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.


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.