Thursday, May 6, 2021

‘A Bronx Tale’ shines in Ft. Myers by Aaron Krause

By AARON KRAUSE When it comes to musicals, A Bronx Tale is not one of the great ones. Still, it’s a crowd-pleasing, familiar tale populated by characters we care about. Surely, you don…

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Superb cast makes ‘Nunsense’ a guilty pleasure by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON Look out! The Little Sisters of Hoboken are back, but you need not reach for your rosary beads or prepare to make an act of contrition. All you need do is head over to Riverto…

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Hemingway film captures the man, the myth by Alan Smason

By JACK LYONS Ernest Hemingway, the American novelist and author, became a giant of American 20th century literature.  His style was new in the early 1920s.  It was fresh and it was larg…

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

ICS’s ‘The Niceties’ neatly captures the zeitgeist by Aaron Krause

By AARON KRAUSE “What are you doing to promote equality?” a black college student demands of her white professor in Eleanor Burgess’s taut, intense, timely drama The Niceties. The pro…

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

John Cullum celebrated in ‘An Accidental Star’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“) John Cullum, the two-time Tony Award winning leading Broadway actor, might have been content to rest on his well-deserved laurel…

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Actor shines as poet in ‘The Belle of Amherst’ by Aaron Krause

By AARON KRAUSE If you search Emily Dickinson on Google, one of the photos you’ll find is that of an austere-looking woman dressed in black. The famous poet from Amherst, Massachusetts (18…

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Streaming stars of yesteryear seen in filmed reading of ‘Middletown’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON No. It’s not a latter-day Our Town. Nor is it Love Letters for couples. It is, however, somewhere in between. Streaming sales for a filmed stage reading of Dan Clancy’s Mi…

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Maulik Pancholy dials into hilarious characters in ‘Fully Committed’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON When playwright Becky Mode wrote her first piece Fully Committed, she wrote well of what she knew. She had worked for many years as a worker in fine New York eateries taking r…

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Updated, virtual ‘God of Vengeance’ colored through modern lens by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“) The story of God of Vengeance (Got fun Nekome), the three-act drama in Yiddish by Sholem Asch, was famously recounted in 2017 wi…

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

New Normal Rep scores a hit with ‘Jericho’ by Aaron Krause

By AARON KRAUSE A problem with online theater, especially a taped production, is that performers cannot take bows. In addition, the actors cannot bask in bravos, cheers, and sustained applau…

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Friday, March 12, 2021

Bad Dates: A dazzling array of shoes, clothes, men, police and the Romanian mafia by Alan Smason

By EDWARD RUBIN For great fun, and a breathless romp through one woman’s topsy-turvy life, Bad Dates, George Street Playhouses’ filmed version of Theresa Rebeck’s 2003 zany one-woman p…

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Monday, March 8, 2021

Beck Center streams concert of Broadway alums by Alan Smason

By ROY BERKO Beck Center often coordinates with Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre program to produce some of the Cleveland area’s best musical theatre.  Not only does the stage often sparkle…

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Andréa Burns Dons Shoes and Discards ‘Bad Dates’ Delightfully by Alan Smason

Andréa Burns sizzles and sparkles as Haley, a single parent trying to raise a teenage daughter, run a barely legitimate restaurant that only takes cash and still find time to search for lov…

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Saturday, March 6, 2021

JPAS finishing its run of ‘Arsenic & Old Lace’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out”) For three and a half years, Joseph Kesselring was the toast of Broadway with his dark comedy Arsenic & Old Lace. The play, w…

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

American Evangelicals support for Israel showcased in ”Til Kingdom Come’ by Alan Smason

By JACK LYONS How does one cover 2000 years of religious history of the Jewish people and Gentiles in the Common Era (C.E.)?   Perhaps, a good start would be seeing life through the lenses…

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Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Melancholy Soul of ‘Tchaikovsky’: A Cinematic Journey by Alan Smason

By EDWARD RUBIN The first name that comes to mind whenever the name Hershey Felder comes into play is that of actor Sacha Baron Cohen. Not only do both men physically resemble each other, ar…

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Friday, January 29, 2021

Kenyatta’s star rises in Robeson tribute: ‘The World Is My Home’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON, Special to For the past two decades, Stogie Kenyatta has researched, performed and perfected his one-man show The World Is My Home – The Life of Paul R…

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Monday, January 4, 2021

‘Casablanca’: How and why it became an iconic Hollywood movie by Alan Smason

By JACK LYONS, Special to (Desert Local News) – When the movie “Casablanca” merged the powerful elements of love, war, and destiny in 1942, the film and its produc…

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Thursday, December 31, 2020

New ‘Estella Scrooge’ is Dickensian love letter by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“) It might be easy to dismiss Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist as another in a continuing procession of holiday far…

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Williamstown Festival’s ‘Animals’ much more than Black-White affair by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“) The third entry in the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s season using the Aubible platform was released in late December. This w…

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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Thirty-year Broadway star Rebecca Luker dies at 59 by Aaron Krause

Rebecca Luker, a much-praised Broadway actress and singer who earned three Tony Award nominations during her 30-year career, died on Wednesday, Dec. 23 in a Manhattan hospital. She was 59. L…

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Saturday, December 26, 2020

Rebecca Luker, angelic soprano, departs for heavenly stage by Alan Smason

Rebecca Luker, a three-time Tony Award nominated actress, whose crystal-clear soprano voice and stunning presence established her as a star in some of Broadway’s more noted musicals of the…

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Audra McDonald is heard, but not seen in Williamstown’s ‘Streetcar’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON Ever since the words “novel coronavirus” began to make the news circuits and theaters began what was hoped to be a relatively short downtime, the ingenuity of resourceful …

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Jessica Sherr proves ‘Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies’ by Alan Smason

By EDWARD RUBIN Of all the celebs channeled by drag queens and female impersonators, Bette Davis, like flies to honey, has always been at the top of every performers list. Her mannerisms, he…

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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Taurel reaches emotional peak in ‘The American Soldier’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“) Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions limiting crowd sizes at public gatherings, local theatre companies have found themselve…

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Nominations announced for 74th annual Tony Awards by Aaron Krause

By AARON KRAUSE While we still do not know when the 2020 virtual Tony Awards broadcast will take place, we at least now know the nominees. The Tony Awards’ presenters, The Broadway League …

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Friday, October 2, 2020

UNO unpacks ‘Single Black Female’ by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON With the current COVID-19 pandemic creating new and interesting virtual meeting places, university campuses have been marked by responsiveness and ingenuity. Last spring’s v…

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

In the age of COVID, ‘The Humans’ is particularly timely by Aaron Krause

By AARON KRAUSE Certainly, six years ago, “This too shall pass” carried the same meaning as it does today. But oh, how we yearn to believe a speaker of those words in this age of COVID…

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Tony Awards Committee determines eligibility of shows by Alan Smason

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met on August 27, 2020 to confirm the eligibility status of three Broadway productions for the 2020 Tony Awards®. This was the final time the Tony A…

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

‘Gifts’ focuses on the power of story during dark moments by Aaron Krause

By AARON KRAUSE What are some “gifts” that you’ve brought to dark, anxiety-inducing times, places, or situations? Perhaps you smiled brightly while visiting a lonely, scared person for…

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Friday, July 10, 2020

‘Hamilton’ on Disney Plus is sure cure to lose pandemic blues by Alan Smason

By ALAN SMASON As the seconds ticked by to display a 2:00 a.m. CDT time on the computer, it was easy for me to imagine the sounds of a million click booms on TV remotes across the nation. Th…

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All that Chat

Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre