Cleveland Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: EQUUS at Blank Canvas BWW Review: EQUUS at Blank Canvas
by Roy Berko - August 13, 2017

This is required attendance for anyone interested in experiences of marrying a well-written script with a superb staging. If for no other reason, go to the theater to experience the marvel of Antonio DeJesus.... (more...)
BWW Review: A Clevelander's View of the Shaw Festival - 2017 BWW Review: A Clevelander's View of the Shaw Festival - 2017
by Roy Berko - August 01, 2017

The Shaw is one of two major Canadian theater celebrations, the other being The Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Both are professional, high quality venues.... (more...)
BWW Review: DISNEY'S NEWSIES, in it's Area Premiere, Makes for a Very Pleasant Evening of Theater at Porthouse Theatre BWW Review: DISNEY'S NEWSIES, in it's Area Premiere, Makes for a Very Pleasant Evening of Theater at Porthouse Theatre
by Roy Berko - July 31, 2017

'Newsies' is the Disney produced musical that was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in which a group of ragtag ruffian youth, who were the breadwinners for their impoverished immigrant families, stood up to the powerful Joseph Pulitzer, the owner of New York's major newspaper. The sh... (more...)
BWW Review:  “Best of Broadway' brings out the best of the Cleveland Orchestra and Festival Chorus at Blossom BWW Review: “Best of Broadway' brings out the best of the Cleveland Orchestra and Festival Chorus at Blossom
by Roy Berko - July 21, 2017

A massive Blossom crowd, a nearly full amphitheater and a lawn in which not a blade of grass was not the covered with blankets, table cloths, lawn chairs and people, came out to hear the 'Best of Broadway,' a series of groovy music, jive, jazz, tin pan alley and ballads from the golden years of musi... (more...)
BWW Review: The Hills Are Alive, Once Again, with the THE SOUND OF MUSIC Courtesy of Playhouse Square BWW Review: The Hills Are Alive, Once Again, with the THE SOUND OF MUSIC Courtesy of Playhouse Square
by Roy Berko - July 19, 2017

The hills are alive, once again, with the 'Sound of Music' courtesy of Playhouse Square, Cleveland, OH... (more...)
BWW Review: GROUNDWORKS DANCE THEATER delights again in Cain Park concert BWW Review: GROUNDWORKS DANCE THEATER delights again in Cain Park concert
by Roy Berko - July 19, 2017

As such television programs as 'So You Think You Can Dance' and 'World of Dance' convince more and more people to appreciate dance as an art form, they also create a higher barrier for local companies to leap. With such superb choreographers as Tony winning Mia Michaels, Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh and... (more...)
BWW Review: Overly Long, Thought-Provoking NEIGHBORS at Convergence Continuum BWW Review: Overly Long, Thought-Provoking NEIGHBORS at Convergence Continuum
by Roy Berko - July 16, 2017

'Neighbors,' penned by Jacobs-Jenkins, is now on stage at convergence-continuum.... (more...)
BWW Review: Idina Menzel in Concert at Jacobs Pavilion BWW Review: Idina Menzel in Concert at Jacobs Pavilion
by Roy Berko - July 16, 2017

Menzel's openness to the audience, her kid-inclusiveness, courtesy to her joint performers and fine singing voice, made for a fine evening of entertainment. Applause, applause!... (more...)
BWW Review:  Seldom-staged “City of Angels” now at Beck Center for the Arts BWW Review: Seldom-staged “City of Angels” now at Beck Center for the Arts
by Roy Berko - July 11, 2017

'City of Angels,' a version of which is now on stage at Beck Center, opened on Broadway in December of 1989 and ran through January, 1992, in a healthy run of almost 900 performances. Lakewood's Dee Hoty, a three-time Tony nominee, played a leading role in the Great White Way run.... (more...)
BWW Review: Jivin' AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' is All Singing and Dancing at Porthouse BWW Review: Jivin' AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' is All Singing and Dancing at Porthouse
by Roy Berko - July 08, 2017

"Ain't Misbehavin'" is a musical-review which will be of interest to those who like 1920 and 30's Harlem Renaissance swing music. Be aware that the show, though nicely performed, has over 30 songs and no story line.... (more...)
BWW Review: Roy Horowitz in MY FIRST SONY and THE TIMEKEEPERS at Cleveland Israel Arts Connection In Collaboration With Dobama BWW Review: Roy Horowitz in MY FIRST SONY and THE TIMEKEEPERS at Cleveland Israel Arts Connection In Collaboration With Dobama
by Roy Berko - June 29, 2017

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BWW Review: Black comedy, “An Impending Rupture of The Belly,” insights at none-too-fragile BWW Review: Black comedy, “An Impending Rupture of The Belly,” insights at none-too-fragile
by Roy Berko - June 27, 2017

Matt Pelfrey is noted for inventing oddball concepts and writing sardonic dialogue. His 'An Impending Rupture of the Belly,' now on stage at none-too-fragile, is Pelfrey at his 'creative' black comedy best.... (more...)
BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS 'S Wonderful' at State Theatre BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS 'S Wonderful' at State Theatre
by Roy Berko - June 22, 2017

My Broadway review of “An American In Paris, A New Musical,” stated that it was “a visual, dance-driven Broadway story-telling creation that is gorgeous, enchanting, seamless and sophisticated.” Though I won't go raise the banner as high for the touring production, I will say that it is a very, very... (more...)
BWW Review: Slight “9 to 5” pleases sold-out Porthouse audience BWW Review: Slight “9 to 5” pleases sold-out Porthouse audience
by Roy Berko - June 19, 2017

'9 to 5 The Musical' is based on the 1980 comedy film which starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. After the success of the movie, which is credited with being the 20th highest grossing comedy film, Parton decided to add music and put the story on stage.... (more...)
BWW Review: Mesmerizing HOW TO BE A RESPECTABLE JUNKIE in World Premiere at Dobama BWW Review: Mesmerizing HOW TO BE A RESPECTABLE JUNKIE in World Premiere at Dobama
by Roy Berko - June 18, 2017

Newspapers and television are filled with stories of drug overdoses, excessive prescriptions for opioids, and dependency on drugs due to PTSD, pain and depression. Obituaries note an increasing number of young people dying because of overdosing. Hands are wrung, mea culpas chanted, and social servic... (more...)
BWW Review: “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” less than it should be at Blank Canvas BWW Review: “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” less than it should be at Blank Canvas
by Roy Berko - June 13, 2017

Comedian Steve Martin has written a thought-provoking, clever script which gets a less than stellar production at Cleveland's Blank Canvas. It's not bad, just not what it could be.... (more...)
BWW Review: ROCK OF AGES Rocks, Really Rocks, at Cain Park BWW Review: ROCK OF AGES Rocks, Really Rocks, at Cain Park
by Roy Berko - June 11, 2017

If you are a fanatic for rock and roll, especially from the genre's golden age, you will absolutely love "Rock of Ages." "Oh Sherrie," "The Search is Over," as you'll think it's "Just like Paradise" and believe that you are in "Heaven," having "Nothin' But a Good Time," which is pretty darn good!... (more...)
BWW Review: REALLY REALLY, Thought Provoking, Inciting, Well-Conceived at Beck Center for the Arts BWW Review: REALLY REALLY, Thought Provoking, Inciting, Well-Conceived at Beck Center for the Arts
by Roy Berko - June 03, 2017

"Really Really" is "murder" mystery without a dead body, but still asks, "Who did it?" It's a must see for anyone interested in thoughtful and well-conceived theater.... (more...)
BWW Review: MASSACRE (SING TO YOUR CHILDREN) at Convergence-Continuum BWW Review: MASSACRE (SING TO YOUR CHILDREN) at Convergence-Continuum
by Roy Berko - May 27, 2017

"Massacre (Sing to Your Children)" is an abstract play whose meaning will depend on an individual's views of the world, and their willingness to search for the author's intent and purpose. This is a script and production for playgoers who like to probe for ideas with no need for clarity of ideas or ... (more...)
BWW Review: A Cleveland Reviewer Goes to Broadway at Tony Time, 2017 BWW Review: A Cleveland Reviewer Goes to Broadway at Tony Time, 2017
by Roy Berko - May 23, 2017

Cleveland talent on stage and producers help enlighten Broadway season!... (more...)
BWW Review: THINGS AS THEY ARE examines poet Wallace Stevens in world premiere at Playwrights Local BWW Review: THINGS AS THEY ARE examines poet Wallace Stevens in world premiere at Playwrights Local
by Roy Berko - May 15, 2017

As a play in process, "Things As They Are" needs to be reexamined with an eye for sharpening and tightening the dialogue and ascertaining whether all the visual and audio stimuli are necessary to tell the tale. For those who like to see new works, to discuss and add in-put into the development proce... (more...)
BWW Review: “Forever Plaid,” a pleasant Jukebox musical @ Great Lakes Theater BWW Review: “Forever Plaid,” a pleasant Jukebox musical @ Great Lakes Theater
by Roy Berko - May 09, 2017

"Forever Plaid "is an escapist evening of theater, which is a pleasant trip back to yesterday, when clean-scrubbed boy singers waxed beautifully about the angst of young love, trips of fantasy and the mini-stresses of life. If you like that kind of thing, this is a show for you.... (more...)
BWW Review:  Well-Written and Performed SALVAGE Fascinates at None-Too-Fragile BWW Review: Well-Written and Performed SALVAGE Fascinates at None-Too-Fragile
by Roy Berko - May 07, 2017

'Salvage,' continues none-too-fragile's history of outstanding theatrical presentations as it takes George Brant's well-crafted script from page to stage, with clarity and vividness.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE NORTH POOL at Ensemble BWW Review: THE NORTH POOL at Ensemble
by Roy Berko - May 02, 2017

While the production is well-conceived and holds attention, "The North Pool" is somewhat unsatisfying as a thoughtful piece of play crafting. The script leaves us wanting more, a clearer message to carry from the theatre.... (more...)
BWW Review: LIZZIE, the grizzly musical, rocks the Ohio BWW Review: LIZZIE, the grizzly musical, rocks the Ohio
by Roy Berko - May 01, 2017

"Lizzie," the rock musical, based on the Lizzie Borden murder mystery, is as much rock concert as theatre, represents the movement in musicals to take on modern trends in music, e.g., rock and rap, and appeal to a younger, modish audience.... (more...)