Friday, August 29, 2014

HAIR @ Blank Canvas

August 29-September 13, 2014 440-941-0458 or www.blankcanvastheatre.com

Bob Abelman

Despite the unfortunate but inevitable aging of Aquarius, Blank Canvas Theatre's production of "Hair" has tapped the key ingredient that made the original Broadway production such a success:  it is extremely likable.

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

Roy Berko


HAIR is a classic musical, which entered the theatre into an era of reflection of the turbulent era of the 60s and broke many traditional theatrical formats.  For those who want to relive the era, or who want to generally get an idea of what was going on during those times, the Blank Canvas staging gives an opportunity to take a seldom reprised trip through the times.  Due to a generation gap in understanding the true angst of the era, this isn’t a great production, but it is entertaining.

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

Taking a big stage production and trying to fit it in a small theater space is always a risky proposition but due to the energy and precision of this cast this show works well on a lot of levels.  It gives this staging an even more intimate feel which is what the original creators sought.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Christine Howey

Although this production has its flaws (and only a nanosecond of nudity), there's enough radical spirit and go-for-broke youthful energy to light up the stage, and maybe a few bongs.

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


Sunday, August 17, 2014

RIDE @ none too fragile

August 15-30, 2014

Bob Abelman 

Ride,” Eric Lane’s coming-of-age comedy, has all the makings of an interesting theatrical road trip: good company, appealing banter and a final destination worth reaching.  Unfortunately, the journey quickly turns tedious in this none too fragile theater production. 

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

Roy Berko
 

Eric Lane’s RIDE is more a character study than a well-structured play.  It is both the strength and weakness of the script.  Regardless of the message, or lack of message, or quality, or lack of quality of the script, it is worth going to see the production, to be exposed to the talented cast, especially to seventh grader Ireland Derry.  You will be one of the first to experience “a star being born,” in this, her theatrical debut! 
 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Kerry Clawson

RIDE by Eric Lane seems to have many of the right ingredients for strong storytelling: a coming-of-age tale that takes place during a quest, some well-drawn characters, and equal doses of humor and angst.  But the 2008 drama, playing at None Too Fragile Theater in the Merriman Valley, lags and meanders.


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

Christine Howey

That is once again the case in Ride by Eric Lane, now playing at None Too Fragile Theater in Akron. A capable cast of three females under the direction of Sean Derry gives the material a solid presentation. But there are a few too many glitches in the occasionally perceptive script to make this a two-hour joy ride.

To see a full review, see Christine Howey's review in Scene Magazine here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Henry IV, Part 1

July 31-August 17, 2014
http://ohioshakespeare.com or 330-673-8761


Kerry Clawson

It’s well worth it to take in KING HENRY IV, PART ONE just to see the huge lug of a fat suit that actor Terry Burgler wears as the ridiculous Falstaff.
... Burgler and actor Andrew Cruse make a great team, with the latter playing Prince Hal, who keeps the scurrilous Falstaff around as a sidekick for his own amusement.

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


Christine Howey


HIVPI is a long play loaded with all kinds of political details, but as usual the talented Ohio Shakespeare Festival company manages to sort it all out.

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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

AMAZONS AND THEIR MEN @ convergence-continuum

August 8-30, 2014

Bob Abelman

You’ve got to admire convergence-continuum for swinging for the fences with every production it stages.  Unfortunately, its rendering of Jordan Harrison’s “Amazons and Their Men,” an offbeat off-Broadway success in 2008, misses by a mile. 

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

Roy Berko


Jordan Harrison’s “Amazons and their Men” is a well written play that tells a fascinating and revealing story of film making and Nazi Germany.  Unfortunately, the convergence-continuum production does not live up to the potential of the script.

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

Mark Horning

From a company that has delighted and thrilled me to no end with past performances (I was truly looking forward to this show) I was gravely disappointed.  Nothing seemed to click…from the acting, delivery of the dialog, costumes and props…it just left me feeling sad.  Go see it to see if you agree with me.


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

Christine Howey


The script by Harrison is so continually fascinating that a spotty performance by con-con’s four-person cast doesn’t create many obstacles. Although it would certainly help if this production had been done in an appropriate period style with crisp comic timing.

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

Andrea Simakis

It's a marvelous play--but it's badly executed, the effect not unlike seeing a beautifully cut frock on a potbellied pig.

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

Art Thomas

The epic film that was never made by Hitler's cinema propagandist Leni Riefenstahl is the origin of this play which adds layers of interaction among actors, lovers, and figures from Greek mythology. This production probably has less humor than the playwright intended as the audience unravel the relationships.
 
Click here to read the complete review at WestLife

Thursday, August 7, 2014

JEKYLL & HYDE @ North Olmsted Performing Arts





Olmsted Performing Arts
6941 Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls

August 1-3, 8-10, 2014


Bob Abelman

There is tenacity by the boatload and plenty of creative vision by co-directors Angela Boehm and Christina Haviland.  But there also exists a sizable divide between this vision and the technical and artistic competence required to pull it off.  "Jekyll and Hyde” is a bit too much show for OPA to handle so early in its evolution as a professional theater.

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

Mark Horning

It is time for Cleveland to take notice of “this gem in the glen” and take the long and winding road downhill to the Olmsted Performing Arts Center in Olmsted Falls.  There you will find a superb performance of a very demanding musical, but hurry, there are only a few performances left.
To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

THE FROGS @ Cain Park

July 31-August 17, 2014
216-371-3000 or go on line to www.cainpark.com

Bob Abelman

Everything about this production -- the casting, the staging, the choreography -- is ribbiting.

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

Roy Berko


Though the message of “The Frogs” is generally clear, and Martin Friedman’s directing is on target, and Martin C├ęspedes’s choreography is prime, the script, the music, and the lyrics fail to incite much excitement.  The tepid response of the audience on preview night brings into question the wisdom in selecting this script. 

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


Andrea Simakis

Despite the tidal wave of talent that is Dan Folino – a shape-shifter who can play everything from glam-rock dead presidents ("Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson") to chainsaw-wielding avengers ("Evil Dead") – "The Frogs," now at Cain Park's Alma Theater, is a real sinker.

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