Tag Archives: Jim Ballard
When entering a theater playing a musical you’ve enjoyed numerous times, it’s comforting to open the playbill to find the names of proven talents that reassure that you and the material are in good hands. Names, for instance, like Mike Westrich, Bruce Linser, Mallory Newbrough, Paul Reekie and Jim Ballard – some of the dependable hands delivering a solid entertaining edition of the delightful Little Shop of Horrors from MNM Productions.
Homicidal rage against a corrupt world spews into the audience in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ Sweeney Todd. But its singular spin is that the serial throat-slitting barber does not start as a vengeance-obsessed fiend. It it adds a dimension of, not forgiveness, but compassion to this cross between gleeful Grand Guignol and merciless condemnation of socio-economic inequity.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ team finds the special vibe of Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy set in an unforgiving climate of the heart in The Cripple of Inishmaan.
It almost should go without saying that the rock ’n’ roll blisters the paint off the walls of Actors’ Playhouse’s balcony theater in its thoroughly satisfying edition of Million Dollar Quartet.
When a company like GableStage takes risks so many others will not, there’s bound to be some triumphs, some failures, and mixed results as in A Minister’s Wife. The local artists give everything they have to pull off this intriguing chamber musical. It’s more the strange choice of a fascinating but flawed property that isn’t easy to love.
The strength of the acclaimed 2006 play Froist/Nixon is that no one is depicted in pure white hats or black hats. That facet is brought out in the Maltz’s production better than in any earlier edition thanks to a complex multi-faceted creation by actor John Jellison under the impeccable direction of J. Barry Lewis.
The Wick Theatre’s production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum benefits from Stephen Sondheims’s score and lyrics, but the cast and director need to inject more vaudevillian humor to overcome the material’s inherent sexism,
When done well, the astringent Les Liaisons Dangereuses is an increasingly horrifying descent into a morally bankrupt aristocratic society. Palm Beach Dramaworks’ solidly executed and lushly produced edition comes very close to achieving that level, but it falls just a shade short of communicating the venality of curdled souls.
Whenever Leslie Uggams lets loose that glorious voice, whenever the live band swings into one of Jerry Herman’s standards, the Wick Theatre’s production of Mame is an irresistible pleasure. But when the music stops, so does the show. The non-musical scenes – and some of the musical ones – just lie there on the stage limp and colorless.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ current staged concert of Frank Loesser’s 1956 musical The Most Happy Fella overflows with a purity of emotions common to even the most ordinary of us, proclaiming them one of the glories of existence to be welcomed, not shied away from.