Nashville Theater Reviews
 


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 pace…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...)
BWW Review: KB Productions' THE WATER'S EDGE by Theresa Rebeck BWW Review: KB Productions' THE WATER'S EDGE by Theresa Rebeck
by Jeffrey Ellis - July 05, 2017

Performed amid a gorgeous, bucolic setting, the latest offering from Nashville's KB Productions - a retelling of Theresa Rebeck's Greek tragedy cum American family drama The Water's Edge - is performed upon what may be the most detailed, stunningly conceived and beautifully realized set ever seen on... (more...)
BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! Wows Nashville Audiences During Show's TPAC Run BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! Wows Nashville Audiences During Show's TPAC Run
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 29, 2017

Nashville audiences have long been noted for their generosity in rewarding performances with a standing ovation - to the point that they have become rather commonplace - but never before have we witnessed a 'standing O' at the end of a particularly raucous, thoroughly inspiring and resolutely entert... (more...)
BWW Review: Street Theatre Company's Social Media-Inspired PIPPIN BWW Review: Street Theatre Company's Social Media-Inspired PIPPIN
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 20, 2017

Musical theater lends itself to the "high concept" approach, to be certain, even if it doesn't always add to the overall success of a production. Case in point: Street Theatre Company's current revival of Stephen Schwartz's Pippin, onstage through June 25 at Holy Trinity Community Church in Nashvill... (more...)
BWW Review: So Good It's Addictive...ACT 1's REEFER MADNESS BWW Review: So Good It's Addictive...ACT 1's REEFER MADNESS
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 19, 2017

'Over-the-top' and 'larger-than-life' are but two of the descriptive phrases that may be used in reference to both director Jason Lewis and his latest theatrical project Reefer Madness the Musical - and, in both instances, they are equally justified. In all honesty, who else better than he to helm a... (more...)
BWW Review: SISTER ACT Heralds A Return to the Glory Days at Chaffin's Barn BWW Review: SISTER ACT Heralds A Return to the Glory Days at Chaffin's Barn
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 09, 2017

Back in the day, theatrically speaking, there was something you could always count on in Nashville: some of the very best (if not the best) summer musicals could be found at one venue - Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre. All manner of classic stage musicals were staged at the Barn over the years, rangin... (more...)
BWW Review: Knight's Performance Elevates Verge Theater Company's THE WHALE BWW Review: Knight's Performance Elevates Verge Theater Company's THE WHALE
by Jeffrey Ellis - June 06, 2017

Shawn Knight's stunning and transformative performance as the 600-pound protagonist in Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale - now onstage in a new production from Verge Theater Company to launch its third season - elevates the script beyond its stage-bound limitations, guaranteeing two hours of reflection a... (more...)
BWW Review: EMERGENCE Exudes Artistic Expression and Individuality BWW Review: EMERGENCE Exudes Artistic Expression and Individuality
by Cillea Houghton - June 05, 2017

The Nashville Ballet has a special way of producing unique works you've never seen before. EMERGENCE is its yearly production that opens viewers eyes to the creative process, offering an "artistic experiment" unlike any other, and the 2017 production is no exception.... (more...)
BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL Captivates Nashville BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL Captivates Nashville
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 24, 2017

Carole King is an American treasure: a singer/songwriter of much renown, she possesses the showbiz bona fides that place her among the highest echelons of creative endeavor and for more than 50 years, she has provided the soundtrack for the lives of so many of us that you can't help but be caught up... (more...)
BWW Review: A SECOND HELPING at Cumberland County Playhouse BWW Review: A SECOND HELPING at Cumberland County Playhouse
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 23, 2017

You might be surprised by this, but A Second Helping, the musical now onstage through the weekend at Cumberland County Playhouse' Adventure Theatre, has more in common with The Godfather, Part II than you might expect. Both of them, as sequels to the original material that spawned them, do something... (more...)
BWW Review: Cumberland County Playhouse's Magnificent MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET BWW Review: Cumberland County Playhouse's Magnificent MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 22, 2017

Ross Griffin's dramatically flamboyant portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Cumberland County Playhouse's magnificent production of the Tony Award-winning Million Dollar Quartet would be reason enough to buy a ticket to see the fast-moving, tune-filled salute to one of music's most legendary nights that ... (more...)
BWW Review: Angels in England, or rather ACT 1's NOISES OFF BWW Review: Angels in England, or rather ACT 1's NOISES OFF
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 13, 2017

Make no mistake about it, Michael Frayn's Noises Off, is a rollicking, hilarious roller coaster ride of mirth and merriment – the quintessential British farce, replete with slamming doors, mistaken identities, sexual escapades and all the other necessary ingredients needed to create a memorable nigh... (more...)
BWW Review: BEAU JEST Is Back In Fine Form At Chaffin's Barn BWW Review: BEAU JEST Is Back In Fine Form At Chaffin's Barn
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 12, 2017

Funny and familiar, James Sherman's Beau Jest might well be considered perfect dinner theater fare: spread across two hours, the comedy is easily digested and the players - this time, the estimable ensemble assembled by director Martha Wilkinson for the latest incarnation at Chaffin's Barn Dinner Th... (more...)
BWW Review: 1,600 Words About Why You Should Go See SPAMALOT At Studio Tenn BWW Review: 1,600 Words About Why You Should Go See SPAMALOT At Studio Tenn
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 08, 2017

Whether it's seeing Matt Logan as King Arthur galumphing around onstage, as if astride a horse with Garris Wimmer not far behind providing the necessary sound effects with two halves of one empty coconut shell, or watching Jake Speck, as a feckless wannabe Knight of the Round Table, crap his pants a... (more...)
BWW Review: Nashville Ballet Debuts Christopher Stuart's 7 DEADLY SINS BWW Review: Nashville Ballet Debuts Christopher Stuart's 7 DEADLY SINS
by Jeffrey Ellis - May 05, 2017

Pride. Greed. Envy. Sloth. Gluttony. Lust. Wrath. Collectively, they are the seven deadly sins - the cardinal sins, the antitheses of the seven virtues. Creatively, they are the inspiration for choreographer Christopher Stuart's most recent work, 7 Deadly Sins featuring music by the Nashville-based ... (more...)