Friday, December 9, 2016

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL @ PLAYHOUSE SQUARE



Through December 11, 2016
(216) 241-6000

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

Roy Berko
No review yet.
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
For those looking for a little variety in their holiday fare this year Grinch is a sure hit that will engage the entire family. The songs, costuming and comedic acting is pure holiday entertainment that will delight the entire family while sneaking in a nice moral tale to boot. See this show before it leaves town. 
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

David Ritchey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

CLYBOURNE PARK by CWRU/CPH MFA ACTING PROGRAM


The Helen Cleveland Play House complex
December 7-17, 2016


"In order to bring attention to high quality productions at theatre’s that are not on the Cleveland Critics Circle’s approved list, when a member of the Circle sees a community or educational theater production that s/he thinks is of high quality, they have the option of listing that specific production on CCC’s blogsite.  This is a review that falls into that category."

Roy Berko


Clybourne Park is a special evening of theater.  The Pulitzer Prize play is well written and relevant.  The production is well-conceived and acted.  This is an absolute must see production.

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

SISTER ACT @ KARAMU THEATRE



Through December 30, 2016
(216) 795-7070  

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

Roy Berko
No review yet.
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

Director Sheffia Randall Dooley handles the traffic well in this complex production with a large cast. Once the performers settle in and keep the pacing tight, a lot of the jokes will land with more snap. And if the start of the show finds a way to get a charge of adrenaline it will be, well, a godsend.

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

David Ritchey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

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

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER @ DOBAMA THEATRE



Through December 30, 2016
(216) 932-3396

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

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

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

If you missed "Peter and the Starcatcher" the first time around, hitch a ride on its comet's til this winter."
 
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.

THE KNIFE IS MONEY, THE FORK IS LOVE @ CONVERGENCE-CONTINUUM



Through December 17, 2016
(216) 687-0074

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

Roy Berko
No review yet.
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
Local playwright Jonathan Wilhelm is a man possessing a fecund and prolific mind, and he unloads many interesting ideas and promising digressions in the course of this often-stimulating play. However...

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

David Ritchey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

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

CABARET @ BLANK CANVAS



Through December 17, 2016
(440) 941-0458

Bob Abelman
Blank Canvas delivers an entertaining but off-balanced ‘Cabaret.’
To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko
No review yet.
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

David Ritchey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

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

DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID @ THE BECK CENTER FOR THE ARTS


Through December 31. 2016
(216) 521-2540

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

Roy Berko


The Little Mermaid is a total delight and absolutely a  must see for anyone who likes well-performed and conceived fantasy musicals.   What a wonderful evening of theatre for audiences of all ages.

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LIGHT THE LIGHTS, OL' MOSES CLE @ CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE



Through December 18, 2016
(216) 631-2727

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

Roy Berko
No review yet.
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
This overly earnest and lead-footed show is about as far from a romp as a Trump cabinet nominee is from the bread line. 

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

David Ritchey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

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

A CHRISTMAS CAROL @ GREAT LAKES THEATER



Through December 23, 2016
(216) 664-6064

Bob Abelman

While “A Christmas Carol” can certainly seem like a stale old chestnut, this 28th anniversary production is a deep, oxygen-rich breath of winter-fresh air. 
To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko
No review yet.
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

David Ritchey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway

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

Saturday, November 19, 2016

THE NIGHT THOREAU SPENT IN JAIL @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE



Through December 11, 2016
(216) 321-2930

Bob Abelman

“It’s a marvel to hear the way the words roll out,” says the illiterate Bailey after listening to the philosophical musings of his young Harvard educated cellmate early in “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.”  “A marvel” perfectly describes Ensemble Theatre’s eloquent staging of this loquacious, occasionally sanctimonious play originally earmarked for community and collegiate theater productions.  

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

Roy Berko


A well-conceived script gets an excellent production.  It is not an escapist theatrical experience filled with laughs and physical movement, but a presentation which will please many due to its philosophical message.  It’s a must see for anyone interested in good theatre! 

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

Mark Horning
If there was ever a need to see a play, now is the time to see this one. It is a work of truth that will have everyone leaving with a tighter grip of our current state of the country and our place in it. While at time bordering on sensationalism, it manages to rein itself in before the final bow.   
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey
The well-performed and slickly directed work frequently feels like a collection of extended Thoreau quotes has been staged, rather than a play with a coherent dramatic arc. 

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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

KISS KISS, BANG BANG @ BLANK CANVAS



Through November 13, 2016
(440) 941-0458

Mark Horning

Even if you are not a film buff, there are plenty of familiar references that are comfortable for the audience. Get to the theater early to watch the series of movie scenes flashing on the two TV screens and see how many you can guess the names of. It is an evening of romantic escapism much like the films being represented during the show. This is a nice date night play to share with someone you love or simply wish to know better.  

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

Saturday, November 12, 2016

WEST SIDE STORY @ Baldwin Wallace University



November 9-22, 2016
John Patrick Theatre, Baldwin Wallace University
For tickets:  440-826-2240 or www.bw.edu/tickets


"In order to bring attention to high quality productions at theatre’s that are not on the Cleveland Critics Circle’s approved list, when a member of the Circle sees a community or educational theater production that s/he thinks is of high quality, they have the option of listing that specific production on CCC’s blogsite.  This is a review that falls into that category."


Roy Berko


BWU’s Music Theater program is nationally recognized for its quality, as evidenced by the number of its graduates who have lit up the Broadway theater scene and touring productions.  WEST SIDE STORY is a difficult show to “get right.”  As should be expected from the quality students and proficient staff, the production was a step above what other colleges could do. Better than Broadway?…no.  But, definitely the incubator where future Broadway stars bud and grow.   Anyone who hasn’t seen this wonderfully conceived musical should attend this production.

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

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

RASHEEDA SPEAKING @ KARAMU THEATRE



November 4 through 20, 2016
(216) 795-7070  

Roy Berko

The play has lots of laughs and some intriguing situations, but RASHEEDA SPEAKING proves that fine acting and good directing cannot always cover up for a rudderless script.  
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

This play is a complex examination of the still lingering silent (and at times not so silent) prejudices that still haunt our nation. While not attempting to solve the issue it gives voice to the situation which in turn may open up dialog between various elements of our society…topical, socially relevant and well worth seeing.

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

Christine Howey

There’s a sharp, funny and often startling script laying inside Rasheeda Speaking, but its voice is dimmed by the playwright’s tendency to overstate things that have already been said.

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

ANNAPURNA @ NONE TOO FRAGILE


November 4 through 19, 2016
(330) 671-4563

Bob Abelman

Sharr White’s fractured, one-act treatment of Homer’s 8th century BCE poem “The Odyssey” is getting a beautifully performed but anemically designed production at none too fragile.

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

Roy Berko


ANNAPURNA is the tale of two highly damaged people, caught in an impossible climb to the top of an impregnable mountain, confronting their damaged lives.

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

Kerry Clawson

Outstanding Equity actors Jeffrey Grover and Derdriu Ring unpack all the emotional baggage that these two badly damaged people possess. They vividly portray the resentment and recriminations that have built up for so long, making the tragedy of this couple feel very real yet at the same time bringing into shocking focus the power of forgiveness.

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

Mark Horning


For those looking for a really adult night out look no further than this performance.  From the opening scene with male nudity to the profanity and frank discussion of spousal abuse and death this is no Disney production suitable for the entire family. It is abrupt, sharp, concise and in parts extremely funny. This show is for people who don’t mind a bit of shock value with their theater.

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

Christine Howey
Despite two fine performances and apart from the promising opening, this production as directed by Sean Derry lacks the necessary sizzle, sausage-wise and otherwise.

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

Ring and Grover, two the area's best actors, are superb, able to navigate the humor and pathos of their characters with the skill of seasoned climbers.

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



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

FINDING NEVERLAND @ PLAYHOUSE SQUARE



Through November 20, 2016
(216) 241-6000

Bob Abelman

It may help resuscitate fairies, but no amount of clapping can reconcile what the musical “Finding Neverland” is and the kind of musical it wants to be. More Lost Boy than Pan, the show crows but doesn’t fly.

For more of this review, go to www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/

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

Roy Berko


The touring production of FINDING NEVERLAND is a technically impressive and nicely conceived, if somewhat stilted production.  It clearly lays the prequel story of Peter Pan with a strong score and clear story. 

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

Kerry Clawson 

The most beautiful thing about the musical "Finding Neverland" is that every detail of both its story and stage production is created in the service of celebrating the imagination. ...
The national tour of the musical, now playing at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace, features winsome romantic leads and fabulous video projections that sweep audiences up.

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

Howard Gollop

When Barrie goes on an outing one day and comes across a lovely widow and her pack of cheerfully rambunctious boys who become his muses (and no one questions they might be anything more), the location doesn’t seem so much like Kensington Gardens as “Sesame Street.”
Although scenic designer Scott Pask manages fetching etchings of trees, flowers and buildings, and the cast members look period-perfect in their Victorian costumes by Suttirat Anne Larlarb, everyone smiles too broadly, carries too many balloons, skips too maniacally (thanks to Mia Michaels’ strident choreography) and sings too many indistinguishable pop songs by Gary Barlow and Elliot Kennedy.


Mark Horning


This is a show that the entire family will appreciate.  With over the top big Broadway numbers, delightful singing and dancing, a good moral theme and a general fun feel that makes time fly by faster than Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle.  This is a great way to share musical theater with your children.  Get your tickets quickly.

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

Christine Howey

As for the show, it's produced to the hilt. But it is so much less than it might have been, with a bit more boldness on the part of the creators.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

AN OCTOROON @ DOBAMA THEATER



October 21 through November 13, 2016
(216) 932-3396

Bob Abelman

In an act full of creative risk and artistic integrity, Dobama Theatre not only introduced playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' provocative work to Cleveland, but did so in a month other than February.

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

Roy Berko


The hottest play of 1859 is back, but this time it is aimed at a 2016 audience with a plea for understanding and realization that things, regarding the blacks and Indigenous peoples, haven’t changed very much in the last 175 years. Seeing this production can be an important theatrical experience and challenge your belief system--“GO SEE!”

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

Mark Horning


If you have a skewed sense of adventure and wish to travel down the path less traveled, you may find An Octoroon to your liking.  Remember that you are traveling back over 150 years to one of the first examples of theatrical social commentary with contemporary theater thrown in on both ends.  While not your typical evening of light entertainment, none the less it will give you food for thought and conversation following the show.

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


Christine Howey

The acting, under the superb direction of Nathan Motta, is always fully on-point and riveting. 

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

"It's gonna make you laugh, it's gonna make you cry, it's gonna make you angry--but I hope what it does is make you think."  All that and an exploding steamboat, too.

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

SEX WITH STRANGERS @ CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE



October 22 through November 13. 2016
(216) 241-6000

Bob Abelman

The Cleveland Play House’s intimate, subterranean Outcalt Theatre is quickly becoming the place where carnality and clever writing come together for an evening of mutual and consensual gratification.  

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

Roy Berko


SEX WITH STRANGERS is a well-written script which gets a compelling production.  The acting is top-notch, the direction spot-on.  The must see show will delight and tantalize the audience.  It well deserves the standing ovation it got on opening night.

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

Howard Gollop

The plot may be familiar, but Eason’s work is fresh from start to finish.
The cast is vital and electric, and so is the direction by Joanie Schultz.


Mark Horning

Although seemingly implausible on paper (young stud beds late thirty-year-old within minutes of their meeting) it is the manner in which the action is portrayed that brings credence to the story. What at first looks like a romantic romp turns instead into a moral tale of burning issues as to what makes for a successful truly meaningful relationship that will stand the test of time. It is a good yarn for those who have been together “forever.”   

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

Christine Howey


There’s a desire here to explore how two people from two different generations pursue their ideas of success and their own identities. But because of a few production wrinkles, the finished product is a bit like a promising, but not exactly stupendous, first date.

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

David Ritchey

Agatha Christie could not have done it better. And, in truth,  "Sex with Strangers" has elements of a good mystery. Why do people fall in love?  How do the most unlikely people find each other and suddenly realize they’re right for each other?

To see a full review of this show, read David's posts at Talkin' Broadway




Andrea Simakis

Directed with playfulness, subtlety and nuance by Joanie Schultz, "Sex With Strangers" moves like a red-hot page turner; it's a book you can't possibly put down.

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

SILENCE! THE MUSICAL @ BLANK CANVAS THEATRE



October 21 through November 5, 2016
(440) 941-0458

Roy Berko
 
SILENCE! THE MUSICAL is a typical Blank Canvas escapist musical comedy which will entertain the cult audience which the theatre has developed. Ciamacco knows his patrons and their tastes and has hit another home run with this script!

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

Kerry Clawson

If a musical could be found criminally insane, "Silence! The Musical" would fit the bill at Blank Canvas Theatre.

The show is a delightfully disgusting spoof of the creepiest thriller of the early 1990s, the Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs. The unauthorized parody by Jon and Al Kaplan and Hunter Bell takes that dark, twisted story that goes inside the minds of serial killers and turns it on its ear in foul and funny ways that surprise at every turn.

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


Mark Horning


You will find yourself nervously laughing at all the naughty bits in this musical send-up of the psycho/thriller classic. The musical is full of shock value that goes for the throat. It’s an embarrassingly delightful evening of farcical theater that will entertain those not afraid of things that go “F” in the night.

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


Christine Howey

While often offensive, juvenile and excessive, Silence! qualifies for its exclamation point through the kind of sharp, disciplined performance standards that BCT has often featured

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