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Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 3/16 - IN THE HEIGHTS, GUYS AND DOLLS, MOTOWN and More!

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature IN THE HEIGHTS, GUYS AND DOLLS, MOTOWN and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Louisville: Contributor Keith Waits reviews DO YOU FEEL ANGER at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He writes "By the end of the show, I found that I was a little disappointed - not with any of the performances, production value or even writing, as all of that was at a level befitting the Festival's history. I wanted to have answers. I was angry with what happened to the characters I had fallen in love with. I was as powerless to help them as they were to help themselves. I think that was precisely the point, but it didn't make the play an easy watch by the end. I'll put it another way by borrowing the play's title and one of Sofia's empathy exercises:" Indianapolis: Contributors Dylan and Celeste Caraker review LES MIS at the Old National Centre. They write "The costuming, wonderfully designed by Adreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland were expertly crafted and Matt Kinley's incredible set and images (literally based on images by Victor Hugo) provide a topnotch backdrop for the action. As a techie, if any part of the production design could really be the star of the show last night, it would have to be the intense lighting design by Paule Constable, which perfectly recreated the world of Hugo's France with admirable skill. The lighting was absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous, and it really helped focus the attention of the audience with ease and created a sense of wonderment as the story unfolded." Raleigh: Contributor Jeffrey Kare reviews THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Carolina Theatre. He writes "Though under the direction of Dean Sobon, there is a wonderful cast of performers that should keep audiences invested. Kalie Kaimann as Dorothy Gale gives a performance that really makes you care for her throughout the show. Her three companions in Oz are perfectly portrayed in this production with Chris Duir as the brainless Scarecrow, Christopher Russell as the heartless Tinman, and Victor Legarret as the Cowardly Lion. As the story's classic antagonist, Emily Perzan is wickedly spunky as The Wicked Witch of the West." Palm Springs: Contributor Stan Jenson reviews SISTER ACT at Palm Canyon Theatre. He writes "The energy throughout the evening is spectacular, especially in the numbers where Tillman is leading the sisters in enthusiastic sacred production numbers. Tillman hails from Asbury, New Jersey where she is the Worship Leader of the Shore Christian Church, so her role indeed finds art imitating life. From her first number in the nightclub, "Take Me to Heaven," we know that she is a very special talent, and it is obvious why PCT was willing to transport her across the country to take on this role. There doesn't seem to be a moment in the show when she sits back and takes a breath." Jacksonville: Contributor Jordan Higginbotham reviews Motown at the Times Union Center. She writes "Berry Gordon, played by Kenneth Mosley, was spectacular. My first thought to Mosley's performance was he portrayed Gordon as a voice behind the iconic voices, but Mosely's voice was just as memorable. Mosley performed with such strength and stamina through the entire production. His "Can I Close the Door (On Love)?" was breathtaking and pulled the entire show together. Not only were his singing abilities phenomenal, but Mosley's stage presence was astounding. The moment he walked on stage, the audience knew Berry Gordon was the boss and would do anything to make Motown Records a success. Mosley also had an incredible sense of wit. He made his witty comebacks so natural, such as the scene in the Bahamas where he continues to get phone calls and hangs [...]

Cast Announced for FOR THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in South Bend

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 19:45:32 PST

Casting has been announced for Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for the premiere South Bend engagement at the Morris Performing Arts Center. With newly reinvented staging and stunning scenic design, this new version of PHANTOM is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. To purchase tickets, visit, call 574-235-9190 or visit the Morris Performing Arts Center box office, located at 211 N. Michigan Street. Ticket prices start at $75. Quentin Oliver Lee will portray the man behind the mask, 'The Phantom,' with Eva Tavares as 'Christine Daaé, Jordan Craig as 'Raoul,' Trista Moldovan as 'Carlotta Giudicelli,' David Benoit as 'Monsieur Firmin,' Edward Staudenmayer as 'Monsieur André,' Kristie Dale Sanders as 'Madame Giry,' Phumzile Sojola as 'Ubaldo Piangi' and Emily Ramirez as 'Meg Giry.' Quentin Oliver Lee has been seen on Broadway in Prince of Broadway as well as the national tour of Porgy and Bess. His regional and opera credits include Festival of The Lion King (Scar), Encores! Golden Apple, La Bohème, Carmen and Gianni Schicchi. Eva Tavares hails from Vancouver, BC and trained at the UBC Opera Program and the Banff/Citadel Theatre Professional Training Program. Credits include the world premiere of Sousatzka, West Side Story and A Little Night Music. Jordan Craig has performed at the Houston Grand Opera (Billy Bud, Tosca, Carmen) as well as the Alliance Theater, Geva Theatre Centre, Actor's Express and Atlantic Lyric Theatre. Trista Moldovan played the role of 'Christine Daaé' in the Brilliant Original Production's historic 10,000th performance on Broadway. She has also been seen on national tour in White Christmas, Bridges of Madison County and The Phantom of the Opera. David Benoit's Broadway and National Tour credits include Jekyll & Hyde, Avenue Q, Les Misérables, Dance of the Vampires, Young Frankenstein and All Shook Up. Edward Staudenmayer's Broadway credits include Wonderland, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and Beauty and the Beast (1st National Tour). Kristie Dale Sanders has been seen on Broadway in Cabaret, Evita, Next Fall, Urinetown and The Phantom of the Opera. Off-Broadway: Dream of the Burning Boy; Johnny Guitar; A Class Act; Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh. Phumzile Sojola has been seen on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella (Lord Pinkleton - original cast) and The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (Peter). Emily Ramirez has performed with BalletMet and the Charlotte Ballet. She has been seen regionally in The Addams Family, Cabaret, Stage Kiss and Rock of Ages. The Ensemble includes Adam Bashian, Stephen Mitchell Brown, Daniella Dalli, Dan Debenport, Mark Emerson, Jordan Ensign, David Foley, Jr., Emma Grimsley, Edward Juvier, Jay Lusteck, Adryan Moorefield, Sarah Mossman, Shane Ohmer, Constantine Pappas, Lily Rose Peck, Herb Porter, Travis Taylor, Carmen Vass, Jessica Wagner, Victor Wallace, Marguerite Willbanks and Blake Zelesnikar. The Corps de Ballet includes McKenna Birmingham, Sarah DeBiase, Daniela Filippone, Jordan Lombardi, Kate Anne Mueller, Danielle Reinstein and Ally Taylor Sacks. Andrew Lloyd Webber said, "Having received great critical acclaim in the U.K. and North America, I am really pleased that Laurence Connor's new production of PHANTOM will continue to tour the U.S. playing in tandem with the Broadway production which just celebrated 30 years at the Majestic Theatre." Cameron Mackintosh said, "With PHANTOM still the reigning champion as the longest-running production on Broadway after 30 phenomenal years, with no end in sight, I'm delighted that this spectacular new production of PHANTOM has been as well-received in the U.S. as the brilliant original and has already been seen by over 3.7 milli[...]

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 3/9 - WAITRESS, RAGTIME, CHICAGO, and More!

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature Waitress, Ragtime, Chicago, and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Pittsburgh: Contributor Greg Kerestan reviews WAITRESS at the Benedum. He writes " Sassy waitress Becky (Charity Angel Dawson) loves her invalid husband, but is having an affair with the more vital Cal (Ryan G\. Dunkin), the diner's grouchy manager. Dawson has an amazing voice, and Dunkin finds the meat in a one-dimensional role without any singing, but both of them are saddled with the most sitcom-generic of characters. Lenne Klingaman fares better as buttoned-up waitress Dawn, who learns to open up and love life with the help of her persistent, quirky suitor Ogie, as played by Jim Hogan. Hats off to Hogan, handling one of the most difficult comedic roles in contemporary musical theatre, charming the audience and winning over Dawn at the same time. We have every reason to see Ogie as a loser, a creep, or even a stalker- in his very first scene, he must bring enough joy and innocence to his persistence that we see why Dawn comes to fall for him quickly. Finally, Larry Marshall (who played a manic Simon Zealotes in the first Jesus Christ Superstar film) brings both warmth and crustiness to the role of Old Joe, the diner's owner and chief patron. At first, I was a little uneasy with seeing a black man in the role- there's a certain touch of the outdated "Magic Negro" trope around a lovably raunchy old black man who is always handing out sage advice and solving white people's problems with handy deus ex machina moments. (It's not an inherently offensive trope so much as a trite one- the Magic Negro cliché dates all the way back to Uncle Remus.) Nonetheless, Marshall overcomes this slight cultural baggage to make Old Joe more than just a Morgan Freeman wananbe." Los Angeles: Contributor Ellen Dostal reviews JACKIE UNVEILED at the Wallis. She writes "Burrows delivers the herculean task of presenting a two hour solo play with finesse but is also undermined by Jackie's accent. Though carefully studied and phonetically perfected, it is centered around one pitch and never varies much from it. The limited vocal range combined with a downward emphasis at the end of every sentence becomes monotonous with its predictable rhythm. And while she is working very hard to connect with the audience, it never feels like we truly get to see behind the veil. Something in the eyes still keeps us at a distance and that is a missed opportunity." Sioux Falls: Contributor Katie Becker reviews CHICAGO at The Washington Pavillion. She writes "Several cast members return to roles in this production of Chicago, including leads Dylis Croman (Roxie Hart) and Terra C\. MacLeod (Velma Kelly), bringing with them a familiarity and excitement for their characters. Throughout the show, MacLeod expertly conveys the desperation of Velma Kelly as she watches Roxie go from media revival to finally convincing her to become the other half of her double act. One of MacLeod's strongest scenes is during the Act 2 duet, Class, between her and Jennifer Fouché's Matron Mama Mortan; beautifully capturing the strong on stage chemistry between the two." Tampa: Contributor Deborah Bostock-Kelley reviews FOREVER PLAID at the Straz Center. She writes "The men are funny and engaging. Before performing their opening number Three Coins in a Fountain, there's a quiet warning of "it's time to start the show; check your flies." The quartet's perfected goofiness and appropriate stiffness took a backseat when the first notes waft through the theatre. The voices are absolutely incredible, whether flawlessly blending together or soloing; yet[...]

Deadline Announced for 2018 ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards for Theatre Gender Parity Nominations

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 21:59:23 PST

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) is proud to sponsor the seventh annual 50/50 Applause Award, celebrating theatres who achieve gender equity for playwrights in their 2017-2018 Season. The nomination window for the 2017-2018 theatrical season is open! The balance of opportunity, employment and career prospects for female dramatists has lagged well behind their male counterparts. The sheer amount of academic research and published reports is staggering. Landmark events include, in 1978, the Feminist Theatre Study Group picketed five shows on London's West End, through 2009 with an article by Marsha Norman, a 2010 speech by Theresa Rebeck, and the 2016 outcry in Dublin, Ireland that gave birth to the movement #Wakingthefeminists. There is an ever-brightening spotlight on theatre companies around the world who consistently produce the work of male playwrights at roughly double the rate of female playwrights. Activist groups and, in France, government committees, have urged theatre managements and artistic directors to implement gender equity policies when selecting works for their seasons. The exponential growth of independent female-only theatre companies is a symptom of the gender bias that has existed and still exists in the majority of large publicly funded theatres. Awards Co-chair Patricia L. Morin said " We ask theatres everywhere to examine their own production output and see how they stack up in terms of playwrights' gender and that their local subscribers and patrons will do the same. They can find the criteria we are using for the 2017 -2018 Applause Awards on our website and, if their local theatre qualifies, make a nomination." This year's nomination form will remain open until 15 March 2018 on the ICWP website, where you will also find links to videos, press releases, and news. Anyone may nominate eligible theatres. The eligibility criteria have changed from previous years. Here are highlights of the new qualifying criteria: - Have at least three productions in their season - Have plays by both female and male dramatists in their season - At least 50% of the plays produced between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 are the work of female playwrights - At least 50% of the total number of performances during that window are the work of female playwrights - Only Main Stage productions will qualify where a company has several venues. - Theatres may not have the development of works by women as their main mission statement The guidelines are available at Please contact us if you need translation assistance. We have French and Spanish versions available. Nominations may come from artistic directors, theatre employees and members of the public. Please share this information with your theatre friends and colleagues around the world! Recipients of the 2017/18 award will be announced in May 2018. For more about the awards history and previous recipients, go to ABOUT ICWP Established in 1989, The International Centre for Women Playwrights promotes and supports women playwrights. We aim to help achieve a fair representation of the female imagination on the world's stages. ICWP provides a place for peer support, knowledge-sharing, and play publication[...]

Conejo Players Theatre Presents First Musical of Their 60th Anniversary Season, Leonard Bernstein's CANDIDE

Sun, 04 Mar 2018 11:23:13 PST


This spring, Conejo Players Theatre continues celebrating our incredible 60th Anniversary while also commemorating what would've been Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday with a truly unique production of his comedic operetta based on Voltaire's satire of innocence, optimism, and the unexpected lessons of life ... Candide.

An adventure of music, dance, and laughter where frivolity flirts with danger at every turn! Candide is expelled from home and finds himself in the middle of intrigue and seduction, from Germany to Spain. He encounters pirates and raging seas; gold, jewels, and debauchery; love and passion lost; trial by inquisition; escape to the new world; and abundant riches found ... Time and again, he is separated from his true love, Cunegonde. She, too, bears a barrage of misfortunes, including -- but not limited to -- sale into prostitution, forced marriage to an exorbitantly wealthy man, and slavery. Through it all, however, they try to remember the lessons of their dear master, Dr. Pangloss: "Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds." ~ RATED PG


  • Voltaire/Pangloss: Jim Seerden
  • Candide: Jonathan Markham
  • Cunegonde: Rebecca Fondiler
  • Maximilian: Alexander Schottky
  • Paquette: Brittany Danyel
  • Old Woman: Marisa Miculian
  • Cacambo: Corona De Los Santos
  • Martin: Mark Suarez
  • Governor: Jeffrey Long
  • James the Anabaptist: John Barker
  • Grand Inquisitor: Ken Johnson
  • The Baroness: Sy Patnode
  • Queen of El Dorado: Laura Barrows

Director: Richard Johnson Producer: Mike Mills

Music Director: David Watkins Stage Manager: Andy Brasted

Choreographers: Brandy Ball & Dawn Notagiacomo Properties: Rachael Pugh

Costume Designer: Beth Eslick & Betty Furhmann

Tickets: $20 for Adults / $18 for Students, Seniors, & Military. Go online to or call the Box Office at 805.495.3715


BWW Review: TRUE WEST at Elite Theatre Company

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 09:18:21 PST

When famed playwright/actor Sam Shepard died last July at the age of 73, it gave us pause to examine the body of his work, a catalog that helped define the grimier side of Americana. His plays often focused on the hidden turpitude of violence-prone, unknowable Americans. There are no heroes here, only the bitterness of the outcasts of society, with stories that often accelerate into absurdity like a broken-down jalopy going downhill, losing wheels as it goes. Such is the feeling that embodies the 1980 play True West, Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-nominated satire of Hollywood and unattainable success. The Elite Theatre Company is currently staging a staggering, often electrifying performance of the play, which stars Aaron Gardner and Sean Mason as two warring brothers holed up in their mother's Orange County home while trying to patshke together a screenplay for a stereotypically disingenuous Hollywood producer. Gardner understates the role of Austin, a studious, responsible, but less than successful writer with a wife and children who has gotten the opportunity to pen a romantic love story for producer Saul Kimmer. Austin is housesitting for his vacationing mother and is struggling to finish his screenplay in time to present it to Kimmer. Enter Austin's estranged brother Lee (Mason), a no-account, parasitic drifter who subsists by looting homes, betting on dog fights, and hustling whatever money he can get. Lee is a demented powder keg, pouncing on Austin's benign attempts to make conversation and liable to explode in violence at any moment. When Lee horns in with his own idea for a screenplay, Kimmer quickly shifts gears and orders Austin to write up his brother's idea for a new story. The bulk of the play deals with the brothers arguing, threatening, and eventually nearly killing each other in the process. Mason is wonderful as the despicable, hostile Lee, snarling and spitting throughout Act I and then giving way to creative impotence as he struggles to write the screenplay himself. The two have diametrically opposed personalties: Austin meekly accommodating and Lee a thick-headed almost psychopathic bully. The wonder of True West is in how these two pathetic losers end up blurring their personalities until they are almost indistinguishable by the play's end. At the outset, Austin, is quiet and timorous, head down in his typewriter while his obstreperous brother badgers him with inane, antagonistic questions. Austin appears helpless to be able to deal with his brother and lets him get his way at every turn, even lending Lee his car so he can get some peace and quiet in order to work. When Kimmer enters to finalize negotiations with Aaron, Lee sees dollar signs, and his dominant personality takes over. Kimmer tries to put him off with Hollywood-style platitudes, but Lee pushes and presses until he lands a golf date with the producer, eventually taking over the writing project. Act I takes its time as Shepard's characters are slowly developed. In Act II, all hell breaks loose as the tables are turned, with Lee becoming the dedicated but frustrated screenwriter and Austin a stumbling, bumbling drunk who emulates his brother by leaving the house to loot a pile of toasters from nearby homes. The height of the black comedy comes when a frustrated Lee attacks Austin's stubbornly uncooperative typewriter with a golf club while Austin serves up a foot-high pile of toast. By the time the play ends, their mother's kitchen looks like a war zone, littered with silverware and crushed beer cans. Buddy Wilds is perfect as Kimmer, a caricature of the typical, platitude-spouting, disingenuous Hollywood producer. Marilyn Lazik appears briefly at the end as the brothers' daft mother, who absent-mindedly stands over her sons, chatting, while one tries to strangle the other with a telephone cord. The play is directed by Tom Eubanks while Roger Krevenas designed th[...]

5-Star Theatricals Announces THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:47:37 PST

5-STAR THEATRICALS (formerly Cabrillo Music Theatre) continues its 2017-2018 season with the Thousand Oaks premiere of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by Peter Parnell (based on the Victor Hugo Novel and songs from the Disney film), musical direction by Dan Redfeld, choreography by Michelle Elkin and directed by Misti B. Wills. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME opens on Friday, April 20, 2017 and runs through Sunday, April 29, 2018at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks. Who is the monster and who is the man? For the first time ever on the Civic Arts Plaza stage, Victor Hugo's classic novel comes to life with dramatic spectacle and songs that soar! With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the show is based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios film of the same name, and features popular songs such as "God Help the Outcasts." This is musical theatre at its best! "We are thrilled to continue our season with the first of two Disney shows, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME followed by the incomparable Susan Egan starring as Belle in our upcoming production of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST," says Managing Director, Will North. "HUNCHBACK is a beautiful and timely story of acceptance and our season ticket holders and audiences are going to be spellbound by the extraordinary work of the sensational team that will bring this classic to our stage!" ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST MISTI B. WILLS (Director) is thrilled to be returning to 5-Star after directing Sister Act last season. She also recently directed the NYC premiere of A Pound in Your Pocket (with music by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams) Select credits include: Off-Broadway: In Search of Euphoria (Fidelity Futurestage Program, New World Stages), Tempest (Assistant Director, La MaMa, ETC., NY Times Critics Pick), Twilight the Musical (Assistant Director, New World Stages, ) Off-Off Broadway: Floyd Collins, Ordinary Days, Shake the Earth (2015 NY Fringe Festival, Theater is Easy Best Bet, West Coast Tour 2016), The Drunken City (Jump for Joy Productions, NY Workshop Theatre), Afterlight (Cherry Lane, 2009 NY Fringe Festival), Songs for a New World, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Sister Company), The Pearl Merchant (Threads Theater Company). Regional: Elvira: The Immigration Play (Chicago and NYC ), My Fair Lady (Forestburgh Playhouse), and New York Water (Depot Theatre). Misti has been on the faculties of The NY Film Academy, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NY City College of Technology and Long Island University in Brooklyn. Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Michelle Elkin (Choreography) made her professional debut at the age of 8 in the movie musical "Annie." Since then, she continued to work in numerous film, television, commercial, and theater projects. Michelle most recently worked with Sutton Foster and Jonathon Groff for "Live At Lincoln Center for PBS" airing this Spring as well as the hit TV shows, "Young Sheldon" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." She also can be recently seen on Netflix as a co-star in Gilmore Girls "Winter". She has choreographed the TV show "Me and My Grandma" with Rhea Perlman, as well as a Southwest Airlines web spot and Sister Act: The Musical for Cabrillo Music Theater (Broadway World Awards Nominee, Scenie Award). Other credits include a promo for the TV Land show "Younger" as well as a piece for the NSO Pops Opening at Kennedy Center, a new production of the musical Children Of Eden (Broadway World Awards Nominee) and musical numbers featuring Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and special guest Joshua Henry for the National Symphony Orchestra at Kennedy Center, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall. She has also lent her choreographic talents to the hit ABC Family show[...]

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 3/2 - ALLEGIANCE, RAGTIME, GHOST, and More!

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature Allegiance, Ragtime, Ghost, and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Los Angeles: Contributor Don Grigware reviews ALLEGIANCE at the JACC. He writes "As I mentioned above the entire 15 member cast do splendid work with their acting, singing and dancing. As a chorus, they sound terrific. Choreographer Rumi Oyama does nice work putting the cast through some fast and furious moves. Se Hyun Oh's scenic design is adequate, as are Halei Parker's costumes. Nice projection work from Adam Flemming, who puts his projections in several places across the stage. One very strange element is the use of box-like shapes that float down consistently. One side of each is used for projections, but why these curious shapes? Do they symbolize something in the Japanese culture? Very disconcerting!" Philadelphia: Contributor Pati Beuhler reviews SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Kimmel Center. She writes "Did I mention that the theatrical competition at that time is none other than William Shakespeare? Broadway legend Adam Pascal plays the strutting peacock "I am the Will with the skill/ To thrill you with the quill". Pascal is obnoxiously talented in his role. But Nostradamus assures Nick that one day he will dazzle the whole world with his immortal work - a musical called "Omelet". Well, that's almost all the plot you need, because there's entirely too much insanely crazy gobbledygook in Act Two." Madison: Contributor Scott Rawson reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at the Overture Center. He writes "This combination ballet/musical has cleaned up most of the sexism and misogyny of the original film, as it should, we are, after all, living in a different age. The dancing was fabulous, if not excessive. The set and multi-media were breathtaking. The actors, for the most part, believable." Seattle: Contributor Jay Irwin reviews Seattle Rep's HERSSEY FELDER AS Irving Berlin. He writes "Felder's talent on the piano is only matched by his talent as a storyteller. He locks you into the ride from the beginning and never lets go. You need someone with presence to be able to carry a one-man show such as this and Felder has that presence in spades but it's an unassuming presence, so you feel like you're just listening to a friend and not a performance. He draws you in with heart and humor and delightfully with a couple of sing-a-longs into which the audience gleefully joined. And adding to the storytelling is a magnificent set from Felder that looks like a living room but then doubles as a backdrop for amazing lighting and projections from Richard Norwood and Christopher Ash & Lawrence Siefert." Los Angeles: Contributor Michael Quintos reviews THE KING AND I at the Segerstrom Center. He writes "From the moment the curtain rises to reveal the show's first "wow" moment---which finds a stunningly imposing ship Chow Phya slowly docking into Bangkok carrying widowed British school teacher Anna Leonowens (played by the spectacular Laura Michelle Kelly) and her young son Louis (Rhyees Stump)---the production will have you instantly mesmerized. Michael Yeargan's eye-popping sets and Catherine Zuber's Tony Award-winning costumes convincingly transport the audience to 19th Century Siam, where we find the country caught at the crossroads between many centuries' worth of traditional, old-world standards and a new modern, contemporary world outside their borders that is slowly spreading its forward momentum of progress." Germany: Contributor Mark J[...]

Original Broadway Belle Susan Egan Will Return To The Role in Thousand Oaks This Summer

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 17:56:39 PST

Broadway's original "Belle" Susan Egan, will reprise her iconic performance once again, this time with 5 Star Theatricals in its final show of its 2017-2018 season, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. After blossoming its magical charm over the Civic Arts Plaza as one of the top-selling 5-Star Theatricals (formerly Cabrillo Music Theatre) shows of all-time, the company welcomes audiences to "Be Our Guest" through the brand-new retelling of the classically enchanting tale as old as time. With music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, this much-anticipated production will transform your spirit, leaving you captivated by adventure, revenge, true friendship and love that knows no limitations. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will open on Friday, July 20, 2018 and runs through Sunday, July 29, 2018 at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks. Managing Director, Will North says of Egan, "Our subscribers and audiences will witness the performance of a lifetime and we are delighted that she will be part of this magnificent production!" SUSAN EGAN has made powerful impressions in theatre, film, television and music. She headlined on Broadway as Thoroughly Modern Millie, won critical acclaim as "Sally Bowles" in Cabaret, starred in Triumph of Love and State Fair, and received Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for "Best Actress" as the original "Belle" in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Regionally, Egan starred alongside Carol Burnett in Putting It Together and Tommy Tune in the national tour of Bye, Bye Birdie, and developed works at Yale Repertory, Baltimore Center Stage, South Coast Repertory, and the Mark Taper Forum. Her film credits include "13 Going on 30," "Gotta Kick It Up" for the Disney Channel, and many award-winning indies seen at Seattle Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Slamdance, the HBO Comedy Festival and beyond. Susan has voiced leading characters in the animated features "Hercules" (Meg), "Spirited Away" (Lin), "Porco Rosso" (Gina), "Lady and the Tramp II" (Angel), "Achmed Saves America" (Ginny), and is currently on Cartoon Network's Steven Universe (Rose Quartz). On television, she spent two seasons on the WB's Nikki, and guest-starred on "House," "Numb3rs," "NYPD Blue," "Arli$$," "Drew Carey,"" Great Performances," and countless others. Susan has headlined with more than 50 symphony orchestras worldwide, including concerts at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl, and has over 40 recording credits including her solo CDs: "All That and More," "So Far," "Winter Tracks," "CoffeeHouse" (Best Vocalist 2004), "Susan Egan LIVE," "The Secret of Happiness," and 2015's "Softly." She is an accomplished master teacher in music performance, obsessive gardener, happy wife, and leader to her daughters' two Girl Scout troops., @IAmSusanEgan, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will open on Friday, July 20, 2018 and run through Sunday, July 29, 2018. Performances are Thursday at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Saturdays and Sunday at 2:00pm. A signed performance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing will take place on Saturday, July 21 at 2:00pm, followed by a post-show discussion with cast, staff and audience. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks, or through, or by phone at (800) 745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, please call Gro[...]

BWW Review: KINKY BOOTS at Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 16:58:21 PST

Amid the constant barrage of Shreks, Legally Blondes, and Beauty and the Beasts that keep making the rounds in Ventura County theater, we were really looking forward to seeing Kinky Boots, a show we hadn't seen before, and one that swept through the 2013 Tony Awards, winning six, including Best Musical. But despite all of its sequins, high-stepping drag queens, and rolling conveyor belts, there's less to Kinky Boots than meets the eye. Troika Entertainment's national tour, marketed by Theater League, is making a quick four-day stop at the Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks this weekend, and although the production features a plethora of impressive talent, the show itself is formulaic and predictable, somewhat less than its high-kicking reputation predicted. Don't get me wrong; Cyndi Lauper's award-winning score definitely deserved its accolades and includes some real gems, while the performances by the show's lead actors are terrific, but the show itself looks as if it had been abandoned halfway through due to lack of interest. After a promising first act, Kinky Boots devolves into just another heavy-handed morality play about accepting people for "who they are" (but as Seinfeld might have added: "not that there's anything wrong with that"). Charlie Price is the fourth scion of Price and Sons, a shoe factory in the working class community of Northampton, England that has fallen on hard times. When his father dies, Charlie wants nothing to do with his failing business and is urged by his materialistic girlfriend to turn the factory into condos and flee to London. But a chance run-in with an audacious female impersonator named Lola convinces him to tough it out, as the two become unlikely partners in a campaign to manufacture and market sturdy footwear for drag queens. As ridiculous as this premise might sound (how big a market could there actually be for such a product?), it's all the show has to hang its hat on, and the audience has to suspend a lot of disbelief to go along with it. Kinky Boots was written by Harvey Fierstein, who excels in stories that include transvestites or cross-dressing. (Fierstein also wrote Torch Song Trilogy and La Cage Aux Folles, both of which featured actors dressing up as women, and appeared in Hairspray, in which he donned a dress to play frumpy housewife Edna Turnblad.) It helps that Lance Bordelon is a charismatic ball of kinetic energy as Charlie, darting back and forth, climbing the scaffolding to his second floor office, and acting like every employee's micromanaging nightmare. To save their meager jobs, Charlie's loyal workers go along with his nutty scheme, even when Lola takes over and begins to second-guess every decision Charlie makes. Lola is played by the terrific Jos N\. Banks, who is made up to look like Dennis Rodman at a Mardi Gras celebration. Despite their apparent differences, Fierstein's script links Charlie and Lola through their respective troubles with their disapproving fathers, with both feeling they have to assert their individuality. "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken," says Lola, quoting Oscar Wilde. Both Bordelon and Banks use energetic charisma to make their characters believable, and both are standouts. Sydney Patrick plays spitfire factory worker Lauren, who has a secret crush on Charlie, but her character is underdeveloped, and she really doesn't show more than solitary mooning over him until midway through Act II. It's too bad, because the five-foot tall actress gives an outstanding performance, delivering the most unlikely of torch songs, the feisty "The History of Wrong Guys," with verve and attitude, in which she tries to fight off her attraction to the already attached Charlie. Adam du Plessis does well as Don, a b[...]

BOOK OF MORMON, LEGALLY BLONDE, and More Lead Broadway in Thousand Oaks 2018-2019 Season

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:05:03 PST

The 2018-19 Broadway in Thousand Oaks Series at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza has just been announced. The nine-time Tony® Award-winning Best Musical THE BOOK OF MORMON highlights the outstanding season, which also includes LEGALLY BLONDE - The Musical based on the movie of the same name, the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals THE SOUND OF MUSIC and THE KING AND I and a truly magical season add-on THE ILLUSIONISTS - Live From Broadway. Season renewals and priority orders are on sale now online at, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza box office or by calling 805.449.2775. The 2018-19 Broadway In Thousand Oaks Series of national touring productions includes: THE KING AND I December 27-30, 2018 One of Rodgers & Hammerstein's finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as "Getting To Know You", "Hello Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance", "I Have Dreamed", and "Something Wonderful". Set in 1860's Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC January 31 - February 3, 2019 The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning Best Score! THE SOUND OF MUSIC features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by "The Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Augusta Trapp. LEGALLY BLONDE - The Musical April 11-14, 2019 A wonderfully fun musical based on the adored movie, LEGALLY BLONDE - The Musical, follows the transformation of California girl Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in self-discovery at Harvard Law School. This action-packed musical explodes on the stage with memorable scenes and lovable characters including the ever-successful Bend and Snap and Elle's favorite companion, Bruiser the Chihuahua! Equipped with LED technology, fresh inventive design and snazzy modern scenery, this show is perfect for lightening everyone's mood and bringing joy. THE BOOK OF MORMON July 9-14, 2019 The New York Times calls it "the best musical of the century." The Washington Post says, "It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals." And Entertainment Weekly says, "Grade A: the funniest musical of all time." Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show calls it "Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal." It's THE BOOK OF MORMON, the nine-time Tony® Award-winning Best Musical. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Now with standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, THE BOOK OF MORMON has truly become an international sensation. Contains explicit language. SEASON ADD-ON/SWAP A SHOW: THE ILLUSIONISTS - Live From Broadway April 1, 2019 This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of five of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. Season tickets start at $135 for all four shows and a convenient payment plan is available. Only season members receive the best seats at locked-in prices before tickets go on sale to the public, as well as priority access to tickets, [...]

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 2/23 - THE LION KING, FINDING NEVERLAND, and More!

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature The Lion King, Finding Neverland, The Crucible, and more! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Orlando: Contributor McKenzie Lakey reviews THE LION KING at the Dr. Phillips Center. She writes "The Lion King" is the perfect introduction to Broadway musicals for audience members of all ages, but still maintains the pure talent, ingenuity and sheer power that only the best of Broadway can produce and maintain. No matter how well you know the story or how many times you have seen "The Lion King" (either animated or brought to life on stage), it always has a way of transporting viewers back to a period in their life filled with the awe and wonder of childhood that they may have long forgotten-and it's a trip definitely worth taking." Baltimore: Contributor Charles Shubow reviews THE GREAT SOCIETY at Arena Stage. He writes "This play should be required viewing for all high school students. No books or lectures could reveal how President Johnson was able to push through his "Great Society" legislation that included passage of the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Clean Air Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Head Start, Social Security, Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Is there any doubt why this era was called "The Great Society"?" Jacksonville: Contributor Jordan Higginbotham reviews MADAMA BUTTERFLY at the Times Union Theatre. She writes "All parts were beautifully and poignantly portrayed in the opera. The cast was amazingly talented and dedicated to their characters. As someone who has listened to the Miss Saigon soundtrack, I could not help making the connections of each character to its inspired character, and the story in which it was based." Nashville: Contributor Jeffrey Ellis reviews SMART PEOPLE at Nashville Rep. He writes "Clearly, the four people who inhabit the world as presented in Smart People are indeed more intelligent than most of the people in your neighborhood (and certainly my neighborhood), they each represent some archetype in order to create a universal tale that is at once appealing, yet somehow troubling. In the manner of all compelling theater, Smart People makes you think, encourages you to consider your own thoughts and actions, and challenges the status quo in which we are all complicit. One thing you can be certain of - you'll have plenty to talk about after the curtain has rung down on Nashville Rep's articulate Smart People." Norfolk: Contributor Jeremy Bustin reviews A RAIN IN THE SUN at Virginia Rep. He writes "Jasmine Coles is perfectly cast as the eccentric and aspirational Beneatha, and has a show-stealing moment with a tribal chant and dance featuring an equally delightful Solomon. But it's Trezana Beverley as Lena 'Mama' Younger, who gradually inherits the reins of the production with a finely shaded performance. Audiences will hear the nuance in every word she speaks and absorbedly watch every move she makes." Milwaukee: Contributor Kelsey Lawler reviews FINDING NEVERLAND at Milwaukee's Marcus Center. She writes "But it can't be denied that there are shining moments aplenty in this Pan-themed spectacular. Again, the choreography is remarkably well-crafted and perfectly executed by a brilliant cast of characters. Especially unforgettable is the way in which Sylvia goes to Neverland in a flurry of sparkle [...]

BWW Interview: Alan Waserman of OTHELLO at Playhouse 101

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:57:35 PST

When you watch Alan Waserman in Playhouse 101's current production of Othello, you'd think that he's been performing works of the Bard all of his life. Not so, says Waserman, in our recent interview with the actor after seeing a performance of the show at Playhouse 101 last Friday night. Playhouse 101 is the Conejo Valley's newest theater, of the black box variety, which makes Shakespearean tragedies such as Othello even more dramatic and hard-hitting. When you talk to Waserman, he doesn't seem like a Shakespearean actor in the traditional sense. He is soft-spoken, very approachable, and not in the least egotistical. You won't see him exiting a room with a sweep of a cape with his nose in the air like the proverbial self-involved actor. He speaks in plain language, self-effacing, but confident in his abilities. VCOS: So how's the show going so far? ALAN: It's going really well, getting better and better every time we do it. The other actors and I are getting very comfortable with it. VCOS: How much Shakespeare have you done in your career? You look very much at home in the part. ALAN: To be perfectly honest with you, this is only my third Shakespeare play. VCOS: Really? You could have fooled me. ALAN: Well, thank you. I've done theater for about 40 years but I've only had the chance to do Shakespeare two other times, and one of those was back in college. When I did The Tempest a year-and-a-half ago, it was only my first Shakespeare play since then. VCOS: Wow. How come it avoided you for forty years? ALAN: It's interesting. I'm not quite sure. I guess the theaters I became involved with didn't do Shakespeare and I never really thought about it until I ran into Bill Fisher when I was doing The Lion In Winter at the Elite, and he asked me if I was interested so that's what started the whole thing. VCOS: Were you familiar with Shakespeare's plays? ALAN: Somewhat. Some actors, like Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, and of course Peter O'Toole, who has always been one of my favorites, I've watched perform straight plays or Shakespeare and I've always been a big fan of theirs, but I never thought about doing it myself or had the chance to do anything like this for quite a while. VCOS: Is there a difference between playing a Shakespearean character as opposed to those of other playwrights? ALAN: I think the one major difference is the language. I approach the acting process very simply. It has to be organic, it has to be something that comes from my gut and my heart, and the rest is all pretty much technique that stems from just making sure the audience understands what I'm saying, whether I'm speaking in Shakespearean language or any other. VCOS: What do you say to a potential audience member when they tell you, "I don't like Shakespeare because I can't make any sense out of the language?" ALAN: I tell them I understand what they're saying (laughs). But at the same time, what I do is to just try to, either with my speech or with my body language, tell a story, and I think Shakespeare is primarily very universal. His stories are very simple and concern love, greed, hatred, politics...but it's all pretty much the same. If people have had any kind of life experiences like those of the characters in his plays, I think they'll catch on. VCOS: The themes in Othello are frighteningly relevant today. I'm talking about concepts like treachery, marital discord, deceit, invasion of a foreign power, racism, spousal abuse, all stuff that's going on today in Washington. How daring was Shakespeare in his time to include these very frankly presented themes? ALAN: I think that's what made[...]

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 2/16 - HUNCHBACK, HAMILTON, FRANKENSTEIN, and More!

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature HUNCHBACK, HAMILTON, FRANKENSTEIN, and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Salt Lake City: Contributor Tyler Hinton reviews HUNCHBACK at the Hale Center. He writes "Director/choreographer Dave Tinney and musical director Kelly Dehaan have shepherded the performances to be much more than just the individuals on their own. There is a unity and power that radiates from the large group of actors and singers, skillfully costumed by Peggy Willis, as they navigate through the ever-shifting multi-leveled set." Seattle: Contributor Jay Irwin reviews HAMILTON at the Paramount Theatre. He writes "And now I must mention four tracks that may be the most demanding in the show and were stunners. These four actors have to pull double duty all night long, each with two very different characters. Elijah Malcomb starts the night as one of Alexander's best friends John Laurens with tons of resolve and dedication and then moved onto play Hamilton's son Phillip whose bravado will break your heart. Fergie L. Phillipe was probably my favorite of the four with his braggadocious Hercules Mulligan and then going into the meeker and sickly James Madison. Kyle Scatliffe who Seattle audiences may remember from his amazing turn as Jud in "Oklahoma" a few years back was a stunner as the quick talking Lafayette and then the scheming Jefferson. And last but certainly not least Danielle Sostre as the notably overlooked Schuyler sister Peggy who turns around to completely kill it as the sultry Maria Reynolds." Omaha: Contributor Natalie McGovern reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at the Orpheum Theatre. She writes "Jerry Mulligan (McGee Maddox) has the je ne sai quoi you'd expect from a worldly artist and American GI, as he glides through scenes effortlessly, polished and charismatic. Other standouts are Lise, talented Houston Ballet veteran Allison Walsh, with her perfected French accent that comes off as charmingly authentic and demure, and a brooding yet sentimental Jewish composer, Adam Hochberg (Matthew Scott) already resigned to the fact he may only get the girl in the form of a muse." Portland: Contributor Krista Garver reviews A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER at the Keller Auditorium. She writes "Where things get really fun is the murders themselves. All of the D'Ysquiths ahead of Monty are played by James Taylor Odom. As such, he dies eight times during the show, from causes ranging from wind and ice to barbells and bees. Odom does this brilliantly. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to John Cleese, Odom also has a gift for physical comedy, ratcheting up the outrageousness with each death. The whole show feels at times like a Monty Python sketch." Dallas: Contributor Samuel Weber reviews FRANKENSTEIN at Dallas Theater Center. He writes "Mary Shelley's now timeless speculative fiction concerns itself with more than green monsters and mad scientists. Rather, Shelley's work is almost an exercise in understanding what lies at the edge of contemporary science, and more deeply, exploring the themes of those who wanted more - the Lucifer figure. This is an archetype I like to believe Shelley identified herself with, an educated woman wanting more for herself than her time would allow. Finding this characterization is something Dear's text does well, especially in its original iteration where light an[...]

A CHORUS LINE Comes to Thousand Oaks This March

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 16:58:29 PST

From the pen of legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch, the Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize-winning singular sensation, A CHORUS LINE, is dancing into the Civic Arts Plaza on March 22-25, 2018. Tickets for A CHORUS LINE are on sale now and are available online at,, the Civic Arts Plaza box office, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., and by calling 800-745-3000. Groups of 10+ call 866-314-7687. In the classic story, casting for a new Broadway musical is almost complete, and for 17 dancers this audition is the chance of a lifetime and what they've been working their whole lives for. A CHORUS LINE brilliantly evokes both the glamour and the dark underbelly of showbiz and resonates with everyone who's ever had a dream and put it all on the line. The iconic score features classics such as "What I Did for Love," "One," "I Hope I Get It" and more. With its celebration and true-to-life depiction of performers and their struggle to achieve greatness on the Broadway stage, A CHORUS LINE has earned unanimous praise as one of the true masterpieces of live theater. League Productions' A CHORUS LINE features Michael Bennett's original work restaged by the legendary Baayork Lee. A director, actress, author and choreographer, Lee played Connie Wong in the original 1975 production of A CHORUS LINE. She has gone on to direct and choreograph more than 35 international productions of the show, including the most recent Hollywood Bowl version, which she staged with the National Tour's associate director, Peter Pileski. She was also the recipient of the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award® for her contributions to theater education programs around the world. A CHORUS LINE is produced by Big League Productions, Inc. Led by President and Executive Producer Dan Sher, Big League is celebrating its 29th season of producing, general managing and booking Broadway musicals and special attractions for touring throughout North America and the world. For more information visit A CHORUS LINE Performance Schedule at the Civic Arts Plaza: Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, 2018 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018 8 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 2018 2 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 2018 7 p.m. Tickets for A CHORUS LINE are on sale now and are available online at,, the Civic Arts Plaza box office, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., and by calling 800-745-3000. Groups of 10+ call 866-314-7687. Please Note:,, and the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza box office are the only official sources for tickets to A CHORUS LINE. If you purchase tickets through another source, you may pay inflated prices and your tickets will not be guaranteed. Become a fan on Facebook and Twitter! The 2017-18 Broadway In Thousand Oaks Series is welcomed by Thousand Oaks Best Western. For more information, visit [...]

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 2/9 - DOGFIGHT, MOTOWN, WAITRESS and More!

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature DOGFIGHT, MOTOWN, WAITRESS and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Washington DC: Contributor Elliot Lanes reviews DIGGING UP DESSA at the Kennedy Center. He writes "First, there are the performances. As Dessa, Alina Collins Maldonado commands the stage. She embodies a teenager with tons of angst. The same can be said for Chris Stinson as Nilo. He is the perfect match for Maldonado's Dessa. Both characters are, as drawn, pretty grating - and Director Rives Collins does nothing to soften them - but both of the talented actors work with what they have." Boise: Contributor Shannon Foy reviews BEER FOR BREAKFAST at Boise Little Theater! She writes "Now the rest of the audience seemed to bubble along with laughter -- remembering what it was like to dance with your girlfriend in the quad the night before graduation. Before kids and bills and high cholesterol levels gripped at you from every angle. I firmly believe that although I didn't like the script, that the target audience may enjoy it and have a fun, light-hearted time." Japan: Contributor Mara Jill Herman reviews DOGFIGHT at Toho Stage. She writes "Birdlace's tentative heart slowly opens over the course of the night. When Rose nervously invites him home, they consummate the relationship in "Give Way." The next morning, he leaves for Vietnam where Birdlace witnesses the senseless deaths of his friends, including his closest, the two B's. The play transitions to where it began in 1967 and as a sole survivor of the trio, Birdlace's delivery of "Come Back" as a lost and broken man is impactful. He surprises Rose at the diner and the estranged lovers embrace, left to an uncertain fate." Vancouver: Contributor Alyson Eng reviews MOTOWN at Vacounver's Victoria Theatre. She writes "Outstanding performances were made by many of the cast members including Trenyce as Diana Ross. Her impressive powerhouse vocals and overall stage presence as Diana was phenomenal. At one point in the show, she makes her way into the crowd to sing, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" with some lucky members of the audience. This component of the show really connected the audience to Diana and displayed Trenyce's dedication to the fine details of her character." New Jersey: Contributor Marina Kennedy reviews AINT MISBEHAVIN at NJPAC. She writes "The audiences at NJPAC were tapping their toes and enjoying every moment of the production that transported them to Manhattan nightclubs of yesteryear like the Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom. The show opened with a thrilling rendition of the 1929 Fats Waller song that the show was named for,"Ain't Misbehavin". Some of our very favorites in the first act included "Honeysuckle Rose," Jitterbug Waltz," "Cash for Your Trash," and "The Joint is Jumpin'." The second act had charming and comical numbers like "Your Feets Too Big," "Fat and Greasy," along with moving selections that included "Black and Blue." The show also had vibrant dance numbers like "Jitterbug Waltz" and "The Viper's Drag." Buffalo: Contributor Michael Rabice reviews WAITRESS at Shea's Buffalo. He writes "The book by Jessie Nelson is served well by swift d[...]

Review: SISTER ACT Offers a Sparkling Tribute to the Universal Power of Friendship, Sisterhood and Music

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:14:04 PST

SISTER ACT is a feel-good musical comedy smash hit based on the 1992 film that has audiences ready to rejoice! Featuring original music by Tony® and 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Disney's Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Enchanted), dazzling dance routines and songs inspired by Motown, soul and disco, SISTER ACT qualifies as the funniest and funkiest musical around. Lately this popular musical has been performed at many theaters in the greater Los Angeles area, each one brilliant in its own right. But I have to say I have never seen one more perfectly cast than the current production at the Simi Valley Cultural Center with the amazingly talented Elizabeth Adabale as Deloris Van Cartier, a disco diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Ms. Adabale shines like a super star every moment she is on the stage with her glorious voice raising the roof during each of her numbers, especially "Raise Your Voice" and "Take Me to Heaven." After rocking the stage leading a trio sounding just as good as The Supremes (with Tara Cox as Michele and Shandar Robinson as Tina), Deloris happens to cross the path of her manager Curtis (Richard Gray) just as he guns down Ernie (Justin James), one of his gang members. After going on the run, Deloris is put under protective custody by the cop Eddie (Jeremy Whatley whose sexy Barry White-inspired song stylings will dazzle every woman in the audience), one of her former high school classmates she used to call "Sweaty Eddie," and is hidden in the one place she won't be found - a Convent! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior (Stephanie Lesh-Farrell), Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own while leading the church choir to spectacular new heights. It's very apparent that the entire cast performs each role with pure joy that makes every scene such fun to watch. Standouts among the nuns are Julianne Sillona who shines as novice Sister Mary Robert singing "The Life I Never Led" and Sindy McKay as rapping Sister Mary Lazarus. Chris Clonts humorously transforms Monsignor O'Hara into a thoroughly hip host of the church choir fundraiser once their fame fills the pews. Curtis' remaining trio of thugs, Philip McBride as Joey, Augusto Guardada as Pablo, Alexander Reaves as TJ, light up the stage with their comic seduction scenes during "Lady in the Long Black Dress." Director/producer Fred Helsel is to be commended for making the entire production sparkle by using more than just the stage area for many scenes, bringing the audience more closely into the action. Musical director Mazie Rudolph keeps the cast harmonizing beautifully with the orchestra attentive and enthusiastic, with Keenon Hooks' choreography a wonder to behold on such a small stage. Seth Kamenow and his entire design team are to be commended for how set pieces are moved and reused to create the many different scenes required. And this show would not be a visually spectacular without the glorious production number costumes designed by Ken Patton. SISTER ACT is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music. Come and see why this fabulous show has been seen by more than 6 million people worldwide. Performances continue through February 18 at 8 pm Friday & Saturday and 2 pm on Sunday, plus 8 pm on Thursday, February 15 and 2 pm on Saturday, February 17 at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center located at 3050 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley, CA. (Appropriately the facility s[...]

KINKY BOOTS Comes To The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza This Month

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 23:01:59 PST

Troika Entertainment is thrilled to present KINKY BOOTS, the smash-hit musical that brings together four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Book) and Grammy Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper (Tony Award-winner for Best Score for KINKY BOOTS), at the CIVIC ARTS PLAZA. Tickets for KINKY BOOTS are on sale now and are available online at,, the Civic Arts Plaza box office, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., and by calling 800-745-3000. The winner of six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, KINKY BOOTS features a Tony Award-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, a book by Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, and direction and choreography by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell. KINKY BOOTS tells the uplifting and heartwarming tale of Charlie Price, a young man reluctantly taking over his family's struggling shoe factory and looking for a fresh idea. Charlie meets and finds inspiration in Lola, and together they discover that it takes a good friend to make a great pair. KINKY BOOTS has won every major Best Musical Award and is represented around the world with the Tony Award-winning Broadway company, now in its fifth year, an Olivier Award-winning production in London, an Australian production that opened in October 2016, and an upcoming production in Germany. Other previous productions include a past US National Tour that played more than 80 cities, an Award-winning extended run in Toronto, two productions in Korea, and a Japanese language production. The Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of KINKY BOOTS is available on Sony Masterworks Broadway. Inspired by true events, KINKY BOOTS takes you from a gentlemen's shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father's expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory's future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. The National Tour of KINKY BOOTS is produced by Troika Entertainment. The creative team includes Tony Award nominee David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award-winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design), Tony Award-winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), Tony Award-winner John Shivers (Sound Design), Josh Marquette (Hair Design), Brian Strumwasser (Make-up Design), Joy Dewing Casting and Wojcik/Seay Casting (Casting), DB Bonds (Associate Director), and Rusty Mowery (Associate Choreographer). KINKY BOOTS features Musical Supervision by Roberto Sinha, and Arrangements and Orchestrations by Tony and Grammy Award-winner Stephen Oremus. For full performance schedule and details, please visit The Broadway production of KINKY BOOTS is produced by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, James L\. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, CJ E&M, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergere, Allan S\. Gordon & Adam S\. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy and Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Ron Fierstein and Dorsey Regal, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Michael DeSantis/Patrick Baugh, Brian Smith/Tom and Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp and Jujamcyn. Tickets for KINKY BOOTS are on sale now and are available online at,, the Civic Arts Plaza box office, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., and by calling 800-745-3000. Please Note:,, and t[...]

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 2/2 - WAITRESS, LES MIS, PRISCILLA, and More!

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature LES MIS, WAITRESS, PRSCILLA, and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! New Jersey: Contributor Marina Kennedy reviews THE OUTSIDER at Paper Mill Playhouse! She writes "The cast of The Outsider is exceptional. They master their roles and capture the humor and charm of the play. The company features Lenny Wolpe as Ned Newley; Julia Duffy as Paige Caldwell; Manoel Felciano as Dave Riley; Erin Noel Grennan as Louise Peakes; Burke Moses as Arthur Vance; Kelley Curran as Rachel Parsons; and Mike Houston as A.C. Petersen. Audiences will love the dynamic scenes that keep you chuckling and wondering what will happen from minute to minute." Los Angeles: Contributor Michael Quintos reviews SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at South Coast Rep. He writes "For SCR's staging in particular, I think it's a splendid bit of efficient maneuvering overall, which, for the most part, works well in retelling the same exact narratives featured in the film. I marvel at the logistics of this play---which presumably requires its enormous cast to zip in and out alongside or past each other in such a strategically mapped-out way. Like figurines on a war strategy map moved every which way by Commander Masterson, every single actor requires precision and concentration, while still keeping in character and dolling out bon mots of comedy gold, and working in conjunction with lighting, sound, and even the on-stage band. Kudos to director Masterson and his well-deployed troop/troupe for making it work and for keeping us laughing." Rhode Island: Contributor Veronica Bruscini reviews ON YOUR FEET at the Providence Performing Arts Center. She writes "Of course, even the most thorough biographical musical condenses decades' worth of history into roughly two hours of performance time, combining or eliminating events and individuals in order to move the plot forward coherently. If On Your Feet! does have a weak point, it's in pacing this aspect of the production. While the show highlights the Miami Sound Machine's early industry frustrations, a moving series of Estefan/Fajardo family heartbreaks, and Gloria and Emilio's struggles against racial prejudices (both personally and professionally), most of these incidents are taken at a fairly rapid clip. Even the Estefans' family life - including the couple's marriage and the births of their children - is more often implied than shown on stage. Still, in spite of this brevity, the production establishes enough key points to capture interest and tell the story in engaging fashion." Melbourne: Contributor Victoria Beal reviews PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT. She writes "Watching the show in 2018, there are a few cultural or racial moments in the show that have perhaps lost a little of their comedic shine, especially opening the production so soon after January 26th. Changes to these moments wouldn't have damaged the narrative or enjoyment of the show, similar to the song changes that have been made, so whilst this discomfort could have been addressed, those close to the show appreciated them nonetheless." Sacramento: Contributor Courtney Symes reviews JERSEY BOYS at California Music Theatre. She writes "A top-notch cast was led by the amazing Four Seasons-T[...]

Jay Leno Returns To The Civic Arts Plaza

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 22:13:33 PST

(image) Acclaimed TV late night show host and admired stand-up comedian Jay Leno comes to Fred Kavli Theatre, Friday, March 16, 2018 at 8:00 pm.

Jay Leno's late night television ratings domination included more than two decades of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," winning every consecutive quarter of his hosting over 19 years.

Prior to becoming host, Leno had been the exclusive guest host on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" since September 1987. He first appeared as a guest with the show March 2, 1977, and made numerous additional appearances over the years.

As if night-time dominance were not enough, Leno has also succeeded in the newest entertainment area, "Jay Leno's Garage," of which he is a producer as well as the star. The NBC creation, which is viewed at, has gained an international following on the web, not to mention an Emmy Award.

An indefatigable performer, Leno loves to test his humor live an audiences across the nation, performing over 100 live appearances in nightclubs, theater, and stadiums each year. His everyman style and personality have helped him earn millions of fans worldwide.

When he is not performing, writing or doing charitable work, Leno keeps busy doing voice-over work in such movies as "Cars" and "Igor" and the hit-TV show "The Fairly Oddparents" where the character "The Crimson Chin" - a superhero with a chin with superpowers - was inspired by Leno's own noted jaw line.

Leno was born in New Rochelle, New York and raised in Andover, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Mavis, live in Los Angeles.

Single tickets are priced at $131 - $61 with group discounts available. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at, or through the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. For more information call 805-449-ARTS (2787) or visit


Grammy-Nominated Pop Singer Rufus Wainwright Comes To Thousand Oaks

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 22:48:01 PST

Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will bring his tour to the Fred Kavli Theatre on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 7:00pm. Praised by the New York Times for his "genuine originality," Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists, composers, and songwriters of his generation. The New York-born, Montreal-raised singer songwriter has released eight studio albums, three DVDs, and three live albums, including the fantastic Grammy nominated Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, which captured his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium in 2007, and the album Release The Stars which went Gold in Canada and the U.K. Musically Rufus has collaborated with artists including Elton John, David Byrne, Boy George, Joni Mitchell, Pet Shop Boys and producer Mark Ronson among others. His most recent collaboration is on the title track of Robbie Williams' latest album, Swings Both Ways, which was co-written with renowned musician and producer Guy Chambers and sung as a duet between Rufus and Robbie. In addition to being a celebrated contemporary pop singer, Rufus has made a name for himself in the classical world. His much acclaimed first opera, titled Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009. The opera was subsequently performed in London at Sadler's Wells in April 2010, in Toronto at the Luminato Festival in June 2010 and at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music's Howard Gilman Opera House in February 2012. Now fully established as a composer of operas, Rufus has been commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company to write his second opera based on the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinous. The new opera will premiere in Toronto in October 2018. Single tickets are priced at $65.50, $55.50 and $45.50 with group discounts available. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at, or through the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. For more information call 805-449-ARTS (2787) or visit [...]

Review: Gilbert and Sullivan's PIRATES OF PENZANCE Reimagined as an Interactive Beach Party at the Pasadena Playhouse

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 18:04:17 PST

Back in the late 60s, groups of people would meet up at an agreed-upon place to attend a "happening," defined as a partly improvised or spontaneous piece of theatrical or other artistic performance, typically involving audience participation. This description is exactly how I would describe what is taking place at The Pasadena Playhouse through February 25, 2018, with Gilbert and Sullivan's PIRATES OF PENZANCE as reimagined by the Chicago-based Hypocrites acting troupe. Adapted and directed by Sean Graney, co-adapted by Kevin O'Donnell, with music direction by Andra Velis Simon, the troupe has found a way to turn the classic on its head, surprising audiences with a raucous 80-minute beach party that blends the original operetta with modern day attire, a central stage area from which the tossing of beach balls is encouraged, kiddie wading pools are available for seats, and lots of audience participation is expected during every moment the 10 energetic actor-musicians are in the house. This wacky beach party - with flying beach balls, rubber duckies, ukuleles, banjos, plastic swimming pools, and outrageously clever costumes - brings the audience on stage for a night they won't forget. In fact, you will know something very different is about to take place when you walk inside the Playhouse to find half the audience seats covered over with the staging area, surrounded by risers on all sides with a conveniently placed Tiki bar located near the center where you can partake of your favorite beverages throughout the show. There are even risers placed on the proscenium stage itself, allowing those seated there to glance up and see all the rigging used to raise sets as well as people during more traditional performances. But no matter where you sit, be prepared to be called upon to participate, either by hitting a beach ball over to another area, speaking with a performer who approaches you with a question or wants you to sing along, or perhaps even asking you to either share your seat or get up and allow them to use it as a performance space. I guarantee no two performances will be exactly the same due to the amount of improvisation necessary from start to finish. So be sure to listen at the very beginning when all the "rules" involving this very non-traditional staging are explained to you! For those not familiar with the original story, which may be a bit too convoluted to follow in this production with its sappy pirates, dewy-eyed damsels, bumbling bobbies and a stuffy Major General, Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious and hopeful farce follows the story of young Frederic (Doug Pawlik), an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates led by The Pirate King (Shawn Pfatsch), as he disavows the pirates' way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel (Dana Omar who also comically portrays Ruth, the older and only female aboard the pirate ship) when they land at the seaside town of Penzance. While the entire score is familiar, no doubt the most famous is "Poor wand'ring one," and the frequently parodied patter song "I am the model of a modern Major-General," which is performed with speedy comic perfection by Matt Kahler. I especially enjoyed each entertaining appearance of the trio of Mabel's other sisters (Tina Muñoz Pandya, Amanda Raquel Martinez and Leslie Ann Sheppard), dressed in ballet tutus with flower-embossed bathing caps on their heads, w[...]

BWW Review: BUYER AND CELLAR at Rubicon Theatre Company

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 17:20:20 PST

At the beginning of Jonathan Tolins' riotous one-man comic fantasy Buyer and Cellar, Brian McDonald, who plays struggling actor Alex More, produces a line from the hit song "The Way We Were": Memories light the corners of my mind He then proceeds to define for the audience the meaning of "corners." In addition to the obvious mathematical definition of a corner being a place where two perpendicular lines meet, it also references a "remote, secluded or secret place." This is the locale where Buyer and Cellar takes place. But it's not just any corner, it's the basement in the poshly decorated Malibu home owned by none other than the notoriously self-sequestered superstar Barbra Streisand. An inveterate shopper by nature, Streisand is unlike other voracious collectors, who hoard their acquisitions into stacks, files, boxes, display cases, or storage units. Instead, Streisand created a virtual shopping mall in her basement (modeled after the Winterthur Museum in Delaware), with individually themed rooms (an antique clothes boutique, a doll shop, etc.) set up so that she can relive her shopping experiences. This was all that Jonathan Tolins needed to create a funny, but bittersweet examination of one of the curses of being a celebrity, seen through the eyes of the fictional Alex, who takes on the job of shopkeeper and curator of Streisand's unique one-customer mall. Buyer and Cellar made its debut January 27 at the Rubicon Theatre Company, starring the inordinately talented McDonald, who also serves as the theater's artistic director. Buyer and Cellar is a unique play that is being staged less than an hour from where the real subterranean private shopping mall exists, and one can't help but wonder if Babs herself might suddenly show up in the audience, correcting elements of the production and/or storming out in a defiant huff. Streisand's mercurial eccentricities are well-known to the public. Her attention to detail is manifested in the meticulous decoration of her home, which was depicted in her book My Passion For Design, published in 2010. A copy of the book becomes a prop for McDonald, who tells Alex's story as a series of conversations, which he is re-playing for his boyfriend Barry, with Alex playing all the parts: Barry, Streisand's officious caretaker Sharon, actor James Brolin, and Streisand herself. Alex, we learn, was fired from his job as the "Mayor of Toontown" in Disneyland after getting into a tempestuous altercation with an eight-year-old. ("There's a reason they call it Mouseschwitz," he mutters.) He is thrilled when his agent lands him his next gig, as the private curator of La Streisand's ersatz mall. When he arrives at Streisand's secluded Malibu estate in his decrepit Jetta, he is greeted by Sharon and shown to the basement. Seeing all the costumes, movie memorabilia, and collectibles, he effuses, "It was thrilling!...for a minute" and then begins to recognize the bizarre position he has been put in. After days of dusting and polishing, the bored and confused Alex is shocked when Streisand herself descends the staircase to the cellar (signaled by pink lighting and the sound of a tinkling bell). Alex soon realizes he was chosen to play a part in a weird role-playing game in which Streisand wishes to re-create her shopping experiences as the two bargain over the purchase of an antique doll named Fifi. Ale[...]

BWW Review: MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL at Fred Kavli Theatre

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 05:24:44 PST

"Motown" The Musical," which played at the Fred Kavli Theater last weekend, is Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr.'s answer to "Dreamgirls," which depicted a villainous Gordy-like character who dealt in payola and other illegal activities. In the musically rich "Motown," Gordy, who wrote the book, paints himself as a heroic figure who becomes embittered when all the acts he lovingly shepherded to stardom abandon him after other record companies offer them rich contracts. Work Light Productions, on behalf of Theater League, has put together a musical extravaganza that bursts at the seams with talent. The production boasts meticulously researched choreography, authentic costumes, a vivid and exciting production design, and a vibrant rock combo, making "Motown" a virtual nostalgia sitz bath for aging baby boomers. Unfortunately, the show's strong production values are overwhelmed by Berry's inane dialog, underdeveloped characters and annoyingly truncated songs, 58 in all, which are packed liked sardines into its score. Many are misplaced chronologically within the story's flashback time line, which begins and ends at the label's 25th anniversary concert in 1983, as Gordy wrestles with a decision whether or not to attend. For all of his success as the label's founder, Berry had neither the experience in storytelling nor the acumen to write believable dialogue. Scenes between Gordy and Motown queen Diana Ross are embarrassingly sophomoric and rife with cringe worthy clichés. Not unexpectedly, Berry fails to add details about what biographies have revealed to be his notorious megalomania and sketchy business methods, not to mention Ross's diva like ambition. Some songs are so excitingly staged that it's almost worth sitting through the clunky dialog to get to the next number, such as Trey McCoy (as Jr. Walker) sax-syncing Walker's 1965 hit "Shotgun," with animated silhouettes of go-go dancers projected on the screen behind him, and an incendiary version of the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," commenting on the social upheavals of the late 1960s. Despite the bloated song list, some key Motown hits remain absent, notably Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" and Ross's Supremes farewell, "Someday We'll Be Together." Also missing are the dueling versions of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and Marvin Gaye, which was yanked from the show. Knight, one of Motown's biggest stars, is conspicuously absent from the story altogether. To quote Gaye, "What's Going On?" Kenneth Mosely is mostly wasted as Gordy and it's too bad. He has an attractive singing voice and charismatic stage presence, but unfortunately had to suffer through most of his character's embarrassingly clumsy lines. As Ross, Trenyce is glorious, a more voluptuous version of the rail-thin star with a honeyed voice that is hard to distinguish from the real thing. Her best moment comes when she glides into the audience to snag a volunteer to join her in singing her 1970 hit "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)." Aside from Gordy and Ross, only two other characters are given more than desultory exposure. Justin Reynolds sings sweetly as Smokey Robinson, shown as Gordy's loyal right-hand man, and Matt Manuel is the troubled Gaye. Others, in[...]

Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 1/26 - HAMLET, CABARET, CHICAGO, and More!

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature HAMLET, CABARET, CHICAGO, and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Washington DC: Contributor Benjamin Tomchik reviews HAMLET starring Michael Urie. He writes "As the title character, Urie is thrilling to watch! Quick-witted and sly, when his Hamlet goes "mad" we are constantly left guessing about just how far he'll go. It's the type of performance that keeps you in as much suspense as the royal court in wondering 'what happened to the young prince?' Building on that is Urie's command of the script's inherit humor and Hamlet's constant state of turmoil over his father's fate. It is this inner doubt that fuels Urie as he drives this epic production." Birmingham: Contributor David Perry reviews CARMEN at Opera Birmingham. He writes "Taking full advantage of the intimate space, Director Candace Evans was able to effectively convey the location of a small French chateau with much character and charm. "Carmen "is a grand opera famous for a giant orchestra and vast elaborate sets. The stage obviously had limitations to be able to hold a 100 piece orchestra, but to be honest, the smaller yet spacious venue amplified the power of the vocalists. Their projection felt focused and magnified. The singer's performances became as if they were an audio massage to the ear and body. You literally felt them singing through your body. It was an enjoyable experience that was very memorable and impressive." New Orleans: Contributor Tara Bennett reviews BASKERVILLE: A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY at Theatre Baton Rouge. She writes "Most comedic interpretations of Holmes and Watson seem to be larger than life, or a little bit over the top. Not so with Grezaffi and Coats who serve as the straight-men roles for the three who portray everyone else, Kenneth Mayfield, Zac Thriffiley and Kacie Barnes. I recommend BASKERVILLE for anyone who appreciates pure theatricality because you will find it here in spades. While some accents are more effective than others, the three are hugely funny in their array of characterizations that you wouldn't realize it is the same three people playing different characters." Louisville: Contributor Taylor Clemens reviews CHICAGO at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. He writes "Croman as Roxie Hart is flawless. She effortlessly provides the ditz and dizziness of a wannabe vaudeville star, all while gliding beautifully across the stage performing Fosse's signature moves, arguably the hardest of all dance disciplines to master. Lana Gordon equally matches Croman by providing a sassier take on Velma Kelly. Her voice is wonderful, and she never misses a beat leading several complicated dance numbers. Jeff McCarthy's Billy is smooth and sly. He is in great voice, and takes advantage of his musical moments. Paul Vogot is a lot of fun as Roxie's dumb as a rock husband Amos. He brings high comedy whenever he's onstage, and has the audience in the palm of his hands as he croons "Mister Cellophane." Last but not least is the fabulous Jennifer Fouche as Mama Mor[...]

Mountaineer Hilaree O'Neill to Appear at The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 16:03:58 PST


Extreme mountain skier and climber Hilaree O'Neill recounts tough decisions she had to make as leader of an expedition to summit Hkakabo Razi in Burma. Friday, March 9 at 8:00 pm in the Fred Kavli Theatre.

In the fall of 2014, a five-person team from National Geographic set out on an ambitious trek to summit an obscure Burmese peak, Hkakabo Razi, and determine once and for all if it is Southeast Asia's highest point. What unfolded was a harrowing expedition that pushed the group to the brink mentally and physically and carved them down to nothing. Led by O'Neill, the team encountered one pitfall after another: interminable overland train rides, sketchy motorcycle trips in the rain, hellish jungle slogs, dwindling food supplies, logistical failures, howling winds, false summits, hypothermia, perilous gendarmes and - perhaps the most threatening of all - personality clashes that threatened to unravel the expedition. O'Neill will share stories from the expedition, accompanied by photographer Cory Richard's dramatic stills and clips from Renan Ozturk's searing documentary Down to Nothing.

O'Neill started skiing at age 3 at Steven's Pass in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state. She took a leap of faith shortly after graduating from Colorado College and moved to Chamonix, France. From there, the place for O'Neill was anywhere she could cut turns on mountain slopes: volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, in Mongolia, India, Lebanon, and first descents of the tight couloirs of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Her mountain adventures led Outside Magazine to name O'Neill one of the most adventurous women in the world of sports.

In 2012, surrounded by team members she would mentor, and alpinists who would mentor her, she climbed both Everest and its neighbor Lhotse making her the first woman to climb consecutive 8000m peaks in a single day.

Most recently, O'Neill attempted another Himalayan giant, Makalu which was named by Outside Magazine as one of the "Most Badass Adventures of 2015".

Single tickets are priced at $46 and $36 with group discounts available. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at, or through the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. For more information call 805-449-ARTS (2787) or visit


The Beach Boys Return to the Civic Arts Plaza

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 19:16:46 PST

Quintessential surf band The Beach Boys bring their best loved songs to the Fred Kavli Theatre on Saturday, March 3 at 7:30pm You can capsulize most pop music acts by reciting how many hits they've had and how many millions of albums they've sold. But these conventional measurements fall short when you're assessing the impact of The Beach Boys. To be sure, this band has birthed a torrent of hit singles and sold albums by the tens of millions. But its greater significance lies in the fact that it changed the musical landscape so profoundly that every pop act since has been in its debt. Happily for us all, The Beach Boys continue to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their explosive debut over 50 years ago. Captained by Mike Love, The Beach Boys play an astoundingly busy schedule of concerts, averaging 150 shows a year, ranging from sundrenched summer festivals to gala New Year's celebrations and special events worldwide. In 1974 Mike Love's concept album Endless Summer ignited a second generation of Beach Boys fans and stirred a tempest that rocked the music world. The angelic barbershop harmonies that define The Beach Boys remain intact and promise a special evening of entertainment that includes founding member Mike Love (lead vocals) and Beach Boy-vet Bruce Johnston (vocals/keyboards), as well as Jeffrey Foskett (guitar/vocals), Brian Eichenburger (bass/vocals), Tim Bonhomme (keyboards/vocals), John Cowsill of The Cowsills (percussion /vocals) and Scott Totten (guitar/vocals), who round out the band. Single tickets are priced at $131-$56 with group discounts available. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at, or through the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. For more information call 805-449-ARTS (2787) or visit [...]

BWW Interview: Brian Robert Harris of FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 21:58:20 PST

When Five Women Wearing the Same Dress makes its debut February 2 at the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse, last weekend's women's marches will still be fresh in the minds of members of the theater community. The staging of the 1993 play, which was written by playwright/director Alan Ball, comes at a timely moment in American history, with women asserting their rights for equal treatment under the law at home and in their places of employment. The recent #MeToo Movement has also put an exclamation point on the relevancy of the play. CSP's production is being directed by Brian Robert Harris, who has taken his position as a man as a challenge in directing the female-dominated cast. We spoke with Brian about this unique opportunity for him to use the play as a learning as well as teaching experience for actors and audience members alike. VCOS: What made you decide to direct this play? BRIAN: It's a play that I saw when I was in college. A teacher/director named Valerie Greer directed it and I was struck at the time by what a different world it presented to me as a man, the way that these women talked to each other, what they talked about, and their overwhelming concern about predatory men. I was about 25 or 26 when I first saw it and this was my first hint that there was a very dangerous world out there that I was not privy to, and in fact, may have been contributing to. VCOS: Are there certain parts of this play that summon forth current events with the #MeToo movement? BRIAN: Yes. But I don't want to go into too much detail because there are plot spoilers involved, but absolutely, it's infused with it. It's a real, honest, and in some ways, a brutally honest discussion of ways in which men manipulate and endanger women. VCOS: How long has this play been out? BRIAN: It actually came out in 1993. VCOS: Right at the start of Bill Clinton's presidency. BRIAN: Yes. And it's written by a man, Alan Ball, who wrote Six Feet Under, True Blood, Cybill, and some other things. Allison Janney starred in the original production Off-Broadway. It's powerful drama, but it's also a very, very funny piece. At the time, I thought that it provides all these great roles for female actresses, some of whom I knew personally, who I'd never seen do work like that before. So this play has always been in the back of my mind. Every couple of years I'd pitch it to one of the theaters in the area but no one seemed to have much interest in it. There's one theater in particular, which will go nameless, that didn't want to do it because they thought it had a lot of drug use in it and the characters weren't behaving like "ladies" - but it's real! They talk about sex and about drugs and about the ways they use to cope in the world they live in. That's astounding to me. So I wanted every man who saw it to have the same experience that I did when I first saw it, which was kind of eye-opening. For me, this was kind of an awakening. VCOS: Has the world changed much in the last 25 years or is it just becoming more exposed now? BRIAN: I think it's just getting exposed. I think it's always been there. Now, we're just getting to a place where women are done putting up with it. Maybe Trump's election had something to do with it, I don't know. They're done putting up with being second-class citizens. VCOS: The show that immediately comes[...]

Classic Rock Band, Firefall, Comes to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:00:20 PST


Rock band Firefall will take the stage Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 7:30pm for a rocking performance in the intimate Scherr Forum.

In an age where new bands come and go, Firefall has enjoyed a career that spans more than forty years and shows no sign of slowing down. Firefall's commercial success includes three Gold albums, two Platinum albums and eleven chart-topping singles. The band's biggest hit, "You Are the Woman" has been played on commercial radio more than 7,000,000 times and has also appeared in many movies and television shows.

From 1976 through the early 1980s, the Boulder, Colorado-based rock band saturated the national radio waves and toured the world over. They shared stages with chart leading bands of the day - Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, The Band, Lynard Skynard, Marshall Tucker Band, Chicago, The Beach Boys, Loggins & Messina, America, Bob Seger, Heart and many many others. The band dazzled audiences with their exuberant and rocking performances - this was no 'light rock' band.

Firefall is one of the few surviving bands of their genre, remaining true to its founding vision and roots despite personnel changes over its more than forty-year history. The band transcends and embraces many industry labels - rock, soft rock, country rock, easy listening, unplugged, Americana and contemporary country.

Currently touring with three original members (Jock Bartley, David Muse, Mark Andes), longtime drummer Sandy Ficca and talented newcomer Gary Jones, Firefall continues to make great music for a loyal following, adding new fans at each show.

Single tickets are priced at $54 with group discounts available. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online at, or through the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. For more information call 805-449-ARTS (2787) or visit


Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 1/19 - HAIRSPRAY, RAGTIME, WAITRESS, and More!

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:00:54 PST

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature Hairspray, Ragtime, Waitress, and More! Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below! Want more great global content? Check out our "Around The World" section! Seattle: Contributor Jay Irwin reviews TWO TRAINS RUNNING at Seattle Rep. He writes "Each member of this ensemble is simply a true professional at the top of their game. Lee delivers such a guarded yet raw performance that it doesn't even feel like a performance but like we're just there eaves dropping. Hall makes for a superb adversary for him yet keeps him real in his own right. Toney and Jackson bring some wonderful added life to the diner. Lewis is simply a force of nature and her chemistry with Byrd is palpable with the two of them giving one of the best and sweetest seduction scenes I've seen on stage. And Riley may not have many lines in the show but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot to say and he does." Milwaukee: Contributor Kelsey Lawler reviews ANIMAL FARM at Milwaukee Rep. She writes "Along with fine performances, the costumes are truly the jewel of Animal Farm. Costume Designer Izumi Inaba's creations buoy the imagination, as each sculpted animal head captures the look and essence of its character. Though there are multiple pigs and horses in the play, no two look alike. The fussy mare, Mollie, boasts soft curves and a coquettish expression. Boxer the workhorse appears sturdy and strong." Indianapolis: Contributor Melissa Hall reviews A RAISIN IN THE SUN at Indiana Repertory Theatre. She writes "Dorcas Sowunmi plays Ruth, the disenchanted wife of Walter Lee, and her exhaustion is palpable. Beneatha (Stori Ayers) is all sass and ideals, just like any college student. Walter Lee (Chiké Johnson) dreams big, but lives a life of frustration, beaten down by his circumstances and failed endeavors. Each actor embodies their role wonderfully, making the ensemble as a whole feel like a true family." New Jersey: Contributor Pati Buehler reviews Ritz Theatre's RAGTIME. She writes "The compelling score is thought provoking and exhilarating as they grab all the appropriate emotions forwarding the plot so well that you barely recover from one scene when your are thrust into another drama. Outstanding songs include the show stopping opening number "Ragtime", "Getting' Ready Rag", "Your Daddy's Son" sung beautifully by Sarah, "The Wheels of a Dream" by Sarah and Coalhouse, "Back to Before" powerfully sung by Mother as she realizes her life and the world can never go back to what is was again, and of course "Make Them Hear You" by the broken yet brave Coalhouse." Los Angeles: Contributor Michael Quintos reviews Laguna Playhouse's I AM MY OWN WIFE. He writes "Listening to Charlotte regale us with even the minutia of gramophone manufacturing proves to be an unexpected treat, because it is told from a place of pure love for something that brings her joy. But, also however, the journey that has led Charlotte to this moment when we meet her is so fantastical that it's not a surprise that we, along with Wright himself, are left wondering where truth ends and where hyperbol[...]