Although I adore Roald Dahl’s darkly satirical children’s book, “Matilda,” I am not a fan of Dennis Kelly’s musical adaptation. And yet there is much to love about the Beck Center for the Arts’ production of it.
Three things become abundantly clear while watching Mercury Theater Company’s production of “Chaplin,” the 2012 bio-musical about the creator of the Tramp and his epic rise and dramatic fall in silent film-era Hollywood.
In Noël Coward’s 1930 comedy of manners “Private Lives,” music plays a crucial role when the brilliant dialogue cannot carry all the emotional weight of the storytelling. So much so that one of the characters casually remarks: “Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.”
Shakespeare believed that all the world’s a stage, but only Edinburgh, Adelaide, Prague and a dozen or so other world cities offer international theater and fringe festivals. Add Cleveland to that list.
Earlier this year, there was an utterly charmless revival of “Man of La Mancha” in London’s West End that was set in modern day surroundings and featured in the title role an unpersuasive actor — Kelsey Grammer — who is famous for things other than musical theater.
Epic. That’s how the $10 million musical “Ragtime” was promoted and critiqued when it arrived on Broadway in 1998.
The sobbing you hear underscoring the production of “Dear Evan Hansen” – currently on tour and on stage at Playhouse Square after being recognized as the best musical on Broadway in 2017 – is coming from both sides of the proscenium. It is the sound of actors lost in their astoundingly hones…
“Nothing will come of nothing,” says Lear, the elderly king of England, when his favorite daughter refuses to dote on him the way her opportunistic, two-faced older sisters do. And so, upon the honorable but undemonstrative Cordelia’s disinheritance and exile, Lear’s great tragedy – triggere…
Imagine if Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s political satire “Threepenny Opera,” where the characters make life decisions based solely on the desire for material things, was about the Ohio real estate industry. Then picture this play-with-music living inside the grotesque world of a Hieronymu…
Critics whose beat is Broadway were not kind to “Aida,” the Giuseppe Verdi/Antonio Ghislanzoni 19th-century opera-turned-Elton John/Tim Rice pop musical, when the show opened in 2000.
“Little Miss Sunshine” – a wonderfully idiosyncratic 2006 Academy Award-winning indie film – has been turned into an ambitious but poorly conceived and poorly received musical by otherwise successful composer William Finn and writer James Lapine.
“Million Dollar Quartet,” which opened on Broadway in 2010, reenacts that storied Tuesday afternoon in 1956 when a young Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley happened to gather at the Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee for an impromptu jam session for the ages.
Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by playwright Karen Zacarias’ delightfully cathartic “Native Gardens” and Cleveland Play House’s superb staging of it.
Over the past few months, eligible high school musicals have been in competition for the fourth annual Playhouse Square Dazzle Awards, which honor the most talented high school performers and productions in Northeast Ohio.