Monday, March 2, 2015

The Book Club Play @ Actors' Summit


Through March 15, 2015

Greystone Hall, 103 High St., Akron, 330-374-7568 
Bob Abelman

Director MaryJo Alexander recognizes this play’s potential and is skilled enough to follow up on it.  Through clever casting , fast pacing, and a concerted effort to reel in what comes across on the page as disingenuous, Alexander finds common ground between what is acerbic and what is asinine.  There are still moments when one brand of comedy wins out over the other and when an actor cannot find the humanity in the humor.  But the end result is a very funny play that will appeal to just about everyone.  

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's article here
http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/


Kerry Clawson

As heavy-handed as the unlikable Ana is, playwright Karen Zacarias’ comedy, now running at Actors’ Summit in downtown Akron, is heavy-handed too. There’s nothing subtle or surprising about her humor: The play’s heightened sense of self-awareness leads to trite-sounding dialogue that overstates the obvious.  The comedy, which premiered in 2008 in Bethesda, Md., feels dated and overly simplistic now as it proffers a sort of book club for dummies to explain what the 'Twilight' series and Twihards are.

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.

Howard Gollop
No review yet.

Mark Horning
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.


Christine Howey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

Andrea Simakis
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Art Thomas
No review yet.
Click here to read the complete review at WestLife

Dial "M" for Murder @ Great Lakes Theater


Through March 22, 2015

Hanna Theater, 2067 E. 14th St., , 216-241-6000
Bob Abelman

The biggest mystery in this classic psychological thriller is what the good folks at Great Lakes Theater have in store to keep the plot twists camouflaged, make the abrupt turns sufficiently disorienting, and serve up Tony’s  pathology in a fresh and interesting way. As it turns out, what they have in store is not nearly enough.  

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's CJN article here:
http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Roy Berko
 
Great Lakes production of DIAL “M” FOR MURDER makes for a wonderful escapist evening of theatre.  Anyone liking murder mysteries, good acting, and good staging will enjoy this production.  As to the theatre’s evolving pattern of staging a mystery each season, as long as they continue in the vein of their DEATHTRAP, MOUSETRAP, and DIAL “M,” let’s have some more!
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.

Howard Gollop
No review yet.

Mark Horning
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

Andrea Simakis
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Art Thomas

The script and music are solidly rooted in the 1950's but Charlie Fee's production has nods to this decade. The result is a show that is relevant to the technology savvy denizens of the 21st century. Imagine, young people will learn about the archaic phones with dials! This is a handsome and well conceived production. 

Click here to read the complete review at WestLife

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Lonesome West @ None Too Fragile Theater

Through February 28, 2015
1835 Merriman Rd., Akron, 330-962-5547, nonetoofragile.com


Bob Abelman

Unlike the playwright’s “The Pillowman” (recently performed to perfection at convergence-continuum), where the gruesome drama sets up disturbing avenues for dark comedy, the hilarious “Lonesome West” leads with the comedy and allows the dramatic moments to find their own way to the surface.  And by comedy we're talking vintage Warner Bros. cartoon humor, where the perpetually feuding Coleman (Sean Derry) and Valene (Andrew Narten) are live-action equivalents of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck with a brogue. 

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's CJN article here:  http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/features/leisure/arts/none-too-fragile-stages-deliciously-dark-the-lonesome-west/article_d2e7f72a-b55f-11e4-87a2-871be2aacd40.html

Kerry Clawson

Sparks fly in more ways than one in the savagely funny "The Lonesome West," now onstage at None Too Fragile in Akron’s Merriman Valley.   Martin McDonagh’s black comedy is one of absurd extremes as brothers Coleman and Valene constantly bicker over everything from plastic religious figures to who gets to touch a magazine, eat crisps (chips) or drink poteen (a distilled Irish drink).

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.


Christine Howey

They craft a pair of relationships that are dramatically different in their details but share a common thread of desperation — one quiet and tender, the other foul-mouthed and violent.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

Andrea Simakis


The None Too Fragile production of "The Lonesome West" is some of the best theater you'll see this season. But be warned: Potato chips, household appliances and organized religion are harmed in the making of this play
 
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.



Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dogfight @ Beck Center for the Arts


Through March 15, 2015

17801 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, 216-521-2540    

Bob Abelman

In Beck Center’s "Dogfight," no one comes out a winner.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's CJN article here.
www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/local/in-beck-center-s-dogfight-no-one-comes-out-a/article_bf229980-affa-11e4-bcc3-ab6d370a51b5.html


Roy Berko 

The production agreement between Beck Center and the Baldwin Wallace Musical Theatre program has produced some outstanding productions.  Though it is not bad, DOGFIGHT is not of the quality of the duo’s previous stagings.   

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

While the premise of “Dogfight” starts out as a bunch of marine toughs perpetrating a cruel joke in the end the principle player, Eddie Birdlace, finds compassion as well as true comfort in the arms of Rose.  In the end he realizes that truly Everything is Beautiful.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey

This is the latest collaboration between Beck Center and the esteemed Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program. They have put together some extraordinary productions in the past, but this one suffers from flawed material and other issues.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan


Andrea Simakis


Precision performances - Broadway quality and better - are what give this love story its real bite.


To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.
 

Art Thomas

The young cast of "Dogfight" are well chosen from the Musical Theater program at B-W U.  The weaknesses of the script's second act are minimalized by the in-your-face immediacy of this production. Selected images from the era suggest that Vietnam was, in fact, a musical.
 
Click here to read the complete review at WestLife

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pippin @ PlayhouseSquare


Through February 15, 2015
Connor Palace Theatre, 1615 Euclid Avenue, 216-241-6000


Bob Abelman

"Pippin" is a coming-of-age-during-the-Middle Ages story about the eldest son of Charlemagne, who explores war, sex, power and the ordinary in an effort to find something in life that is completely fulfilling.  All he need do is buy a ticket to this absolutely superb and thoroughly entertaining national tour.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's CJN article here.

Roy Berko


The touring production of PIPPIN, in spite of some minor flaws, is mainly magical.  It nicely carries out the story’s theme and should delight those who are seeing the show for the first time, or are seeing the new and reconfigured edition of the show. From my perspective,  it would be worth seeing the show just to hear “Corner of the Sky” and “Morning Glow.”

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson

Everything’s gloriously over the top under the Big Top in the national tour of "Pippin."
The magical musical, reconceived in 2012 with a circus setting by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus, thrills at PlayhouseSquare’s Connor Palace with its death-defying acrobatics as young prince Pippin goes on his own death-defying journey to find his place in the world. Paulus’ creation, the first revival of Stephen Schwartz and Bob Fosse’s 1972 original, is so dazzling to watch, we’re almost on sensory overload.

To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.

Howard Golub

The troupe that once merely sang, danced, contorted and postured now literally jumps through hoops to please. Not only hoops, but all the other feats that go with a trapeze, tightrope, fire pit, bouncing-ball and occasional magic contraption — and it’s all done wearing considerably more revealing costumes (by Dominique Lemieux).

In a show that celebrates youth, it’s ironic that the best scenes involve the older generation, naturally taken on by the more seasoned performers.  


Mark Horning


“Pippin” quite easily can be considered the consummate Broadway show.  It combines Song, Dance, Magic, Circus, Acrobatics, Costuming and Lights into a whirlwind of mesmerizing visual and audible delight.  Prepare to be dazzled during this run of easily sold out performances.   

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Art Thomas

I am now a believer. Everything about this show is magic. While there are a few things to quibble about, the circus skills, Fosse-inspired dance, and unified design make the production rise far above the book and score. This is not a reimagined show. It is a new "Pippin" with surprises and enough "stuff" to please any type or age of theatergoer.

Click here to read the complete review at WestLife

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fire on the Water @ Cleveland Public Theatre


Through February 14, 2015
6415 Detroit Ave., 216-631-2727

Roy Berko


Cleveland Public Theatre, with its Elements series, continues to use theatre to not only entertain its audience, but to act as an arts device to alert people to the needs and wants of society, as well as teach civic and social responsibility.  FIRE ON WATER, though overly long and redundant, is an interesting piece of devised theatre, that, as the rest of the Elements series, illustrates the fragility of the world in which we live. 

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

While each segment stands well in its own right, the constant bombardment of the same information gets to wear thin in this two and a half hour marathon of a singular and one dimensional subject.  While fans of CPT, BC, TS, OTP and TN will rave, others new to Cleveland Theater will feel a bit overwhelmed.  This is theater for an acquired taste. 

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog

Christine Howey

Even with some wrinkles — and we're not talking about the fingertips of the marinating water spirits — Fire on the Water consistently surprises and challenges the audience.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

Andrea Simakis

Taking the "more is too much" approach, CPT and guest artists built a quartet of plays over three seasons, little enough time to conceive, write and develop one successful piece, with so many cooks and moving parts, let alone four. (There were supposed to be five plays, but one was mercifully amputated along the way.)

Consequently, though "Fire" has moments of weirdness that, like that dragon, spark into true inspiration, most of the time, the show is all wet, comically cloying and preachy or designed for children who respond to bright colors and big gestures.


To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Violet @ Lakeland Civic Theatre


Through February 15, 2015
Lakeland Community College, 440-525-7526

 Bob Abelman


If scar tissue could sing, its music would be written by Jeanine Tesori with words by Brian Crawley.  Rarely has a composer and lyricist joined forces to produce as tender, touching and unconventional a musical about the scars we bear – inside and out – as “Violet,” currently on stage at Lakeland Civic Theatre.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.


Christine Howey
The characters and the music in Violet are both complex and believable, creating a seamless work that is fully satisfying. As Violet and Finch grow closer, two people being judged by their outward appearance, the play concludes by saying “Yes” to a happy ending that feels fully earned.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan


Thurgood @ Ensemble Theatre


Through February 22, 2015
2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216-321-2930


Bob Abelman

In “Thurgood” – a no-frills one-man reflection on the accomplishments of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice – Ensemble Theatre’s Greg White is the embodiment of the man.  Rather than relying on physical resemblance or parlor tricks, White depicts Thurgood from the inside out and is wonderful. Trouble is, the play is not as good as it is good for you.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's CJN article here.

Roy Berko

THURGOOD is a well-conceived script, which receives a solid production.  The message is a lesson well needed for black and whites alike. It should be a “must see” for junior and high school students, their parents and grandparents so that the story of the ever present issue of granting civil rights becomes a cause-célèbre and all people are treated with respect and dignity.
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning


“Thurgood” goes beyond the premise of Black History and into the realm of Great Americans History.  It is a show of how one man can make tremendous change in spite of the great odds against him.  Greg White captures the determination as well as humor of this great American hero.  Fill the seats for this one.  It is a play that will inspire all who see it.  

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog here.

Christine Howey

These stories are told in a cozy, conversational manner in this one-person show with Greg White as Marshall. White is able to embody the passion of the man while scaling his aura down to a relatable size. As directed fluidly by Sarah May, White is always interesting and at times compelling.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Five Guys Named Moe @ Cleveland Play House


Through February 15
Allen Theatre, PlayhouseSquare, 216-241-6000


Bob Abelman

As jukebox musicals go, “Five Guys Named Moe” – which premiered on Broadway in 1992  – is a fair to middlin’ confection.  But this Cleveland Play House production of it is world class.  What this show lacks in conception and construction it moe than makes up for in execution.  

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


If you like the jazz and blues musical stylings of Louis Jordan, you’ll enjoy FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE.  If, on the other hand, you desire a musical with a storyline, with songs and productions numbers that develop that tale, then you will probably join those who left at intermission.  Me, I’m a storyline kind of guy!  

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Howard Golub

The original production, a London West End import to Broadway, oddly owed more to squeaky-clean musical revues such as “Forever Plaid” than the down-and-dirty varieties such as “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Bubbling Brown Sugar.”

Here, the pseudo “cafe” ambiance of the original production has evolved into something like a Las Vegas show (albeit a smaller Las Vegas show, like the ones that seem to be included in hotel packages).

 
Mark Horning


If you are looking for an excuse to get out of the house, “Five Guys Named Moe” is definitely the right destination for an evening of great music and dancing.  Although light on the acting, it is as perfect an example of a delightful “Jutebox Musical” as you will find anywhere.  It’s a nice winter escape.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey

It’s big, flashy and loud. It features six performers who can sing and dance with skill. And it presents a whole bunch of songs by Louis Jordan, the renowned hit-maker and sax star from the 1930’s to the early ‘50s. Plus, critics like this show because they can drag out all their tired “Moe” puns, But Moe about that later.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan

Andrea Simakis

If "Five Guys Named Moe" were a month, it'd be sultry, sticky July, 'cuz the sexy, glitzy reboot of the 1992 Broadway revue showcasing the music of bandleader and sax man Louis Jordan is a real scorcher.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Art Thomas

The strengths of this production include fresh choreography unique for each of the musical numbers and a cast that grow on you. Weaknesses include a wafer thin premise, repetitious themes, and lighting that does not illuminate.
  
Click here to read the complete review at WestLife

Monday, January 26, 2015

Joe Turner's Come and Gone @ Karamu House


January 23 - February 15

2355 E. 89th St., 216-795-7077

Bob Abelman
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko

JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE is a perfect script choice for both Karamu’s 100th anniversary and Black History month.  The script is a classic and the production is one of Karamu’s better offerings.  For those who want a good history lesson, to be exposed to the writing of one of America’s greatest playwrights, and see a well performed show, JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE is a good choice! 
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.

Howard Gollop
No review yet.

Mark Horning
It is easy to see why August Wilson counted this play as his favorite.  The use of comedy, mystery, drama and romance carries the audience along.  Although the show is over two hours in length, time goes by very quickly (as it should be with good performances).  If you are looking for a good history lesson to coincide with Black History Month or for that matter, any month this is the show to see.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey


Set in 1911, Joe Turner is a massively ambitious play masquerading at times as a very simple story about a, African-American boarding house in Pittsburgh and the folks who pass though its doors. And this production, directed with spot-on specificity by Terrence Spivey, tells that story with skill.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan

Andrea Simakis


"Joe Turner's Come and Gone," directed with a sure hand and a winning coach's eye for team building by Terrence Spivey, is as skillfully rendered and solid as the oak trim around the doorframes in the 1911 Pittsburgh boardinghouse where the action unfolds.

To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

Art Thomas
No review yet.
Click here to read the complete review at WestLife

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Slowgirl @ Dobama Theatre

January 23 - February 15, 2015
216-932-3396, dobama.org


Bob Abelman

Dobama Theatre is at its best when presenting modest plays that rely on choice words and fine acting to do the heavy lifting.  Greg Pierce’s “Slowgirl,” a sensitively drawn and delicately presented one-act contemplation on the healing of the human spirit – fits the bill in fine fashion.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's CJN article here.

Roy Berko


SLOWGIRL is a well-written script that keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting for what surprising revelation will reveal itself next.  Dobama’s production values enhance the text, resulting in a must-see evening of theater.

To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning


The combination of two good actors, an amazing set, fine direction, subdued atmospheric sounds plus a bit of mystery makes this production well worth braving the ice and snow of our Cleveland winter in order to venture out to see.  Put this on your “to do” list.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog by going to: 
http://www.axs.com/news#dobama-theatres-production-of-slowgirl-is-tropical-and-topical-38141


Christine Howey


While neither the beginning or ending of Slowgirl  is entirely satisfying, laughter and some genuine poignancy reside in between.

To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at  Cleveland Scene

Andrea Simakis

Tense, funny and tragic, "Slowgirl" is filled with big ideas and seismic emotions played here with a delicate touch, a marvel of understatement that makes the eventual earthquake of revelation all the more shattering.

To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.


Saturday, January 17, 2015



Einstein
Actors' Summit
January 15 - February 1
330-374-7568 or go to www.actorssummit.org

Bob Abelman

Brian Zoldessy is absolutely charming, accessible and endearing in his portrayal of Einstein. Yet the informative but unimaginative one-act, one-man show in which he appears – an informal and often humorous chat with the noted physicist in his disheveled home office on the campus of Princeton University in 1946 – shares few of those admirable adjectives.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's CJN article here.

Roy Berko

EINSTEIN is a must see production that offers an opportunity to access the man and his myths.  It also allows for a showcasing of Brian Zoldessy becoming Einstein!
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson


Zoldessy, inarguably one of the finest actors in Northeast Ohio, captures our attention from the start and holds it closely for a full 92 minutes in the one-man show Einstein, now playing at Actors’ Summit.  This short, slight actor embodies Einstein’s famously wild look with his grown-out gray hair and mustache, and brings out his eccentric spirit as the renowned scientist engages in an animated chat with the audience.

 To see a full review of this show, read Kerry Clawson's review here.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Leap of Faith
KARAMU PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE  

Through December 28.

216-795-7077 or www.karamuhouse.org


Mark Horning

After nearly a month of Christmas themed productions it is a nice change to witness a Gospel Revival based show that brings all the excitement of a tent meeting to life.  The real miracle of this show is that everyone who sees it will feel even better about themselves when they depart.

To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.




Monday, December 15, 2014

THE CLEVELAND CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS—2014



 It is the purpose of THE CLEVELAND CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS to recognize outstanding Cleveland area productions, performers, directors and designers who contributed to the professional theater scene during the 2014 season.  For a listing of the theatres considered for “Best of” and “Superior Achievement” awards, go to: clevelandtheaterreviews.com 

Best Musical Production:  LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater

Superior Achievement:           
BREATH AND IMAGINATION, Cleveland Play House
CARRIE THE MUSICAL, Beck Center for the Arts
IT AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT THE BLUES, Karamu House Theater
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, Lakeland Civic Theatre
TITUS, Cleveland Public Theatre

Best Non-Musical Production:  THE LITTLE FOXES, Cleveland Play House

Superior Achievement:              
‘NIGHT MOTHER, Beck Center for the Arts
GIDION’S KNOT, none too fragile theatre
SPIRITS TO ENFORCE, Cleveland Public Theatre
TERMINUS, convergence-continuum
WOMAN AND SCARECROW, Mamai Theatre Company
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, Blank Canvas Theatre

Best Actor in a Musical:  Stephen Mitchell Brown, LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater

Superior Achievement:           
Elijah Rock, BREATH AND IMAGINATION, Cleveland Play House
Greg Violand, MY FAIR LADY, Porthouse Theater
Kyle Jean Baptiste, LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater

Best Actor in a Non-Musical:  Scott Plate, SEMINAR, Beck Center for the Arts

Superior Achievement:           
Andrew Cruse, KING HENRY IV, PART I, Ohio Shakespeare Festival
Andrew Narten, POSSUM DREAMS, none too fragile theatre
Greg White, ANNA CHRISTIE, Ensemble Theatre
           
Best Actress in a Musical:  Caitlin Houlahan, CARRIE THE MUSICAL, Beck Center for the Arts

Superior Achievement:               
Claire Howes Eisentrout, LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater
Kerri Rene Fuller, LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater
Lindsey Sandham Leonard, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, Lakeland Civic Theatre

Best Actress in a Non-Musical:  Derdriu Ring, STRANDED ON EARTH, Theatre Ninjas/Mamaí Theater Company

Superior Achievement:                  
Dorothy Silver, ‘NIGHT MOTHER, Beck Center for the Arts
Jen Klika, GIDION’S KNOT, none too fragile theatre
Laura Perotta, ‘NIGHT MOTHER, Beck Center for the Arts
Sally Groth, Photograph 51, Actors Summit

Best Director of a Musical:  Victoria Bussert, LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater

Superior Achievement:            
Craig George, TITUS, Cleveland Public Theatre
Martin Friedman, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, Lakeland Civic Theatre

Best Director of a Non-Musical:  Laura Kepley, THE LITTLE FOXES, Cleveland Play House

Superior Achievement:           
Donald Carrier, SEMINAR, Beck Center for the Arts
Mathew Wright, SPIRITS TO ENFORCE, Cleveland Public Theatre
Pandora Robertson, WOMAN AND SCARECROW, Mamaí Theater Company
Scott Plate, ‘NIGHT MOTHER, Beck Center for the Arts
Sean Derry, POSSUM DREAMS, none too fragile theater

Best Choreographer:  Greg Daniels, CARRIE THE MUSICAL, Beck Center for the Arts

Superior Achievement:  
Mary Ann Black, OLIVER, Porthouse Theater
Martin Céspedes, THE FROGS, Cain Park
Martin Céspedes, MARY POPPINS, Beck Center for the Arts
John Crawford, MY FAIR LADY, Porthouse Theater

Best Scenic Design:  Russ Metheny, DEATHTRAP, Great Lakes Theater

Superior Achievement:
Lex Liang, THE LITTLE FOXES, Cleveland Play House
Ben Needham, A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS:  AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION Dobama Theatre
Laura Carlson Trantwoski, OCCUPANT, Cesear’s Forum

Best Costume Design:  S. Q. Campell, MY FAIR LADY, Porthouse Theater

Superior Achievement:
Jeff Nellis, BREATH AND IMAGINATION, Cleveland Play House
Lex Liang, LITTLE FOXES, Cleveland Play House
Tesia Dugan Benson, A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS:  AN AMERICAN MUSICAL             CELEBRATION, Dobama Theatre

Best Lighting Design:  Rick Martin, DEATHTRAP, Great Lakes Theater

Superior Achievement:           
Jeff Nellis, BREATH AND IMAGINATION, Cleveland Play House
Marcus Dana, A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS:  AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION, Dobama Theatre
Russ Borski, CARRIE THE MUSICAL, Beck Center for the Arts

Best Sound Design:  Mikhail Fiksel, HOW WE GOT ON, Cleveland Play House

Superior Achievement:
Tom Limenmeier, BELLEVILLE, Dobama Theatre
Amanda Ware, LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater
Kevin Rutan, THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, Actors Summit

Best Musical Direction:  Joel Mercer, LES MISÉRABLES, Great Lakes Theater

Superior Achievement:
Nancy Maier, CARRIE THE MUSICAL, Beck Center For the Arts/Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theatre Program
Nathan Motta, THE FROGS, Cain Park
Larry Goodpaster, [title of show], Beck Center for the Arts

Best National Touring Production:   PORGY AND BESS, PlayhouseSquare
            
 SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS:

Actors’ Equity Association for their Project Code production of HEARTBREAK HOUSE.

The Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theatre Program for producing an outstanding number of Broadway theater cast members.

Holly Holsinger, for her body of work as a writer, director and actor.

Daryl Waters for his musical arrangements for A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS:  AN AMERICAN MUSICAL CELEBRATION, Dobama Theatre

Christine Howey for writing and performing in EXACT CHANGE at both Cleveland Public Theatre and none too fragile theatre.

Members of the Cleveland Critics Circle are:  Bob Abelman (Cleveland Jewish News, News-Herald, The Morning Journal), Roy Berko (CoolCleveland.com, ArtsAmerica.com, BroadwayWorld.com, royberko.info), Kerry Clawson (Akron Beacon Journal), Howard Golub, Elyria Chronicle Telegram, Mark Horning, (Examiner.com), Christine Howey (Cleveland Scene, raveandpan.blogspot.com), David Ritchie, (West Side Leader), Andrea Simakis (The Plain Dealer), Art Thomas (West Life). 

For additional information about the CLEVELAND CRITICS CIRCLE, including reviewing summaries, links to members’ full reviews, and details about the CCC Speaker’s Bureau, go to:  clevelandtheaterreviews.com

For individual critic year-end awards and "best of" articles, go to:

Bob Abelman:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com