Monday, June 20, 2022

ELLIOT & ME



Chagrin Falls Little Theatre

June 9-June 25, 2022

 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 blog site.  This review falls into that category.


Roy Berko

ELLIOT & Me is a “hamisha” (warm/comfortable) show that makes for an enjoyable evening of theatre.  It’s the kind of script that could be comfortably performed by community theatres and maybe even off-Broadway.


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


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Little Shop Of Horror @ Porthouse Theatre



Through July 2, 2022
https://www.kent.edu/porthouse/little-shop-horrors
(330) 672-3884

 

Roy Berko

Porthouse’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is well directed by Terri Kent, creatively choreographed by Martin Cespedes, and musically on-key by Jennifer Korecki and her musicians.  Audiences should enjoy themselves with the spirited production, but may return home and get rid of their house plants.

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

Kerry Clawson

For a really campy treat, head to Porthouse Theatre in Cuyahoga Falls for the famously fun, comedy sci-fi musical "Little Shop of Horrors." 

The musical, which kicks of Porthouse Theatre's 54th season, features a tight cast of nine including Kent State University students, recent grads and other professionals. It's a colorful celebration of the horror musical as well as early rock, doo-wop and Motown, based on the 1960 film by Roger Corman and Charles Griffith.

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

Sheri Gross

Scary-licious sci-fi meets paranormal pop/rock in Porthouse Theatre’s horror musical comedy, “”Little Shop of Horrors,” and while it may make you second guess purchasing a venus flytrap anytime soon, the show will definitely have you bopping in your seats. 

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

Mark Horning

Porthouse Theatre has a long established tradition of far more hits than misses and their current production proves the point. It is a pleasant way to spend an evening with a picnic supper on the spacious grounds followed by a well produced and entertaining musical. Come see what all the fuss is about. You will be glad you did.

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

Chris Howey

PLet's face it, if you haven't seen "Little Shop of Horrors" by now (or even actually been in it) since it's been a perennial favorite of school, college and community theater groups for several decades, then you really have to call someone to remove the rock you've been living under. Surprise, it's 2022 and we're still humming along to this musical version of the cult eponymous cult flick. It features the Mushnik florist shop employees—schlub Seymour and fetching Audrey—along with the carnivorous botanical monstrosity dubbed Audrey II by love-smitten Seymour.

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

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Fantasticks @ Near West Theatre

 


June 18, 19, 24, 25 & 26 2022
(216) 961-6391

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

At long last, Near West Theatre is able to stage small intimate productions in their brand new 70+ seat Black Box Theatre. This will allow them to broaden their horizons even further as people once again venture out to see live entertainment. Their first production “The Fantasticks” is a nice fit to their plans. Chances are this limited dates production (only five more shows) will sell out in a hurry so get your tickets fast.

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


Sunday, June 12, 2022

SCHOOL OF ROCK @ Cain Park




SCHOOL OF ROCK
June 9-26, 2022

 

Roy Berko

SCHOOL OF ROCK is a fun-filled show with a nice moral message. The Cain Park production is well-directed and performed. The music rocks.  The cast entertains.  It’s the kind of show that audiences love.   

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

Chris Howey


If you want take children you know to a show, you should bring them down into the leafy environs of Cain Park and experience "School of Rock." It's not perfect and sure, it's predictable. But thanks to the skills of director Joanna May Cullinan and band conductor Bradley Wyner, "School" is family friendly with just enough sly winks. And when it comes to conveying joy, this show shreds.


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


 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Playhouse Square Touring Production of My Fair Lady


Through June 26, 2022
https://www.playhousesquare.org/events/detail/my-fair-lady-22 
(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko

MY FAIR LADY has deservedly been called "the perfect musical" and the Lincoln Center revival did nothing but increase the respect level. The touring company, may not be up to the New York performance level, but it is a visual and production delight.  It is well-worth a trip to Playhouse Square!

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

Howard Gollop

Yes, as the number ("Get Me to the Church on Time") magically grows chorus members, the dancing girls somehow fade away and in come drag queens for a raucous can-can. We are in "Moulin Rouge" territory now.

I don't think Shaw would have ever imagined this when "Pygmalion" opened in London in 1913, but 109 years later, audiences less and less can imagine or appreciate what life was really like in the author's day, which would make a more faithful adaptation all that more "loverly."

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

Sheri Gross

Yes, this play is three hours long, but don’t let that scare you away. This updated version of “My Fair Lady,” under the impeccable direction of Bartlett Sher, with its beloved score by Lerner and Leowe, and its exceptional cast led by Ahmed and Mackintosh, is an important piece of classic theater that demands to be seen. In fact, you may walk out of the theater singing to yourselves, “I could have watched all night…and still have begged for more.” 

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

Mark Horning

This is a show that will totally enthrall all who see it. From the over the top grand stage sets with descending Opera House front, Higgin’s spinning multi-room home with spacious study, Alfred’s neighborhood pub, Higgin’s outdoor street, Ascot (with the sound of horses racing from left to right), and the Grand Ballroom at the Embassy, the costuming, the singing, the orchestra...I could go on and on. In short, see this show and be bedazzled. You will be humming songs all the way back to the car.

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

Chris Howey

Some have dubbed "My Fair Lady" the "perfect musical" since it is not the kind of sappy "moon-June" romance that gets stale over the decades. Thanks to Alan Jay Lerner's witty book and lyrics, Frederick Lowe's lush score, and Sher's spot-on direction, this production rises to the top. And it does so without a traditional love story, a comedy lead, or de rigeur kickass dance numbers for a chorus of 40, "My Fair Lady" is simply a delight for all the senses, right down to the perfect downbeat ending.


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

Laura Kennelly

Although My Fair Lady is over 60 years old, she is not showing her age. Director Bartlett Sher has kept the glamour and modernized the emphasis without changing a word in Playhouse Square’s latest touring show. Yes, Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) still create theater magic....

Caution: If you are expecting a rom-com, you are bound to be disappointed, especially in this subtly modernized version. Ahmed’s Eliza is brilliant, hard-working, and — when the role demands it — gorgeous and charming, but there are no romantic vibes between her and her instructor. It does not matter, it is a wonderful show and if you go home and think Higgins and Eliza are made for each other? Well, anything is possible in fantasy land.

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

Zachary Lewis

Superb cast and lavish visuals come together in lavish production of "My Fair Lady" at Playhouse Square.

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

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Waitress @ Playhouse Square





Through June 26, 2022
 https://www.playhousesquare.org/events/detail/waitress-2
(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko

If you haven’t seen WAITRESS before, go see this staging.  If you have seen WAITRESS before, go see this staging.  Except for the sound system issues, WAITRESS is a fine theatrical experience.   In spite of that, go see this show!!


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

Howard Gollop

This version triumphs in a more intimate production that sacrifices none of the Broadway panache, but delivers a more human-scale tour-de-force that's rare on the stages of touring houses.

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

Sheri Gross

WAITRESS is one of those shows that everyone should see; a musical comedy about serious issues.  We laugh with, we even laugh at, but are never trivialized.  It is a show that renews our belief in happy endings.  And with a story that tugs at the heartstrings, a fabulous cast and a winning score.

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

Mark Horning

Flour...Sugar...Butter...Flour...Sugar...Butter and of course Love. These are the ingredients that go into making a great pie and Love makes everything special including this show. Take someone special to see it and afterwards go out for some pie. 

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

Chris Howey

"Waitress" is a delightful offering, stuffed with engaging songs and a few outstanding performances. Heck, even the scene changes as created by the original director Diane Paulus are worth half the price of admission.


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

Laura Kennelly

Sara Bareilles’ hit musical Waitress has returned to Playhouse Square for an extended run in the close confines of the Hanna Theatre. The show is based on the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly with a book by Jessie Nelson, music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Diane Paulus.

In this case, “a new look” does not mean improved.

The Hanna’s thrust stage has been removed and the theater’s excellent acoustical properties are buried under amplification. The vocalists and the compact onstage band, conducted by Lilli Wosk, often overwhelmed the space. What is usually an advantage in the Hanna (proximity of every seat to the stage) has become a liability.

The storyline has shifted to a caricature of the original’s “feel-good” small town vibe. Yes, we do sympathize with waitress Jenna (Stephanie Torns) who suffers in her marriage to abusive loser Earl (Brad Standley). Torns’ attractive Jenna belts out Bareilles’ quirky songs about the pies, pies created to fit every occasion. The titles offer an ongoing commentary on Jenna’s life: “Big Guy Strawberry Pie,” “I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie,” “I Hate My Husband Pie,” and “Pregnant, Miserable, Self-Pitying Loser Pie.”

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

Joey Morona

"Waitress" isn't a groundbreaking musical nor is it the gradnspectacle of other Boradway fare thatr passses through Playhouse Square. Instead, staged in a smaller theater, it's an intimate experience that will leave you feeling happy, hopeful and maybe a little bit hungry.

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


Sunday, May 29, 2022

THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE @ Beck Center





THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE

May 27-June 26, 2022

 

Roy Berko
 

THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE had the potential to be a hoot of an evening. As is, it didn’t have the pizzazz to be either a fun drag show, or an escapist comedy.  The poorly conceived costumes and wigs, the lack of the needed quick pacing, and the overly long production (almost two hours without break), left too much to be desired!  Too bad…in these days of angst…a fun escape would have been nice.

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

Howard Gollop


It's a slight comedy by Mathew Lopez, but with the right talent and direction, it works. 

One reason is Matt Gittins as Elvis/Georgia. It's an underwritten role, but Gittins musters so much power and nuance, the character -- and his drag characters -- come to life.
He and his co-star Jason Eno as Miss Tracy Mills may not be true drag queens, but with the help of Veranda L'Ni as "director of drag" and Eric Schmiedl as the plain old regular director, they light the stage on fire as well as turn up the heat of a potentially lukewarm play.

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

Mark Horning

While a great concept, the show lacks in writing pizzazz. The humor could have been punch up a lot more as the idea was ripe with potential. Add to this the costuming, endless set blackout changes, and long intermissionless two hours it made for a long evening. Of course, the audience the evening I saw it loved and hooted and cheered through the entire show so don’t take my word for it.   

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

Chris Howey

It's a frothy and frequently amusing one-act that, even at a butt-numbing two hours, manages to hold one's attention.  However, a couple creative decisions and some inherent limitations in the script put a crimp in the generally excellent work turned in by the five-person cast. 

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

Laura Kennelly

Show business can surprise aspiring performers. Now playing in the Beck Center’s Studio Theater, The Legend of Georgia McBride lightheartedly sketches one man’s unanticipated route to success. Written by Matthew Lopez and directed by Eric Schmiedl, the show allows for plenty of laughs thanks to a small and appealing cast.

For the full review, read Laura Kennelly's review at Cool Cleveland here


Friday, May 27, 2022

Log Cabin @ Convergence-Continuum

Through June 11, 2022

https://www.convergence-continuum.org/ 

(216) 687-0074

 

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

A superb cast can only take a show so far and this gay sitcom of a play is a perfect example. It tries to shock an educated audience but the controversy is long gone. See it for the superb acting abilities of the cast if for nothing else.

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 15, 2022

Enemy of the People @ Rubber City Theatre


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

 

Kerry Clawson

Rubber City Theatre's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" is a chilling modern-day version that sets this battle of right vs. might in a Trump-era, mid-sized Rust-Belt city.

... The play, performed without intermission and directed by Lana Sugarman, is highly thought-provoking. The problem is, the quality of the acting is inconsistent among four of the eight cast members.


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

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

 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Venus In Fur @ None Too Fragile


Through May 28, 2022
(330) 962-5547

 

Kerry Clawson

At surface level, the play "Venus in Fur" sounds like one kinky show.

The two-person play, which opened this weekend at None Too Fragile Theatre in its Akron premiere, tells the story of Thomas, a director desperate to find an actress to play the female lead in his adaptation of the erotic 1870 novel "Venus in Furs." An equally desperate actress shows up to audition but she's all wrong for the part.

Or is she?

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

Kate Klotzbach

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


THE THREE MUSKETEERS @ Cleveland Play House


THE THREE MUSKETEERS
ALLEN THEATRE
Through May 22, 2022

 

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.

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.

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.


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.


Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Importance of Being Earnest @ Ohio Shakespeare Festival


Through May 15, 2022
(330) 574-2537

 

Kerry Clawson

It's a lot of fun watching the blithely superficial young characters navigate all their silliness in "The Importance of Being Earnest" at Ohio Shakespeare Festival in Akron. ... Ohio Shakespeare Festival's cast of nine, directed by Nancy Cates, expertly performs Wilde's abundance of witty dialogue as the play's hopelessly shallow characters take themselves ever so seriously. 


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.


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.