Review Roundup: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES at Delaware Theatre Company
Based on the novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury, the world premiere of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES will run at the Delaware Theatre Company through October 8. The year is 1938 in a small town where a mysterious traveling carnival passes through. Two boys bent on escaping their midway lives find adventure, and themselves, as a fight between good and evil ensues.
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES has a book by Brian Hill, with music and lyrics by Neil Bartram. It is directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell, with assistant director and choreographer Katie Spelman, scenic design by Scott Davis, costume design by Theresa Ham, lighting design by Greg Hofmann, sound design by Garth Helm, and orchestrations by David Shrubsole.
The cast stars John Francis Babbo as Will Halloway, Sawyer Nunes as Jim Nightshade, Rob Riddle as Mr. Dark, and Stephen Bogardus as Carles Halloway. The cast also features Rajeer Alford, Jake Blouch, Chase Byrd, Melissa Joy Hart, Cambria Klein, Jacob Long, Marian Murphy, Meghan Murphy, Clare O'Malley, Steve Pacek, Karen Peakes, Christopher Sapienza, Joelle Teeter, Kevin Toniazz-Naughton.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Greer Firestone, BroadwayWorld: Casting by Delaware Shakespeare Festival's David Stradley was superb. The voices, ah, the voices. The Dust Witch (Meghan Murphy) was straight out of Idina Menzel gone crazy. Mr. Dark (Rob Riddle) commanded the stage, manipulated the characters like puppet master Jonathan Pryce as The Engineer in MISS SAIGON, although Riddle has a far better voice. (Think Howard Keel in KISS ME KATE). He led a thrilling "Pandemonium" which must be the longest production number in theatre history.
Jim Rutter, The Inquirer: It puts the spectacular in spectacle. That's one compliment I can give Something Wicked This Way Comes, now in its world premiere at Delaware Theatre Company in Wilmington. And as spectacle, this new musical rivals the computer-generated imagery of the famed remount of Sunday in the Park with George that appeared on Broadway in the early 2000s... It sounds comic-bookish, and with Bradbury's sci-fi background, rightly and adventurously so. Freckled Sky's and Shawn Sagady's dazzling design electrifies the stage, with swarms of leaves and bats, a fireball-shooting villainess (Meghan Murphy's stunning vocals as the Dust Witch), and a maze of mirrors that distort desires. These contributions elevated Neil Bartram's ordinary score and lyrics into a production that captivates.
Gail Obenreder, Delaware Online: There are 18 singing and dancing actors, terrific one and all. Sequestered backstage on the theatre's loading dock is a smoking nine-piece band (led by conductor Ryan Touhey). And there are 15 hard-working DTC technical gurus making all kinds of magic behind the scenes. All this is under the sure-handed direction and choreography of Rachel Rockwell, justly revered in Chicago (and all over) for her body of theatre work. And she doesn't disappoint here, molding the ensemble into a smooth and polished unit and enlisting the work of a bevy of first-rate designers and theatre artists... Scott Davis has created an autumnal setting with just the right balance of small-town architecture and malevolent overtones, though the cubist-style tree-construction in the foreground is a little visually puzzling. Also puzzling are the company's realistic Victorian costumes that designer Theresa Ham juxtaposes with 1930s clothing, though each era is excellently rendered.
Photo: Mark Miller