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Tag Archives | musical

Bandstand CD

New Records: Listening to ‘Bandstand’ and the Music of Alan Menken

This report on New Records includes three Alan Menken shows that recently received fresh recordings, plus a Broadway show from this year that unfortunately closed after a modest run. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Ghostlight Records) For years, I’ve wondered what the first Alan Menken-Howard Ashman show sounded like. In 1979, three years before their […]

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Adrianna Hicks and Company. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Review: ‘The Color Purple’ at the Forrest Theatre

It may take place in rural Georgia circa 1909, but because of today’s headlines about the mistreatment of women, The Color Purple is more relevant than ever. The tour of the recent Broadway hit (winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival) has arrived at the Forrest Theatre for a short run that ends this […]

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Gregory Isaac and Leigha Kato (front), Lee Cortopassi and Doug Hara (rear). Photo by Shawn May.

Review: ‘My Fair Lady’ at Quintessence Theatre

Quintessence Theatre has built a strong reputation as a home for classic drama. But now they’ve dived into the American Musical Theatre canon in a big way by staging one of the most popular and cherished musicals of all time. And fittingly, it’s My Fair Lady – a show with a storied classical heritage, as […]

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Review: ‘Finding Neverland’ at the Academy of Music

I went into Finding Neverland with high hopes. I had been enchanted by the 2004 film from which this musical has been adapted. The story, based on a play by Allan Knee, follows the (highly fictionalized) relationship between J. M. Barrie, the widowed Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, and Llewelyn Davies’ four sons, who inspire Barrie to create […]

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Sunny (as Sandy) and Tahlia Ellie. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Annie’ at the Walnut Street Theatre

The sun’ll come out tomorrow Bet your bottom dollar that Tomorrow there’ll be sun…. Those familiar lyrics seem fresher than ever in Walnut Street Theatre’s new production of Annie. With its book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, Annie is a musical full of optimism, hope and humor. Brimming […]

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Leonard C. Haas and Tim Rinehart. Photo by Chris Miller.

Review: ‘The Fantasticks’ at The Eagle Theatre

What’s not to like about The Fantasticks? It’s always been a modest, gentle show that goes down easy. The Eagle Theatre’s new production adds a few new wrinkles, putting its own stamp on this venerable musical without getting in the way of what’s made it work so well for over half a century. The original […]

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Ann Harada and Clyde Alves. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Review: ‘The New World’ at Bucks County Playhouse

A Thanksgiving musical? We can think of musicals that sometimes involve that observance, but an entire show about how the holiday evolved? Bucks County Playhouse’s The New World may be onto something here. The show runs through December 2, and Anna Louizos’ set design certainly evokes autumn in Massachusetts. One of the songs about that […]

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Alex Keiper and Michael Doherty. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘TouchTones’ at Arden Theatre Company

TouchTones is a new musical by playwright/lyricist Michael Hollinger and composer Robert Maggio. Directed by Emmanuelle Delpech, it delves into the romantic relationship between Christine and Justin, two young people who have vowed to abstain from sex until they are married. When Christine discovers that Justin has been spending his free time dialing up a phone […]

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The ensemble and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Review: ‘West Side Story’ staged by The Philadelphia Orchestra

West Side Story has never sounded as good as in last weekend’s performances by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. It even surpassed Leonard Bernstein’s own recording, which sounds sluggish in comparison. Never once did Yannick and the Philadelphians sound like a symphony orchestra performing a pops concert. Rather, the 42-year-old led a jazzy performance […]

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John Jarboe and Ensemble. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Cabaret’ at Arden Theatre Company

“Why do we continue to allow destructive powers to gain control?” – Matthew Decker, Director of Cabaret This is the question that runs through Arden Theatre Company’s production of the musical Cabaret. At first this sentiment only simmers under the playfully erotic dances and jokes, until the Act One finale, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.” Suddenly, […]

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Something Wicked This Way Comes, Delaware Theatre Company

Review: ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ at Delaware Theatre Company

What’s the most impressive technical production in the area? What’s just as astounding as Disney World or any show on Broadway? It’s Delaware Theatre Company’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, a world premiere musical. Chicago-based Director Rachel Rockwell has imported the Windy City’s finest to present a truly unprecedented theatrical achievement. The designers have embraced […]

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Beada Briglia. Photo by Greg Carroccio.

Review: ‘Carousel’ at The Media Theatre

Musical Heaven. Is there a better way to describe the production of Carousel at the Media Theatre? It would be hard to find a better-sung production than that given by the surpassingly youthful professional company assembled by director Jesse Cline. The evening allows us to savor again Richard Rodgers’ amazing ability to deliver compositions that are […]

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Elena Shaddow and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Review: ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Bucks County Playhouse

Guys and Dolls is a paragon of American musical theater. Considering its blend of interesting characters, clever story and glorious songs by Frank Loesser, it deserves more frequent revivals on Broadway and in regional theater. Based on a series of short stories by Damon Runyon, the book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling added a […]

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Zanna Don't at Theatre Horizon

Review: ‘Zanna Don’t (the Reboot)’ at Theatre Horizon

For the latest show in its 42nd and Main Concerts series, Theatre Horizon tackled Zanna, Don’t!, an offbeat musical that ran Off-Broadway in 2003 and has had productions all over the world since. That in itself would make the show a special event – but Theatre Horizon went one step further, by presenting the world premiere […]

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Amanda Morrell.

Review: ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’ at Steel River Playhouse

Memorial Day Weekend usually means a trip to the shore, but Steel River Playhouse brought the ocean to Pottstown, with its glorious rendition of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. True, the show takes plays underwater (something more easily achieved in the original animated film), but that couldn’t deter a triumphant director/design team. Artistic Director Leena Devlin’s […]

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Review: ‘Kaleidoscope’ at Creative Cauldron

Creative Cauldron presents Kaleidoscope, a “Bold New Works” ​World Premiere Musical with Music and Lyrics by Matt Conner and Book and Lyrics by Stephen Gregory Smith, who also co-direct the production. This piece studies the decline of a dementia patient through her lifetime revue as a Broadway star, and the result is poignant and real, […]

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Little Women art

Review: ‘Little Women: The Musical’ at Third Wall Productions

Mother’s Day afternoon was spent in a Baltimore church basement where we gathered for the musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale, Little Women. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, as Third Wall Productions (“TWP”) offers a delightful divertissement from those “Hallmark” family gatherings that have become so much a […]

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West Side Story at The Media Theatre.

Review: ‘West Side Story’ at The Media Theatre

Earlier this season, The Media Theatre presented Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet. Now they’re concluding their 2016-2017 season with a production of West Side Story, the musical that put a 20th Century spin on the Bard’s story and became a masterwork in its own right. Set in New York’s Upper West Side in the mid-1950s, West […]

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