Sunday, May 15, 2022

Enemy of the People @ Rubber City Theatre


Through May 21, 2022
https://www.rubbercitytheatre.com/
(234) 252-0272

 

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

If you are looking for an underground hero that makes good kind of show...forget it. This play is a real downer. In this tale of greed at all expense the bad guys win, the good guys lose and innocent people may get sick and die as a result. It is a raw story right out of today’s headlines and a cautionary tale of what continues to happen since 1882 when the play was first written. No sugar coating on this one but more a strong taste of bitter salt. Good Theater!

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.

 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Venus In Fur @ None Too Fragile


Through May 28, 2022
(330) 962-5547

 

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

When the gods come to earth in order to take on a pet project anything can happen and usually does. What looks like a simple reading of a play based on a naughty book turns into much more as power shifts from one to another. This is great theater.

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, May 8, 2022

Same Time, Next Year @ Clague Playhouse


Through May 29, 2022
(440) 331-0403

 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

Some plays were born to be placed in small intimate theaters and “Same Time, Next Year” is a perfect fit for Clague Playhouse. It is a delightful story with naughty undertones that touches your heart while giving you a history lesson of the 50s through 70s. Come feel the love!

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


Friday, May 6, 2022

American Moor @ Karamu

Through May 29, 2022

https://www.karamuhouse.org/

(216) 795-7077

 

Roy Berko


For anyone who wants to experience a performance that balances dynamism and lyricism with amazing skill, AMERICAN MOOR is a must-see."   This is a sensational night of theatre.  Bravo!!!!

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

It is refreshing to get a fresh interpretation of the Black situation as it applies to the theater and art. Words written over 400 years ago by Shakespeare come back to ring true in these days of struggle and Black Lives Matter. This show is a melding of classical and contemporary ideas flowing together that will fascinate all who go to see it. Be amazed.

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

Chris Howey

"Indeed, "American Moor" slings some decent Shakespeare, and is a play you should probably see more than once, to get the full effect. But one viewing is absolutely mandatory."

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.

 

THE THREE MUSKETEERS @ Cleveland Play House


THE THREE MUSKETEERS
ALLEN THEATRE
Through May 22, 2022

 

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

Why do you want to see this play? It is an old story with a new twist in casting and costuming. It is a timeless classic that everyone should see in some form. The acting tries hard to stay out of the way of the action and the fight scenes are real enough to convince. In a phrase...All For One…

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

Chris Howey

"It all ends, predictably enough, with the time-honored catch phrase of The Three Musketeers, "All for one and one for all." And while this production will not linger long in your memory, it tries so hard to please you may not be able to resist it."

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

THE THREE MUSKETEERS is updated with modern sensibility, a diverse cast and plenty of action.

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

 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Alfred Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS @ Great Lakes Theater




Alfred Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS
April 29-May 22, 2022
216-241-6000 or www.greatlakestheater.org

 

Roy Berko

Having seen superb productions of THE 39 STEPS in London and Canada, the level was high for my attending the show at GLT.  Unfortunately, though the local staging is adequate, it was not all that the staging of the clever script can be.  The pacing was much too slow and the absurdity too controlled.  Audiences not aware of what could be may be delighted by the Jaclyn Miller directed show.  Those in the know will probably be disappointed.

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


The Great Lakes Theater production of “The 39 Steps” is more than a typical farce; it is a blast! And it is a toss up as to who is having the most fun…the audience or the cast. You will delight in the comedic spectacle, get caught up in the spoofy melodrama, you might even find yourself practicing your best Scottish brogue on your way home. Ultimately, you will enjoy a night of feel-good entertainment, which is something that we all deserve.

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

Mark Horning

A true comedy farce requires that the silliness builds up to a highly nearly unsustainable level with that peak then being held true to the end. While this show comes close, the hick-up in the second act unfortunately takes the wind out of the sails. It is a good show in search of greatness that some fine tuning might help. Still, it is great fun and worth the price of the ticket.

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

Fans seeking farce, Alfred Hitchcock drama and spy adventures should not miss the Great Lakes Theater’s Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps currently playing at the Hanna Theatre. Directed by Jaclyn Miller, the play is packed with spirited fun and satiric frivolity. It is delightful from start to finish.

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

Kate Klotzbach

... the production is not just a whodunit, but a what-is-it wrapped in a shroud of puns, illusions, and spy gags. The evil laughs are well placed, and the shtick is as campy as a Monty Python sketch on its 12th cup of coffee.


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.

 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Importance of Being Ernest @ Ohio Shakespeare Festival


Through May 15, 2022
(330) 574-2537

 

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

Mark Horning

Take a wonderful story with comedic overtones, add extraordinary actors on a well appointed stage with exquisite period costumes and a surprise ending and you have the formula for an extremely entertaining evening of great theater. This show is worth the drive to Akron. Huzzah!

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.

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


 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

To Kill A Mockingbird @ Playhouse Square



Through May 15, 2022
(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko

The touring production, under the direction of Bartlett Sher, is finely honed.  The staging, the casting, the technical aspects of the play are impeccable.  This is theatre at its finest.  It is an absolutely must see for anyone interested in a well-written, meaningful story that is as relevant today as when it was written.  Bravo!!!

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

Kerry Clawson

In this beautiful production, which both does justice to the novel and also fleshes out some key characters more, the storytelling is compelling and nimbly paced. At the same time, it also allows the characters and the audience to breathe in both the weighty and beautiful moments. ... Sorkin's stage adaptation, which premiered on Broadway in 2018, has the story's three children — Scout, Jem and Dill — narrating the story, departing from the sole narrator Scout in the novel. This dramatic technique makes Atticus the heart of the story and puts the drama's trial front and center.


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


Howard Gollop


"A highly engaging new stage version of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' occasionally succumbs to the trappings of live theater as much as it benefits because of them. ... Certainly, the virtues of modern theater tearing down that 'fourth wall' should be realized, but here, a little goes a long way. ... Fortunately, playwright Aaron Sorkin does rectify one problem in adapting Harper Lee’s book — putting the climactic trial front and center, rather than meandering eventually to it as in the film and first stage adaptation.

To see a full review of this show, https://bit.ly/3EYUyXn

Sheri Gross

This production is an important, necessary portrayal of a time in our past that still seeps heavily into our present; a time full of wrongs that we haven’t been able to right. All we can do is hope that, like Scout, Jem and Dill, our children will continue to question the adults in their lives, demand better from them, and be the change makers that our world needs. These are a few of many thoughts provoked by this “must-see” production.  

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

Mark Horning

The racial injustice theme of “To Kill a Mockingbird” seems ripped right out of today’s headlines yet its message still shines brightly that hate might still be overcome through the use of common sense, common decency, common courtesy with a healthy dose of humor as taught to our children. This is a show that is universally relatable. Scout it out.

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

Chris Howey

"(This) is a play that is utterly pleasing on the surface, thanks to a superior cast that is fully in tune with the crisp pacing of director Bartlett Sher. Upon reflection, however, there are a collection of moments that give one pause, triggering the "Yes, but..." impulse."

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

"All in all, this moving production is worth every emotion that it evokes. The superior acting, the appropriate setting, lights, sound, and costumes, the skillful directing, and the overall presentation of this superb theatrical endeavor do justice to Harper Lee’s first-class novel."


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

Zachary Lewis

True to the original but enriched with new relevance, Aaron Sorkin's theatrical adaptation of the great American novel is everything one could hope for and more.


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

 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Life Sucks. @ Dobama Theatre


Through May 22, 2022
(216) 932-3396

 Roy Berko

Several years-ago I ended my review of Dobama’s production of Posner’s STUPID F**KING BIRD with the comment: “As a person present at the very start of Dobama, I would say that Donald Bianchi, the theater’s founder, would approve and be delighted that ‘his’ theater is still fulfilling ‘his’ dream.”  For LIFE SUCKS, I conclude: “Ditto!”  My recommendation?  Go, see, enjoy, participate!  Applause, applause!


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

Sheri Gross

Dobama Theater’s production of Aaron Posner’s “Life Sucks” is a delightful, fresh-faced, albeit, darker comedy that renews your faith in…well, you will have to decide what part of your faith needs renewal

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

Mark Horning

Without a doubt this family of misfits puts the “fun” in dysfunctional. Razor sharp writing and superb acting makes the time breeze by. This is a totally digestible Chekhov as the cast makes an effort to solve their problems with the assistance of the audience. Wise-Humane-Quirky-Endearing-Clever yet true to the spirit of the original. Chek it out.

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

Chris Howey

"Happily, this performance directed by Nathan Motta takes splendid advantage of the witty script, turning the show into the most enjoyable two hours you've spent since you sucked down a CBD gummy and listened to a Mell Brooks & Carl Reiner comedy routine. "

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

Zachery Lewis

"It definitely doesn’t suck. In fact, in many ways, it’s brilliant."

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

 

THE LIGHTNING THIEF THE PERRY JACKSON MUSICAL



THE HELEN--PLAYHOUSE SQUARE
April 22-24, 2022 

Roy Berko


Though the BW/PhSquare staging needs more schticks and awe to make it into the fantasy the story required, it gave the student performers a chance to do a different kind of musical and the audience a chance to get outside of their normal space and wander into an epic quest.  Guess the kid behind me was right, however, when he said, “When is this going to be fun like the movie?” 

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

Laura Kennelly


Imagine your surprise if you learned your father is a Greek god. That shocking discovery means, as Percy Jackson discovers, he is a demi-god.

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical begins with that premise and romps merrily through the resulting action when Percy goes to a summer camp for teens. There, our hero discovers not only who he is, but also who his classmates and teachers are. On top of all that, he is assigned a quest (something all heroes must have). He must find Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt before all-out war descends upon the lesser gods and demi-gods.

The show is a real feast for fantasy lovers (hand raised here). The Helen’s stadium seating suggests classic Greek theatre structures — albeit on a much smaller scale.

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


Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Absolutely Amazing and True Adventures of Ms. Joan Evelyn Southgate @ Cleveland Public Theatre



Through May 14, 2022

https://www.cptonline.org/

(216) 631-2727 x501

 

Roy Berko

Ms. Joan Evelyn Southgate is a wonder of a person.  The play about her Freedom Trail walk is an inspiring story, which needs editing and a clearer staging concept!
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.

Mark Horning

We are still a country of heroes, some of who take the form of octogenarian grandmothers who decided to go for a walk. This is a story of one such hero whose story needs to be told and celebrated. Come see this show and become inspired. Who knows what you may one day be capable of doing?

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

Chris Howey

"In "The Absolutely Amazing and True Adventures of Ms. Joan Evelyn Southgate," now at Cleveland Public Theatre, playwright and sole performer Nina Domingue crafts a tender, loving and frequently amusing celebration of Ms. Southgate's life and mission. What Domingue and director Nathan Henry don't do, however, is create a theatrical experience that resonates beyond a panegyric for this remarkable woman."

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


Sunday, April 3, 2022

"A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder" @ Chagrin Valley Little Theatre


 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.


Through April 10, 2022 
(440) 247-8955

 

Mark Horning

Chagrin Valley Little Theatre has a reputation for producing grand and extravagant shows in its 262 seat theater and “A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder” is an excellent example of this art. The show is truly funny, has amazing singing, great acting and wonderful live music. If you have not witnessed their brand of theater it is time that you should with this show. There are only three more shows left so don’t dottle.

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


Saturday, April 2, 2022

METEOR SHOWER @ Beck Center for the Arts



METEOR SHOWER
April 1-May 1, 2020
Tickets:  beckcenter.org or 216-2540 X10

 

Roy Berko

One can only wonder why Beck chose to do this play.  As a Broadway reviewer said, “METEOR SHOWER is a train wreck.”  Fortunately, the quality of this production exceeded the quality of the script.

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

Sheri Gross

Director Scott Spence has assembled an entertaining cast, and he has done his best to showcase the strengths of the play; the satire, the absurdity and the silliness. Unfortunately, the plot itself, along with the actual development of the characters, is ultimately too weak and disjointed to ignore. 

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

Mark Horning

If you are a fan of absurdist theatre (such stuff as “Waiting For Godot”, “End Game”, “Rhinoceros” and such) then this show is right up your dark and twisty alley. While some will find the show deeply disturbing others will heap praise. It really depends on which side of the tea cup you sip your beverage from.

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


Laura Kennelly

In the regional premiere of Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower at the Beck Center, reality flies out the window as humor takes over. Yes, the author is that Steve Martin, so if his comedy style suits you (confession here — I am a fan) then you’ll love the show.

Directed by Scott Spence, this 90-minute, no-intermission comic satire set in the Studio Theatre races from surprise to surprise. What is satirized? Marriage, therapy, the cosmos, mystical thinking, sex — you get the idea — nothing is sacred, but it is all done in such a well-mannered sort of way that when shocking things happen, we are still a bit surprised.

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


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING @ Great Lakes Theater


March 27-April 10, 2022

Roy Berko

As evidenced by MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, now on stage at Great Lakes Theater, Shakespeare as writer, and Fee, as director, are a perfect match.  If you want to see Elizabethan comedy at its finest, GO!  This is a must-see experience!

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

Sheri Gross

Great Lakes Theater is currently featuring “Much Ado About Nothing,” known as one of the most creative, satisfying comedies ever penned by William Shakespeare. Producing Artistic Director Charles Fee, along with his top-notch, talented cast, breathes life into the “Bard’s” words to create a production that is nothing short of flawless.  

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

Mark Horning

Combining the masterful directing of Charles Fee with the outstanding talent of a superb cast and the comedic timing of Shakespeare you have in essence theatrical heaven. This is the feel good comedy of the season and you need to definitely go see it.

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


Laura Kennelly

Great Lakes Theater’s Much Ado About Nothing takes a wry look at courtship and marriage. Director Charles Fee’s quick-moving production offers an evening of laughter as generated by the talented cast. Yes, once again, while jealousy and gossip fail to thwart true love’s success, the complications they provide add to our entertainment and the play’s success.

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


Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Weir @ None Too Fragile



Through April 2, 2022
https://www.nonetoofragile.com/
(330)962-5547

 

Kerry Clawson

Irish playwright Conor McPherson's "The Weir" at None Too Fragile Theatre is a haunting drama, not primarily for its ghost stories but more for its characters' anecdotes of loss and regret.

Director Sean Derry has put together a winning cast of fine actors to play the four Irish men and one woman who pass time in a small, rural Irish pub. As the beer and whiskey flow, we're privy to their banter, peevishness, one-upmanship, antics and underlying sense of loneliness as the five gather for one evening for some warmth, companionship and comfort.


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

Mark Horning

If your looking for a delightful “slice of Irish life” play in order to escape the troubles of the world you can do no better than this currently staged production. There is humor, sadness, melancholy, fiestyness, friendship, love and caring much like you would find on the Emerald Isle. Ná tuitfidh an díon os bhur gcionn go brách 'S nach dtitfeadh na cairde atá bailithe thíos ann go brách (May the roof above you never fall in. And may the friends gathered below it never fall out).

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


 

Dog Act @ Convergence-Continuum



Through April 16, 2022
https://www.convergence-continuum.org/
(216) 687-0074

 

Roy Berko


As Bud and Coke, two characters in DOG ACT might ask, “Why in F**ckity, F**ck, did con-con choose to do this convoluted script?” 

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

Mark Horning

Convergence-Continuum bills itself as Cleveland’s up-close and OUT there Theatre. Over the years they have built a fanatical following of fans who are nearly as fun to watch as the show. This show is right up their dark and scary alley. For fans of more conventional theater this might be considered a walk on the wild side. If you feel a little daring, buy a ticket and take a chance.

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


Sunday, March 20, 2022

These Shining Lives @ Clague Playhouse


Through April 3, 2022
www.clagueplayhouse.org 
(440) 331-0403

 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 is National Women’s Month and what better way to celebrate it than to see a production that shines the light on heroes of the female gender. In this play we are introduced to women who gave their all in the pursuit of justice so that future generations would be entitled to a safe work place. Well worth the time and price to see this show.

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


Monday, March 14, 2022



ANTIGONE
Cleveland Play House
March 5-27, 202

216-241-6000 or clevelandplayhouse.com

Roy Berko

ANTIGONE, as adapted by Emily Mann, carries as important a message of the rejection or blind acceptance of the authority of civic and religious customs and leaders today as it did when the Greek Sophocles wrote the script in the fifth-century BC.  The CPH production was often successful, at other times inconsistent.


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

Mark Horning

There is Theater, then there is Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse production of “Antigone” falls strongly to the latter. In these times of world-wide pandemics, countries inching closer to the threat of world war and the dissolution of basic human rights we need a reminder from the past to show us our follies. Sophocles was on point in 442 B.C. and Emily Mann’s adaptation rings true today.

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

Chris Howey

The themes that have entranced audiences for centuries are laid out in clear and often intense fashion by the talented CPH cast under the sharp direction of Lauren Keating.

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

Laura Kennelly

Sophocles’ Antigone (c. 441 BC), now at the Outcalt Theatre in Playhouse Square, is a humbling reminder that human societies still have not become perfect. Director Lauren Keating makes this clear in the current Cleveland Play House presentation.

Adapted by Emily Mann, this stripped-down Greek family drama focuses on Creon, commandingly portrayed by Vanessa Morosco, and on relationships between country and family. Does family loyalty come first? Creon’s passionate young niece Antigone, played by an engaging Mariah Burks, argues yes. Or does a leader’s responsibility to the nation outweigh personal relationships? As ruler of the kingdom, Morosco’s stately Creon argues it does. Their tragic collision of loyalties justifies CPH’s trigger warnings about suicide and self-harm.

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


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Pretty Woman The Musical @ Playhouse Square


Through March 27, 2022
https://www.playhousesquare.org/
(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko

PRETTY WOMAN is not a great musical.  It is definitely not CHORUS LINE, or MY FAIR LADY or WEST SIDE STORY, but this production, even with the obvious story line and mediocre score, is worth a sit-through.  The audience, after rendering the required “we are nice Clevelanders and give almost every production a standing ovation,” left with high positive chatter!

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

Kerry Clawson

Although the stage musical adheres quite closely to the original film, the tour's leading lady, Olivia Valli, makes the role of Vivian her own with a gamine physical awkwardness, bubbliness and playfulness that make us love her. She's an endearing actress with a powerful voice who's the granddaughter of famed singer Frankie Valli.


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

Howard Gollop

The new Broadway version of the classic 1990 film hit "Pretty Woman" wasn't supposed to be good. But it is.

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

Sheri Gross

It is hard to avoid comparing the stage musical version of "Pretty Woman," which opened in Chicago and moved to Broadway in 2018, to the film. But in order to appreciate the production as an uplifting, entertaining night of live theater, one must try hard to separate the two.

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

Mark Horning

During these challenging times it is nice to get out and experience some pleasure in the form of a Broadway touring show. This roughly based Cinderella story comes alive on stage and allows you to escape the world if only for a couple of short hours. Bring someone you love and share it with them.

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

Laura Kennelly

Pretty Woman: The Musical asks us to go along with an unbelievable Hollywood tale. Now at Playhouse Square through March 27, it draws from the 1990s Julia Roberts/Richard Gere film hit of the same name. Alas, the musical’s fairy-tale plot seems old-fashioned and naïve today.

But on the plus side, director Jerry Mitchell distracts the audience from the story with vignettes featuring amiable characters, snappy tunes and precise dancing. As prostitute Vivian Ward, Olivia Valli shows the original Pretty Woman’s sass and style (if not Roberts’ sweet Georgia accent). Understudy Chris Manuel stepped in on opening night as the wealthy Edward Lewis. Jessica Crouch plays Vivian Ward’s friend and hooker coach Kit De Luca.

The ensemble cast deserves praise for bright snippets. Amma Osei’s beautiful vocals in the La Traviata scene evoked opera’s emotional magic. Kyle Taylor Parker added heart to the production playing both the Happy Man as well as the stuffy hotel manager.

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

Kate Klotzbach

Not every movie or story needs to be made into a musical, and Pretty Woman the Musical is an example of why. Now playing at the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square, this music-backed take on the 1990 movie starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere loses charm and depth when placed into this new format.


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

Joey Morona

Not every show has to break new ground or change the world. Some simply win uou over with terrific performances, catchy songs, good comedy and a timeless story.   So, if you want the fairy tale, it play in Cleveland through March 27.

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

 

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Kill-Move-Paradise @ Dobama Theatre



Through March 27, 2022 
(216) 932-3396

 

Roy Berko

The Dobama production is brilliantly staged by Nathan Henry. The cast, Mell Bowens, Jr., Ananias J. Dixon, Aamar-Malik Culbreth and Daris Stubbs work as a well-oiled unit to create a vivid depiction of the misguided mistreatment of young black men in America! This is an absolute must see production!  As Donald Bianchi said, “Take the risk with us.  We are all in this together.  We all own it.”

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

No matter what your faith, there is little to be hopeful about death...it is after all...death. This show manages to put the afterlife into an entirely new perspective...one of heartbreak, anger, joy, love and humanity with a touch of humor thrown in for balance. You will find yourself swept up in the feelings of fear, sadness, anxiety, laughter and anger but you will also walk away with an overpowering feeling of hope. Well done, Dobama Theatre.

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

Chris Howey

"...[a] powerful piece of theater, and we are honored to experience it."

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.


Monday, February 14, 2022

The Mountaintop @ Karamu House


Through March 6, 2022

https://www.karamuhouse.org/

(216) 795-7070


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

Mark Horning

As midnight in Memphis, Tennessee passes into April 4th, 1968 we catch a glimpse of a man of extreme stature as he struggles with the everyday challenges and temptations known to all of us. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has scaled The Mountaintop and has seen what awaits. It is a lesson in history as well as the human condition and well worth viewing.

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.

 

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Panther Women: An Army For The Liberation @ Cleveland Public Theatre




Through February 26, 2022
(216) 631-2727

 

Sheri Gross

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

Mark Horning

It becomes evident early on that the women on stage are not just repeating words written on a page. They are relating incidents that they have lived through or are close to family members who have. This is intense theater with a purpose and that purpose is to educate and change the past and give hope to a brighter future. Be a witness to this happening and see this play.   

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, February 6, 2022

Lizzie The Musical @ Beck Center for the Arts


Through February 27, 2022
https://www.beckcenter.org/  
(216) 521-2540 x10

 

Roy Berko

The BW/Beck production is a high tension, rock-centric musical that has the audience bopping in their seats.  Anyone who likes good singing and acting, powerful music and interesting story, will have a goth-blast at LIZZIE.

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

Sheri Gross

Whether you are familiar with the tale of Lizzie and her axe, or you are new to the saga of the burned dress and the “40 whacks,” this show is an experience, and if you are up for something a little different, a little loud, maybe a little out of your comfort zone, this production of Lizzie with its talented cast is worth the risk.

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

Mark Horning

For those of you who love to flock to “slasher movies” this show is right up your alley. If you like rock and roll, all the better. Rather than a “who done it” it’s a “she done it” but you get to see how she got away with it. It’s blood, lust, sex, crazy family and murder all rolled up in a big rock and roll package. Rock On!   

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

Laura Kennelly

It is rock music we are here for. And we get it. Director Victoria Bussert, with her trademark gusto, allows the four dynamic female leads to do abundant screaming. A few lyric pieces (“Sweet Little Sister”) offer welcome contrast, but major angst suffered by all four characters soon offsets peaceful moments.

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


Saturday, February 5, 2022

Jesus Christ Superstar @ Playhouse Square


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

 

Roy Berko

 JC SUPERSTAR, 50th anniversary edition, is a spectacle that will leave some with the reaction that it is overdone, overly loud, stressing abundance over story telling. This is not to say the audience will not marvel at the show.  They will leave talking about the grandeur of what they have seen and heard.  The question is, did they see a sound and light show or an epic musical that effectively told its story?

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

Sheri Gross

The Superstar fans will be thrilled with this powerful revival, which manages to stay true to the original while giving it a fresh spin. The dynamic cast boasts vocal chords of steel, and all the passion that is demanded of such complex characters. That being said, this is not a perfect production.

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

Mark Horning

Jesus Christ Superstar is epic rock opera at its best and this touring cast and orchestra does it proud. The show is quite dark as it is about the days leading up to the crucifixion which is not exactly light subject matter. In spite of that you will find yourself swept away by the music and choreography.    

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

Kate Klotzbach

The production overall is absolutely worth seeing. The music is electric, the choreography is exciting, and the voices are a treat. Whether Christian or not, audiences will appreciate a timeless story with compelling songs and impressive moments. A dark and gritty version, the 50th Anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar will have you believing in the power and resilience of theater.


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

Joey Morona

The production is unlike any other in the country, enhanced by 22 local strings players joining the 11-piece traveling ensemble. The combined 33-piece orchestra creates an audio experience Playhouse Square describes as “live theatrical surround sound.”

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