Showing posts with label Times Tributes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Times Tributes. Show all posts

Sunday, December 22, 2013

TIMES THEATER TRIBUTES--2013

Greater Cleveland is blessed with a vital theatre scene. It is the purpose of the TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES to recognize theatrical experiences that, in the view of this reviewer, were excellent and deserve recognition.

Only shows performed in 2013 which I reviewed were considered.  With the exception of Best National Touring Production, selections were limited to locally produced stagings though actors, directors and technicians who were imported by local theatres for their productions were considered.  No community or educational theatre recognitions are included.  Actors are separated by gender, but not equity or lack of union affiliation, or leading or supporting roles.  Names are listed in alphabetical order, not in rank order.
   
2013 BEST NON-MUSICAL PRODUCTIONS

COCK, Dobama
FREUD’S LAST SESSION, Actors’ Summit
GOOD PEOPLE, CPH
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, GLT
ON THE LINE, none too fragile
RICHARD III, Great Lakes Theater
THE ICEMAN COMETH, Ensemble Theatre
THERE IS HAPINESS THAT MORNING IS, CPT
TIME STANDS STILL, Dobama
TWELVE ANGRY MEN, Blank Canvas
VENUS IN FUR, Cleveland Play House
WHITE PEOPLE, none too fragile

2013 BEST MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTIONS

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Porthouse
NEXT TO NORMAL, Lakeland Civic Theatre
SPAMALOT, Beck Center
SWEENEY TODD, Great Lakes Theater

2013 BEST DIRECTOR OF A NON-MUSICAL

Beth Wood, THERE IS HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS, CPT
Corey Atkins, COCK, Dobama
Joel Hammer, THE BIG MEAL, Dobama
Laura Keply. GOOD PEOPLE, Cleveland Play House
Laura Keply, VENUS IN FUR
Nathan Motta, TIME STANDS STILL, Dobama
Patrick Ciamacco, TWELVE ANGRY MEN, Blank Canvas
Sean Derry, ON THE LINE, none too fragile
Sean Derry, WHITE PEOPLE, none too fragile
Sharon Ott, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Great Lakes Theater

2013 BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Eric van Baars, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Porthouse
Martin Friedman, NEXT TO NORMAL, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Scott Spence, SPAMALOT, Beck Center
Victoria Bussert, SWEENEY TODD, Great Lakes Theater

2013 BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A THEATRE PRODUCTION

John Crawford, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Porthouse
MaryAnn Black, SOUTH PACIFIC, Porthouse
Martin Céspedes, ANNIE, Beck Center
Martin Céspedes, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Great Lakes Theater
Martin Céspedes, SPAMALOT, Beck Center

2013 BEST PERFORMANCES BY A MALE IN A NON-MUSICAL
Andrew Gombas, COCK, Dobama
Brian Zoldessy, FREUD’S LAST SESSION, Actors’ Summit
Chris Richards, SONS OF THE PROPHET, Dobama
Jonathan Wilhelm, SORDID LIVES, convergence continuum
Lynn Robert Berg, RICHARD III, Great Lakes Theater
Matthew Wright, THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS, Cleveland Public Theatre
Robert, Branch, ON THE LINE, none too fragile

2013 BEST PERFORMANCES BY A FEMALE IN A NON-MUSICAL

Christine Howey, LIKE A DOBERMAN ON A QUARTER POUNDER, Cleveland Public Theatre
Derdriu Ring, THERE IS HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS, Cleveland Public Theatre
Dee Hoty, RICH GIRL, Cleveland Play House
Heather Anderson Boll, TIME STANDS STILL, Dobama
Kate Hodge, GOOD PEOPLE, Cleveland Play House
Liz Conway, SORDID LIVES, convergence continuum
Tracee Patterson, MEDEA, Mamaí
Vanessa Wasche, VENUS IN FUR, Cleveland Play House

2013 BEST PERFORMANCES BY A MALE IN A MUSICAL

Chris Cowan, SWEENEY TODD, Great Lakes
Chris McCarrell, NEXT TO NORMAL, Beck Center/BW
Dougfred Miller, SPAMALOT, Beck Center
George Roth, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Porthouse
Gilgamesh Taggert, ANNIE, Beck Center
Hershey Felder,  MAESTRO:  LEONARD BERNSTEIN, Cleveland Play House

2013 BEST PERFORMANCES BY A FEMALE IN A MUSICAL

Aimee Collier, NEXT TO NORMAL, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Aimee Collier, SHE LOVES ME, Beck Center
Anna  Barrett, ANNIE, Beck Center
Miche Braden, THE DEVIL’S MUSIC, Cleveland Play House
Rebecca Pitcher, SHE LOVES ME, Beck Center
Sara M. Brunner, SWEENEY TODD, Great Lakes Theater

2013 BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A NON-MUSICAL OR MUSICAL

Linda Buchanan, RICHARD III, Great Lakes Theater
Patrick Ciamacco, Andy Dudik and Noah Hibek, WORKING, Blank Canvas
Russ Borski, HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, Beck Center
Todd Krispinsky, THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNINGS IS, Cleveland Public Theatre
Trad Burns, NEXT TO NORMAL, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Wilson Chin, RICH GIRL, Cleveland Play House

2013 BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION

Jennifer Korecki, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Porthouse
Joe Korecki, THE DEVIL’S MUSIC, Cleveland Play House
Larry Goodpaster, SHE LOVES ME, Beck
Nancy Maier, NEXT TO NORMAL, Beck/Baldwin Wallace

2013 BEST SOUND DESIGN IN A NON-MUSICAL OR MUSICAL

Dana Duke, Big Twig Studio, Brian Caiazza, Brett Keyser, video/sound/photography, STRUCK, CPT
Shane Cutlip, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Porthouse

2013 BEST COSTUME DESIGN IN A NON-MUSICAL OR MUSICAL

Charlotte Yetman, SWEENEY TODD, Great Lakes Theater
David Kay Mickelson, BELL, BOOK and CANDLE, Cleveland Play House
Esther Haberlen, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Great Lakes Theater

2013 BEST LIGHTING DESIGN IN A NON-MUSICAL OR MUSICAL

Marcus Dana, COCK, Dobama
Trad Burns, NEXT TO NORMAL, Lakeland Civic Theatre

2013 BEST NATIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION

Matthew Bourne’s SLEEPING BEAUTY

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Trad Burns for continued excellence in scenic and lighting design

Cleveland Critics Circle for creation and support for Clevelandtheaterreviews.com

Roe Green for continued financial and participatory contributions to the Cleveland area theatrical scene (Cleveland Play House, Kent State University, Cleveland Critics Circle)

Sean Derry/none too fragile, continued excellence in selection of small format, thought provoking, well staged scripts

Miles Sternfeld and Sean Szaller for THE WHO’S TOMMY, Broadway Fights AIDS fundraiser

If any names are spelled incorrectly or there are errors in identifications please let me know so I can change the permanent record on www.royberko.info.

If you would like to read any of my reviews for the year, please go to www.royberko.info, enter the blog and click on “2013 Reviews” or click on the name of the producing theatre and scroll through their performances. Reviews from previous years may also be accessed.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Festival’s FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will entertain many, but . . .


When Joseph Stein, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock joined forces to write FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, now recognized as one of the greatest of American musicals, they did so in order to create an homage to their heritage.  A heritage which included hundreds of years of Jews in eastern Europe, whose life style and lives had been destroyed by pogroms (uprisings), forced evacuations, and ultimately by the “final solution,” the Holocaust. 

This was a life spent in the shtetels (villages) where they developed a culture of traditions, traditions which included the way they prayed, ate, dressed, did business, got married, and interacted not only with each other, but those non-Jews who controlled the politics of the regions.  They spoke Yiddish, a language that not only held words which carried their traditions, but had a spoken cadence that was identifiable. There was music (the haunting cantorial sound and Klemzer melodic beats), as well as literature, and artistic styles.

These traditions are the guts of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, for, as Tevya, the central character indicates, without these traditions these people had no guidelings for how to live their lives.

The musical is set in the tiny village of Anatevka, in Tsarist Russia, in 1905.  It is loosely based on TEVYE AND HIS DAUGHTERS, written by the Yiddish writer and humorist, Sholom Aleichem (which in Hebrew means “peace be with you).  The action centers on a poor milkman with five daughters and his attempts to maintain his religious and societal customs, while internal attitude changes and outside influences exert their control over his people.  His faith is challenged when his three older daughters break from the accustomed patterns and the Tsar evicts all the Jews from his village.

The story is carried through not only words, but significant and meaningful music and lyrics.  The score includes such classics as “Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Now I Have Everything,” “Do You Love Me,” and “Far From the Home I Love.”

FIDDLER is a story of people, who, over many centuries, have fought to create an existence held together by their religion and way of life.  Therefore, any production of FIDDLER has to be steeped in the sounds and practices of those specific customs.  Unfortunately, the Stratford production, under the direction of Donna Feore, only hints of that.  It misses out on developing the cadence of the language, the beauty of some of the traditions, and even the pronunciation of the spoken Hebrew. 

Feore explains these choices in her program comments, “A Story That Speaks to Us All.”  Yes, as she states, Fiddler is about generalized human values, but, most importantly, as conceived by the writers, it is about a micro-Jewish society, not a universal society.  As such, there must be fidelity to the customs of that specific society.  If the director and the cast don’t understand those rituals, the foundation of the musical is lost. 

Feore goes on to say that, “FIDDLER’S vocabulary of movement must be consistent with the culture.”  She did that well in the dance numbers, but missed in the real vocabulary, the spoken vocabulary and the vocabulary of customs.

On the positive side, the three older daughters, as portrayed by Jennifer Stewart, Jacquelyn French and Kelly Hutton sing well and develop clear and believable characterizations.  André Morin and Mike Nadajewski, both of whom have nice singing voices, are excellent as Motel and Perchik.

The choreography, the orchestration and the set, complete with visual reference to famous Jewish painter, Marc Chagall’s symbolic flying figures, is excellent.

Scott Wentworth, though he feigns the movements and the sounds, doesn’t succeed in creating a real Tevya.  He doesn’t seem to have the life experiences, nor has he been properly directed, to develop the needed vocal cadence, Tevye’s hand and body movements which are based on keeping time with the cantorial music, nor the bend at the knees and twisting movement commonly done while praying.  In addition, at times, rather than displaying the underlying wonder of the character, who even when pontificating is a well intentioned man, resorts to angry shouting.   This is not Sholem Alcheim’s Tevya.

Barbara Fulton, an understudy for Golda, misses the qualities that underlie the woman’s loving nagging, the very essence of the “Yiddisha” momma.  She has none of the required sound cadence. 

Gabrielle Jones’s misguided attempts at a “Jewish accent,” is more mocking than real.  Why is Paul Nolan (Fyedka), the only Russian with a heavy accent? 

One must wonder why the usually emotionally laden “Sabbath Prayer,” besides being expressively flat, did not portray the community coming together illustrating the traditional religious belief present in all of the village.  Why are traditional Jews entering and leaving places of habitation without kissing the doorframe mezuzah?  Why are the married women not wearing shaytles (wigs)? Why is the beloved rabbi being played like a fool, to garner laughs, rather than a delightful character.  The questions could go on and on.

Capsule judgement:  Those who are unfamiliar with real Eastern European Yiddish/Jewish traditions, will find Stratford’s FIDDLER ON THE ROOF to be an acceptable, maybe even a delightful experience.  Those who know the customs should be outraged by Feore’s tradition-light approach with her attempt to make the woes of Anatevka and the annihilation of Eastern Europe Jewry, into a universal story.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF runs through October 20, 2013 at the Stratford Festival.  For information and tickets call or go to: For individual tickets call 800-567-1600 or go on-line to http://www.stratfordfestival.ca

Friday, December 21, 2012


TIMES THEATER TRIBUTES--2012

Greater Cleveland is blessed with a vital theatre scene. It is the purpose of the TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES to recognize theatrical experiences that, in the view of this reviewer, were excellent and deserve recognition.

Only shows performed in 2012 which I reviewed were considered.  Selections were limited to locally produced stagings, so none of the professional touring shows are recognized, though actors, directors and technicians who were imported by local theatres were considered.  Actors are not separated by gender, equity or lack of union affiliation, or leading or supporting roles.
           
2012 BEST DRAMATIC PRODUCTIONS
4000 MILES, Dobama (Director:  Joel Hammer)
OF MICE AND MEN, Blank Canvas  (Director:  Patrick Ciamacco)
PROOF, Lakeland Civic Theatre Civic Theatre (Director:  Martin Friedman)
THE NORMAL HEART, Ensemble Theatre (Director:  Sarah May)
THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN, Beck Center for the Arts Center (Director: Eric             Schmiedl)
THE WHIPPING MAN, Cleveland Play House (Director: Giovanna Sardelli)

2012 BEST MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTIONS
BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Beck Center for the Arts (Director:  Scott Spence)
MY MOTHER’S LESBIAN JEWISH WICCAN WEDDING, Actor’s Summit (Director:  Neil Thackaberry)
SPRING AWAKENING, Beck Center for the Arts/Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater Program (Director: Victoria Bussert)

2012 BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION
Gregory Daniels, SPRING AWAKENING, Beck Center for the Arts/Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater Program
Martin Céspedes, ANNIE, Beck Center for the Arts
Martin Céspedes, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Beck Center for the Arts

2012 BEST PERFORMANCES IN A THEATRE PRODUCTION
Brian Zoldessy, THE NORMAL HEART, Ensemble Theatre
Dorothy Silver, 4000 MILES, Dobama
Dorothy Silver, THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN, Beck Center for the Arts
Elizabeth Conway, PROOF, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Patrick Ciamacco, OF MICE AND MEN, Blank Canvas
Russell G. Jones, THE WHIPPING MAN, Cleveland Play House

2012 BEST PERFORMANCES IN A MUSICAL PRODUCTION
Beachman, Kelvette, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, Mercury SummerStock
Coleen Longshaw, THE COLOR PURPLE, Karamu
Dan Folino, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Beck Center for the Arts
Jesse Markowitz, AVENUE Q, Cain Park
Lindsey Mitchell, MY MOTHER’S LESBIAN JEWISH WICCAN WEDDING, Actor’s Summit
Zach Adkins, SPRING AWAKENING, Beck Center for the Arts/Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater Program

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Eric Coble for his creation of three plays that were produced in the Greater Cleveland area, THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN, GIRL’S GUIDE TO COFFEE and A CAROL FOR CLEVELAND

Michael Bloom and the Board of the Cleveland Play House for the foresight to move the theater company into Allen Theatre complex on Playhouse Square 

Patrick Ciamacco, the heart and sole of Blank Canvas, the area’s newest professional theatre

Reuben Silver, for a career of outstanding work as producer, director, educator, and actor

Roe Green for her sponsorship of the Cleveland Critics Circle             clevelandtheaterreviews.com blog site

The Members of the Cleveland Critics Circle for the creation of             clevelandtheaterreviews.com, a reader friendly site for composite reviews of local critics

In addition, recognition to the following for making the 2012 theatre scene in the Cleveland area stimulating and memorable:

PLAYS/MUSICALS
A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, Dobama (Director:  Nathan Motta)
AVENUE Q, Cain Park (Director:  Russ Borski)
GOD OF CARNAGE, Dobama (Joel Hammer)
IN ARABIA WE’D ALL BE KINGS, Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting             Program (Director:  Ron Wilson)
LEGALLY BLONDE, Beck Center for the Arts (Director:  Scott Spence)
NEXT FALL, Blank Canvas (Director:  Pat Ciamacco)
THE MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT, Dobama (Director:  Dianne Boduszek)
THE WORLD GOES ROUND, Porthouse (Director:  Shawn Morrissey)

PERFORMERS
Anderberg, Therese, IN ARABIA WE’D ALL BE KINGS, Case/Cleveland Play             House MFA Acting Program
Ari, Bob, RED, Cleveland Play House
Barnett, Dyrell, THE COLOR PURPLE, Karamu
Barrett, Anna, ANNIE, Beck Center for the Arts
Beachman, Kelvette, ALL SHOOK UP, Mercury Summer Stock
Belser, Andrea, THE BLUEST EYE, KARAMU
Bistok-Bunce, Amy, DEVIL BOYS FROM BEYOND, convergence continuum
Black, MaryAnn, DAMN YANKEES, Porthouse
Boukis, John Paul, AVENUE Q, Cain Park
Bush, Kimberly, LEGALLY BLOND, Beck Center for the Arts
Carrier, Donald, TEN CHIMNEYS, Cleveland Play House
Chervony, Margo, A GIRL’S GUIDE TO COFFEE, Actors’ Summit
Ciamacco, Patrick, HELLCAB, Blank Canvas
Cikra, Alex, AUGUST:  OSAGE COUNTY, Weathervane
Day, Brandyn Leo Lynn, THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED, Beck Center for the Arts
DeBoir, Katherine, ANYONE CAN WHISTLE, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Deike, Andrew, A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, Dobama
Elder, Maryann, STANDING ON CEREMONY:  THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAY, Cleveland Public Theatre
Elersich, Aaron, PROOF, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Espisito, Scott, THE NORMAL HEART, Ensemble Theatre
Fagan, Shawn, THE WHIPPING MAN, Cleveland Play House
Fields, Mitchell, PROOF, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Folino, Dan, ANYONE CAN WHISTLE, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Glavan, Michael, DAMN YANKEES, Porthouse
Glover, Jeff, NEXT FALL, Blank Canvas
Glymph, Avery, THE WHIPPING MAN, Cleveland Play House
Griffin, Zach, MY MOTHER’S LESBIAN JEWISH WICCAN WEDDING, Actor’s             Summit
Hancock, Todd, AVENUE Q, Cain Park
Harrison, Randy, RED, Cleveland Play House
Hart, Dana, ANTEBELLUM, Cleveland Public Theatre
Hart, Dana, STANDING ON CEREMONY:  THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAY, Cleveland Public Theatre
Hartley, Mariette, TEN CHIMNEYS, Cleveland Play House
Hinckley, Christa, IN ARABIA WE’D ALL BE KINGS, Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program
Hobbs, Lauryn Alexandria, ALL SHOOK UP, Mercury Summer Stock
Hoffman, Laurel, PROOF, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Kartali, Charles, A CAROL FOR CHRISTMAS, Cleveland Play House
Kendall, Jeremy, THE MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT, Dobama
Kenderes, Joe, OF MICE AND MEN, Blank Canvas
Kennedy, Kyra, SPRING AWAKENING, Beck Center for the Arts/Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater Program
Kinsey, Sarah, THE MISANTHROPE, Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting             Program
LaShawn, Mikhaela, THE COLOR PURPLE, Karamu
Lockshine, Elliot, A CAROL FOR CHRISTMAS, Cleveland Play House
Markowitz, Jesse, ALL SHOOK UP, Mercury Summer Stock
Marshall, Brian, ALL SHOOK UP, Mercury Summer Stock
Marshall, William Clarence, LOWER NINTH, Ensemble Theatre
McEvoy, Anne, NEXT FALL, Blank Canvas
O’Byrne, David, THE MOUSETRAP, Great Lakes Theatre
O’Shea, Matt, 4000 MILES, Dobama
Patterson, Tracee, GOD OF CARNAGE, Dobama
Penca, James, SPRING AWAKENING, Beck Center for the Arts/Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater Program
Reilly, Caitlin Elizabeth, LEGALLY BLONDE, Beck Center for the Arts
Ring, Derdriu, GOD OF CARNAGE, Dobama
Ring, Derdriu, THE NORMAL HEART, Ensemble Theatre
Ruttle, Kelli, THE WINTER’S TALE, Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting             Program
Sniadak-Yamoloski, Dawn, MY MOTHER’S LESBIAN JEWISH WICCAN             WEDDING, Actor’s Summit
Spencer, Stephen, A CAROL FOR CHRISTMAS, Cleveland Play House
Spencer, Stephen, IN ARABIA WE’D ALL BE KINGS, Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program
Spencer, Stephen, THE MISANTHROPE, Case/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program
Sturgis, Nisi, IN THE NEXT ROOM, Cleveland Play House
Sweeney, Nicholas, ANTEBELLUM, Cleveland Public Theatre
Taggett, Gilgamesh, ANNIE, Beck Center for the Arts
van Baars, Eric, DAMN YANKEES, Porthouse
Woodward, Tom, A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, Dobama
Woodward, Tom, MIDDLETOWN, Dobama

TECHNICIANS
Boeman, Melanie, costumes, ANTEBELLUM, Cleveland Public Theatre
Bruns, Tradd, set design, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Beck Center for the Arts
Burns, Tad, ANNIE, Beck Center for the Arts
Burns, Trad, scenic and light design, XANADU, Beck Center for the Arts
Burns, Trad, set and light design, ANYONE CAN WHISTLE, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Carlson, Laura, set design, 4000 MILES, Dobama
Carlson, Laura, set design, MIDDLETOWN, Dobama
Conley, Janet, scenic art work, ALL SHOOK UP, Mercury Summer Stock
Dana, Marcus, light design, A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, Dobama
Ferrell, Alan  Scott, scenic design, AUGUST:  OSAGE COUNTY, Weathervane
Herrmann, Jeff, set and light design, SPRING AWAKENING, Beck Center for the             Arts/Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater Program
Krispinsky, Todd, set design, THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN, Beck Center for the Arts
Merckx, Ken, fight design, ROMEO AND JULIET, Beck Center for the Arts
Mickelson, David Kay, costume design, IN THE NEXT ROOM, Cleveland Play House
Nagy, Keith, scenic design, PROOF, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Needhmam, Ben, set design, LEGALLY BLONDE, Beck Center for the Arts
Pieritz, Terry and Russ Borski, with Larry Nehring, puppets for AVENUE Q, Cain Park
Raiford, Michael, set design, IN THE NEXT ROOM, Cleveland Play House
Scribner, Tiffany, set design, IN ARABIA WE’D ALL BE KINGS, Case/Cleveland             Play House MFA Acting Program
Swonger, James, seound design, THE WHIPPING MAN, Cleveland Play House

MUSICAL DIRECTORS
Buck, J. T., MY MOTHER’S LESBIAN JEWISH WICCAN WEDDING, Actor’s             Summit
Garrett, Ryan Fielding, SPRING AWAKENING, Beck Center for the Arts/Baldwin Wallace Musical Theater Program
Goodpaster, Larry and Yurich, Dennis, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, Beck Center for the Arts
Goodpaster, Larry, ANNIE, Beck Center For The Arts
Goodpaster, Larry, ANYONE CAN WHISTLE, Lakeland Civic Theatre
Goodpaster, Larry, LEGALLY BLONDE, Beck Center for the Arts
Goodpaster, Larry, XANADU, Beck Center for the Arts
Long, Kevin, THE WORLD GOES ROUND, Porthouse
Robinson, David, AVENUE Q, Cain Park
Swoboda, Jonathan, DAMN YANKEES, Porthouse

CHOREOGRAPHERS
Céspedes, Martin, LEGALLY BLONDE, Beck Center for the Arts
Céspedes, Martin, XANADU, Beck Center for the Arts
Crawford, John, DAMN YANKEES, Porthouse
Morrissey, Shaw, THE WORLD GOES ROUND, Porthouse

If any names are spelled incorrectly or there are errors in identifications please let me know so I can change the permanent record on www.royberko.info.

If you would like to read any of my reviews for the year, please go to www.royberko.info, enter the blog and click on “2012 Reviews” or click on the name of the producing theatre and scroll through their performances. Reviews from previous years may also be accessed.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Times Theatre Tributes--2011


TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES--2011

Greater Cleveland is blessed with a vital theatre scene. It is the purpose of the TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES to recognize theatrical experiences that, in the mind of this reviewer, were excellent and deserve recognition.

Only shows performed in 2011 which I reviewed were considered. Selections were limited to locally produced stagings, so none of the professional touring shows are recognized, though actors, directors and technicians who were imported by local theatres were considered. Actors are not separated by gender, equity or lack of union affiliation, or leading or supporting roles.

2011 BEST DRAMATIC PRODUCTIONS:
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (CPH)
INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
RACE (Beck)
THE LIFE OF GALILEO (CPH)

2011 BEST MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTIONS:
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (FPAC)
CHICAGO (Porthouse)

2011 BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION:
Céspedes, Martin , JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Beck)

2011 BEST PERFORMANCES IN A THEATRICAL PRODUCTION:
Mitchell, Lizan, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (CPH)
Kendall, Jeremy, A STEADY RAIN (Dobama)
Caraballo, Daniel, HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
Hart, Dana, ST. NICHOLAS (Ensemble)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION:
Roe Green for her major contribution and underwriting of the Fusion Festival at the Cleveland Play House.

The staff, Board of Directors and management of the Cleveland Play House for their farsighted move to Playhousesquare.

Gina Vernaci, in working with New York’s Dodger Productions, to bring the developmental project, THE FAT CAMP to the Hanna Theatre.

Cleveland Play House, PlayhouseSquare Center, Cleveland State University for the re-creation of the Allen Theatre.

Jeremy Paul, Theatre Ninjas, for continued creativity in development of new and creative theatrical presentations.

Celeste Cosentino for giving new life to Ensemble Theatre.

Thanks to the following for making the 2011 theatre scene in the Cleveland area stimulating and memorable:

PLAY/MUSICAL
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (FPAC)
A STEADY RAIN (Dobama)
CHICAGO (Porthouse)
COMPANY (Fairmount PAC)
DARWINII (CPT)
DADDY LONG LEGS (CPH)
HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Beck)
MY NAME IS ASHER LEV (CPH)
PASSING STRANGE (BW/PHSQ)
RACE (Beck)
RENT (BW)
THE LIFE OF GALILEO (CPH)
THE MIRACLE AT NAPLES (congruence-continuum)
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (CPH)
TRYING (Cesear’s Forum)
WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG (Actors’ Summit)

DIRECTOR
Bobgan, Raymond, INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
Bussert, Victoria, PASSING STRANGE (BW/PHSQ)
Bussert, Victoria, RENT (BW)
Caird, John, DADDY LONG LEGS (CPH)
Cesear, Greg, TRYING (Cesear’s Forum)
Céspedes, Martin and Spence Scott, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR
DREAMCOAT (Beck)
Cosentino, Celeste, HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
Douglas, Timothy, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (CPH)
Edwards, Michael Donald, THE LIFE OF GALILEO (CPH)
Hammer, Joel, A STEADY RAIN (Dobama)
Hoffman, Geoffrey, MIRACLE AT NAPLES (congruence-continuum)
Kent, Terri, CHICAGO (Porthouse)
Kepley, Laura, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV (CPH)
May, Sarah, RACE (Beck)
Paul, Jeremy, MY BARKING DOG (Cleveland Public Theatre)
Paul, Jeremy, THE EXCAVATION (Theatre Ninjas)
Sternfeld, Fred, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (FPAC)
Sternfeld, Fred, COMPANY (Fairmount PAC)
Thackaberry, Neil, WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG (Actors’ Summit)

PERFORMER
Anderson Boll, Heather, MY BARKING DOG (Cleveland Public Theatre)
Arnold, Curt, VALPARAISO (convergence-continuum)
Bergeron, Ryan, JERRY SPRINGER THE OPERA (Beck)
Bestic, Tricia, TRYING (Cesear’s Forum)
Black, Maryann, CHICAGO (Porthouse)
Brault, Pierre-Jacques, DR. DOOLITTLE (Mercury Summerstock)
Bredeson-Smith, Lucy, VALPARAISO (convergence-continuum)
Bruner, Sara, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (GLT)
Caraballo, Daniel, HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
Carthens, Kyle, HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
Cataan, Ursula, COMPANY (FPAC)
Cleveland, Adrianna, DREAMGIRLS (Cain Park)
Colerider, Glenn, TRYING (Cesear’s Forum)
Culver, Tim, CHICAGO (Porthouse)
Domingue, Nina, YA MAMA! (CPT)
Eckstrom, Brittany, HAIRSPRAY (Beck)
Emeka, Justin, RACE (Beck)
Emerick, Sandra, CHICAGO (Porthouse)
Esposito, Scott, ASSASSINS (Lakeland)
Farrell, Diana, JERRY SPRINGER THE OPERA (Beck)
Floyd, Aric Generette, THE LIFE OF GALILEO (CPH)
Gehlert, Rachel, TIGERS BE STILL (Dobama)
Gorell, Andrew, PRESENT LAUGHTER (CWRU/CPH AC)
Grandillo, Sean, big, THE MUSICAL (FPAC)
Hammer, Joel, THE SEAFARER (Dobama)
Hancock, Robert Adelman, DADDY LONG LEGS (CPH)
Hart, Dana, ST. NICHOLAS (Ensemble)
Holsinger, Holly, INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
Hudak, Zac, FIVE BIRDS (convergence continuum)
Hudak, Zac, THE MIRACLE AT NAPLES (convergence continuum)
Kelly, Kevin Joseph, HAIRSPRAY (Beck)
Kendall, Jeremy, A STEADY RAIN (Dobama)
Keyster, Brett, DARWINII (CPT)
Kline-Messner, Paula, BECKY’S NEW CAR (Actors’ Summit)
Koesters, Nick, MY BARKING DOG (Cleveland Public Theatre)
Lawrence, Rod, PASSING STRANGE (BW/PHSQ)
Leach, Andrea, RENT (BW)
Learned, Brint, ASSASSINS (Lakeland)
Lee, Heather, BACKWARD IN HIGH HEELS (CPH)
Little, Kristi, HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
Mackay, Donald Sage, SOMETHINGS AFOOT (CPH)
McEvoy, Anne, INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
McGinnis, Meg, DADDY LONG LEGS (CPH)
Mitchell, Lian, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (CPH)
Morgan-Moyer, Cerris, LEGACY OF LIGHT (CPH)
Nehring, Larry, THE SEAFARER (Dobama)
Patterson, Tracee A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (FPAC)
Patterson, Tracee, COMPANY (Fairmount PAC)
Pedlow, Amelia, LEGACY OF LIGHT (CPH)
Perrotta, Laura, CABARET (GLT)
Plate, Scott, A STEADY RAIN (Dobama)
Ratell, Dylan, CHICAGO (Porthouse)
Scerbak, Erin , GRIZZLY MAMA (Dobama)
Sage, Donald Mackay, THE GAMES AFOOT (CPH)
Scott, Aungelique, RACE (Beck)
Seibert, Chris, INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
Simon, Clyde, THE BOYS IN THE BAND (convergence continuum)
Stump, Tina, HAIRSPRAY (Beck)
Taylor, Myra Lucertia, THE LIFE OF GALILEO (CPH)
Thompson, Matthew Ryan, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
(Beck)
van Baars, Eric, HELLO DOLLY (Porthouse)
Violand, Greg, THE UNDERPANTS (Beck)
White, Jon, RENT (BW)
Whitworth, Paul, THE LIFE OF GALILEO (CPH)
Woodson, John, CABARET (GLT)
Woodward, Tom, RACE (Beck)

Composite cast
A STEADY RAIN (Dobama)
DADDY LONG LEGS (CPH)
HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
MONSTER PLAY (Theatre Ninjas)
MY BARKING DOG (CPT)
MY NAME IS ASHER LEV (CPH)
THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES (Beck)
THE MIRACLE AT NAPLES (convergence continuum)
THE GAME’S AFOOT (CPH)
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (CPH)
WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG (Actor’s Summit)

TECHNICIANS
Borski, Russ, costume design, DREAMGIRLS (Cain Park)
Burns, Trad, lighting design, JERRY SPRINGER, THE OPERA (Beck)
Burns, Trad, lighting design, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
(Beck)
Burns, Trad, set design, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (FPAC)
Conway, Daniel, scenic design, THE GAMES AFOOT (CPH)
Gantose, Benjamin, light design, MONSTER PLAY (Theatre Ninjas)
Gould, Richard, set design, RACE (Beck)
Horvitz, Joan, set design, INSOMNIA THE WAKING OF HERSELVES (CPT)
Ingraham, Richard, MY BARKING DOG (Cleveland Public Theatre)
Metheny, Russell, set design, TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (GLTF)
Mitchell, Joseph, set design, HUCK AND HOLDEN (Ensemble)
Needham, Ben, scenic design, THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES (Beck)
Richards, Matthew, light design, LEGACY OF LIGHT (CPH)
Studley, Christopher, lighting design, THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (CPH)
Tucker, Craig, costume design, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (FPAC)

MUSICAL DIRECTION
Anderson, Michael, WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG (Actors’ Summit)
Garret, Ryan Fielding, PASSING STRANGE (BW/PHSQ)
Goodpaster, Larry, THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES (Beck)
Krol, John, ASSASSINS (Lakeland)
Swoboda, Jonathan, CHICAGO (Porthouse)
Swoboda, Jonathan, COMPANY (Fairmount PAC)
Swoboda, Jonathan, HELLO DOLLY! (Porthouse)
Webb, Matthew, TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (GLTF)
Williams, David, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (FPAC)

CHOREOGRAPHY
Black, Maryann, CHICAGO (Porthouse)
Céspedes, Martin, HAIRSPRAY (Beck)
Céspedes, Martin, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Beck)
Crawford, John, HELLO DOLLY! (Porthouse)
Daniel, Gregory, RENT (BW)
Daniels Greg, DREAMGIRLS (Cain Park)
Reilly, Caitlin Elizabeth, THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES (Beck)
Robertson, Pandora, THE LIFE OF GALILEO (CPH)
Weinberg-Katz, Bebe, COMPANY (FPAC)

If any names are spelled incorrectly or there are errors in identifications please let me know so I can change the permanent record on my blog.

If you would like to read any of my reviews for the year, please go to www.royberko.info, enter the blog and click on “2011 Reviews” or click on the name of the producing theatre and scroll through their performances. Reviews from previous years may also be accessed.

NOTE: THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE A CERTIFICATE ATTESTING TO THEIR RECOGNITION SHOULD E-MAIL ME @ royberko@yahoo.com. PLEASE INCLUDE THE ADDRESS TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE(S) SHOULD BE MAILED!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Times Theatre Tributes--2009


TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES--2009

Greater Cleveland is blessed with a vital theatre scene. It is the purpose of the TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES to recognize theatrical experiences that, in the mind of this reviewer, were excellent and deserve special recognition.

Only shows performed in 2009 which I reviewed were considered. Selections were limited to locally produced stagings, so none of the professional touring shows are recognized, though actors, directors and technicians who were imported by local theatres were considered. Actors are not separated by gender or leading or supporting roles.

If there are any spelling errors on the list please let me know so I can change the permanent record on my blog.

If you would like to read any of my reviews for the year, please go to www.royberko.info, enter the blog and click on “2009 Reviews” or click on the name of the producing theatre and scroll through their performances. Reviews from previous years may also be accessed.

NOTE: THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE A CERTIFICATE OF THEIR RECOGNITION SHOULD E-MAIL ROY BERKO ( royberko@yahoo.com). PLEASE INCLUDE THE ADDRESS TO WHICH THE CERTIFICATE(S) SHOULD BE MAILED!

2009 BEST OF THE BEST DRAMAS:
BLACKBIRD (Dobama)
CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
no CHILD (Cleveland Public Theatre)
YELLOWMAN (Karamu)

2009 BEST OF THE BEST MUSICALS:
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Playhouse Square)
PIPPIN (Cain Park)

2009 BEST OF THE BEST PERFORMANCES:
Dominguez, Nina, no CHILD (CPT)
Folino, Dan, SWEENEY TODD (Lakeland)
Hammer, Joel, BLACKBIRD (Dobama)
Koesters, Nick, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (Porthouse)
Little, Kristi, YELLOWMAN (Karamu)
Mach, Corey, PIPPIN (Cain Park)
Nottage, Mary Jane Nottage, WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM (CPT)
Primous, Kyle, YELLOWMAN (Karamu)

Also, thanks to the following for making the 2009 theatre scene in the Cleveland area stimulating and memorable:

PLAY
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (Porthouse)
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (CPH)
BLACKBIRD (Dobama)
CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (CPH)
DREAM/HOME (Dobama)
EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Beck)
FOR BETTER (Actors’ Summit)
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Playhouse Square)
INHERIT THE WIND (CPH)
MAHALIA ( CPH)
no CHILD (Cleveland Public Theatre)
OPTIMUM PRIME FOR PRESIDENT (Fourth Wall)
PANGS OF THE MESSIAH (JCC)
PIPPIN (Cain Park)
RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (CSU-Summer Stages)
WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM (CPT)
YELLOWMAN (Karamu)

DIRECTOR
Bussert, Victoria, A LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Playhouse Square)
Bussert, Victoria, PIPPIN (Cain Park)
DeLorenzo, Bart, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (CPH)
Gordon, Seth, INHERIT THE WIND (CPH)
Kent, Terri, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (Porthouse)
Maudlin, Michael, RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (CSU-Summer Stages)
Messina, Jenna, OPTIMUM FOR PRESIDENT (Fourth Wall)
Ortenzi, Lisa, no CHILD (Cleveland Public Theatre)
Paul, Jeremy, CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
Plate, Scott, BLACKBIRD (Dobama)
Robbins, Sonya, DREAM/HOME (Dobama)
Spence, Scott, EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Beck)
Sternfeld, Fred, YELLOWMAN (Karamu)
Thackaberry, A. Neil, FOR BETTER (Actors’ Summit)
Thomas, Rohn, ODD COUPLE, Porthouse
Verciglio, Joe, H.R. (Dobama)
Woods, Beth, WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM (CPT)

PERFORMER
Bredeson-Smith, Lucy, CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
Bredeson-Smith, Lucy, BIG LOVE (convergence-continuum)
Bruno, J. R., [title of show], (BW/PLAYHOUSE SQUARE)
Busser, John, THE GOOD DOCTOR (Ensemble)
Cataan, Ursula, THE SHADOW BOX (CSU-Summer Stages)
Chanenka, Lydia, THE SHADOW BOX (CSU-Summer Stages)
Cranendonk, Terence, CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
Crouch, Kevin, THE SEAGULL (GLTF)
Cummins, Jackie, THE ALICE SEED (CPT)
Dixon, Ed, INHERIT THE WIND (CPH)
Domingue, Nina, no CHILD (CPT)
Farley, Keythe, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (CPH)
Felder, Hershey, BEETHOVEN, AS I KNEW HIM (CPH)
Folino, Dan, EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Beck)
Folino, Dan, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY ITCH (Hi Fi Concert Club)
Folino, Dan, SWEENEY TODD (Lakeland)
Foust, Joe, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (CPH)
Garrigan, Alison, SWEENEY TODD (Lakeland)
Germany, Carly, TEN MORE MINUTES FROM CLEVELAND (Dobama)
Halling, Michael, HEAVEN’S MY DESTINATION (CPH)
Hammer, Joel, BLACKBIRD (Dobama)
Harper, Ciara, THE WILD PARTY (BW)
Hawkes, Robert WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM (CPT)
Jaeck, Scott, INHERIT THE WIND (CPH)
Kennedy, Mimi, THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS (CPH)
Koester, Nick, BLASTED (B&C)
Koesters, Nick, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (Porthouse)
Koesters, Nick, TEN MORE MINUTES FROM CLEVELAND (Dobama)
Kozlenko, Val, CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
Little, Kristi, YELLOWMAN (Karamu)
Mach, Corey, I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Playhouse Square)
Mach, Corey, PIPPIN (Cain Park)
May, Andrew, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (GLTF)
May, Andrew, TWELFTH NIGHT (GLTF)
May, Michael, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (Beck)
May, Michael, MILITANT LANGUAGE (B&C)
Myor, Jennifer, ME AND MY GIRL (Mercury)
Nagel, Maryann, GREY GARDENS (Beck)
Nottage, Mary Jane, WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM (CPT)
Patterson, Tracee, RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (CSU-Summer Stages)
Prentice, Christian, OUROBOROS (convergence-continuum)
Primous, Kyle, YELLOWMAN (Karamu)
Rosenfeld, Ethan, PANGS OF THE MESSIAH (JCC)
Roth, George, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Beck Center)
Schwartz, Layla, CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
Seman, Larry, FOR BETTER (Actors’ Summit)
Sills, Brian, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (CPH)
Smith Kelly, PETER PAN (Beck)
Smith, David Anthony, TWELFTH NIGHT (GLTF)
Soto, John Paul, RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (CSU-Summer Stages)
Stewart, Paul Anthony, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (CPH)
Thomas, Scott, MILITANT LANGUAGE (B&C)
Van Baars, Eric, 14 (Kent State University Theatre)
Van Baars, Eric, ODD COUPLE (Porthouse)
Violand, Greg, THE SHADOW BOX (CSU-Summer Stages)
Weldon, Alyssa, BLACKBIRD (Dobama)
White, Tom AUTOBAHN (CWRU MFA ACTING PROGRAM)
Williams, Leigh AUTOBAHN (CWRU MFA ACTING PROGRAM)
Williams, Natasha Yvette, MAHLIA (CPH)
Zoldessy, Brian, CLEVELAND HEIGHTS (JCC/CCC)
Zoldessy, Brian, THE ODD COUPLE (Fairmount)

Composite cast
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (CPH)
BLACKBIRD (Dobama)
CRAVE (Theatre Ninjas)
DREAM/HOME (Dobama)
FOR BETTER (Actors’ Summit)
HEAVEN’S MY DESTINATION (Cleveland Play House)
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Playhouse Square)
LADY (Bang and Clatter)
ODD COUPLE (Porthouse)
OPTIMUM FOR PRESIDENT (Fourth Wall)
RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (CSU-Summer Stages)
THE RECEPTIMNIST & HR (Dobama)

TECHNICIANS
Borski, Russ, set and costume design, GREY GARDENS (BECK)
Borski, Russ, set design, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Beck Center)
Burch, Ted, THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS (CPH)
Burns, Trad, scenic and lighting design, THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION (Beck)
Couture, Francois-Pierre, BEETHOVEN, A I KNEW HIM (CPH)
Davis, Jeff, lighting design, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (CPH)
Davis, Jill, set design, ALL’S WELL THAT END’S WELL, CWRU MFA Acting Company
Folino, Dan and PJ Toomey, special effects, EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Beck)
Gould, Richard, set design, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (BECK)
Herrmann, Jeff, set design, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (GLTF)
Herrmann, Jeff, set design, THE WILD PARTY (BW)
Hu, Tiffany, costume design, CINDERELLA, Mercury Summerstock
Karpinski, Todd, set design, DREAM/HOME (Dobama)
Kata, Takeshi, set design, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (CPH)
Kondilas, Tom, video designer, BIG LOVE, convergence-continuum
McBride, Don, set design, EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Beck)
Metheny, Russell, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, (GLTF)
Michalak, Amber, painting of the set, PANGS OF THE MESSIAH (JCC)
Middleton, Rayna, costume design, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (Porthouse)
Needhanm, Ben, scenic design, PETER PAN (Beck)
Roech, Michael, scenic design, THE RECEPTIONIST & H.R. (Dobama)
Savage, Lee, set design, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (CPH)
Smith, Jim, set design, BIG LOVE, convergence-continuum
Sparano, Jenniver, costume design, EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Beck)
Tarantowski, Laura Carlson, set design, PANGS OF THE MESSIAH (JCC)
VanCurtis, Jeffrey, costume design, ALL’S WELL THAT END’S WELL, CWRU MFA Acting Company
Williams,, Gage, set design, TWELFTH NIGHT (GLTF)
Yetman, Charlotte, costume design, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROO (GLTF)
Yetman, Charlotte, costumes, THE WILD PARTY (BW)

MUSICAL DIRECTION
Carney, Eddie, GOODSPELL (Mercury Summer Stock)
Carney, Eddie, ME AND MY GIRL (Mercury Summer Stock)
Garrett, Ryan, musical accompaniment, [title of show] (BW, PLAYHOUSE SQ)
Goodpaster, Larry, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Beck Center)
Goodpaster, Larry, PETER PAN (Beck)
Krol, John, RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (CSU-Summer Stages)
Maier, Nancy, PIPPIN (Cain Park)
Taylor, Brian, THE WILD PARTY (BW)
Webb, Matthew, I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Playhouse Square)
Yurich, Dennis, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Hi Fi Concert Club)

CHOREOGRAPHY
Brault, Pierre-Jacques, CINDERELLA (Mercury Summer Stock)
Brault, Pierre-Jacques, GODSPELL (Mercury Summer Stock)
Céspedes, Martin PETER PAN (Beck)
Céspedes, Martin, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (GLTF)
Céspedes, Martin, EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Beck)
Céspedes, Martin, I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (Playhouse Square)
Céspedes, Martin, PIPPIN (Cain Park)
Céspedes, Martin, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (GLTF)
Céspedes, Martin, THE WILD PARTY (BW)
Deering, Lynn, RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET (CSU-Summer Stages)
Van Baars, Eric, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (Porthouse)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Michael Bloom, Fusion Fest, CPH
Jewish Community Center for their good intentions in commissioning a play that would commemorate the Cleveland Jewish Community
Eric Coble for his authorship of ‘H.R.’ and ‘FOR BETTER’
Margi Herwald Zitelli for her authorship of ‘OPTIMUS PRIME FOR PRESIDENT’
Sarah Morton for her authorship of ‘DREAM/HOME’
Mercury Summerstock for the initiation of “My First Musical Program,” a program which makes available performances to children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend live theatre.
Roe Green, for her financial backing of the JCC Arts program, as well as her contributions to the Kent State University Theatre and Dance programs
John Cameron for his authorship of ‘14’

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Times Theatre Tributes--2008


TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES--2008

Greater Cleveland is blessed with a vital theatre scene. It is the purpose of the TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES to recognize theatrical experiences that, in the mind of this reviewer, were excellent and deserve special recognition.

Only shows performed in 2008 which I reviewed were considered. Selections were limited to locally produced stagings, so none of the professional touring shows are recognized, though actors, directors and technicians who were imported by local theatres were considered. Actors are not separated by gender or leading or supporting roles.

If you would like to read any of my reviews for the year, please go to www.royberko.info, enter the blog and click on “2008 Reviews” or click on the name of the producing theatre and scroll through their performances. Reviews from previous years may also be accessed.

Please excuse any errors in name spelling. If there is a mistake please let me know (royberko@yahoo.com) and I will correct it in the blog announcement and your certificate.

Certificates will be mailed to the sponsoring theatre by the end of January with a request to forward to the individual recognized recipients.

Thanks to the following for making the 2008 theatre scene in the Cleveland area stimulating and memorable:

PRODUCTIONS
ALICE (Porthouse)
ANYTHING GOES (Porthouse)
BROOKLYN BOY (JCC/CCC)
BROOKLYN, THE MUSICAL (BW/PHS)
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE (Karamu/Dobama)
COLDER THAN HERE (Dobama)
DOUBT: A PARABLE (CPH)
GOLDA’S BALCONY (Actors’ Summit)
GOLDSTAR, OHIO (CPT)
HAROLD AND MAUDE (Cain Park)
I HAVE BEFORE ME A REMARKABLE DOCUMENT GIVEN TO ME BY A
YOUNG LADY FROM RWANDA (Dobama)
IN THE CONTINUUM (CPT)
INTO THE WOODS (GLTF)
MACBETH (GLTF)
ORANGE FLOWER WATER (Bang and Clatter)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (CPH)
PROOF (ACTORS’ SUMMIT)
RAISIN IN THE SUN (CPH)
TALKING HEADS 2 (BECK)
THE CARPETBAGGER’S CHILDREN (Ensemble)
THE CRUCIBLE (GLTF)
THE HISTORY BOYS (Beck)
TWO ROOMS (Charenton/CPT)
URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL (Beck)

DIRECTORS
Amster, Peter PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (CPH)
Barr, Drew, THE CRUCIBLE (GLTF)
Bellamy, Lou, RAINSIN IN THE SUN (CPH)
Bobgan, Raymond, THE OTHER SIDE (CPT)
Bussert, Victoria, BOOKLYN, THE MUSICAL (BW/PHS)
Bussert, Victoria, INTO THE WOODS (GLTF)
Bussert, Victoria, HAROLD AND MAUDE (CAIN PARK)
Colombi, Lucia, THE CARPETBAGGER’S CHILDREN (Ensemble)
Earnest, Matthew, ALICE (Porthouse)
Fee, Charles, MACBETH (GLTF)
Gordon, Seth, DOUBT, A PARABLE (CPH)
Hammer, Joel, COLDER THAN HERE (Dobama)
Kent, Terri, ANYTHING GOES (Porthouse)
Loewy, Jacqui, TWO ROOMS (Charenton/CPT)
May, Sarah, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE (Karamu/Dobama)
May, Sarah, THE HISTORY BOYS (Beck)
McConaha, Sean, ORANGE FLOWER WATER (Bang and Clatter)
Paris, Andy, GOLDSTAR, OHIO (CPT)
Sias, Tony, IN THE CONTINUUM (CPT)
Silver, Reuben & Thackaberry, Neil, GOLDA’S BALCONY (Actors’ Summit)
Spence, Scott, URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL (BECK CENTER)
Turney, Wayne, PROOF (Actors’ Summit)
Zoldessy, Brain, BROOKLYN BOY (JCC/CCC)
Zoldessy, Brian, I HAVE BEFORE ME A REMARKABLE DOCUMENT GIVEN
TO ME BY A YOUNG LADY FROM RWANDA (Dobama)

PERFORMERS
Andres, Barbara (Doubt, A Parable)—CPH
Besler, Andrea (I Have Before Me…Rwanda)—Dobama
Black, MaryAnn (Anything Goes)—Porthouse
Boll, Heather Lea Anderson (Colder Than Here)—Dobama
Budin, Noah (Brooklyn Boy)—JCC/CCC
Clarke, Gerald (The Wiz)—Cain Park
Cope, Jessica L. (Into the Woods)—GLTF
Cross, Chaon (Pride and Prejudice)—CPH
Culler, Kathleen (Main-Travelled Roads)—Actors’ Summit
Davies, Aled (All’s Well That Ends Well)—GLTF
Davies, Aled (The Crucible)—GLFT
DiBlasi, Stephen (Brooklyn, the Musical)—BW/PHS
Dooley, Sheffia, Randall (Caroline, or Change)—Karamu/Dobama
Dorn, Franchelle Stewart (Raisin in the Sun)—CPH
Elliott, Kelly (Boom)—CPT
Emerick, Sandra (Anything Goes)—Porthouse
Felder, Hershey (George Gershwin Alone)—Cleveland Play House
Flaherty, Christian (Caroline, or Change)—Karamu/Dobama
Folino, Dan (The History Boys)—Beck
Ford, Tom (Into the Woods)—GLTF
Frederic, Michael (Doubt, A Parable)—CPH
Grover, Jeffrey (TWO ROOMS—Charenton/CPT
Gulick, Lissy (Carpetbagger’s Children)—Ensemble
Hart, Dana (The History Boys)—Beck
Hawkes, Robert (Talking Heads 2)—Beck
Joyce, Daniel Damon (Glass Menagarie)—CPH
Kahl, Betsy (Urinetown: the Musical)—Beck Center
Kartali, Charles (The Christmas Story)--CPH
Kartali, Charles, (Brooklyn Boy)—JCC/CCC
Kimberly Brown (In the Continuum)—CPT
Klika, Jen (ORANGE FLOWER WATER—Bang and Clatter
Kusak, Doug (This Is How It Goes)—Bang and Clatter
LaVonn, Erika (Raising in the Sun)—CPH
Lewellen, Hester (Carpetbagger’s Children)—Ensemble
Mach, Corey (Harold and Maude)—Cain Park
Matthew Wright (Urinetown: the Musical)—Beck Center
May, Andrew (The Crucible)—GLTF
McElhaney, Daniel (ORANGE FLOWER WATER—Bang and Clatter
McEvoy, Anne (Between Life and Death)—CPT
McEvoy, Anne (Colder Than Here)—Dobama
Miller, Scott (I Have Before Me…Rwanda)—Dobama
Morton, Sarah (TWO ROOMS—Charenton/CPT
Nagel, Maryann (Harold and Maude)—Cain Park
Nottage, Mary Jane (Carpetbagger’s Children)—Ensemble
Patterson, Tracee ((The Breakup Notebook: The Lesbian Musical)—Beck Center
Petty, Malika (Brooklyn, the Musical)—BW/PHS
Petty, Malika (The Wiz)—Cain Park
Pote, Emily (Alice)—Porthouse
Riddle, John (Altar Boyz)—Beck Center
Roth, George (The Fantastics)—Ensemble
Silver, Dorothy (Golda’s Balcony)—Actors’ Summit
Silver, Dorothy (Talking Heads 2)—Beck
Snow, Charene (Doubt, A Parable)—CPH
Stefanko, Joey (The Christmas Story)—CPH
Thackaberry, Constance (Proof)—Actors’ Summit
Thomas, Matthew Martin (The History Boys)—Beck
VanBaars, Eric (The Breakup Notebook: The Lesbian Musical)—Beck Center
Violand, Greg (Urinetown: the Musical)—Beck Center
Wells, Ker, (Living Tall)—Cleveland Public Theatre
Wright, Mathew (My Favorite Year)—Beck Center
Wyse, Alex, (Honk)—Mercury Summer Theatre

COMPOSITE CASTS
Colder Than Here (Dobama)
Doubt, A Parable (CPH)
Goldstar, Ohio (CPT)
Into the Woods (GLTF)
Orange Flower Water (Bang and Clatter)
Proof (Actors’ Summit)
Talking Heads 2 (Beck)
The Carpetbagger’s Children (Ensemble)
The History Boys (Beck)

TECHNICIANS
Borski, Russ, costume design (The Wiz)—Cain Park
Borski, Russ, set design ((The Breakup Notebook: The Lesbian Musical)—Beck
Brassard, Gail, costume design, (Pride and Prejudice)—CPH
Burns, Trad, lighting and set design (Goldstar, Ohio)—CPT
Burns, Trad, lighting design (Altar Boyz)—Beck Center
Burns, Trad, set and light design (The History Boys)—Beck
Center
Coates, Norman, lighting design (Into the Woods)—GLTF
Davis, John, sword fight sequences (My Favorite Year)—Beck Center
DiBernardo, Dale, costumes (Damn Yankees)—Carousel
DiBernardo, Dale, set design (The King and I)—Carousel
Gilliam, Michael, lighting design (George Gershwin Alone)—CPH
Herman, Jeff, scenic design (Into the Woods)—GLTF
Ingraham, Richard, sound design (I Have Before Me…Rwanda)—Dobama
Johnson, Pat, costume design (Alice)—Porthouse
Koharchik, Robert, set design (Pride and Prejudice)—CPH
Kovach, Robert, set design (The King and I)—Carousel
Kozak, Stan, sound design (Into the Woods)—GLTF
Leonard, Joy James, set design (Noises Off)—CPH
Lincoln, Michael, lighting design (Glass Menagerie)—CPH
Moxley, Star, costume design (Macbeth)—GLTF
Needham, Ben, set design (Brooklyn Boy)—JCC/CCC
Needham, Ben, set design (Peter Pan)—Beck Center
Ostaszewski, Michel, projections (Two Rooms)—Charenton/CPT
Pardess, Yael, scenic design (George Gershwin Alone)—CPH
Parkman, Russell, set design (Doubt: A Parable)—CPH
Patton, Fritz, original music and sound design (The Crucible)—GLTF
Pauna, Steve, set design (Alice)—Porthouse
Smith, Vicki, set design (Raisin in the Sun)—CPH
Thackaberry, Neil, visual effects(Golda’s Balcony)—Actors’ Summit
Tulenson, Nathan, sound design (Two Rooms)—Charenton/CPT
Williams, Gage, scenic design (Macbeth)—GLTF
Yetman, Charlotte, costume design (Into the Woods)—GLTF

MUSICAL DIRECTION
Andersen Wolfgang, Nancy (Anything Goes), Porthouse
Espino, John Jay, (Into the Woods)—GLTF
Maier, Nancy (Brooklyn, the Musical), BW/PHS
Morris, Evie (Main-Travelled Rloads), Actors’ Summit
Ricci, Jodie (Harold and Maude), Cain Park
Ridley, Ed (Caroline, or Change,) Karamu/Dobama

CHOREOGRAPHY

Black, MaryAnn (Anything Goes)—Porthouse
Cespedes, Martin (Into the Woods)--GLTF
Cespedes, Martin ((Urinetown: the Musical)—Beck Center
Cespedes, Martin (The Breakup Notebook: The Lesbian Musical)—Beck Center
Cortez, Hernando (Altar Boyz)—Beck Center
Merckx, Ken, (Macbeth)—GLTF (fight choreography)
Pesce, Vince, (The King and I)—Carousel

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Joyce Casey, for her continued dedication to making Dobama a high quality entity.

Sean Derry and Sean McConaha of The Bang and Clatter for having the “chutpsa” to open a new theatre in downtown Cleveland with no parking!

Gina Vernaci and Victoria Bussert for their new collaboration between Playhouse Square and Baldwin-Wallace College.

Gina Vernaci for her continued excellent coordination and program development for Playhouse Square Foundation.

Great Lakes Theatre Festival for the creation of a superb new theatre space in the reburbished Hanna Theatre.



THE BEST OF THE BEST

I have been asked why I don’t select my “best of the best” for each season. So, to satisfy those requests, I present my selections:

2008 BEST OF THE BEST DRAMAS:
Golda’s Balcony (Actors’ Summit)
I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from
Rwanda (Dobama)
The History Boys (Beck)
Two Rooms (Charenton/CPT)

2008 BEST OF THE BEST MUSICALS:
Brooklyn (BW/Playhouse Square)
Caroline, or Change (Karamu/Dobama)
Into the Woods (GLTF)

2008 BEST PERFORMANCES:
Andrea Belser (I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a
Young Lady from Rwanda (Dobama)
Dorothy Silver (Golda’s Balcony)—Actors’ Summit
Dorothy Silver (Talking Heads 2)—Beck Center
Mathew Wright (Urinetown: the Musical)—Beck Center
Sheffia Dooley (Caroline, or Change)—Karamu/Dobama

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Times Theatre Tributes--2007


TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES--2007

Greater Cleveland is blessed with a vital theatre scene. It is the purpose of the TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES to recognize theatrical experiences that, in the mind of this reviewer, were excellent and deserve special recognition.

Only shows performed in 2007 which I reviewed were considered. Selections were limited to locally produced stagings, so none of the professional touring shows are recognized, though actors, directors and technicians who were imported by local theatres were considered. Actors are not separated by gender or leading or supporting roles.

If you would like to read any of my reviews for the year, please go to www.royberko.info, enter the blog and click on “2007 Reviews” or click on the name of the producing theatre and scroll through their performances. Reviews from previous years may also be accessed.

Thanks to the following for making the 2007 theatre scene in the Cleveland area stimulating and memorable:

PLAY
DEATH OF A SALESMAN (Actors’ Summit)
EQUUS (Beck Center)
FAT PIG (The Bang and Clatter)
HAY FEVER (GLTF)
JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck Center)
LINCOLNESQUE (CPH)
LUNACY (Dobama)
MALICIOUS BUNNY (Fourth Wall Productions)
MEASURE FOR MEASURE (GLTF)
NINE (Cain Park)
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (BW)
QED (Actors’ Summit)
ROUNDING THIRD (Actors’ Summit)
TAKE ME OUT (Dobama)
THE CHOSEN (CPH)
THE PRICE (Ensemble Theatre)
TWO HEADED (Titlewave)

DIRECTOR
Charles Fee, HAY FEVER (GLTF)
Constance Thackaberry, ROUNDING THIRD (Actors’ Summit)
Dorothy Silver, THE PRICE (Ensemble Theatre)
Greg Vovos, TWO HEADED (Titlewave)
Mark Alan Gordon, LUNACY (Dobama)
Michael Bloom, LINCOLNESQUE (CPH)
Risa Brainin, MEASURE FOR MEASURE (GLTF)
Scott Plate, TAKE ME OUT (Dobama)
Scott Spence, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck Center)
Sean McConaha, FAT PIG (The Bang and The Clatter)
Seth Gordon, THE CHOSEN (CPH)
Vicki Bussert, NINE (Cain Park)
Vicki Bussert, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (BW)
Wayne Turney, QED (Actor’s Summit)
William Roudebush, EQUUS (Beck Center)

PERFORMER
A. Neil Thackaberry, QED (Actors’ Summit)
Amiee Collier, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck Center)
Andrew May, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (GLTF)
Andrew May, MEASURE FOR MEASURE (GLTF)
Andrew Pastides, THE CHOSEN (Cleveland Play House)
Aric Generette Floyd, NINE (Cain Park)
Bernadette Clemens, LUNACY (Dobama)
Brian Marshall, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY (Hanna/Playhouse Square)
Caleb Sekeres, TAKE ME OUT (Dobama)
Carmen Keels, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY (Hanna/Playhouse Square)
Charles Kartali, THE PRICE (Ensemble)
Chris Seibert, OUR TOWN (CPT)
Chris Seibert, TWO HEADED (Titlewave)
Dan Folino, EQUUS (Beck)
Dan Folino, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck)
Dan Hammond, LUNACY (Dobama)
David Anthony Smith, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (GLTF)
David Anthony Smith, MEASURE FOR MEASURE (GLTF)
Dedriu Ring, FROZEN (Beck)
Donald Carrier, LINCOLESQUE (CPH)
Emily Leonard, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (BW)
Emily Pote, PETER PAN (Porthouse)
Eric van Beers, SWEET CHARITY (Porthouse Theatre)
Fabio Poanco, NINE (Cain Park)
Fred Maurer, TAKE ME OUT (Dobama)
George Roth, OLIVER (Cain Park)
George Roth, THE CHOSEN (GLTF)
Greg Violand, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY (Hanna/Playhouse Square)
Jason Markouc, FROZEN, (Beck)
Jason Markouc, A LOSS OF ROSES (Ensemble)
Jean Zarzour, CHRISOPHER COLUMBUS, Cesear’s Forum
Jeffrey Evan Thomas, OF MICE AND MEN (CPH)
Jenna Messina, FAT PIG (THE BANG AND THE CLATTER)
Jeremy Rishe, THE CHOSEN (GLTF)
John Kolibab, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, Cesear’s Forum
Juliette Regnier, DEAR WORLD (Kalliope Stage)
Keith Stevens, ROUNDING THIRD (Actors’ Summit)
Kristin Netzband, JOLSON & FRIENDS (JCC)
Laura Theodore, REFLECTIONS (Beck Center)
Laurel Johnson, SOME GIRL(S) (The Bang and Clatter)
Lynn Allison, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (GLTF)
Mark Tomasick, SONG AND DANCE (Beck Center)
Marla Berg, DEAR WORLD (Kalliope Stage)
MaryAnn Black, SWEET CHARITY (Porthouse Theatre)
Matthew Wright, EQUUS (Beck)
Michael Reginer, LUNACY (Dobama)
Nate Bigger, MALICIOUS BUNNY (Fourth Wall Productions)
Nick Koesters, DEATH OF A SALESMAN (Actors’ Summit)
Patty Lohr, OLIVER (Cain Park)
Philip Hernandez, MAN OF LA MANCHA (CPH)
Rachel Warren, MAN OF LA MANCHA (CPH)
Reuben Silver, THE PRICE (Ensemble)
Richard Klautsch, MEASURE FOR MEASURE (GLTF)
Sandra Simon, PASSION (Beck Center)
Sara Bruner, THE TEMPEST (GLTF)
Scott Plate, THOM PAINE--based on Nothing (Dobama)
Sean Derry, FAT PIG (THE BANG AND THE CLATTER)
Sean Derry, POUNDING NAILS IND THE FLOOR WITH MY HEAD (B&C)
Stephanie Iannarino, WEST SIDE STORY (Carousel Dinner Theatre)
Tina Fabrique, ELLA (Cleveland Play House)
Tracee Patterson, SONG AND DANCE (Beck Center)
Tricia Bestic, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY (Hanna/Playhouse Square)

Laurel Johnson(Composite cast
EQUUS (Beck)
FORBIDDEN BROADWAY (Hanna/Playhouse Square)
HAY FEVER (GLTF)
LUNACY (Dobama)
NINE (Cain Park)
TAKE ME OUT (Dobama)
THE PRICE (Ensemble)


TECHNICIANS
Aimee Kluiber, costume design, OLIVER (Cain Park)
Allison Garrigan, costumes, OUR TOWN (CPT)
Andromache Chalfant, set design, THE CLEAN HOUSE (CPT)
Charlotte Yetman, costume design, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (BW)
Don McBride, set design, FROZEN (Beck)
Don McBride, set design, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck)
Don McBride, theatre reconception, EQUUS (Beck)
Gage Williams set design, HAY FEVER (GLTF)
James Swonger, sound design, THE CHOSEN (CPH)
Jeff Hermann, set design, OLIVER (Cain Park)
Jeff Herrmann, set design, TAKE ME OUT (Dobama)
Jeff Lockshine, lighting design, TAKE ME OUT (Dobama)
Jeff Merrmann, scenic and light designs, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (BW)
Jenniver Sparano, costume design, FROZEN (Beck)
John Konopka, set design, PERMANENT COLLECTION (Karamu)
Lydia Chanenka, set design TWO HEADED (Titlewave)
Michael Klaers, light design, MEASURE FOR MEASURE (GLTF)
Michael Lincoln, light design, THE CHOSEN (CPH)
Michael Raiford, scenic design, THE CHOSEN (CPH)
Molly Richard, costume design, SEUSSICAL! THE MUSICAL (Mercury Summer
Theatre)
Richard B. Ingraham, sound design, EQUUS (Beck)
Ron Newell, set decoration, THE PRICE (Ensemble)
Ross Borski, scenic and lighting design, NINE (Cain Park)
Russell Metheny, set design, MEASURE FOR MEASURE (GLTF)
Russsell Metheny, set design, ARSENIC AND OLD LACY (GLTF)
Sean Derry, set design, FAT PIG (THE BANG AND THE CLATTER)
Terry Pieritz, costume design, NINE (Cain Park)
Todd Rosenthal, scenic design, LINCOLNESQUE (CPH)
Trad A. Burns, lighting design, EQUUS (Beck)
Trad Burns, lighting design, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck)
Trad Burns, lighting design, JOLSON & FRIENDS (JCC)

MUSICAL DIRECTION
George Caldwell, ELLA (Cleveland Play House)
Jodie Ricci, OLIVER (Cain Park)
Larry Goodpaster, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck Center)
Larry Goodpaster, REFLECTIONS (Beck Center)
Larry Goodpaster, SONG AND DANCE (Beck Center)
Marge Adler, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY (Hanna/Playhouse Square)
Nancy Gantose-Maier, NINE (Cain Park)
Stuart Raleigh, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (BW)

CHOREOGRAPHY
Martin Cespedes, EQUUS (Beck)
Martin Cespedes, OLIVER (Cain Park)
Martin Cespedes, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck Center)
Martin Cespedes, NINE (Cain Park)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Maryann Elder Goldstein for her authorship of BOTH SIDES OF THE FAMILY, an original play

Roe Green, financial and leadership support for the arts, including Fusionfest, Kent State University, Porthouse and the JCC theatre

Sandra Perlman, for her authorship of LUNACY, an original play

Matthew Sprosty, for his authorship of MALICIOUS BUNNY, an original play

Conceptual development of PETER PAN (Matthew Earnest), Porthouse

The mesmerizing “horses” of EQUUS (Beck): Franklyn Singley, Jose Ayala III, Bill DePetro, E. Ray Goodwin, Jr., Ryan Lahetta and Vincent Martinez

THE BEST OF THE BEST

I have been asked why I don’t select my “best of the best” for each season. So, to satisfy those requests, I present my selections:

2007 BEST OF THE BEST DRAMAS:
EQUUS (Beck Center)
LUNACY (Dobama)
FAT PIG (B&C)
THE CHOSEN (CPH)

2007 BEST OF THE BEST MUSICALS:
JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck Center)
NINE (Cain Park)

2007 BEST PERFORMANCES:
Bernadette Clemens, LUNACY (Dobama)
Dan Folino, JEKYLL & HYDE (Beck)
Dan Folino, EQUUS (Beck)
Dedriu Ring, FROZEN (Beck)
Jenna Messina, FAT PIG (B&C)
Michael Regnier, LUNACY (Dobama)
Sean Derry, POUNDING NAILS IND THE FLOOR WITH MY HEAD (B&C)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Time Tributes--2006


Times Theatre Tributes--2006

Greater Cleveland is blessed with a vital theatre scene. It is the purpose of the TIMES THEATRE TRIBUTES to recognize theatrical experiences that, in the mind of this reviewer, were excellent and deserve special recognition.

Only shows performed in 2006 which I reviewed were considered. Selections were limited to locally produced stagings, so none of the professional touring shows are recognized, though actors, directors and technicians who were imported by local theatres were considered. Actors are not separated by gender or leading or supporting roles.

If you would like to read any of my reviews for the year, please go to www.royberko.info, enter the blog and click on “2006 Reviews.” Reviews from previous years may also be accessed.

Thanks to the following for making the 2006 theatre scene in the Cleveland area stimulating and memorable:

PLAY
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (GLTF)
A NUMBER (Dobama)
A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Beck)
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)
BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (Carousel)
CHARLOTTE’S WEB (CPH)—Alex and Noah Berko’s special children’s recognition
citation
DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck)
FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (CPT)
LIES AND LEGENDS: THE MUSIC OF HARRY CHAPIN (Beck)
M4M (CPT)
MO PAS CONNIN OR TORMENT (CPT)
MY FAIR LADY (CPH)
NIGHT BLOOMERS (Dobama)
OUR TOWN (Porthouse)
RABBIT HOLE (CPH)
SORROWS AND REJOICINGS (Ensemble)
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Lakeland Theatre)
THE PILLOWMAN (Dobama)
WELL (CPH)


DIRECTOR
Michael Bloom, WELL (CPH)
Raymond Bobgan, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (CPT)
Michael Brown, RABBIT HOLE (CPH)
Vicki Bussert, BUDDY, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (Carousel)
Victoria Bussert, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
(GLTF)
Licia Colombi, SORROWS AND REJOICINGS (Ensemble)
Amanda Dehnert, MY FAIR LADY (CPH)
Matthew Earnest, OUR TOWN (Porthouse)
Martin Friedman, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Lakeland Theatre)
Craig J. George, M4M (CPT)
Mark Alan Gordon, CHARLOTTE’S WEB (CPH)
Sarah May, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck)
Sonya Robbins, A NUMBER (Dobama)
William Roudebush, LIES AND LEGENDS: THE MUSIC OF HARRY CHAPIN,
(Beck)
Eric Schmiedl, NIGHT BLOOMERS (Dobama)
Scott Spence, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Beck)
Fred Sternfeld, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)

PERFORMER
Denise Astorino, AND BABY MAKES 7 (convergence)
Starla Benford, STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (CPH)
Sonia Bishop, SORROWS AND REJOICINGS (Ensemble)
Mary Ann Black, DAMES AT SEA (Porthouse)
Lucy Bredeson-Smith, A MURDER OF CROWS (covergence)
Lucy Bredeson-Smith, ICARUS (convergence)
Jodi Brinkman, THE PARTY (Kalliope Stage)
Michael Butler, CUSTODY OF THE EYES, (CPH)
Lucas Caleb , STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (CPH)
Bernadette Clements, MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION (BECK)
Glenn Colerider, WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN (Cesear’s Forum)
Aimee Collier, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Lakeland Theatre)
Liz Conway, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Lakeland Theatre)
Timothy Crowe, MY FAIR LADY (CPH)
Troy Deutsch, RABBIT HOLE (CPH)
Denny Dillon, WELL, (CPH)
Nina Domingue, MO PAS CONNIN OR TORMENT (CPT)
Keith Faris, THE FULL MONTY (Beck)
Heather Farr, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck)
Dan Folino, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)
Tom Ford, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
(GLTF)
Natalie Green, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)
Joel Hammer, A NUMBER (Dobama)
Jeffrey C. Hawkins, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY FORUM
(GLTF)
Geoffrey Hoffman, POONA, THE ****DOG, (continuence)
Holly Holsinger, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (CPT)
Alicia Kahn, ARMS AND THE MAN (Actors’ Summit)
Geoff Knox, M4M (CPT)
Nick Koesters, NIGHT BLOOMERS (Dobama)
Nick Koesters, GREATER TUNA (Beck)
Julia Kolibab, PACK OF LIES (Cesear’s Forum)
Todd Krispinski, A NUMBER (Dobama)
Todd Krispinski, THE PILLOWMAN (Dobama)
Emily Leonard, DAMES AT SEA (Porthouse)
Kelly Mares, STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (CPH)
William Clarence Marshall, PORGY AND BESS (Beck)
Renee Mathews-Jackson, SORROWS AND REJOICINGS (Ensemble)
Michael Mauldin, M4M (CPT)
Mitch McCarrell, HAIR (Cain Park)
Pat McRoberts, BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (Carousel)
Jason Miller, CHARLOTTE’S WEB (CPH)
Melodie Moore, THE PARTY (Kalliope Stage)
Sarah Portz, SPITFIRE GRILL (Clague Playhouse)
Angela Reed, RABBIT HOLE (CPH)
Alicia Roper, WELL (CPH)
George Roth, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck)
Wes Shofner POONA, THE ****DOG, (continuence)
Dorothy Silver, MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION (Beck)
Clyde Simon, ICARUS (convergence)
Lenne Snively, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Beck)
Lenne Snively, THE FULL MONTY (Beck)
Richard Strimer, SINGING IN THE RAIN (Carousel)
Jeanne Task, FROM DOOR TO DOOR (JCC)
Lelund Durond Thompson, CHARLOTTE’S WEB (CPH)
Rachel Warren, MY FAIR LADY (CPH)
John Woodson, OUR TOWN (Porthouse)
Matthew Wright, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Beck)

Ensemble cast:
FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (BECK)
LIES AND LEGENDS: THE MUSIC OF HARRY CHAPIN (Beck)
M4M (CPT)

TECHNICIANS
Russ Broski, set design, NIGHT BLOOMERS, (Dobama)
Kim Brown, costume design, NITE CLUB CONFIDENTIAL (Kalliope)
Kim Brown, costume design, WILD PARTY (Kalliope)
Trad Burns, lighting design, PORGY AND BESS (Beck)
Nicole Franchiseur, costume design, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE
WAY TO THE FORUM (GLTF)
Richard Gould, set design, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck)
Joan Horvitz, costume design, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (CPT)
Richard Ingraham, sound design, HAMLET (Beck)
Richard Ingraham, sound design, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck)
Richard Ingraham. sound design, NIGHT BLOOMERS (Dobama)
Aimee Kluiber, costume design, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)
Todd Krispinski, scenic design, A NUMBER, (Dobama)
Jeff Lockshine, lighting design, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck)
Don McBride, scenic design, HAMLET (Beck)
Ben Needham, scenic design, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)
Devon Painter, costume design, MY FAIR LADY (CPH)
Russell Parkman, scenic design, RABBIT HOLE (CPH)
Neil Patel, set design, RFK (CPH)
Maureen Patterson, lighting design, NIGHT BLOOMERS (Dobama)
Steven Shultz, projections, LET FREEDOM RING! (Ensemble)
Jenniver Sparano, costume design, MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION (Beck)
Jenniver Sparano, costume design, M4M (CPT)
Nicole Franchiseur, costumes design, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE
WAY TO THE FORUM (GLTF)
Don Wadsworth, dialects, MY FAIR LADY (CPH)
Donald Wasson, costume design/hats, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS (CPT)

MUSICAL DIRECTION
John Jay Espino, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (GLTF)
John Franks, SPITFIRE GRILL (Clague Playhouse)
Larry Goodpaster, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Beck)
Larry Goodpaster, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)
Larry Goodpaster, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Lakeland Theatre)
Larry Goodpaster, THE FULL MONTY (Beck)
Nancy Maier, LIES AND LEGENDS: THE MUSIC OF HARRY CHAPIN (Beck)
Nancy Maier, LET FREEDOM RING! (Ensemble)
Michael P. Hamilton, THE WILD PARTY (Kalliope)
Steve Parson, BUDDY: BUDDY HOLLY STORE (Carousel)
Tim Robertson, vocal supervision, MY FAIR LADY (CPH)
Matthew Webb. HAIR (Cain Park)

CHOREOGRAPHY
Martin Cespedes, THE FULL MONTY (Beck)
Martin Cespedes, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Beck)
Janeice Kelley-Kitely, HAIR (Cain Park)
Janet Louer, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
(GLTF)
Michael Medcalf, WILD PARTY (Kalliope)
Sean Morrissey , DAMES AT SEA (Porthouse)
Monica Olejko, LIES AND LEGENDS: THE MUSIC OF HARRY CHAPIN (Beck)
David Shimotakahara and Pandora Robertson, LET FREEDOM RING (Ensemble)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Dean Gladden. For service to the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland
theatre community
Julie Fogel. For outstanding public relations services at the Cleveland Play House

THE BEST OF THE BEST

I have been asked why I don’t select my “best of the best” for each season. So, to satisfy those requests, I present my selections:

2006 BEST OF THE BEST DRAMAS: DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Beck), A NUMBER (Dobama), M4M (CPT)

2006 BEST OF THE BEST MUSICALS: A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Beck), MY FAIR LADY (CPH), BUDDY, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (Carousel)