Cleveland Theater Reviews
 


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...)
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...)