Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cleveland Play House--Allen Theatre
  January 11-February 3. 2013
216-241-6000 or www.clevelandplayhouse.com

Bob Abelman

Grounded in 1950s sensibilities, “Bell, Book and Candle” lacks the zany behavior and fast-talking women of the screwball comedies of the 1940s.  It their place is the casual sophistication of the Eisenhower era, resulting in a play that is more tepid than bewitching.

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

Roy Berko
BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE is a pleasant, but not compelling evening of theatre.  The dated script doesn’t do much to help keep the Cleveland Play House’s recent run of masterful works rolling. 

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

Fran Heller

This 1950 romantic comedy is a dated period piece that clearly reflects its age.
Despite director Michael Bloom's efforts to gussie up the moldy play in modern dress, (including some silly voodoo antics during the musical interludes) the two-hour-15 minute production grinds slowly.

To see a full review of this show, read Fran Heller's review at the Cleveland Jewish News

Christine Howey
Looking beyond the awkwardness of the stand-in situation, a few things can be said. To begin with this play—even when performed splendidly—is a bit of a soggy biscuit.

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


Cleveland Play House is doing remarkable things in their new home at the state-of-the-art Allen Theatre. Bell, Book and Candle is another wonderful addition to an incredible run for America’s Oldest Theater Company.

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

Andrea Simakis

Some of the best bits in "Bell, Book and Candle" aren't in John van Druten's script but in the wordless interludes between scenes.  Wearing gorgeous, grotesque masks that you'd likely find at a party thrown by Edgar Allan Poe, members of the supporting cast bump, grind and shimmy to eerie little tunes. Their dances, choreographed by Amy Compton, are funny, spooky and oddly spellbinding -- everything the play is not.
To see a full review of this show go to;

Art Thomas

The play lives up to its billing as "romantic comedy" with the emphasis on "romantic" rather than "comedy". The predictable ending is set up in the first 20 minutes,  and the cast gets to push stereotyped characterization to the extreme.

Click here to read the complete review at WestLife