Nashville Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: LOVE NEVER DIES Closes Out TPAC's 2017-18 Season BWW Review: LOVE NEVER DIES Closes Out TPAC's 2017-18 Season
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 20, 2018

We cannot help but wonder: Do peacock feathers foretell of something far more sinister and portentous than what we've seen already in both Love Never Dies and The Phantom of the Opera await our heroine in the moments to follow? We won't spoil the outcome for you, of course, but suffice it to say tha... (more...)
BWW Review: Murfreesboro's Best Ever? THE LITTLE MERMAID Stakes A Claim for the Title BWW Review: Murfreesboro's Best Ever? THE LITTLE MERMAID Stakes A Claim for the Title
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 20, 2018

There's absolutely no need to equivocate, make comparisons or to otherwise water down this particularly judgmental opinion: The Little Mermaid - the stage version of the Disney musical about a gamine sea creature who longs to become human which is now onstage at Murfreesboro's Center for the Arts th... (more...)
BWW Review: Noah Rice-led ANNIE Brings Spirit to The Keeton's Summer Show BWW Review: Noah Rice-led ANNIE Brings Spirit to The Keeton's Summer Show
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 19, 2018

Annie, the Broadway musical by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan, is something of a community theater warhorse - a show that is sure to bring in throngs of theater-goers despite the oftentimes scornful dismay of the theaterati - along the same lines as Steel Magnolias, Grease and, we... (more...)
BWW Review: Radical Arts' BARE Features Strong Performances from Rising Actors BWW Review: Radical Arts' BARE Features Strong Performances from Rising Actors
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 14, 2018

Without a doubt, an individual's teenage years can be fraught with tension and riddled with despair and even when that is leavened by the joy of self-discovery and the constant gaining of knowledge that accompanies adolescence, there's a steep learning curve that some are unable to embrace gracefull... (more...)
BWW Review: Verge Theater Company Inaugurates The Barbershop Theatre With Wondrous KIMBERLY AKIMBO BWW Review: Verge Theater Company Inaugurates The Barbershop Theatre With Wondrous KIMBERLY AKIMBO
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 10, 2018

Verge Theater Company continues its trajectory as one of Nashville's leading and most adventurous theater companies with its wondrous production of David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo, featuring an astonishing and electrifying five-person cast under the superb direction of Laramie Hearn.  Kimberl... (more...)
BWW Review: Circle Players' Closes its 17-18 Season With BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BWW Review: Circle Players' Closes its 17-18 Season With BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 09, 2018

Now onstage at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre as the concluding production of Circle Players' 2017-18 season, Disney's Beauty and the Beast is brought to life by an eager-to-please cast and crew, giving further proof to the universality of the story and the continued delight of audiences lucky enoug... (more...)
BWW Review: Street Theater Company's Ultra-Cool, Ultra-Insider(y) Take on [title of show] BWW Review: Street Theater Company's Ultra-Cool, Ultra-Insider(y) Take on [title of show]
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 08, 2018

Why am I writing about my obvious journalistic shortcomings now for what could be construed for the third time? Street Theatre Company's production of the Hunter Bell-Jeff Bowen musical [title of show] opens tonight to run through June 23 - and last night I was part of the preview audience, having b... (more...)
BWW Review: WAITRESS Captures The Heart of Nashville During TPAC Run BWW Review: WAITRESS Captures The Heart of Nashville During TPAC Run
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 07, 2018

There comes a moment late in act two of Waitress, the Jessie Nelson-Sara Bareilles musical now onstage at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Jackson Hall, when Desi Oakley - the actress portraying Jenna Hunterson, the show's very pregnant heroine - finds herself bathed in the bright glow of a... (more...)
BWW Review: Verge Theater's THE FLICK Best of 2018 to Date BWW Review: Verge Theater's THE FLICK Best of 2018 to Date
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 05, 2018

At first blush, it would be easy to say that there's not much action packed into Annie Baker's The Flick - now onstage in a noteworthy production from Nashville's Verge Theater Company at Belmont's Black Box Theater - but that is, in fact, a pretty simplistic take on a story that is as complex and a... (more...)
BWW Review: Young, DeGarmo and Doolittle Star in Studio Tenn's Stylish Revival of GREASE BWW Review: Young, DeGarmo and Doolittle Star in Studio Tenn's Stylish Revival of GREASE
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 01, 2018

Grease has been a part of the American musical theater vernacular for so long - it opened in Chicago some 47 years ago in the halcyon days of 1971 - that it's easy to overlook the show's impact on theater, in general, and audiences, in particular. Its multiple revivals on Broadway, in regional theat... (more...)
BWW Review: THE LITTLE FOXES Captivatingly Shines Spotlight on Power and Greed at Darkhorse Theatre BWW Review: THE LITTLE FOXES Captivatingly Shines Spotlight on Power and Greed at Darkhorse Theatre
by Cillea Houghton - May 16, 2018

There's something striking about the way that THE LITTLE FOXES manages to leave an impact on its viewers, not with flash and spectacle, but with its piercing dialogue and moral complexity.... (more...)
BWW Review: CoPlayers Theatre Hits One Out of the Park With YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN BWW Review: CoPlayers Theatre Hits One Out of the Park With YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN
by Jeffrey Ellis - April 10, 2018

Filled to overflowing with youthful energy and plenty of showbiz razzle-dazzle, CoPlayers Theatre's production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown - directed and choreographed by the peripatetic Tosha Pendergrast, easily the busiest musical theater choreographer in Middle Tennessee - does what so ma... (more...)
BWW Review: Ludwig's SHAKESPEARE IN HOLLYWOOD Takes TCT Audiences Back to 1934 BWW Review: Ludwig's SHAKESPEARE IN HOLLYWOOD Takes TCT Audiences Back to 1934
by Jeffrey Ellis - April 09, 2018

Now onstage at Brentwood's Towne Centre Theatre, Ludwig's Shakespeare in Hollywood (not to be confused with the musical Shakespeare in Love, which is based on an Oscar-winning film) once again takes audiences to 1934 to tell the story of the mirthful hijinks surrounding Austrian stage director Max R... (more...)
BWW Review: Magical, Memorable WICKED Flies Into TPAC's Jackson Hall for 4-Week Nashville Run BWW Review: Magical, Memorable WICKED Flies Into TPAC's Jackson Hall for 4-Week Nashville Run
by Jeffrey Ellis - April 02, 2018

No matter how many times you see Wicked, no matter how many actresses defy gravity to soar as Elphaba or how numerous the renditions of 'Popular' you may hear Galinda sing, make absolutely no mistake about it: Wicked is a musical theater masterpiece. Winnie Holzman's engaging book (based on the nove... (more...)
BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Timely - and Timeless - Take on INHERIT THE WIND BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Timely - and Timeless - Take on INHERIT THE WIND
by Jeffrey Ellis - March 30, 2018

Theater's power to illuminate and to elucidate even while offering diverting entertainment has perhaps never been felt so strongly as in Nashville Repertory Theatre's engaging version of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's Inherit the Wind, a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in ... (more...)
BWW Review: Circle Players' 2017-18 Season Continues With STEEL MAGNOLIAS BWW Review: Circle Players' 2017-18 Season Continues With STEEL MAGNOLIAS
by Jeffrey Ellis - March 29, 2018

We Southerners take our literary history seriously, whether it's a book, a poem, a novel or a play - no matter the genre, we are proud to read about our way of life and the things that we believe make us so very special. Such is the case with Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias, which debuted in 1987 t... (more...)
BWW Review: Starmaking Performances Lead Belmont University's Exhilarating ON THE TOWN BWW Review: Starmaking Performances Lead Belmont University's Exhilarating ON THE TOWN
by Jeffrey Ellis - March 21, 2018

There's really nothing better than a musical theater-inspired epiphany: On opening night of Belmont University Musical Theatre's altogether invigorating and exhilarating On The Town (which plays Belmont's Troutt Theatre through this Sunday, March 25) I was struck by the similarities - both structura... (more...)
BWW Review: 2018 NASHVILLE BALLET BALL Stuns at Schermerhorn Symphony Center BWW Review: 2018 NASHVILLE BALLET BALL Stuns at Schermerhorn Symphony Center
by Cillea Houghton - March 07, 2018

There's something magical about the Nashville Ballet and that statement rang true during the 2018 Nashville Ballet Ball at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.... (more...)
BWW Review: ACT 1's Bleak Midwinter of Martin McDonagh's THE PILLOWMAN BWW Review: ACT 1's Bleak Midwinter of Martin McDonagh's THE PILLOWMAN
by Jeffrey Ellis - March 05, 2018

Bleak and darkly menacing, playwright Martin McDonagh's view of the world in his blackest of black comedies The Pillowman focuses on the investigation into a series of child murders in a fictional totalitarian state sometime in the near future - or, given the political climate in this real country i... (more...)
BWW Review: Nashville Children's Theatre's Poignant and Compelling MOCKINGBIRD BWW Review: Nashville Children's Theatre's Poignant and Compelling MOCKINGBIRD
by Jeffrey Ellis - March 03, 2018

Poignant and compelling, Mockingbird - the play adapted for the stage by Julie Jensen from the National Book Award-winning novel for younger audiences by Katherine Erskine - is a remarkably timely and prescient look at the aftermath of a school shooting for the people most intimately affected by it,... (more...)
BWW Review: Second Stage Student Theatre's HEDDA GABLER Will Give You Plenty to Talk About BWW Review: Second Stage Student Theatre's HEDDA GABLER Will Give You Plenty to Talk About
by Jeffrey Ellis - March 01, 2018

Hedda Gabler, both Henrik Ibsen's legendary anti-heroine and his eponymous play from whence she comes, challenges even the most experienced directors and actors to create a version of the piece that is engaging and authentic - and, perhaps more importantly, appealing to the people sitting in the aud... (more...)
BWW Review: CABARET Continues to Captivate On Opening Night at Nashville's TPAC BWW Review: CABARET Continues to Captivate On Opening Night at Nashville's TPAC
by Jeffrey Ellis - February 28, 2018

One thing becomes abundantly clear while witnessing Bailey McCall Thomas' emotionally charged performance of the song 'Cabaret' during a performance of the iconic Broadway musical of the same name: there is perhaps no 'title song' quite so evocative, quite so stunning as John Kander and Fred Ebb's c... (more...)
BWW Review: BIG LOVE, A PLAY, or 50 Brides for 50 Brothers BWW Review: BIG LOVE, A PLAY, or 50 Brides for 50 Brothers
by Jeffrey Ellis - February 26, 2018

Who'd have thought that a play written in 2000 and based upon a work by Aeschylus from 463 BC (give or take a year or two) would prove to be so timely in the 21st Century? Yet that is exactly what Big Love, a play by Charles Mee, directed by Amanda Card and produced by Tamara Todres, Kristin McCalle... (more...)
BWW Review: Lowell's Exquisite Performance Reverberates Long After Curtain For Studio Tenn's DOUBT BWW Review: Lowell's Exquisite Performance Reverberates Long After Curtain For Studio Tenn's DOUBT
by Jeffrey Ellis - February 23, 2018

Marguerite Lowell's exquisitely crafted performance as Sister Aloysius will continue to reverberate long after the curtain has come down on Studio Tenn's remarkably prescient and timely production of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, which runs at Jamison Theatre in the Factory at Franklin through Sunda... (more...)
BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Beautifully Acted Take on Lydia R. Diamond's SMART PEOPLE BWW Review: Nashville Rep's Beautifully Acted Take on Lydia R. Diamond's SMART PEOPLE
by Jeffrey Ellis - February 22, 2018

Are Caucasians (specifically, white men) 'hard-wired' to be prejudiced - genetically engineered to be biased against the members of other races - their so-called white privilege perhaps mitigated by circumstances beyond their control? That's but one of the intriguing queries posed during the two-and... (more...)