Thursday, January 19, 2017

THE NIGHT ALIVE @ DOBAMA THEATRE



January 20 through February 12, 2017
(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.

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.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE



Through January 22, 2017
(216) 321-2930

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

Roy Berko


Ensemble Theatre should be commended for bringing live children’s theater to an audience.  There are far too few opportunities for youngsters to be exposed to the theatrical arts.  Though not a totally effective production, there is enough positive about THE PHANTOM TOLL BOOTH to encourage parents to bring their children and, hopefully, then discuss the implications of the script with them.

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

Mark Horning

If you are a young parent with small children (6 to 11) wishing to share a night of nonsense humor, puns galore and hilarious wordplay then this is a play you will not want to miss. Feed your inner child while introducing your own children to live theater.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

THIS IS NOT ABOUT MY DEAD DOG@ PLAYWRIGHTS LOCAL


Through January 28, 2017
(216) 302-8850
Or http://playwrightslocal.org/

Bob Abelman
We’ve all had moments like those revealed by Amy Schwabauer and see ourselves in her embarrassment and angst.  But few of us are brave enough to put it on stage before an audience, bold or brilliant enough to perform it ourselves, and brazen enough to consider it theater.
To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here.

Roy Berko


The largely mid-twenties female sold-out audience responded well to the tales of self-loathing.  Some even shed tears at the end.  The stories obviously hit a chord with them.  Some adjustments in the script could expand the appeal to a wider audience and provide a better theatrical experience.

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

INTO THE WOODS @ PLAYHOUSE SQUARE


Through January 29, 2017
(216) 241-6000

Bob Abelman

Put Sweeney Todd in lederhosen and brightly colored socks and he is still the demon barber of Fleet Street.

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

Roy Berko


The Fiasco Theater staging of INTO THE WOODS, part of the Key Bank Broadway series, is not a flashy production filled with special effects.  It is a visionary piece of directing excellence by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, who looked beyond the surface and came up with a concept which gave new life to an oft-produced play.  Will everyone like it?  No.  Those who live for escape, want conflict-free stories, who are tired of seeing yet another production of this script, and those who don’t appreciate Sondheim’s musical genius, may well be turned off.  The rest of us will revel in a magical evening of theatrical creativity.

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

Kerry Clawson

Fiasco Theater’s Into the Woods is a breath of fresh air,  full of offbeat imagination and crystal-clear storytelling that makes for a stimulating evening with Stephen Sondheim’s most famous musical.

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

Howard Gollop
No review yet.

Mark Horning
Whether you are a Stephen Sondheim fan or not, you owe it to yourself to see this adult targeted performance simply due to the uniqueness in which it is portrayed. The simplicity in the stage set, costuming and musical numbers allows more room for the story to stand on its own.
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

Once upon a time, a team of actors and stage technicians went into the woods – or maybe just on tour and found themselves in the Connor Palace Theater, Cleveland, Ohio.  Yes, they tour with “Into the Woods.”  But, something went wrong.  Or even worse, several things went wrong.  Those Cleveland audiences known for giving everyone a standing ovation, did not stand for the cast of “Into the Woods” at the curtain-call time.  The audience rushed out of the theater.

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

Andrea Simakis

Be careful what you wish for, because it might just come true. It's a lesson we'd do well to heed, now and ever after.
Still, it's worth straying from that moral here, because one couldn't wish for a finer iteration of an American masterwork than Fiasco Theater's "Into the Woods."
Don't be afraid of the dark.

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

CLEVELAND CRITICS CIRCLE 2016 THEATER AWARDS




The Cleveland Critics Circle each year honors local theaters, performances, performers and technicians of plays staged by Cleveland area professional theaters during the January 1-December 31 year.

Awards Committee: Bob Abelman, Roy Berko, Kerry Clawson, Mark Horning, Christine Howey, David Ritchey and Andrea Simakis.  Participation in these awards does not preclude individual critics from preparing their own recognitions.

Those recognized for Superior Achievement are listed alphabetically, not by order of achievement.

Best Musical Production: My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
Superior Achievement:
            Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Footloose, Porthouse
            Ruthless!, Beck Center
            The Fantasticks, Great Lakes Theater
            The Little Mermaid, Beck Center

Best Non-Musical Production: An Octoroon, Dobama Theatre
Superior Achievement:
            All the Way, Cleveland Play House
            Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Landford Wilson’s Take Five, Cesear’s Forum
            Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater
            Mr. Wolff, Cleveland Play House
            Sans Merci, none-too-fragile
            The Beauty Queen of Leenane, none-too-fragile
            The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble Theatre

Best Actor – Musical:  Ellis C. Dawson III, In the Heights, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
Alan O’Reilly, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Ari Butler, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Colton Ryan, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Devon Turchan, Cabaret, Blank Canvas
            Marcus Martin, Aida, Rubber City Shakespeare
            Matthew Wright, Ruthless!, Beck Center
            Reggie Kelly, Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Tom Ford, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater

Best Actor – Non-Musical: Jeff Grover, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
Superior Achievement:
            Benjamin Gregorio, Pure Shock Value, none-too-fragile
            Geoff Knox, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble Theatre
            Michael Mauldin, Margin of Error, Ensemble Theatre
            Sean Hudock, Sex with Strangers, Cleveland Play House
            Steve Vinovich, All the Way, Cleveland Play House

Best Actress – Musical:  Katherine DeBoer, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Colleen Longshaw, Sister Act, Porthouse Theatre
            Jillian Kates, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Lauren Molina, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Miah Bickley, Aida, Rubber City Shakespeare
            Natalie Green, The Toxic Avenger, Cain Park
            Susan Hughes, Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Tricia Bestic Cabaret, Blank Canvas

Best Actress – Non-Musical:  Dorothy Silver, The Revisionist, Dobama
Superior Achievement:
            Anjanette Hall, An Octoroon, Dobama Theatre
            Cassandra West, Sans Merci, none-too-fragile
            Derdriu Ring, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Derdriu Ring, Beauty Queen of Leenane, none-too-fragile
Heather Anderson Boll, The Mystery of Love and Sex, Cleveland Play
            House
            Holly Holsinger, Frankenstein’s Wake, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Kimberly Sias, Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Lara Mielcarek, Marie Antoinette, Dobama Theatre
           
Rising Star Award
            Male:  J. R. Heckman, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
            Female:  Calista Zajac, Ruthless!, Beck Center

Best Director – Musical: Victoria Bussert, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
Superior Achievement:
            Terri Kent, Footloose, Porthouse Theatre
            Pierre-Jacques Brault, Finian’s Rainbow, Mercury Theater Company
            Amanda Dehnert, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Scott Spence, Billy Elliot, Beck Center

Best Director – Non-Musical: Nathan Motta, An Octoroon, Dobama
Superior Achievement:
            Beth Woods, Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theater
            Celeste Cosentino, The Night That Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble
            Charles Fee, And Then There Were None, Great Lakes Theater
            Dan Kilbane and Caitlin Lewins, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Cleveland
                        Public Theatre
            Nathan Motta, Marie Antoinette, Dobama
            Sean Derry and Brian Kenneth Armour, Sans Merci, none-too-fragile
            Sean Derry, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Tyne Rafaeli, Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater

Best Choreographer: Martín Céspedes, Billy Elliott, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Greg Daniels, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Greg Daniels, In The Heights, Beck Center
            Holly Handman, Mr. Burns, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Martin Céspedes, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
            Mary Ann Black, Footloose, Porthouse Theatre

Best Musical Direction:   Larry Goodpaster, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Ian Huettel, Wild Party, Blank Canvas
            Joel Mercier, My Fair Lady, Great Lake Theater
            Amanda Dehnert, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Jonathan Swoboda, Footloose, Porthouse Theatre
            Larry Goodpaster, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Nathan Motta, Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater
            Caitlin Lewins, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Cleveland Public Theatre
           
Best Scenic Design:   Russell Metheny,  And Then There Were None, Great Lakes
                        Theater
Superior Achievement:
            Douglas Puskas, Lines in the Dust, Cleveland Public Theatre
            Michael Schweikardt, Luna Gale, Cleveland Play House
            Perry Catalano and Fred Sellers, Talley’s Folly, Actors Summit      
            Philip Whitcomb, Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
Philip Whitcomb, The Good Peaches, Cleveland Play House/Cleveland
            Orchestra
            Richard H. Morris, Jr., Blues in the Night, Karamu
            Russell Metheny, Twelfth Night, Great Lakes Theater
            Trad A Burns, Into the Woods, Lakeland Civic Theatre
            Wes Calkin, Mr. Burns, Cleveland Play House
           
Best Lighting Design: Kevin Ozan, The Whipping Man, none-too-fragile
Superior Achievement:
            Gina Scherr, Mr. Wolf, Cleveland Play House
            Jeff Herman, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
            Mary Jo Dondlinger and Cynthia Stillings, A Christmas Carol, Great Lakes Theater
            Richard H. Horris, Jr., Rasheeda Speaking, Karamu
            Rick Martin, And Then There Were None, Great Lakes Theater
            Sean Derry, Annapurna, none-too-fragile
            Wes Calkin, Mr. Burns, Cleveland Public Theatre

Best Projection Design: Adam Zeek, The Little Mermaid, Beck Center
Superior Achievement:
            Adam Zeek, Billy Elliot, Beck Center
            Dan Scully, The Mountaintop, Cleveland Play House
            Dan Scully, All The Way, Cleveland Play House
            Patrick Ciamacco, Silence! The Musical, Blank Canvas
            Steven Vasse-Hansell, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Ensemble
            Val Kozlenko, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Cleveland Public Theatre

Best Costume Design:   Inda Blatch-Geib, Blues in the Night, Karamu
Superior Achievement:
Andrea Hood, Love’s Labours Lost, Great Lakes Theater
Charlotte M. Yetman, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
Jen Caprio, Steel Magnolias, Cleveland Play House
Kim Krumm Sorenson, Twelfth Night, Great Lakes Theater
Marty LaConte, The Tempest, Ohio Shakespeare Festival
Suzy Q. Campbell, Lady’s Windermere’s Fan, Mamai Theatre Company
Tesia Dugan Benson, Marie Antoinette, Dobama Theatre

Best Sound Design:   James C. Swonger, The Good Peaches, Cleveland Play
 House/Cleveland Orchestra
Superior Achievement:
            David Gotwald, My Fair Lady, Great Lakes Theater
            Joe Court, And Then There Were None, Great Lakes Theater
            Josh Horvath Little Shop of Horrors, Cleveland Play House
            Nathan Rosemerin, Ring of Fire, Porthouse Theatre
            Richard Ingraham, Marie Antoinette, Dobama Theatre
           
Best Touring Production:   Fun Home, Playhouse Square
Superior Achievement:
            Beautiful, Playhouse Square
            Finding Neverland, Playhouse Square
            Phantom of the Opera, Playhouse Square
            Wrestling Jerusalem, Cleveland Public Theatre           

Special Mention:

David Frazier, the brilliant and beloved stage performer who appeard in more than 150 Cleveland productions—including the iconic Jacques Brel—who died at age 76

Actors Summit, which closed in Akron in August, 2016, after 17 years of producing locally and hiring Northeast Ohio actors

Playwrights Local for producing the year’s “Most Socially Significant Local Play,” Objectively Reasonable, and creating a venue for local playwrights to develop their works

convergence-continuum for its fifth year of hosting the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts (NEOFMA) Playwright Festival

Raymond Bobgan for 10 years of creative leadership at Cleveland Public Theatre
           
Victoria Bussert on her 30th anniversary with Great Lakes Theater

Near West Theatre for its commitment to empowering children, teens and adults through transformational arts

New World Performance Laboratory for The Devil’s Milk Trilogy, an exploration of Akron’s rubber industry history.

Baldwin Wallace University for their innovative productions of West Side Story and Perestroika


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.

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

All in all, this is a show that will help your heart grow at least two sizes, maybe even more.

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.