Tuesday, September 17, 2019

GLENNGARRY GLEN ROSS @ THE BECK CENTER



Through October 6, 2019
(216) 521-2540

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 Review here.


Laura Kennelly
Watching the characters con, lie and trick each other in the Beck Center’s Glengarry Glen Ross reminded me of the truth embedded in Shakespeare’s catchy phrase about lust: “an expanse of spirit in a waste of shame.” David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning (1984) work portrays a toxic blend of lust (for money), vanity and a “mine is bigger than yours” business culture. It offers a perfect illustration of the myriad ways humans can betray each other. Bummer. 
For more go to Glengarry at the Beck
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

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

Saturday, September 14, 2019

BY THE BOG OF CATS @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE



Through September 29, 2019
 (216) 321-2930

Roy Berko


Much in the tradition of Brian Friel and James Joyce, “By the Bog of Cats” is one of those Irish angst plays that shares the customs and folkways of the Emerald Isle.  The Ensemble production is nicely conceived, with a master class in performance skills by Derdriu Ring. 

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

Mark Horning

As the audience was leaving the theater, having witnessed an Irish tragedy of epic proportions many were opening crying. This is powerful writing and acting combined with all the needed technical elements that can bring to the surface such strong emotions. This is raw theater in its most elemental form and should not be missed. Be brave and see this play.  

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


Laura Kennelly
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

THE BOOK OF MORMON (Huntington Bank Series) @ Connor Palace


September 6-15, 2019
216-241-6000 or www.playhousesquare.org

Roy Berko


 If you haven’t seen “The Book of Mormon,” or need a new shot of irreverent satire which skewers anyone and everyone, this is an absolute go see production. If you are a language prude, religious fanatic, or aren’t in the mood for ridiculous delight, too bad, as you are going to miss one hell of a good show!  It’s everything a modern musical that is meant for pure entertainment, with a sip of philosophy, should be! 


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.

Mark Horning
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's Review here.
Laura KennellyNo review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

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

Saturday, September 7, 2019

STUPID FUCKING BIRD @ Dobama



  September 6-29, 2019
  216-932-3396 


Roy Berko

As a person present at the very start of Dobama, I would say that Donald Bianchi, the theatre’s founder, would approve and be delighted that “his” theatre is still fulfilling “his” dream by producing the wondrous likes of “Stupid Fucking Bird.”  Kudos to the director, technicians and actors for launching this glorious flight.

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

Mark Horning


For those in the legions of theater goers in the Cleveland area who like stark and conflictatory in your face theater this little gem is a must see “Site Specific Performance Event” that will have you attempting to wrestle with inner questions of your own. See it with someone whom you love to argue with for an interesting ride home.

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

Laura Kennelly
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

Andrea Simakis

After seeing the Dobama Theatre production of "Supid f---ing Bird," Aron Posner's "sort of"adaptation of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull," it'll be hard to sit through the real McCoy again.  It just won't be as fun.

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

Saturday, August 31, 2019

SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO AND JULIET @ convergence continuum


August 30-September 21, 2019
216-687-0074 or www.convergence-continuum

Roy Berko


Though the cast puts out full effort, con-con’s “Shakespeare’s R&J” is Bard-light, leaving a lot on the page. 


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 Review here.

Laura KennellyNo review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

LOBBY HERO @ BLANK CANVAS



Through September 7, 2019
(440) 941-0458

Roy Berko

“Lobby Hero” is a well-conceived script that gets a superior production at Blank Canvas.

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

Mark Horning

Blank Canvas does a wonderful job when producing musicals in their living room size stage area using ingenious steps and risers combinations. That flat stage area seems bigger but unfortunately the production itself is small. 

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

Laura Kennelly
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

WOODY'S ORDER! @ none too fragile


August 16-31, 2019
330-962-5547 or nonetoofragile.com

Roy Berko

 

 None Too Fragile starts off its tenure in its new Akron theatrical home with a must see production!


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.

Mark Horning
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's Review here.
Laura KennellyNo review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

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

Friday, August 9, 2019

THE NATIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION OF THE LION KING @ PLAYHOUSE SQUARE



Through September 1, 2019
(216) 241-6000

Bob Abelman

Touring ‘The Lion King’ time-worn but still spectacular.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here or go to:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Roy Berko


 If you have not seen the stage version of “The Lion King” do it now!  Due to the complicated technical aspects, and exceptional puppets and costumes, no community theatre is going to be able to duplicate the production qualities.  Besides, these are difficult roles to sing, dance and act.  It takes professionals to pull it off.  Go!  Enjoy!  But, maybe leave the young and more sensitive kids at home.


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

Fortunately, there are enough theatrical diversions and visual flourishes to render an overall enjoyable evening, not the least of which is the choreography by Garth Fagan. A Joffrey Ballet-style dance of lioness hunters is most striking, although, for some reason, this tour offers a truncated rendition of the show's biggest hit, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," which originally featured a Cirque du Soleil style interlude.

But nothing tops that opening vista of the African animal kingdom -- an atmospheric triumph of set design by Richard Hudson and lighting design by Donald Holder -- paying homage to the title star of the show. The opening also pays tribute to one of the greatest Broadway talents of contemporary Broadway -- director and puppet master Julie Taymor.

Mark Horning

This is a show that will easily sell out throughout its next performances so get your tickets quickly. It is a totally immersive theater experience that will take your breath away. It has it all: grandeur, spectacle, comedy, tragedy, sound, music, dancing, puppets and great performances. This show is age appropriate for age ten and up but may be too dark and sensory intense for younger children. 

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

Laura Kennelly
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

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

Sunday, July 28, 2019

TUCK EVERLASTING @ FRENCH CREEK THEATRE



Through August 4, 2019
(440) 949-5200

Bob Abelman

French Creek Theatre’s production proves that a good story told with a lot of heart can relate to audiences of all ages and withstand the test of time.

To see a full review of this show, by guest critic Gwen Kochur, go to: www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/culture/theater/

Laura Kennelly

BOTTOM LINE: It’s always fun to see a well-directed, well-played professional theatre production: this is one. It’s suitable for all ages and the bleacher-style seats mean everyone can see everything. The show also may make you thankful that you cannot freeze your age and live forever.

To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.

Friday, July 26, 2019

THE MUSIC MAN @ PORTHOUSE THEATRE



Through  August 11, 2019
(330) 672-3884


Bob Abelman

Is there a better time than now to escape to Meredith Willson’s musical comedy safe-haven of River City, Iowa in 1912?  And is there a better place to do it than at the Porthouse amphitheater, summer home of the Equity actor-enhanced productions of Kent State University’s musical theater program?

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here or go to:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Roy Berko

“The Music Man” is a staple of the American musical theatre genre.  It makes for a wonderful summer escape.  The Porthouse production is not without its flaws, but all in all, the end result is a pleasurable experience.


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

Mark Horning


Gather the family for an old fashion picnic on the spacious grounds surrounding Porthouse Theatre followed by a nostalgic journey to simpler times. You will leave the performance humming one of the many grand tunes in this nearly perfect show.

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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

MATILDA @ BECK CENTER FOR THE ARTS



Through August 11, 2019
(216) 521-2540

Bob Abelman


Although I adore Roald Dahl’s darkly satirical children’s book, “Matilda,” I am not a fan of Dennis Kelly’s musical adaptation.  And yet there is much to love about the Beck Center for the Arts’ production of it.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here or go to:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Roy Berko

“Matilda The Musical” is the kind of show that many will like, especially kids who have read the book.  Wonderful performances by the kids in the cast and creative choreography make the show a pleasant sit, in spite of not being able to understand much of the dialogue due to the poor sound system and English accents.
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson

Everything’s colorfully off-kilter in Roald Dahl’s wacky worlds, from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” to “Matilda,” whose musical version is bursting with subversive fun at Beck Center for the Arts. Under Scott Spence’s direction, the cast thoroughly embraces both the cartoonish and the dark humor in this fantastical tale of a gifted little girl who discovers she has the power of telekinesis.

To see a full review of this show, see https://www.ohio.com/topics/clawson.

Mark Horning


With it being summer and the kids out of school this could be an opportunity to expose the little ones to live musical theater. As long as you are not a stickler for being able to hear and understand each and every word you will be fine.

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

THE TOXIC AVENGER @ BLANK CANVAS



Though July 27, 2019
(440) 941-0458

Roy Berko


“The Toxic Avenger” isn’t great theater, but it is lots of fun for those inclined to enjoy the bizarre and are willing to laugh at the slapstick shticks that make this production a wonderful summer escape. 


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

Mark Horning

Sometimes theater lets its hair down and does it just for giggles. The Toxic Avenger is pure farce with some witty songs that reflects on environmental issues but does it very tongue in cheek. It will “Kick Your Ass.”

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


TOM AT THE FARM @ CONVERGENCE CONTINUUM


Through August 3, 2019
(216) 687-0074

Roy Berko

“Tom at the Farm” fulfills the theatre’s mission of “expanding human imagination and extends the conventional boundaries of language, structure, space and performance.”  This is the kind of play with sexual overtones and the bizarre that turns on the typical con-con loyalist.  Overall, in spite of strong production, the play leaves us wanting since we don’t develop strong feelings of connection with any of the characters and the contrived nature of the plot.
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

THE TOURING PRODUCTION OF COME FROM AWAY @ PLAYHOUSE SQUARE



Through July 28, 2019
(216) 241-6000


Bob Abelman

“Come From Away” whispers while so many other productions shout.

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

Roy Berko

Come From Away” is a special musical that creatively tells a heart-wrenching story of compassion, caring and a display of the best of humanity with humor and pathos.  It makes for one of those special moments in the theater.  The touring production is beyond excellent and is an absolutely must see!!  

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

The story of “Come From Away” is one of such life-affirming kindness and caring, it’s a balm to behold on stage in these times of political ugliness. The North American tour of this beautiful musical, which tells the true stories of 7,000 passengers grounded in Gander, Newfoundland, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, played to a jubilant standing ovation Wednesday night at the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square.

To see a full review of this show, see https://www.ohio.com/topics/clawson.

Howard Gollop

But the show is a lot smarter than at first perceived. The dramatic device of having cast members narrate a mosaic of vignettes as they pop in and out of colorful, emblematic and sometimes token roles is usually a hoary anti-dramatic device that could prove clunky, but here it works well, thanks to the precise direction of Christopher Ashley.

Mark Horning


If you are one of the many who wonder exactly where this country and the world is headed this is a must see show. The contrast of tragedy, drama and comedy are carefully blended with a story of unabashed charity as an example of what great people are capable of. It is a lesson we all need to relearn. Come for a performance that will have you laughing and crying at the same time.

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

Laura Kennelly


BOTTOM LINE: Come From Away may even be perfect for skeptics who say they hate musicals because they judge them fake or too sentimental or too satirical or whatever. It’s none of those things. An unlikely subject for a musical? Probably, and yet, it’s a perfect mix of story and song that doesn’t wallow in tragedy or negative emotion. If you only go to one show this year, let it be this one.

To see a full review of this show see CoolCleveland.com or read Laura's blog at artstillmatters.com

 Andrea Simakis

'Come from Away'--powerful story of 9/11 that shows that life is comic and tragic all at once--resonates today.

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

Sunday, July 7, 2019

CHAPLIN @ MERCURY THEATRE COMPANY



Through July 21, 2019
(216) 771-5862

Bob Abelman

Mercury salvages a saccharine ‘Chaplin.’

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here or go to:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Saturday, July 6, 2019

TINTYPES @ PORTHOUSE THEATRE



Through July 20, 2019
(330) 672-3884


Roy Berko


“Tintypes” is a musical revue which reminds of the desires, values and worth of immigrants.  It reinforces the idea of why the less fortunate of the world are willing to risk their very lives in their desire to live the American dream. In its own way, it highlights the present battle over immigration. 
 

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

 Kerry Clawson

“Tintypes” is a fast-paced, peppy musical revue at Porthouse Theatre. It celebrates the rapid change that took place in America between the 1870s and 1920. ... This musical attempts to cover a lot of historical territory, including the rapid industrialization, factory workers’ plight, politics and entertainment of the era. But there’s no story with a solid through line to bring us through that time period, so audiences experience snapshots of that history almost solely through music.

To see a full review of this show, see https://www.ohio.com/topics/clawson.
 
Mark Horning


While the July 4th holiday brings out a plethora of patriotic concerts and shows, Tintypes manages to strike a nice balance of contemporary and rousing martial music making for an extremely fine evening of family entertainment. Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy at the spacious grounds surrounding the theater and prepare to go home feeling good.

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

Friday, June 28, 2019

33 1/3 @ Dobama



Through July 14, 2019
216-932-3396
 or http://www.dobama.org/

                                                              

Bob Abelman

In Noël Coward’s 1930 comedy of manners “Private Lives,” music plays a crucial role when the brilliant dialogue cannot carry all the emotional weight of the storytelling.  So much so that one of the characters casually remarks: “Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.”

This sentiment drives Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli’s new musical “33 1/3,” which re-imagines the jukebox musical so that pop music becomes the subject matter and not the accompanying score.  And it does so with endearing sentimentality, a subtle sense of humor, and a remarkable delicacy that draws the audience into its nostalgic world and keeps us there in a gentle embrace.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here or go to:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Roy Berko

“33 1/3,” in its world premiere at Dobama, is a work in progress.  It will be interesting to see what, if any changes the authors make as the piece moves forward.  You might want to see it here, so you can say “I saw it in its infancy.” 

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

Mark Horning

All shows during their evolution have needed shortening, the inserting of a block buster song as well as a song to illustrate the main character’s desires. This is what this show could use. While this staging is “nice” it needs more biting comedy, a stronger story and a hit song or two all in a shortened time frame. 

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

Monday, June 17, 2019

RAGTIME THE MUSICAL @ Cain Park



June 13-30, 2019
216-371-3000 

or http://cainpark.com

Bob Abelman

Cain Park’s exquisitely pared down ‘Ragtime’ finds the core humanity that drives this musical.

To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here or go to:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Roy Berko

“Ragtime” tells an important tale that needs to be seen and heard.   Except for an over-enthusiastic orchestra and some audio balance problems, this production does the script justice.  It’s well worth the sit!

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

Laura Kennelly

The swiftly-moving Ragtime: The Musical, now at Cain Park’s Alma Theater, gives a musical snapshot of early 1900s in New York City. Based on E. L. Doctorow’s fine and dramatic novel with the same name, it features book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. The Cain Park production,  directed by Joanna May Cullinan, pays appropriate homage to the classic America-as-melting-pot narrative (at least to the New York City, East Coast  version).

To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

MAN OF LA MANCHA @ Porthouse


Through June 29, 2019

Bob Abelman



Porthouse’s gorgeous ‘Man of La Mancha’ inspires tilting at windmills.


To see a full review of this show, read Bob Abelman's blog here or go to:  www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/

Roy Berko
 
Terri Kent’s soul of humanness and Martin Céspedes’s creativity and visual perception are stamped all over this captivating production.  It is a “Man of La Mancha” for the 2019s.   It’s a musical drama which has an important story to tell.  GO!  Experience theater at is finest!


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

Kerry Clawson

At Porthouse Theatre, Fabio Polanco expertly takes on one of the most dramatic musical theater roles of all time — Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote in a swashbuckling, romantic and bittersweet performance of “Man of La Mancha.” Director Terri Kent’s cast of 21 is thoroughly invested in this world of the old nobleman gone mad who has dubbed himself the errant knight Don Quixote and set out with his squire, Sancho Panza (Timothy Culver).

To see a full review of this show, see https://www.ohio.com/topics/clawson.


Mark Horning

Any show that can make a weather weary audience forget about the rain outside with a two and a half hour theatrical vacation knows how to do it right. This updated version of a Broadway classic is must see summer theater. Grab a rain coat and make your way to Porthouse Theatre.

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