‘Tina’ triumphs in national touring production

Photo courtesy of Broadway Across America Naomi Rodgers slays as Tina Turner in an equity national touring production traversing the U.S.   By AARON KRAUSE Tina Turner reportedly said that she summoned her “Inner Lion” to make it through various challenges. Certainly, the renowned performer’s fierce inner strength, fire, and...

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‘Misery’ mesmerizes at Empire Stage

  Photo by Joseph Long Annie Wilkes (Elizabeth Price) tends to Paul Sheldon (David R. Gordon) in Empire Stage’s triumphant production of Misery.   By AARON KRAUSE The riveting stage adaptation of Stephen King’s 1987 suspenseful novel, Misery, grabs you in a vice-like grip and never lets go. Undoubtedly, you...

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Controversial ‘Bent’ is a cautionary play for our times

Controversial ‘Bent’ is a cautionary play for our times

  Warning: This play contains brief nudity, disturbing images, and subject matter. Photo by Preston Bircher Max (Matthew Salas) tries to get a point across to Rudy (Ben Shaevitz) in a co-production of the historical play, “Bent.”   By AARON KRAUSE If Martin Sherman’s moving and disturbing, at times implausible...

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Actors’ Playhouse handles Hank Williams bio-musical with care

Actors’ Playhouse handles Hank Williams bio-musical with care

Photo by Alberto Romeu Hank Williams (Andy Christopher, center) happily plays and sings. Flanking him are Chaz Rose (left) as Tee-Tot and Lindsey Corey as Audrey Williams.   By AARON KRAUSE For much of the run of Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre’s spirited and believable production of the stirring,...

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Touring production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ offers a relatable titular character

Touring production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ offers a relatable titular character

  Photo by Matthew Murphy, Evan Zimmerman, MurphyMade Jesus Christ (Aaron LaVigne) stands out in this dance number from the 50th anniversary national touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar.    By AARON KRAUSE Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s glorious music is front and center in the moving and intense,...

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This time, we are in the room when ‘The Belle of Amherst’ happens

This time, we are in the room when ‘The Belle of Amherst’ happens

Emily Dickinson (Margery Lowe) embraces life in William Luce’s one-performer play, The Belle of Amherst   By AARON KRAUSE While looking at them through wide, radiant brown eyes, Emily Dickinson extends the black cake to her guests. This time, no screen separates the famed poetess from her visitors. Would they...

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‘Water by the Spoonful’ is richly symbolic, moving

‘Water by the Spoonful’ is richly symbolic, moving

Photo by Ryan Arnst The title ‘Water by the Spoonful’ is symbolic in the play. In the above photo, Arlette del Toro, as Haikumom, appears in a scene from the play.    By AARON KRAUSE If you are trying to escape from a stressful past or painful situation, taking small,...

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‘Cats’ still wins us over

‘Cats’ still wins us over

Photo by Matthew Murphy The Jellicle Cats appear close together, suggesting a tight-knit group.   By AARON KRAUSE They cartwheel, crawl, kick, shake, sing, slide, spin, somersault, speak, jump, kneel, tap dance, talk, walk, and leap – right into our hearts. Even after more than four decades, these felines still...

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Island City Stage demonstrates boldness by producing ‘Suddenly Last Summer’

Island City Stage demonstrates boldness by producing ‘Suddenly Last Summer’

Photo by Matthew Tippins An overwhelmed Catharine (Jeanine Gangloff Levy) rests her head against Dr. Cukrowicz’s chest (Jonathan Furedy) during a scene from Island City’s Stage’s production of Suddenly Last Summer.   By AARON KRAUSE A grieving mother fights to keep her late son’s reputation blemish-free. Family members argue over...

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‘Ben Butler’ is not your average play about war

‘Ben Butler’ is not your average play about war

Photo by Amy Pasquantonio Major Cary (Jim Gibbons) argues with Major General Benjamin Butler (Troy J. Stanley) in Boca Stage’s production of Ben Butler.   By AARON KRAUSE You normally would not expect to laugh uproariously while watching a play about the Civil War, set during that time period. But...

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