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Columbus Theater Reviews

View the latest BroadwayWorld reviews of live + streaming theatre in Columbus.

Review: HAIR: THE AMERICAN TRIBAL LOVE-ROCK MUSICAL at Garden Theatre Photo Review: HAIR: THE AMERICAN TRIBAL LOVE-ROCK MUSICAL at Garden Theatre
by Paul Batterson - May 13, 2024

HAIR is not your typical linear, point A to point B musical. It roughly ambles through vignettes of the members of a “tribe” of hippies in New York City. And yet, HAIR is as important as it is subversive. Without it, shows such as RENT, ANGELS IN AMERICA, and HAMILTON probably wouldn’t stand a chanc...

BWW Review: TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL - Simply the Best in Columbus Photo BWW Review: TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL - Simply the Best in Columbus
by Christina Mancuso - May 09, 2024

TINA: The Tina Turner Musical came blazing in like a bolt of lightning with thunderous applause on opening night at the Ohio Theatre, just as most of our state was under severe tornado warnings.  TINA tells the remarkable story of the musical legend, and shares it all – the good, the bad, and the ug...

Review: TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at Ohio Theatre Photo Review: TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at Ohio Theatre
by Paul Batterson - May 08, 2024

This musical would flounder without a dynamic leading woman. In this case, TINA has two – Zurin Villanueva (who performed in the May 7 show) and Ari Groover because of the energy and vocal demands of the role....

Review: JON BATISTE at Southern Theatre Photo Review: JON BATISTE at Southern Theatre
by Paul Batterson - May 05, 2024

The first night Batiste went from performing solo, to playing with a jazz trio to playing with a 41-piece orchestra in a two-hour span. The following night The former musical director of LATE NIGHT WITH STEPHEN COLBERT unveiled a previously unheard piano concerto commissioned by ProMusica. Either ni...

Review: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at Lincoln Theatre Photo Review: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at Lincoln Theatre
by Paul Batterson - April 29, 2024

Brilliant acting mixed in with a powder keg of singing, dancing, and orchestration stuns its audience....

Review: RIDE THE CYCLONE at The Contemporary Theatre Of Ohio Photo Review: RIDE THE CYCLONE at The Contemporary Theatre Of Ohio
by Paul Batterson - April 23, 2024

RIDE THE CYCLONE is more like an eccentric Tim Burton film than a John Hughes hug fest. However, the moments of genuine humanity and sentiment keeps the show from going off the rails....

Review: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS at Shadowbox Live Photo Review: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS at Shadowbox Live
by Paul Batterson - April 20, 2024

The Shadowbox motto is to do to sketch comedy what Second City does for improv. To do that, it uses a simple formula: crisp writing and solid acting produce big laughs....

Review: CLUE at Ohio Theatre Photo Review: CLUE at Ohio Theatre
by Paul Batterson - April 10, 2024

The script is filled with pratfalls, sight gags, puns and “Dad jokes,” but what makes this play work is the backstory and the personality given to each character and each role contributes something to the plot....

Review: Lending an ear to VAN GOGH'S IN THE ATTIC at Abbey Theater In Dublin Photo Review: Lending an ear to VAN GOGH'S IN THE ATTIC at Abbey Theater In Dublin
by Paul Batterson - April 09, 2024

Cooney’s script is much like a van Gogh painting. Some characters, like Erin, are created with intricate paintbrush strokes; others are fingerpainted in concentric circles....

Review: SNS' THE PROM at Garden Theater Photo Review: SNS' THE PROM at Garden Theater
by Paul Batterson - March 17, 2024

Broadway Musicals are often fantasies, musical representations about things that could not possibly happen. The saddest thing about Short North Stage’s production of THE PROM, which runs from March 14 through April 7 at the Garden Theater, is that it is based partly in truth....

Review: MAMMA MIA! Delivers Dynamo Performance at the Ohio Theatre Photo Review: MAMMA MIA! Delivers Dynamo Performance at the Ohio Theatre
by Dylan Shaffer - March 18, 2024

With familiar hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Honey, Honey,” MAMMA MIA! has a leg up on most musicals: audiences already know the songs. But to surmount and overcome the expectations of audiences is no easy feat. The 25th Anniversary Tour of MAMMA MIA! blows all expectations out of t...

Review: PAT METHENY at Riffe Center Photo Review: PAT METHENY at Riffe Center
by Paul Batterson - March 10, 2024

In his two-hour set, Metheny, the only artist to win Grammys in 10 different categories, was like a magician as he revealed the skills that garnered him gold records for Still Life (Talking), Letter from Home, and Secret Story....

Review: SKELETON CREW at Studio 2 At Riffe Center Photo Review: SKELETON CREW at Studio 2 At Riffe Center
by Paul Batterson - March 04, 2024

Rico Parker joins a talented quartet of actors, performing with Wilma Hatton (Faye), Clarissa Rai (Shanita), and Alan Tyson (Reggie), in bringing this two-act, two-hour show to life. Each actor brings out certain nuances to his or her character, revealing the character’s strengths and concealing his...

Review: Gender-Swapped COMPANY Falls Flat at the Ohio Theatre Despite Genius Sondheim Photo Review: Gender-Swapped COMPANY Falls Flat at the Ohio Theatre Despite Genius Sondheim Score
by Christina Mancuso - February 14, 2024

Nominated for a record-setting 14 Tony Awards and winning 6 in the original production in 1970, Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY was one of the first musicals to deal with contemporary dating, marriage, and divorce.  Originally played by a male lead, Director Marianne Elliott (with approval from Sond...

Review: INFAMOUS LOVE SONGS: AN OVER THE RHINE VALENTINE'S CONCERT at Lincoln Photo Review: INFAMOUS LOVE SONGS: AN OVER THE RHINE VALENTINE'S CONCERT at Lincoln
by Paul Batterson - February 11, 2024

The two seem to have that innate ability to write simple poetry without making them seem like something you would find at the Valentine’s cards bin at Walmart....

Review: THE DREAM AND BEYOND at ShadowBox Live Photo Review: THE DREAM AND BEYOND at ShadowBox Live
by Paul Batterson - January 31, 2024

Shadowbox Live reached deep into their skill sets to celebrate the 11 leaders’ achievements through art, words, dance and song while educating the audience on their significance.  ...

Review: THE WORRIES OF WESLEY (OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP HAVING ANXIETY, OR NOT REALL Photo Review: THE WORRIES OF WESLEY (OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP HAVING ANXIETY, OR NOT REALLY, BUT I AM TRYING TO) at Riffe Center
by Paul Batterson - January 29, 2024

In lesser hands, THE WORRIES OF WESLEY could turn into an afterschool special on television. However, Alan Tyson’s direction and Moss’s idiosyncratic screenplay turn the issue of anxiety into something far deeper...

Review: THE COLOR PURPLE at Garden Theater Photo Review: THE COLOR PURPLE at Garden Theater
by Paul Batterson - January 26, 2024

A show about domestic violence and oppression doesn’t sound like a cheery night at the theater. Here’s what makes the show work: the music and lyrics, especially in the opening three numbers, are about as uplifting as one can get in a show and secondly, there are opportunities for redemption for eve...

Review: THE DRUMS OF WAR at Abbey Theater of Dublin Photo Review: THE DRUMS OF WAR at Abbey Theater of Dublin
by Paul Batterson - January 21, 2024

Director Joe Bishara uses overhead projections of the actual leaders in the play, allowing the audience to compare the actors on the stage and the Roosevelt and Churchills on newsreels....

Review: PILLOW TALK Finds Soft Spot Among the Shadowbox Live Crowd Photo Review: PILLOW TALK Finds Soft Spot Among the Shadowbox Live Crowd
by Paul Batterson - January 09, 2024

Produced and directed by Julie Klein, PILLOW TALK provides a collection of Shadowbox Live’s best skits of the past year, hits the right notes for a variety of patrons. the two-act mixture of rock and roll and comedy opened Jan. 5 and runs through April 13 at the troupe’s stage at 503 S. Front Street...

Interview: THE WORRIES OF WESLEY at Riffe Center Photo Interview: THE WORRIES OF WESLEY at Riffe Center
by Paul Batterson - January 04, 2024

Helping children to understand their feelings is important so they know they’re not alone and that there are coping skills they can use Christy Farnbauch,...

Review: HIP HOP NUTCRACKER 'Blows' Audience Away at Palace Theatre Photo Review: HIP HOP NUTCRACKER 'Blows' Audience Away at Palace Theatre
by Paul Batterson - December 10, 2023

Choreographer/director Jennifer Weber has created an incredible hybrid of Tchaikovsky’s traditional NUTCRACKER score with several modern day nuances....

Review: KINKY BOOTS at Garden Theatre Photo Review: KINKY BOOTS at Garden Theatre
by Paul Batterson - November 27, 2023

KINKY BOOTS is one of those devious productions where the audience gets emotionally involved with the characters and takes in more of a message than they were originally expecting....

Review: SECOND CITY'S COMEDIAN RHAPSODY at Davidson Theatre Photo Review: SECOND CITY'S COMEDIAN RHAPSODY at Davidson Theatre
by Paul Batterson - November 20, 2023

Perhaps it is reassuring Second City, the training ground for many of America’s greatest comedic talent, is still thriving...

Review: HENRY WINKLER at Mershon Auditorium Photo Review: HENRY WINKLER at Mershon Auditorium
by Paul Batterson - November 10, 2023

After decades of reinventing himself, Winkler is finally getting comfortable with who he is....



Videos


Man of La Mancha in Columbus Man of La Mancha
Weathervane Playhouse (5/30 - 6/8)
Hair in Columbus Hair
The Garden Theater (5/9 - 6/9)
Brittney Mack - Putting on the Britt in Columbus Brittney Mack - Putting on the Britt
The Avalon Theatre (5/24 - 5/24)
How Do We Get There From Here? - Melissa Kelley in Columbus How Do We Get There From Here? - Melissa Kelley
The Avalon Theatre (6/8 - 6/8)
Finding Nemo Jr. in Columbus Finding Nemo Jr.
Victoria Players Children's Theater (6/20 - 6/23)
Young Frankenstein in Columbus Young Frankenstein
Pickerington Community Theatre (7/12 - 7/21)
The Red Velvet Cake War in Columbus The Red Velvet Cake War
Weathervane Playhouse (7/11 - 7/20)
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