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
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

“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
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

"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
No review yet.
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.


THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR



THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR
GREAT LAKES THEATER
March 22-April7, 2024

For tickets call 216-241-6000 or go to www.greatlakestheater.org

Roy Berko

Though generally described as a lesser work, with the right production, the tale of Falstaff, the rotund rascal who attempts, unsuccessfully, to woo and con the two wealthiest married ladies in the town of Windsor, can be a delight.  GLT’s staging, with its glorious set, entrancing costumes, and wonderful acting is so good, that even if you aren’t a Bardophile, it’s a must-see.

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

With any other company this would be a tough production to pull off but in the hands of GLT this madcap farce about the over weight and over sexed rascal trying to con two ladies of means in Windsor is a feast of comic theater. Old fans and newbies of the Bard will all agree that this is must see theater. It’s all fun until someone gets dumped in the canal then it becomes hilarious.  

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

Chris Howey

There are some laughs to be had in this Wives, thanks to the script that is in many ways foolproof, as is the physical humor. But overall, the merriment is less merry than it might be.  

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

Laura Kennelly


William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, now at the Hanna Theatre, featured Sir John Falstaff, an oft-drunk, always clownish, would-be womanizer. His scenes provided comic relief in Shakespeare’s Serious (and grim) dramas about the Tudor family’s rise to power. (See Henry IV, Parts I and 2, as well as Henry V.) Elizabethan-era audiences adored Falstaff. They clamored for more.

As a result, Falstaff got his own show. And why not? History — like the news — can be depressing. And, as The Merry Wives of Windsor demonstrates, marriage, love, sex and politics can be funny.

And so, it seems, Shakespeare obliged with more fat Falstaff jokes, although, as Director Terri McMahon notes, The Merry Wives of Windsor is set in an era contemporary with Shakespeare’s own.

----

Bottom Line: The brawling, egotistical clown that is Falstaff gets a play of his own. He may not have deserved one. Despite valiant efforts and the talented Great Lakes Theater cast, opening night seemed too slow-paced for farce. It is highly likely in later shows (last performance is April 7), the pace will pick up and all will revel in this classic comedy.

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

Kate Klotzbach

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR is full of classic Shakespearean plot points: mistaken identities, misunderstandings, disguises, and joyful conspiracies amidst foes, friends, and lovers... All-in-all the show is worth seeing, whether you are a seasoned Shakespearian or a first-time watcher who is “Shakespeare-curious.”

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.

 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

CMSD All City Musical "DreamGirls" @ Playhouse Square



Through March 24, 23024
(216) 241-6000

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

Close your eyes and you will think that you are listening to an authentic Broadway performance. Open your eyes and you will be greeted with a most superb stage set with professional lighting and sound all done by Cleveland area students. This is your chance to see top quality entertainment by dedicated students from the Cleveland, Ohio area. SEE THIS SHOW!

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


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Annie @ Playhouse Square


 Through March 24, 2024

https://www.playhousesquare.org/

(2316) 241-6000

Mark Horning

The one shame of this production is that it will only be on stage through Sunday, March 24, 2024 so you will really have to rush in order to procure a ticket. Believe me, it will be worth the effort. Bring a little March theater sunshine to your Cleveland gray skies. You will be the better for it...Maybe!

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


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

REQUIEM


REQUIEM

CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE

MARCH 14-APRIL 6, 2024

216-632-2727 X 501--www.cptonline.org/get-tickets/


Roy Berko

REQUIEM is a play that is neither easy to understand nor to immediately grasp its meaning.  It takes a while of after-thought and some mulling over what one has just experienced to gain self-awareness.  It is not a play for anyone who goes to the theatre for pure entertainment.  This script and production are not entertaining in the normal sense.  As with all existential theatrical experiences, it takes work to not only sit through the production, but allow yourself time to gain its message.

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

Chris Howey

Based on three short stories by Anton Chekhov, and under the thoughtful direction of Raymond Bobgan, it creates a rich, consistent tone with many humorous jabs and feints. But by keeping the energy and performance invention at a low ebb, other theatrical opportunities are set aside.

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

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

An allegorical character, The Old Man (Peter Lawson Jones), is a modern-day “everyman” who, just before his own death, realizes his selfish and inconsiderate behavior, especially toward his own wife (The Old Woman), performed by Venetia Whatley, whose facial expressions (Suwatana Rockland put excellent stage-makeup on her face ) tell everything. The Old Man’s redemption comes too late for the couple (The Old Woman dies), but philosophically, he completes his journey to become a better human before his own death.  

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

Monday, March 18, 2024

ORDINARY DAYS


ORDINARY DAYS

BALDWIN WALLACE MUSIC THEATRE PROGRAM

MARCH 15-17, 2024

PLAYHOUSE SQUARE/THE HELEN  

Roy Berko

It’s a shame that the show only ran four performances.  It is the type of production that develops a cult following and could have run on and on in an open-ended -format.  Personally, I was enamored by the script, found the members of the Downtown cast wonderful (the show is double cast, with Anthony Maja, Kenna Wilson, Luke Henson and Jessi Kirtey being the Uptown cast), and not only would I have liked to see that cast, but would have excitedly encouraged everyone to see the show!

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


Laura Kennelly

Recipe for a musical:

*Mix four talented humans in huge city (yes, NYC).

*Allow them to meet.

*Step back to allow chemistry and fate to complete the work.

Ordinary Days, with music and lyrics by Adam Gwon, does just that, and in doing so, weaves a simple tale spun by chance encounters into a meditation about life.

*****

Bottom Line: Impressive performances from multi-talented performers. The appealing student quartet melded Ordinary Day’s character sketches into a compelling and coherent whole. The musical itself (and its celebration of random chance) proved positive and refreshing. Looking forward to following Mejia, Wilson, Henson, and Kirtley as they pursue their own careers and NYC life — -or, as one note that fell near me said, “On the road of Life, Let no Obstacle, Great or Small, Stand in your way.”


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