Friday, December 2, 2022

How The Circus Stole Christmas @ Cleveland Public Theatre



Through December 10, 2022
(216) 631-2727

 

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.
To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Sheri Gross
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Mark Horning

Cleveland Public Theater has combined with Crooked River Circus for a family friendly safe show that your entire clan will love. The characters are interesting and easy to like, the circus gags are top notch and the costuming is appropriate for the setting. Bring the entire family for a fun evening!

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

Chris Howey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

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

Kate Klotzbach
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

Joey Morona
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Joey's posts here.

 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Christmas Carol @ Great Lakes Theater



Through December 23, 2022
(216) 241-6000

 

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.
To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Sheri Gross
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Mark Horning

This is the kind of show that is a touchstone tradition for many Cleveland families and with good reason. Each season it seems just as fresh as it can be. Many in the audience will find themselves with something in their eye. Don’t be a Scrooge, come join the fun!

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

Chris Howey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

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

Kate Klotzbach
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

Joey Morona
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Joey's posts here.

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

One Christmas Eve At Evergreen Mall @ Clague Playhouse

 


Through December 11, 2022
(440) 331-0403 Wed. through Sat. 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.    

WORTH NOTING: 

In order to bring attention to local productions of merit at theaters that are not on the Cleveland Critics Circle’s approved Equity Theater list, members of the Circle who attend a community or educational theater production that is perceived as of high quality will have the option of listing that production on the CCC blogsite.  This review falls into that category.

 Mark Horning

This show is a gentle series of interconnected stories designed to make you laugh and just plain feel good. It is a hot cocoa with cinnamon and whipped cream type of production. Tickets are selling fast so order yours soon.

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


Thursday, November 10, 2022

THE WILD PARTY




THE WILD PARTY

Baldwin Wallace University--Musical Theatre Program 

htpps://bw.edu/events/theatre-dance/

Roy Berko

If watching decadence is your thing, you’ll be turned on by The Wild Party.  If you prefer being in the presence of characters who have redeeming values so you can feel empathy, this is not going to be your show.  The singers, actors, dancers, and the musicians are top-notch.  They reach levels of excellence that far exceed those of college students.  But, what else can you expect?  They are part of the respected and oft-revered Baldwin Wallace Musical Theatre Program.  Bravo!

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

Laura Kennelly

Bottom Line: The Wild Party is not a feel-good cheerful story, but what makes this simply plotted musical stunning is that everyone at the party turns out to have a great voice and to be an amazingly good dancer. From the opening numbers, when the onstage guests assemble, to the last jazzy note that leaves even audience members quick-stepping home, it’s a celebration that invites the audience in.

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


Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Great Leap @ Cleveland Play House



Through November 20, 2022
https://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/
(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko

THE GREAT LEAP is a well-written, thought-provoking play that gets a slam dunk production at CPH!  This is a must-see that uses the Outcalt stage configuration in epic ways.

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

Mark Horning

The Great Leap” is a production that builds by degrees to a surprising climax. From the totally “on” stage set, to the authentic costumes, to the spot on lighting...everything works in tandem to carry us forward to an exciting finish. All of the pieces of the puzzle fit together with surgical precision to give us a totally clear picture. See this show!  

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

Chris Howey


Aside from the glaring inconsistencies in the script, and the sad fake sideburns that are stuck on Saul to indicate the time shift, these performances are remarkably affecting. You just wish they were surrounded with a play that wasn't quite so eager to touch so many bases—political, cultural and personal.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Laura Kennelly

------Bottom Line: Based in part (though not directly) on the playwright’s family history, The Great Leap shares a story to ponder long after the play ends. While it may sound as if it’s about sports (and it is, in a way), it’s far more ambitious as it touches on life’s meaning, purpose, and chances we take. Well- played, CPT, well-played.

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

 

Friday, November 4, 2022

DESCRIBE THE NIGHT @ Ensemble



DESCRIBE THE NIGHT @ Ensemble

October 28-November 13, 2022 

Notre Dame College--4545 College Road--South Euclid

Roy Berko

This journey of myth, loss, power, and pain leaves a message of how historical facts, rumor and subterfuge tells a story that opens the door to the present day, which evolves from experiences of the past.  Anyone interested in history and philosophy should be captivated by this tale. 
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

This Ensemble Theatre production is a thinking man and woman's show that will challenge your intellect. I would suggest asking for a paper program in order to keep track of the various scenes, times and locations as listed on the title page. This is cerebral theater at its best.

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

Chris Howey

Late in the engrossing play "Describe the Night," a character says, “Behold...the black magic marker. The most useful tool in all of communism. There is nothing that cannot be eventually crossed out and changed. This is what we are here to do.” And that is what this script by former Clevelander Rajiv Joseph is doing at Ensemble Theatre. Joseph and director Celeste Cosentino explore the intricate filaments of truth and untruth that composed government rule in the past 100 years, and then subtly asks us to look at our own country and consider the mess we currently confront.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.




Thursday, November 3, 2022

CATS @ Playhouse Square


Through November 20, 2022
https://www.playhousesquare.org/
(216) 241-6000

 

Sheri Gross

The musical “Cats” may not be everyone’s saucer of milk, but this newest iteration with its  talented ensemble of dancers, and those standout numbers are the “cat’s meow.” Pun intended. 

To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Mark Horning

Cleveland is truly blessed to have shows of such high caliber visit us for extended stays. This is London West End and Broadway at its best. If you only see one KeyBank Broadway Series production this year then this is the show to see. It is purr-fect.

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

Chris Howey

The new touring production of Cats is now in residence at Playhouse Square, in the just-turned-100-year-old Connor Palace Theatre. And let's face it: people who love Cats really love it. But for those who don't, this collection of singing and dancing actors dressed as tabbies is like claws on a blackboard. Over the past 40 years since it traveled from London to Broadway, those two audience groups have grown in vociferousness until damn near everybody has a strong opinion— catnip for some, catatonia for others.


To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Laura Kennelly

So, what to expect? A fluffy-light plot brought to life by an ensemble cast of over two dozen extraordinary dancers who sing, act and sometimes talk directly to you (if you are in the front rows anyway). The plot? It seems that the stray cats who hang out in the junkyard at night have an annual Jellicle Ball, an event where one is chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and start over. (You recall that all cats have nine lives, right?)

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

Joey Morona

What CATS lacks in a cohesive narrative and catchy, and, memorable songs, it makes up for it with infectious energy, exhilarating dances numbers and a fun, unapologetically campy spirit.  

To see a full review of this show, read Joey's posts here.

 

Monday, October 31, 2022

BREAKOUT SESSION (or frogorse)



CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE
October 27-November 12, 2022
216-631-2727 or http://www.cptonline.org

 Roy Berko

BREAKOUT SESSION (OR FROGORSE)” has an important purpose with lofty goals.  Unfortunately, the play’s format and development do not satisfy the need to truly explain, “something is not working, people” and teach the reality of the “Bias Bubble.”  I wish that the director had taken the comments from the first staging and made the necessary changes to make the follow-up performance more meaningful.  Both CPT and Salter wasted a marvelous opportunity to make this a really important play!  So sad, such a wasted opportunity.

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


Tuesday, October 25, 2022



AMERICAN PSYCHO
Blank Canvas
October 21-November 5, 2022 

440-941-0458 or www.blankcanvastheatre.com


Sheri Gross

AMERICAN PSYCHO is an over the top, satirical commentary on disillusionment, gluttony and the misplaced priorities that were to prevalent among young professionals in these types of social circles in the late ‘80s, and thus Cleveland premiere with its trendy, campy premise makes for a thought-provoking, interesting and gnarly night of theater.

To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Chris Howey

American Psycho is a hoot-and-a-half for a while, an ideal Halloween treat for those bored by witches and goblins. Just try not to think about the real psychopaths who now roam our world. 


To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.


INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY




INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY 

October 15-November 5, 2022

216-687-0074 or www.covergence-continnum.org


Roy Berko

Insurrection, which will confound many, while satisfying some, gets a less than satisfying production at con-con

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

Chris Howey

With a script that ranges from mildly disorienting to startlingly evocative, the director Jeannine Gaskin draws some excellent performances out of her nine-person cast. But what resonates most clearly is the need to confront and understand our past for, as George Orwell said and this play reminds us, "He who controls the past controls the future, and he who controls the present controls the past."

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.
 

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow @ Ohio Shakespeare Festival


Through October 23, 2022
http://www.ohioshakespearefestival.com/
(330) 574-2537

Kerry Clawson

There's plenty that goes bump in the night as the Headless Horseman rides again at Ohio Shakespeare Festival's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

The classic tale by Washington Irving has been adapted by company members Sarah and Joe Pine into a spookily entertaining stage production that enhances the ghost story with original music by Scott McKenna Campbell and a spirited cast of 16.


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

Chris Howey

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," a musical scare-fest now at the Ohio Shakespeare Festival in Akron, is a prime example of how to do a kid-friendly show the right way.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.


Oleanna @ None Too Fragile


Through October 22, 2022
https://www.nonetoofragile.com/
(330) 962-5547


Kerry Clawson


None Too Fragile continues to offer some of the best, most thought-provoking theater around with the David Mamet drama "Oleanna" at its tiny Akron venue.

This two-person show, written by Mamet in 1992, is just as topical as ever today as it explores the power struggle between university professor John and female student Carol. 


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


Romeo and Juliet @ Great Lakes Theater


Through November 6, 2022
https://www.greatlakestheater.org/
(216) 241-6000

 Roy Berko

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

Sheri Gross
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Mark Horning

Be forewarned. This is a more “Shakespeare in your face” version of the classic tragedy with extended sword fights, screeching parents, teens past their expiration date, an overly comical nurse and (dare we say it) some over acting stretched out to nearly three hours. Some will love it, others will not. Buy a ticket and decide for yourself. 

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

Chris Howey
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Laura Kennelly

Do not expect a gooey sentimental Romeo and Juliet. Director Sara Bruner has hewn the famous tale of woe into an impressive piece of theater. The pace is quick, but not too quick. The fights, the bawdy jests, the Tik-Tok tone — all vibrate around the two impulsive teens who form the heart of Romeo and Juliet. We feel sorry, but we also remember a bit of how foolish we were at that age.

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

 

Saturday, October 22, 2022

THE AGITATORS




RUBBER CITY THEATRE EQUITY M AINSTAGE
The University of Akron
10/14-22/2022
234-252-0272 or www.rubberctytheatre.com

 

Kerry Clawson

The docudrama "The Agitators" at Rubber City Theatre, theater in residence at the University of Akron, is such a beautifully intimate and educational exploration of the extraordinary, long-standing friendship between 19th century cultural icons Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, it's a must-see.


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

 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Les Misérables @ Playhouse Square


Through October 30, 2022

https://www.playhousesquare.org/events

(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko


LES MIZ!  It is still captivating and is a major piece of the musical theater tapestry which gets an excellent staging at the start of its newest national tour.  If you haven’t seen it before or need a refresher, get to Playhouse before “One Day More,” and get “A Heart Full of Love.”

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

Sheri Gross

Laurence Connor and James Powell have done a gorgeous job turning a larger than life production into a more intimate and meaningful experience, while keeping all of the spectacle that has become synonymous with “Les Misérables." Whether this is your umpteenth viewing, or your virgin voyage, this is a beautiful piece of theater not to be missed.  

To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Mark Horning



The full majestic power of Broadway is brought to the stage with this over the top performance of Le Miz. At times you will be tempted to mount the stage and join the students at the barricades (not recommended). Sit back and witness a spectacle of extraordinary depth as Playhouse Square is privileged to host this production for a full three weeks as its first stop on the national tour.



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

Chris Howey

Touring Production of 'Les Miserables' at Playhouse Square is Big, Ballsy Broadway on Display.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.


Kate Klotzbach

The national tour launch is here in Cleveland! The grand return of the show that’s been self-dubbed as “still the world’s most popular musical” is nothing short of goosebump-inducing... The heart is strong in this play. The cast is solid, with voices that sound classically trained but have a contemporary edge. The harmonies are perfect. And there’s not much to complain about.

To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

Joey Morona

"Les Miserables" relaunches national tour at Playhouse Square, and it's as relevant as ever.

To see a full review of this show, read Joey's posts here.

 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

THE THIN PLACE @ D0BAMA



THE THIN PLACE

October 7-30, 2022

216-932-3396


Roy Berko


THE THIN PLACE is a disappointing script that gets a better-than- deserved production at Dobama. If you are a true theater- buff and like trying to figure out if an author has an intent and purpose, while observing good performances, this may be a show for you.

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

Sheri Gross

THE THIN PLACE attempts to conjure the feelings of a Saturday night sleepover with a Oujia board in a more serious and contemplative vein.  And it succeeds most of the time.

To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Mark Horning

This is in essence a 90 minute intermission free ghost story designed to make one think. What really awaits us in The Thin Place? As the play comes to it’s rather perturbing ending we find the audience waiting for the other shoe to drop only to find it hanging in suspension. Everyone who witnesses this production will spend much time afterwards discussing this work. Boo!

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

Chris Howey

"The Thin Place" is an elaborate ghost story, one that might succeed in making you gasp out loud—and that will be plenty satisfying for some. But there are many unexplored ideas and unresolved relationships left unattended—so many that it makes this theatrical experience a lot thinner, bordering on anorexic.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Kate Klotzbach

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


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME



THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

Beck Center---Senney Theater

September 23-October 16, 2022

beckcenter.org


Roy Berko

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is a brilliantly written play. TheBeck production catches most of the script’s effectiveness, but stumbles on some technical and directing decisions.  Even with those issues, this is a production well-worth seeing. 

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

Howard Gollop

It's further brilliantly enhanced by Andrew McDaniels lighting and resonates with Angie Hayes evocative sound design, capturing a nightmare of contemporary London urban life. The Beck production erupts into a myriad of pulsating lights, graphics, sudden doors and swirls of words and letters that may begin to convey to the audience how an autistic boy experiences his world.

To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Chris Howey

This is a mystery play that poses questions far beyond "who done it?" And that makes it a must-see for those who enjoy being challenged while also being masterfully entertained.


To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Kate Klotzbach

The cast does well with keeping the audience engaged with compelling staging and a beautiful presentation... Overall it is an interesting night out.

To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.


Monday, September 26, 2022

CLYBOURNE PARK @ Ensemble Theatre



CLYBOURNE PARK

Ensemble Theatre @ Notre Dame College's Performing Arts Center
September 23-October 9, 2022

Roy Berko

Clybourne Park is a unique evening of theater.  The Pulitzer Prize play is well written and relevant.  The production is basically well-conceived by director Celeste Consentino.  This is a go see production.

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

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

Sheri Gross
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

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

Chris Howey

The lack of timeliness doesn't take any of the glow off this production, which is gripping and entertaining throughout. It would be rude to call out each actor individually for their performances since they all blend with such brilliant timing and nuance as they craft indelible individual characters. This is an Ensemble that is a joy to behold.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

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

Kate Klotzbach
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

AMERICAN MARIACHI @ Cleveland Play House


AMERICAN MARIACHI
Allen Theatre
September 17-October 9, 2022

Roy Berko

AMERICAN MARIACHI allows audiences to experience a telenovela, a Hispanic storytelling technique, and be exposed to mariachi music, while sharing a tale of universal angst.  The CPH production is well staged and performed.  This is a fine evening of theatre.


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

The production could easily sink into a tepid mix of Telenovela (Mexican soap opera) and Hallmark movie, but under the direction by Henry Godinez, the production value (with Linda Buchanan's sets coming directly from last year's Chicago mounting) and cast (with some actor/musicians recreating the same roles from productions in Chicago, Montgomery, Ala., and Dallas) -- not to mention the infectious and joyful sounds of a top Mariachi band, both male and female, and original Mariachi music by Cynthia Reifler Flores -- raise the proceedings to sheer theatrical delight.

To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Sheri Gross
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Chris Howey

"A sweet but overly simplistic look at what happens when five young Chicano women in the 1970s decide to start their own Mariachi band. The music is lively throughout and the performers give it their all. But a pedestrian and predictable book by José Cruz González doesn't provide the actors enough runway to lift this work to another level."

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Laura Kennelly

"Director Henry Godinez places original musical arrangements by Cynthia Reifler Flores (who also serves as music director) front and center in this play by José Cruz González about the power of music (what else?) to unify and heal. In this case, the music is Mexican mariachi as played by a small, but striking ensemble that appears and disappears as the story continues....

Author González brings multiple plot points before us in the hour and a half plus production. There’s a lot of music, plus information about and evidence of music’s power to unite, to cheer, to heal, and to comfort. All valid ideas, each deserving of its own show. Blending them all together, however, weakens the overall effect — whipsawed as we are from feeling deeply touched by the daughter’s efforts to use music as therapy to soothe her mother’s dementia and then excited to see the entrepreneurship Lucha and Boli display as they decide to organize their own band. and then to our delight at their success as even her father sees how good her ensemble has become."

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

Kate Klotzbach
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

Joey Morona
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Joey's posts here.

 

Monday, September 19, 2022

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS @ Great Lakes Theater

September 16-October 9, 2022

216-241-6000 or www.greatlakestheater.org

 Roy Berko

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is the kind of show that many love to hate while others love it.  The topics of abuse and drug use, which are not in the wheelhouse of musicals, sometimes turn people off, as does the phy-sci-centered plot.  The GLT production is as good as you are going to get.  It solidly hits all the comic and horror notes.  It’s a must see for the script’s fans!

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

Howard Gollop

Of course, nothing wilts so fast as the bloom of trendiness -- and this production might easily have been a tedious go-round of milking an old cash cow -- but Victoria Bussert, one of Cleveland's foremost directors of musical comedy, makes sure this "Shop of Horrors" still has the merchandise that sells.

To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Sheri Gross

Don’t let the lip-smacking, blood-sucking, man-eating plant in the window stop you from getting a front row seat to Great Lakes Theater’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Hanna Theatre in downtown Cleveland.

To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Chris Howey

"If you love some good tunes and a couple outstanding performances, Little Shop awaits your arrival with open jaws."

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Laura Kennelly

One of the best musicals yet in the Hanna. The cast, largely made of BW music theatre students past and present conveyed a fresh take on this classic light-hearted horror musical (is there such a genre? If not, there should be). Of course, there’s a moral: beware of feckless scientific exploration and moral rationalizations. But who cares in the face of such delightful exuberance? (Don’t know about you, but exotic potted plants in my house don’t do all that well anyway.)

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

Kate Klotzbach

Every character is just a little over-the-top and completely enjoyable. The pacing is quick and invigorating. The plant is crazy cool. The choreography is fun. To round it out – the set, lights, costumes, and sound all lead into a Skid Row that is full of heart with vibrant possibilities in this carnivorous musical comedy.

To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

Joey Morona

Binding everything together is a message that we could use a reminder of from time to time, whether you call it being careful what you wish for, the high price of fame, or, simply, don’t f--- with the universe. “Little Shop of Horrors” might have a more twisted plot to go along with a higher body count than your typical feel-good musical, but, powered by terrific performances, the production is also full of heart, humor and, ahem, a killer soundtrack.

To see a full review of this show, read Joey's posts here.

 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS @ BLANK CANVAS


September 9-24, 2022

http://www.blankcanvastheatre.com/ 

Howard Gollop

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

Sheri Gross

Whether you are an actor, a former actor, or an enthusiastic theater goer, every so often a show comes along that makes you want to jump out of your seat and run onto the stage to be a part of the hilarity. This is the case for Blank Canvas Theatre’s current production of “One Man, Two Guvnors,” by Richard Bean. 

To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Chris Howey

Loaded with intentionally one-dimensional characters, silly slapstick schtick, audience participation, some agile improvisation, lively band music, and a plot that joyously swerves through hairpin turns, it's a show that wants desperately to be loved.


To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.


Monday, September 12, 2022

BUYER & CELLAR

BUYER & CELLAR 

BECK CENTER FOR THE ARTS

September 9-October 9, 2022

216-521-2540 or beckcenter.org


Roy Berko

BUYER AND CELLAR is a show that will delight gay audiences who will be able to laugh at themselves, as well as appreciate their perceived hero-worship of the world of divas, but should be a fun experience for the uninitiated into all things gay.  Scott Esposito gives a finely tuned performance in this well-conceived play. So, “bubalah,” If you want to escape from the world of covid and political stress, go see B&C, you may get “verklempt.” 

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

Howard Gollop


Local actor Scott Esposito is so narratively vivid -- assuming the roles of the narrator's boyfriend, Barbra Streisand herself, her secretary and even handsome hubby James Brolin and other incidental figures -- the audience remains mesmerized, usually in hilarity. The only thing raining on this parade is audience laughter and applause.


To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Sheri Gross

What if you were offered a job to be the manager of a faux mini-mall in the basement of a huge star’s home, keep every last “tchotchke” (knick-knack) neat and tidy, and wait to see if the one customer, the star herself, ever comes down to shop? It sounds like a “meshuggeneh'' (crazy) idea. But in “Buyer and Cellar” by Johnathan Tolins at the Beck Center, this peculiar premise evolves into an hour and a half of sheer fun, with a dose of perspective and insight that we can all use once in a while.

To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Chris Howey

Despite the wincingly forced pun of the title, this 90-minute piece has plenty of laughs and some startling depth. In short, it doesn't rain on her parade.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

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

Kate Klotzbach

The most amazing part of this play is that it’s 90 minutes (no intermission) of Esposito playing every character, embodying every single one with ease. Juggling hundreds of lines without a break, Esposito is an engaging storyteller who moves in and out of each character like a breeze. It’s not necessary to be a Barbra fanatic to enjoy this romp in the private cellar, and it helps if you’re humored by all of the excesses of a wealthy and flamboyant lifestyle. Bring your dreams of glamour to the Beck Center for BUYER AND CELLAR. 

To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

DISNEY FROZEN @ KEY BANK STATE THEATRE



DISNEY FROZEN

AUGUST 11-SEPTEMBER 11, 2022

216-241-6000 or playhousesquare.org

Roy Berko

Disney has created some of Broadway’s most memorable musicals including THE LION KING, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MARY POPPINS and NEWSIES THE MUSICAL.  FROZEN, unfortunately, does not deserve to join that exalted list. It’s not terrible, but kids will probably not be enchanted, adults should be adequately interested, and  all will be awed by the special effects and lighting

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

Kerry Clawson

Disney has knocked it out of the park with the wondrous, icy world its creative team has invented for the stage production of "Frozen."

That's a tall order, translating the beloved 2013 animated film to the stage for the live musical, and this show exceeds all expectations in bringing the magic. "Frozen," whose North American tour is playing a five-week run through Sept. 11 at Playhouse Square's State Theatre, dazzles with its incredible special effects, gorgeous costuming and sets and touching story of self-sacrificing, sisterly love.


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

Howard Gollop

Yes, Elsa (powerful Caroline Bowman) -- the ice queen who rejects the Norwegian  royal court that first rejects her in fear of her magic wintery powers -- ascends the glacial mount of her new ice palace to burst into a new icicle pantsuit as she belts out the runaway hit, "Let it Go." 

Yes, the cuddly snowman Olaf, deftly handled by the onstage puppeteer actor F. Michael Haynie, insinuates his lovable goofiness into the hearts of the audience. 

Yes, the stage erupts into one glittering ice spectacle into another, sending chills into even the most overheated audience member.

What doesn't seem to erupt into any sensation at all is the tepid book/script by Jennifer Lee -- at odds with itself in pursuit of a narrative that vacillates between sisterly bonding and male heroism-cum-villainy. 

To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Sheri Gross
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

Mark Horning

When your youngsters come begging for you to take them to see the Broadway Touring Production of Disney’s “Frozen”, trust me. You will enjoy it as much if not more than they will. This is solid family entertainment that is great musical theater for all ages. 

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

Chris Howey

This monumental touring production is highlighted by one number, the Act One closer "Let It Go," which is set in a glistening ice palace and is dazzling, stupefying and magical. It's tempting to say that song alone is worth the price of admission, but that's a tough call since the rest of the show stumbles as often as it soars.

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.

Laura Kennelly

Bottom Line: It’s Disney so yes, it’s life lessons suitable for children. (Many excited princesses in full princess garb attended opening night.) As for adults? Well, after intermission, a short segment about Hygge (roughly translates as “good feelings”) with lightly-clad dancers enjoying a sauna seems designed for older visitors (and has nothing to do with the plot—except that it’s fun).

 Side Note: I was lucky enough to see the Broadway production of Frozen, with Baldwin Wallace University graduate Ciara Renée as Elsa, a few days before Broadway shut down in March 2020. This touring version includes some of the Broadway show’s special effects, but not all. Unfortunately, this reduces the impact of the production, one which depends on massive special effects to create an enchanted frozen world. I doubt its intended audience (young, first-time theater goers) and loyal Disney fans will care. Disney magic tends to conquer all.

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

Kate Klotzbach
No review yet.
To see a full review of this show, read Kate's posts here.

Joey Morona

'Frozen" isn't the perfect musical.  It oftens feels overstuffed with extraneous musical numbers, elaborate costumes, larger-than-life sets and flashy effects serving as distractions from the somewhat flimsy story and numerous plot holes.  Still, its message of self-love and acceptance is something we should all be reminded of from time to time.  So, try seeing the show through the eyes of a child.  Feel, don't conceal.  Enjoy the spectacle and--you guessed it--just let it go. 


To see a full review of this show, read Joey's posts here.

 

Monday, August 8, 2022

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL@ Blank Canvas



THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL
BLANK CANVAS
AUGUST 5-21, 2022

 

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


Howard Gollop

Assuming the directorial reigns for the (at last) Cleveland production, Patrick Ciamacco, brilliantly translates the subversive immersive (aquatically and otherwise) spirit of the show into an invitingly intimate production. 
He has inspiringly whipped a cast of varying talents  into a class-A act. What's even more surprising, he and his team have created nothing short of a pocket-size Broadway extravaganza.

To see a full review of this show, read Howard Gollop's review here.

Sheri Gross

“SpongeBob the Musical” is a blast for all ages, with lovable characters, cool music, vivid lighting, creative cartoon projections, and it even has an optimistic message. Do yourself a favor and watch an episode of the TV series in order to appreciate every nuance that this cast has managed to capture, then put on your scuba gear and follow “Patchy the Pirate’s” voice to Blank Canvas Theatre for an under the sea experience that is out of this world.


To see a full review of this show, read Sheri Gross' review here.

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

Chris Howey

This musical spinoff from the uber-popular animated TV show (and a series of films) has found itself on the tiny stage at Blank Canvas Theatre. And thanks to director Patrick Ciamacco, who is a wizard at downsizing huge musical productions without losing a gram of energy or excitement, this production is a fast-paced, Jello-colored delight.

 

To see a full review of this show, read Chris Howey's Review here.