Tag Archives: Michael Ursua
Bette & Barry: From Bathhouse to Broadway at Island City Stage is an imagining of if Midler and Manilow decided to do a concert together. In real pop history, they never have. This revue is strong in their greatest hits, separately and collectively, but there’s no narrative.
Tight choreography, outstanding leads, a solid supporting cast and a fluid band infuse Slow Burn Theatre’s trip to Memphis. The rousing production hits the ground running in the opening scene set in a black nightclub in Memphis’ Beale Street area and doesn’t slow down until the last “Na, na, na, na” of the ovation.
If you are a Boomer (and be warned, maybe only if you’re a Boomer or their progeny), Slow Burn Theatre Company’s hilarious spoof Disaster! will be in contention for one of the silliest, stupidest and downright funniest nights you have had in theater in recent years.
Island City Stage’s highly entertaining production of the musical Zanna, Don’t! will never be confused with a show by Stephen Sondheim, though there are numerous references to the famed composer. Amid the numerous pop culture references, , and well-timed humor, Zanna, Don’t! slyly, yet forcefully, maintains that everyone has a right to love whom they want.
One pleasure of a theater critic’s job are these year-end retrospectives that require looking back at reviews and be reminded, “Oh, yeah, that was really great. And right, there was that. And how could I forget that one?”
Be grateful that Slow Burn Theatre Company with its audacious affection for large scale challenging musicals has decided to mount The Secret Garden, that ode to rebirth, memorable for its lush unconventional score that resembles streams of music intertwining into an aural waterfall.
For a show that shattered a ceiling in 1983, La Cage aux Folles has become a warhorse in 2017. MNM Productions’ edition embraces the spangles, glitz and sheer Jerry Herman of it all. So if you haven’t seen it in a while, this is an entertaining reminder. What sets this apart is how it emphasizes the heart rather than the heat – and that’s a welcome emphasis for those who may have seen this classic once too often.
Some directors say if you cast a show well, you’re more than halfway home to a successful production. So while the acting is just barely adequate in Broward Stage Door’s The Most Happy Fella, have they ever casted the voices beautifully and that makes for some stirring satisfying moments well worth the ticket.
Sister Act is not a great musical, not even a good one, but the Wick Theatre’s resurrection is so engaging, so energetic, so much pure fun that it will convert you and make you glad you bought a ticket.
The Wick Theatre has nearly mastered the musical revue genre by hiring solid talent and adding in a few extra production values – all of it evident in this summer’s frothy paean to middle-class America’s music of the 1950s, the venerable Forever Plaid.