Monday, July 15, 2024

BEAUTIFUL, The Carole King Musical




BEAUTIFUL, The Carole King Musical
July 12-August 11, 2024
216-521-2540 or beckcenter.org

 

Roy Berko

BEAUTIFUL, THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, though there were some acting and choreographic stumbles, and the script is more soap-opera than quality musical writing, gets an audience pleasing production at Beck.  The music is wonderful. The cast sings with gusto. There is lots of dancing. It is well-worth a look-see!


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

Mark Horning

While short on story and drama, in the end, the sold out audience was on its feet for the last two numbers “Beautiful” and “I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet” and everyone left “...with a smile on their face.” and you will to. Snatch up a ticket before they are all gone!

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.

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

The musical reflects the album Tapestry, the marker that King found her voice, rights, value, priority, and independence after her divorce from Gerry Goffin and her relocation, with her two daughters, to Los Angeles. Elsie Carlisle plays Carole King with her amazing musical talent. A classically trained pianist—just like Carole King—Carlisle mesmerizes the audience by inviting them to a world where the beauty of the chords, melodies, and lyrics flow out of her elegance, sweetness, and humanity. Strong performers, including Mikhail Roberts, Reese Henrick, Chris Richards, Susan Stein, and Jordan Potter, play the people who are instrumental in King's growth and success.

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

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hype Man @ Cain Park



Through July 21, 2024
(216) 371-3000

 

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

Mark Horning

There are times when theatrical works go beyond the scope of their subject matter. Yes, this is a show about rap artists and hip-hop but it is also a show about principles and the cost of doing the right thing. You will find three actors giving authentic portrayals that will have you jammin’ to the beats. It is all in the words. 

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.


Monday, July 8, 2024

NUNSENSE


NUNSENSE, THE MUSICAL
PORTHOUSE THEATRE
JULY 5-13-2024
porthousetheatre.com or 330-672-3884

Roy Berko

Great theatre this is not, but the sold-out audience was totally delighted, and that is the goal of this type of show.  If farce is your thing, go, see, enjoy!  (BTW---it can get hot in the covered outdoor theatre so be sure to hydrate!)

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

Mark Horning

This is silly theater just for the fun of it. It is a hilarious behind the habit look of what to many is a mysterious way of life as the nuns let their hair down (metaphorically speaking) and cut loose. All denominations welcome but tickets are going fast!

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

Chris Howey

Well-Worn 'Nunsense' at Porthouse Theatre Doesn't Quite Hit the Heavens

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


Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

An entertaining musical with active audience participation, the Porthouse production of Nunsense captivated the audience members; many nodded and laughed as the performers ricocheted Catholic jokes and puns. Behind Goggin’s comical, farcical, double-entendre, and lighted-hearted façade are black (and morbid) humor and subtle criticism of conservativeness and patriarchy in the Catholic Church (and beyond). A spoof is one of the best cures for people and society, and Nunsense—which has produced its six sequels—continues to serve that purpose.   

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


Friday, June 21, 2024

Big Fish @ Cain Park





Through June 30, 2024

                                                                   https://cainpark.com/

(216) 371-3000

 

Roy Berko

The songs are well interpreted, the story made clear, the performances quite good.  There is nice storytelling, nice music and a nice moral. If there is a flaw, it is the writing, not the production.  There are little real highlights, little encompassing action. 


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

Mark Horning

This is a show that seems to aimlessly flows along with little connection to reality. While a cute story of father and son trying to reconcile there is little meat on this bone. Add to this the uncomfortable conditions inside the theater and the extended length of the show it makes for a long sit. Those who love the movie (I am sure there must be a few of you out there) this might be a rare treat. To those people, I urge buy a ticket.

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


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR



JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
PORTHOUSE THEATRE (Kent State University)
June 14-29, 2024

www.porthousetheatre.com or 330-929-4416 or 330-672-3884

Roy Berko

The staging, choreography and emotional values of the controversial show are well developed.  No matter your philosophical bent, this production will leave a positive understanding of the value of a well-done theatrical presentation!  Go see!

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

Mark Horning

It is summer and time for a theater picnic at Porthouse. In spite of the heat, the steady breeze in the pavilion kept temps tolerable during the show and what an exciting show it is. Buy tickets, invite your friends and bring a special array of food to enjoy before the show. Porthouse is a summer theater experience not to be missed.

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

Chris Howey

Beg, Borrow or Steal to Get a Ticket to 'Jesus Christ Superstar' at Porthouse Theatre.

The cast, designers, director and the whole team are making miracles down at Blossom.

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


Saturday, June 15, 2024

BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE MUSICAL





BACK TO THE FUTURE:  THE MUSICAL
KEY BANK STATE THEATRE
JUNE 11-JULY 7, 2024
216-241-6000 OR ON LINE AT PLAYHOUSEQUARE.ORG

 

Roy Berko

BACK TO THE FUTURE:  THE MUSICAL will delight anyone who loves farcical, outlandish and quirky stories and who has a special liking for special effects.  Don’t expect a deep thought-provoking tale or sublime music.  This isn’t a show for that.  Go!  Sit back and enjoy the overdone hijinks!  Escape from reality!  Laugh, clap and jump up at the end for the required standing ovation

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

Howard Gollop

Just as "Phantom of the Opera" had the falling chandelier and "Miss Saigon" had a flying helicopter, "Back to the Future: The Musical" cashes in an on-stage time-barrier-smashing DeLorean DMC. It flies through time and space right before the audience's eyes as realistically as the plutonium-fueled concoction by the crazed-but-cuddly inventor Doc Brown in the original film and its sequels.

Unsurprisingly, "Back to the Future" was a virtual no-show at this year's increasingly "serious" Tony Awards, having gotten only a single nomination for scenic design (Tim Hatley and Finn Ross), but as for apparent box-office accolades, this production of nonstop theatrical fireworks takes home the Cleveland trophy for the summer theater sensation of 2024.

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

Sheri Gross


The cast of this touring production is top notch, adding its own flavor to these favorite characters and keeping the RPMs at max speed, holding the attention of audience members of all ages for over 2½ hours.

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

Mark Horning

This show has a deep and thought provoking message. Come to the theater to have a good time. Be wowed by the special effects, be dazzled by the dance numbers, cheer for the car and enjoy the music. It is that simple. This is a show to see just for the fun of it. GREAT SCOTT!

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

Chris Howey

The stage version of that uber-popular flick—Back to the Future, the Musical—is now making a tour stop at Playhouse Square, and while the staging effects are spectacular enough to buckle your knees (even while sitting) the rest of the play often falls short on a few scores.


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

Laura Kennelly

Time travel? Yes, please. At least if it’s Back to the Future: The Musical.

This Broadway take on time travel whooshed into the State Theatre at Playhouse Square last week. Starting its national tour in Cleveland, the show is a fun blast from the past.


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

Kate Klotzbach

All in all, BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE MUSICAL is one wild ride and worth the trip. The experience as a whole is satisfyingly exciting, and you'll want to take this one for a spin this summer.

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

Joey Morona

“It’s good, old-fashioned ‘Back to the Future.’”

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

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE


THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE

CAIN PARK--ALMA THEATRE

MAY 30-JUNE 6, 2024

216-371-3000 OR www.cainpark.com

 Roy Berko

Sometimes it’s fun to just sit in the theatre, smile and admire the talent of the cast.  If that is your kind of entertainment, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is your thing and will spell “d-e-l-i-g-h-t.”

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

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

Chris Howey

"In this Cain Park version which I saw at a preview performance, the direction by Patrick Ciamacco was energetic and the characters were all sufficiently dweeby as they fought off family issues, physical complications, and in one case a rogue boner to nab the championship."

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




A DOLL'S HOUSE:  PART 2
BECK CENTER

Roy Berko

Beck’s production, under the focused direction of Don Carrier, is a model of the right play, the right cast and the right presentation.  It is a perfect model of the “thinking person’s play.”  Though filled with ironic humor, it is the drama of the script that makes it work so well.

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

Howard Gollop

It's of tremendous help that the Beck production offers the amazing performances of Anjanette Hall as Nora, David Vegh as her husband Torvald, Tabitha Rather as her daughter Emmy and Nanna Ingvarsson as the housekeeper, Anne Marie. Under the precise direction of Donald Carrier, who moves his characters craftily around Jill Davis' effective stark double-sided parlor setting thrusting into the double-sided audience seating, the result is a nuanced and layered feat of drama magic. It may make the audience want to return to this "Doll's House" much sooner than 15 years.

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

"A Doll's House, Part 2 is engrossing and thought-provoking, enhanced by four precise and telling performances. And while serious Ibsen devotees may be distressed by the affrontery of playwright Hnath messing with these iconic characters, for the rest of us this play casts an intriguing new light on that "doll's house" Ibsen created."

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

Laura Kennelly

BOTTOM LINE: If you’ve ever wondered what happened after Nora left her home — the house where she felt like a doll in a doll’s house — this play has some answers. Hnath’s Nora reminds me of Barbie in the recent film. And like Barbie, it takes Nora a while to find the answers. But this version, 90 minutes with no intermission, lacks the humor that saved Miz Barbie’s adventure from being yet another lecture about what one should do based on one’s socially-determined role.

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

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

Carrier’s direction is very “physical” and intellectual, asking the performers to cover the entire stage in each scene.  Fully utilizing the four chairs as each character’s “fort,” Carrier expresses the four people’s emotions and thoughts by changing the spot and angle of each chair as if they have their own lives and memories.

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

Sunday, June 2, 2024



Through June 15, 2024
WWW.CVLT,org 
(440) 247-8955

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

It is always a joy when the right combination of cast and crew are gathered for an uproariously funny comedy. You will need a scorecard to keep up with the various les histoires de coeur (affairs of the heart). The laughs are non-stop from start to finish. Come see this show for a good laugh.

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


Friday, May 31, 2024

Souvenir @ Clague Playhouse



Through June 9, 2024
(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.

 

Roy Berko
No review yet.
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

This little gem of a show is one that should not be missed. It is less about musical prowess and more about one’s love of music no matter what the consequences. The two actors work extremely well together and give a flawless performance. SEE THIS SHOW!

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.

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

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

 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE


A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE

BLANK CANVAS





May 24-June 8, 2024

http://www.blankcanvastheatre.com/a-behanding-in-spokane/


 Mark Horning

In spite of the grim subject matter of the show there are moments of absolute hilarity as the story takes one wild twist after another leading to a surprise ending that none will be able to guess. If you are a fan of the macabre you will love this show.

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

Chris Howey

"This production at Blank Canvas Theatre brings out the cringe-inducing features of this script while managing to create a couple characters who, if you look past their scuzzy personas, are worth encountering."

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



LAST SHIP TO PROXIMA CANTAURI

convergence-continuum


May 24-June 15, 2024

https://convergence-continuum.thundertix.com 

Mark Horning

It’s a far off flight of fancy that with a little tightening up could be a really great show. As it stands it is still worth the price of a ticket for its telling of the immigration issue that we are currently going through world wide. Check out this show.

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

Chris Howey

"This is an ambitious sci-fi piece and it has some amusing moments. But the combination of heavy-handed lecturing, a fondness for repetition, and an Act Two that includes dialog spoken in Chinese and Spanish (translated to English on a screen) slows the pace of the show to a spacewalk." 


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


Sunday, May 26, 2024

THE PROSPECT OF EQUALITY


THE PROSPECT OF HUMANITY

ENSEMBLE THEATRE

MAY 24-JUNE 9, 2024

216-321-2930 OR WWW.ENSEMBLETHEATRECLE.ORG


Roy Berko

Though the script could use a little more dramatic tension, and possibly some additional humor, and the staging would be aided by eliminating the excessive movement of furniture to create different settings, the general quality of the writing and the acting excellence makes for an evening of highly satisfying theatre and added appreciation and admiration for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman who optimizes the phrase, “A life well lived!”  See this!

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

"It is easy to understand why Zake would fall in playwright-love with this woman and do everything in her power to convey how extraordinary a person she was. Unfortunately, the result in this case is a less-than-compelling piece of theater."

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.

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

So many things have gone backward in the past 8 years, destroying many laws that RBG spearheaded to change and introduce. Two RBGs in this play are confident that generations to follow will pick up the mission and jobs they could not finish. But what if there are strong waves to destroy what they have completed—already many works RBG and other people have fought to build were destroyed.  Zake’s play gives us the energy and hope needed to stay positive in the next five months.

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

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

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

In The Heights @ Cleveland Play House



Through June 9, 2024
(216) 400-7096

 

Howard Gollop

Every so often, a regional theater in Northeast Ohio pulls out all the stops for a big Broadway experience that's beyond the norm for even national tours. Cleveland Play House's return to the 16-year-old Broadway sensation "In the Heights," which launched the career of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who went on to create "Hamilton," achieves that bonanza status.

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

Mark Horning

Temps are heating up in this melting pot we call Cleveland and what better way to celebrate summer than to see this show. As the characters of the show would tell you...¡Que calor!

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

Chris Howey

This Cleveland Play House production soars above any small quibbles one might have.

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

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

So, what the audience might perceive from a production of In the Heights in 2024 differs from that of the original production which won the team many Tony awards. I attended the Broadway production, and I remember that I left the theatre with so much hopes and dreams.

This time, I could not “celebrate” with the cast and other audience members during the finale when Usnsnavi celebrates his decision to maintain his bodega with a new graffiti on the shutter with “pacienciea y fe” (patience and faith)—to commemorate the song sung by the neighborhood’s grandmother figure.

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

Joey Morona

"In the Heights" might be the most unexpected show the regional theater has put on in years. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s debut — CPH’s first main-stage musical since 2021 — is an elaborate and electrifying extravaganza with the look, feel and talent typically associated with the national touring Broadway productions next door at Playhouse Square.


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

 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Company @ Playhouse Square


Through May 19, 2024

www.playhousesquare.org

(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko

The “new” gender-bender, reconceptualized COMPANY, nicely displays how a script can grow and become relevant, once again, in the hands of the right writing and production crew.  It makes for a feeling of “Being Alive” while you are “Side by Side by Side” with other joyous theater-goers.

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

Howard Gollop

Does one of Stephen Sondheim's most celebrated musicals, which helped launch a new generation of shows to Broadway in 1970, really need to be reinvented more than a half-century later? True, even the late Sondheim himself gave his blessing to this new incarnation to "Company," continuing at the Connor Palace on Playhouse Square. Perhaps Sondheim, who died before the revival's Broadway opening, gave his stamp of approval prematurely.

Although the new touring production of the multi-Tony-Award-winning revival radiates in a brilliant, deceptively streamlined doll-house production design  by Bunny Christie (incisively lit by Neil Austin), low-key but inventive choreography by Liam Steel, resonating orchestrations by David Cullen and workmanlike direction by Marianne Elliott (with just enough tricks up her sleeve), the intended generational reinvention comes across as more confused than inspiring -- or even reviving.

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

For fans of Stephan Sondheim you will love the modernization of this over 50 year old classic. It is fresh and relevant for these modern times. Even those who are not a fan of the man will be quite entertained by the show.

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

Company, recently awarded a Tony as Best Musical Revival (2022), deserves its award and then some.

Now at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace Theatre, this splendid, re-conceived production directed by Marianne Elliott, shows focus on more than simply changing the lead from Bobby (male) to Bobbie (female). While Company’s gender identities have been rearranged to match the fluid vibe now popular, this Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and George Furth (book) classic retains its original witty charm.

To see a full review of this show go here, 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.

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

Joey Morona

Fun but perhaps not the most famous work by the Broadway legend who also composed songs for “West Side Story,” “Into the Woods” and “Sweeney Todd.” Still, Coleman says, “Company” is an excellent representation of Sondheim’s career as a whole.

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

 

Monday, April 29, 2024

Significant Other @ Dobama Theatre



Through May 19, 2024
(216) 932-3396

 

Roy Berko

SIGNIFICANT OTHER is a significant contemporary play that gets an outstanding production.  Go experience the fine performance of Scott Esposito, and the rest of the cast, and be exposed to a must-see production!

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

Howard Gollop

Playwright Joshua Harmon seems to know his way around his supporting characters -- who seem ready for the reboot of "Sex in the City" -- better than he does the protagonist. He's rendered a bit too emotionally strung, maniacally romantic and intermittently lugubrious to merit all the attention he demands from the audience, as well as his friends. A throwaway comment he makes about someone too ugly to be taken seriously as a "significant partner" is all we need do know why he's not even the bridesmaid, let alone the bride.

Nevertheless, dependable Dobama ensures a fulfilling production, starting with director Colin Anderson, who knows his way around an intimate theater and intimate characters -- well played by an amazing ensemble lead by Scott Esposito as lovelorn Jordon and Kat Nash, Mary-Francis Miller, Kat Shy and Kat Nash as his female pals. The production design by Richard Morris, Jr., with literally spot-on lighting by Adam Ditzes, manages maximally convincing environments in minimal space.

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

Sheri Gross

When asked what the play “Significant Other” is about, playwright Joshua Harmon says “I think it’s a play grappling with what it means to be alone and what you do when you know what would make your life better but you can’t make it happen.” That is a pretty universal theme that we can all identify with at some point in our lives, and it is cathartic to be able to laugh and cry along with these characters as they try to process and embrace their new normal. 


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

Mark Horning

While this show offers very high production values the use of language and mature adult themes might be a turnoff for some theater goers. This is modern theater that looks at current situations. Buy a ticket, see the show, then form your own opinion.

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

Chris Howey

It's not unusual for a play to be centered around one character, but it's rare for that person to be the least interesting character in the piece. Yet that is what happens in Significant Other, now at Dobama Theatre.

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.

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi


The Dobama Theatre production of Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other offers a “significant” educational moment for us to reflect on the loneliness, isolation, and depression of those who are not included in compulsory heterosexuality—I believe this term, popularized by Adrienne Rich, is still relevant today when people try to believe that facing and fighting against have become so “passé.” 


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

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

 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Always...Patsy Cline @ Great Lakes Theater



Through May 19, 2024
(216) 241-6000

 

Roy Berko

Hey, “Stupid Cupid,” if you have “True Love” for country music, you’ll have “Sweet Dreams” and feel “True Love” when you think back to having seen ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE.  For the rest of us, “Come on In and Make Yourself at Home” and realize that you are not “Crazy” for being a semi-fan and not echoing the Patsyites yelling, “How Great Thou Art.”

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

Howard Gollop

Coincidentally, "Always ... Patsy Cline" was a successful centerpiece of a revival of its current Hanna Theater (which became home to Great Lakes Theater) as a short-lived cabaret repertory in the mid-1990s. Almost three decades later, “Always … Patsy Cline” returns as charming as ever under the playful direction of Victoria Bussert, an inviting production design with Grand Ole Opry undertones by Jeff Herrmann and authentic-sounding country-music backup lead by Matthew Webb. This twosome romance is definitely a two-stepping treat.

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

Even if you are not a big fan of country or for that matter Patsy Cline, you really owe it to yourself to see this particular show. It is a nice reminder of gentle music that induces a sense of calm. It is an evening of songs about love gone wrong but done exceptionally well in a concert setting. See This Show!

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

Always…Patsy Cline. Jukebox musical sporting a documentary style? Yes, for sure. Well done? Absolutely. Fun? Yes, again.

Always…Patsy Cline has just enough story to hold the songs (why we are here) together. The show, originally crafted by Ted Swindley and now directed at GLT by Victoria Bussert, is a little gem. It never gets tiresome as it looks at friendship and song in equally compelling measure.

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

Kate Klotzbach

The story is loose, but effective, and the audience actually gets the best character development from France's Louise, as the script is written from her point of view. If anything, the show could use a little more backstory and a better in-depth look at Patsy Cline, herself, as she is the title role. But what the script lacks in insight into the star sensation, it makes up for in heart in regards to demonstrating the importance of the friendship between the two women. There is also a ton of humor and wit in this show, and Bussert has done a clever job staging this well-matched duo around the performance space.

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

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

Created and originally directed by Ted Swindley (playwright, director, and founder of Stages Repertory in Houston, Texas) and directed by Victoria Bussert, the Great Lakes Theatre production of Always…Patsy Cline captures the audience’s heart—especially those who grew up listening to her on radio and records.


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

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

 

Friday, April 26, 2024

COMPANY



COMPANY

PLAYHOUSE SQUARE/CONNOR PALACE/KEY BANK BROADWAY SERIES

APRIL 30-MAY 19, 2024

www.playhousesquare.org 


Roy Berko

The “new” gender-bender, reconceptualized COMPANY, nicely displays how a script can grow and become relevant, once again, in the hands of the right writing and production crew.  It makes for a feeling of “Being Alive” while you are “Side by Side by Side” with other joyous theater-goers.


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
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.

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

Joey Morona

The show encompasses the full human experience..it's funny and heartbreaking.

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

 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

STOMP @ Playhouse Square



Through April 21, 2024
(216) 241-6000

 

Mark Horning

The action is fast and furious for the ninety minute (without intermission) back beat extravaganza as performers wow the audience with incredible feats of percussive skills. You will be astounded by the muscularly demanding precision performed on stage. With only four days left, purchase your ticket NOW!

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

Chris Howey

This brilliant re-imagining (or rediscovery) of the quotidian sounds that occupy our world has been dazzling audiences with its explosive dance moves and its wry sense of humor.

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


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

AMADEUS

AMADEUS

Cleveland Play House (Outcalt Theatre)

April 6-28, 2024

https://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/shows/2023/amadeus or call 216-400-7000

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

Sheri Gross

Imagine a jealousy that runs so deep that the war waged is not against the one that evokes that jealousy, but with God Himself. This is what Italian composer Antonio Salieri eats, sleeps, and breathes, as he walks through the world in the shadow of his friend and nemesis Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

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

Mark Horning

If you are a stickler for truth in theater this may not be a work you wish to witness. It follows to the letter the same dramatic flaws, innuendos and misrepresentations of the original 1979 play and 1984 movie. Do, however, see it for the superb acting by all members of the cast. It is an intriguing “tale of madness, malice and music” that will leave you thoroughly entertained.

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

Chris Howey

This CPH production traces every step of that tormented man's journey with style and relish.

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

Laura Kennelly

Didn’t know classical music had a naughty side? Let Amadeus, the sizzling Mozart/Salieri fable now at the Cleveland Play House, change your mind. Director Laura Gordon and a fine cast bring Peter Shaffer’s entertaining riff about jealousy and European royal patronage to life in the Outcalt Theatre through April 28.

It’s true that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died tragically young and that his final commissioned work was a requiem for a secret patron. However, there’s little basis for the play’s supposition that Italian composer Salieri’s jealous efforts destroyed young Mozart. As far as history tells us, Salieri’s music was acclaimed and successful, and he had nothing to do with the poverty and illness that brought Mozart to an untimely end.

But never mind, Amadeus rivetingly illustrates envy’s corrosive powers.

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

Kate Klotzbach

Did he do it? Did Italian composer Antonio Salieri murder musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? If intentions were enough to kill a person, then the easy answer is, “Yes.” Salieri never laid a hand on Mozart, but his vicious acts of professional sabotage certainly took a violent toll upon Mozart’s soul. Written by Peter Shaffer, this fictional account of Mozart’s life is every bit as complex as his music is famous.


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


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Jitney Taxi Service @ Beck Center for the Arts


Through May 5, 2024

www.beckcenter.org

(216) 521-2540

 

Mark Horning

If you have never witnessed an August Wilson play you are in for a huge treat and if you have, you owe it to yourself to see this production. This two hour race of emotions grabs and holds your attention for the entire time. You not only relate, you root for various characters praying they will win out in the end. It is life, death and romance in a gripping saga. This is must see theater of the highest magnitude. 

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

Chris Howey

In short, this production is not to be missed.

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

Laura Kennelly


Jitney, playing at the Beck Center for the Arts through May 5, is a mini masterpiece. Director Jimmie Woody allows each character’s unique perspective to gradually unfold in this August Wilson award-winning classic. It was the first play written in playwright August Wilson’s Pittsburgh series.

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

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

Set in a car service office—run by Becker (Darryl Tatum) in the Hill District between 1970 and 79, the story of Jitney follows immediately after Two Trains Running, which covers the decade between 1960 and 69. Jitney illustrates the story of the multigeneration of taxi drivers and how they impacted their communities. This play's background is the modern transportation mode (automobiles) that gave mobility and freedom to Blacks and their lives. Yet, behind this appearance of “improvement” is permeating gentrification that pushes original residents out of the area, as they need to close their businesses and schools.

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


Stonewallin' @ Convergence-Contiuum



Through April 20, 2024

www.convergence-continuum.org 

(216) 687-0074

 

Mark Horning

Con-Con really enjoys putting itself out there with works that champion the LGBTQ community in America yet are extremely entertaining to straight audiences as well. You will find yourself totally engaged in this “romantic tale” with a twist. Fill the theater for this one.

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


Monday, March 25, 2024



BACH AT LEIPZIG

SEAT OF THE PANTS PRODUCTIONS

March 22-April 7.2024

Franklin Circle Christian Church

1688 Fulton Road.  Cleveland 44113

seatofthepants.org

 

Roy Berko

Seat of the Pants Productions has a purpose of “selecting plays which raise potent questions - some specific to today and others that speak to human nature across the ages.” BACH AT LEIPZIG fulfills that mission. Though it makes for a long sit, the play will be of interest for those interested in historical biographies, classic music and unusual play scripts. 

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

Mark Horning

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

Chris Howey


Setting aside some questionable playwriting and directorial decisions, all hail to the cast that turns in yeoman, often inventive work and manages to make the show quite delightful when they are given the opportunity.


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