserved
by Roy Berko - September 04, 2017

Dobama, Cleveland's fine off-Broadway professional theatre, opens its 2017-2018 season with a mesmerizing production of Kimber Lee's "must see" script. Generally well-directed, often superlatively acted, this is drama at its finest! The opening night standing ovation was well-deserved.... (more...)
BWW Review: RHINOCEROS Challenges the Audience to Place a Spotlight on the Absurdity of Life Today at Con-Con BWW Review: RHINOCEROS Challenges the Audience to Place a Spotlight on the Absurdity of Life Today at Con-Con
by Roy Berko - August 27, 2017

Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Edward Albee are Theatre of the Absurd playwrights. Unlike modern-movement writers like Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and William Inge, who wrote realistic plays which included solutions to problems or resolved situations, the Absurdists based th... (more...)