Nashville Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: Latest Stunning Revival of LES MISERABLES Thrills Nashville Audiences in Return to TPAC BWW Review: Latest Stunning Revival of LES MISERABLES Thrills Nashville Audiences in Return to TPAC
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 15, 2017

As difficult as it is to fathom, some 27 years ago my first review of Les Miserables the internationally renowned musical based upon the iconic 1861 Victor Hugo novel about a reformed bread thief who is pursued over the decades by a relentless lawman in post-Revolutionary France was published, y... (more...)
BWW Review: Belmont University Musical Theatre's Remarkably Robust FIDDLER ON THE ROOF BWW Review: Belmont University Musical Theatre's Remarkably Robust FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 12, 2017

It should come as absolutely no surprise that the current production onstage at Massey Performing Arts Center in Nashville, courtesy of the astonishing Belmont University Musical Theatre program, is possibly as good or even better than any show we've seen put on over the years by the venerated m... (more...)
BWW Review: Circle Players' Sweeping and Epic HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME BWW Review: Circle Players' Sweeping and Epic HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 08, 2017

With a sense of the sweeping epic about it and a darkly romantic story to tell The Hunchback of Notre Dame ( a new musical based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film ) offers an intriguing retelling of the story of Quasimodo, the hideously deformed and often reviled bellringer... (more...)
BWW Review: Lipscomb University's SHE LOVES ME Has So Much to Love About It BWW Review: Lipscomb University's SHE LOVES ME Has So Much to Love About It
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 06, 2017

Based on Hungarian playwright Miklos Lazlo's Parfumerie (which has also served as the inspiration for the movies The Shop Around the Corner, In the Good Ole Summertime and You've Got Mail), She Loves Me is, for most musical theater aficionados, one of those infrequently-produced theatrical gems vene... (more...)
BWW Review: Nashville Children's Theatre's Charming MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS BWW Review: Nashville Children's Theatre's Charming MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 06, 2017

Offering a thoroughly delightful and completely entertaining story about welcoming new challenges and living life to its fullest, Mr. Popper's Penguins the charming musical onstage at Nashville Children's Theatre through December 3 also offers its young audiences an intriguing history lesson abo... (more...)
BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Transforms TPAC's Jackson Hall Into Musical Theatre Heaven BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Transforms TPAC's Jackson Hall Into Musical Theatre Heaven
by Jeffrey Ellis - November 01, 2017

There is a new vision of heaven tap-dancing its way through my brain replete with beautiful showgirls and handsome chorus boys performing a show-stopping version of George and Ira Gershwin's I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise from An American in Paris, the sumptuous musical now onstage at Tennes... (more...)
BWW Review: NASHVILLE BALLET's 'Lizzie Borden with The Raven' BWW Review: NASHVILLE BALLET's 'Lizzie Borden with The Raven'
by Melia Kraus-har - October 30, 2017

Nashville Ballet dancers took to the aisles of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Polk Theater for Lizzie Borden with The Raven, Thursday, October 26th. Principal dancer Christopher Stuart's interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe's seminal work led the evening, sharing an ominous closing motif with A... (more...)
BWW Review: FUN HOME Makes a Powerful Statement at TPAC BWW Review: FUN HOME Makes a Powerful Statement at TPAC
by Cillea Houghton - October 12, 2017

While most Broadway shows pack a powerful punch, FUN HOME accomplishes that by capturing the viewer's heart, whether gently plucking at one's heartstrings or tugging with all its might, and its opening night in Nashville at TPAC's Andrew Jackson Hall offered viewers a bevy of emotion.... (more...)
BWW Review: Bailey Directs Well-Paced A FEW GOOD MEN at CFTA BWW Review: Bailey Directs Well-Paced A FEW GOOD MEN at CFTA
by Jeffrey Ellis - September 16, 2017

If the production of Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men closing tonight after a much too brief two-weekend run at Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts proves anything it's just how current and relevant the play remains, almost 30 years after its Broadway premiere. First produced there in 1989, followed... (more...)
BWW Review: Nolan Makes Impressive Nashville Children's Theatre Debut With THE HUNDRED DRESSES BWW Review: Nolan Makes Impressive Nashville Children's Theatre Debut With THE HUNDRED DRESSES
by Jeffrey Ellis - September 15, 2017

Ernie Nolan, Nashville Children's Theatre's new executive artistic director, makes an impressive debut with The Hundred Dresses, the initial show of his first official season as the leader of the country's oldest theater for younger audiences. Nolan's predecessor, the late and great Scot Copeland, l... (more...)
BWW Review: Fogelberg Score Soars in PART OF THE PLAN at TPAC BWW Review: Fogelberg Score Soars in PART OF THE PLAN at TPAC
by Jeffrey Ellis - September 11, 2017

Singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg's music has provided the soundtrack for so many people's lives over the past 40 years that it should come as no surprise that his remarkable catalogue of music now provides the score for a new musical with its sights focused on a Broadway transfer. But does Part of th... (more...)
BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Stylish Take on Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Stylish Take on Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
by Jeffrey Ellis - September 10, 2017

There is no mistaking the incisive wit of Jane Austen's rather genteel evisceration of the British aristocracy to be found in Sense and Sensibility, the thoroughly delightful and completely engaging adaptation by Kate Hamill that opens Nashville Repertory Theatre's 2017-18 season. In gleeful style, ... (more...)
BWW Review: Studio Tenn's History Lesson for THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN BWW Review: Studio Tenn's History Lesson for THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN
by Jeffrey Ellis - September 10, 2017

Memory plays are a challenge for any playwright - ask Tennessee Williams, whose The Glass Menagerie is not only the quintessential memory play, but is also a theatrical masterpiece - and that may, perhaps, explain the shortcomings found in Studio Tenn's The Battle of Franklin: A Tale of a House Divi... (more...)
BWW Review: Gorgeous MAMMA MIA! Takes the Chaffin's Barn Stage in High-Flying Style BWW Review: Gorgeous MAMMA MIA! Takes the Chaffin's Barn Stage in High-Flying Style
by Jeffrey Ellis - September 08, 2017

If not for the fact that she is already one on Broadway, it could be said that Rachel Potter's performance in Mamma Mia! - which opened last night at Nashville's historic Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre - was, without doubt or without danger of fulsome exaggeration a "starmaking turn." With a glorious... (more...)
BWW Review: Springhouse Theatre's Winsome Staging of THE FANTASTICKS BWW Review: Springhouse Theatre's Winsome Staging of THE FANTASTICKS
by Jeffrey Ellis - August 19, 2017

Sometimes even the loveliest and most appealing of musical theater scores can be forgotten, virtually erased from your memory. Unless, of course, you have your digital music system programmed to play a cavalcade of memorable showtunes, but even then, you're likely hear songs from the same ten shows ... (more...)
BWW Review: CFTA's Tuneful and Entertaining THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE BWW Review: CFTA's Tuneful and Entertaining THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
by Jeffrey Ellis - August 14, 2017

Director Chris McLaurin makes a particularly auspicious debut at the helm of his rollicking - and beautifully sung and winningly staged - production of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic The Pirates of Penzance, now playing at Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts through August 27. Charming and engaging, ... (more...)
BWW Review: Towne Centre's Sumptuously Sung THE SECRET GARDEN Captivates BWW Review: Towne Centre's Sumptuously Sung THE SECRET GARDEN Captivates
by Jeffrey Ellis - August 13, 2017

Katharine Boettcher's glorious soprano is finally given the showcase it so richly deserves in the beautifully sung production of Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon's The Secret Garden, the oftentimes stirring and altogether bewitching story of a young orphaned girl forced to live with her mysterious uncle... (more...)
BWW Review: Circle Players' BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL Brings Down the House BWW Review: Circle Players' BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL Brings Down the House
by Jeffrey Ellis - August 12, 2017

Strong and energetic - some even show-stopping - performances from a youthful, fresh-faced cast, choreography that will have you dancing in the aisles and sprightly direction that moves the plot along at an astonishing paceā€¦if you aren't already a fan of Bring It On the Musical, then Circle Players'... (more...)
BWW Review: SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN's Sentimental Journey at Chaffin's Barn BWW Review: SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN's Sentimental Journey at Chaffin's Barn
by Jeffrey Ellis - August 08, 2017

Theater's power to transform and transport is astonishing and the capability of artists to create a sense of time and place, with words and music and theatrical wizardry to lend a tangible feeling to the experience can leave you breathless. Who'd have ever thought that such thrilling artistry, the v... (more...)
BWW Review: Roxy Regional's STEEL MAGNOLIAS Takes You Back Home BWW Review: Roxy Regional's STEEL MAGNOLIAS Takes You Back Home
by Jeffrey Ellis - August 08, 2017

Nothing seems to spark so much debate among the theaterati than the announcement of an upcoming production of a show considered overdone, old-fashioned or somehow hackneyed and quasi-provincial. Take for example, Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias - the somewhat nostalgic and Southern-fried seriocomic... (more...)
BWW Review: Woven Theatre's Exquisite and Enlightening SILENT SKY BWW Review: Woven Theatre's Exquisite and Enlightening SILENT SKY
by Jeffrey Ellis - July 24, 2017

Nashville audiences have become rather familiar with the work of Lauren Gunderson, the most produced living American playwright of the 2016-17 season, primarily due to works presented by Tennessee Women's Theater Project. Now, thanks to an impressive production of her Silent Sky, by Woven Theatre Co... (more...)
BWW Review: Destiny Theatre Experience's MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT Burns Bright BWW Review: Destiny Theatre Experience's MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT Burns Bright
by Jeffrey Ellis - July 22, 2017

Despite its provocative title and abundant profanity (or maybe even because of it), Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Motherf**ker With the Hat is actually filled with a lot of humanity and heart, enough that you'll find it difficult to shake off the story and its characters long after the final scene has p... (more...)
BWW Review: Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva's Dazzling and Stunning Billie Holiday Can't Be Missed BWW Review: Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva's Dazzling and Stunning Billie Holiday Can't Be Missed
by Jeffrey Ellis - July 17, 2017

Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva's miraculous transformation into music legend Billie Holiday may well be the performance of 2017, theater-wise, in a city where we revere and venerate our favorite vocalists. But in Music City, where live theater is often perceived as a mere afterthought by the entertainment ... (more...)
BWW Review: Theater Bug's Funny and Wry New Musical IF I WERE YOU BWW Review: Theater Bug's Funny and Wry New Musical IF I WERE YOU
by Jeffrey Ellis - July 15, 2017

Once again, Cori Laemmel and Laura Matula - along with their team of creative collaborators and their always surprising and courageous troupe of young actors at The Theater Bug - have achieved much with their latest original musical. If I Were You, which focuses on four young protagonists gives the ... (more...)
BWW Review: Ryan Bowie Brings Back His Amazing HEDWIG To The Roxy BWW Review: Ryan Bowie Brings Back His Amazing HEDWIG To The Roxy
by Jeffrey Ellis - July 05, 2017

Ryan Bowie revives his amazing performance as the 'international song stylist' Hedwig Schmidt in the latest incarnation of Hedwig and The Angry Inch, now onstage at Clarksville's Roxy Regional Theatre through July 15. No matter if you saw him in 2014 during the show's initial run at theotherspace at... (more...)