There are many up and coming children performers in Seussical that have great supporting roles. The young man playing Jojo, Zachary Gilkey held his own amongst the productions seasoned performers. As he matures into his voice we can expect great things from him. It is cozy enough that body mics are not required. Kudos to the design and construction crew who made great use of the charming space, although the creakiness of the wooden platforms resonated alarmingly throughout the performance.
The original costume designs of Liza Seiner and Tina Lepidi-Stewart were spot on in conveying the childish simplicity and the primary colors embodied in the original Geisel illustrations. During this performance, the house was nearly at capacity with a mix of all ages from young children to grandparents.
The children in the audience were totally engrossed with the performance. It is community theater at its best.
January 26, 2017
Located off of U. For tickets: or boxoffice applehillplayhouse. Pippin is a precocious, somewhat unwilling heir to the throne of his tyrannical father. Rather, Pippin is really about its narrators, a fourth wall-breaking performance troupe full of characters who weave in and out of the musical as storytellers, audience, and figures in the plot. The more Pippin interacts with them — and particularly with the mysterious and hyperactive Leading Player — the more we get the sense that there is a discrepancy between Pippin: the royal heir and Pippin: the protagonist. The Theatre Factory, a venue that is no stranger to the bold and unique, is the right kind of place to see Pippin , a musical practically begging to be taken apart and reconstructed over and over again.
That said, some issues in execution leave Pippin feeling somehow incomplete. Pippin is all about messy textual interweaving. Much of the cast simply wears typical street clothes — flannels, jeans, t-shirts etc. The cast is consistent and performs well. Although the choreography is playful, inventive, and maybe of more import than the actual singing, this is a musical, and nothing removes the energy of a show faster than issues with vocal range.
I have a substantive problem with the musical itself, too. There are so few conceivable, practical ways to make a medieval swordfight look interesting in the context of a musical. You can only see someone be dance-stabbed so many times before you want to hit fast-forward.
Instead of the show starting out running, this sequence forces it to start out in an awkward shuffle. In their ongoing commitment to diverse, vibrantly talented and symphonically-centered productions, Musical Theatre Artists of Pittsburgh MTAP is putting forth its second-ever, groundbreaking Hot Metal Musicals.
A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, Steve Cuden gained recognition and fame for co-creating the Broadway sensation Jekyll and Hyde with Frank Wildhorn , and brings his distinct, storied perspective to the Hot Metal Musicals lineup. The two are leading up a compelling gamut of eclectic, eccentric and intriguing works. The musicals and amalgamated songs traverse a spectrum of topics and themes, challenging the conventions of musical theatre and standards of musical expectations.
Connected to Pittsburgh, the musical enjoyed its off-Broadway, world debut in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre in An active member of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Drennan, a widely published playwright and librettist, has put forth several other plays and musicals, such as 12 Dogs, a post-apocalyptic play focusing on the efforts of a resilient teacher.
MTAP and Hot Metal Musicals showcase are positioned as the pioneering vanguards of welcoming, multi-voice theatre and musical work with the realm of Pittsburgh drama.
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Given the wild selection of songs, spanning from WWII musicals and off-the-wall thigh-slapping comedies, MTAP and Hot Metal Musicals seem to be tremendously living up to their promise to provide audiences with the most varied selection of talents, perspectives and voices. Moreover, the newest installment of Hot Metal Musicals holds true to the MTAP mission of giving a stage and a performance space for works in progress, as well as works from individuals at massively different stages in their careers.
The evening portends exhilarating, multidimensional and raw works. A lot has changed since the Off-Broadway premiere of In the Heights. For the landscape of musical theatre—thanks to his follow up Hamilton. For the quality of life for immigrants of all origins in a country where its president has railed so viciously against them.
His rapping and singing chops are of equal measure as are his dramatic and comedic capabilities. It also miraculously succeeds where most scenic designs fail in bringing some level of intimacy to the gargantuan Benedum Center. Their most loyal employee, an African-American dreamer named Benny, still admires them and does his best to learn Spanish to find deeper community with them. On the right side of Usnavi is a salon owned by gossip hound Daniela.
She supervises flighty Carla and a credit-challenged bombshell named Vanessa desperate to fly the coop. Still, nothing can stop the resilient citizens of the barrio from living full lives complete with romance, tragedy, and self-discovery. As immigrants or descendants of immigrants, they get the job done. If Grosso is the heart of the production, Del Rio is the brains and funny bone. Another of those artists is Michael Balderrama. After dancing for Michael Jackson, he was dance captain, fight captain, and swing for the Broadway iteration of Heights.
At the helm of this production, he maintains the high caliber of work originally executed by director Thomas Kail and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. With his fluid and fresh movement, Balderrama has ensured that every member of the ensemble has a distinct identity and heritage. In the Heights runs through July 16th at the Benedum Center. For more information, click here. Special thanks to the Pittsburgh CLO for complimentary press tickets. However, audiences demand prescience.
As modern discourse becomes sleeker and more kinetic, the over-large gesticulations of classic theater stop resembling the beating heart of human drama and more closely pass us by as meaningless upper-class whimsy — a selling point for aging audience members. Originally written by Richard Bean, the play follows Francis Henshall, a dimwitted thug working as a personal servant for dangerous thug Roscoe Crabbs Jenny Malarky before deciding to simultaneously work as a personal assistant to the posh, upper-class Stanely Stubbers Connor McNelis.
However, rather delightfully, Two Guvnors takes its well-trod setup as an opportunity to elevate zaniness to something more dangerous and lasting. There was a pre-show warning from the Little Lake crew that the play would feature some risky audience participation. The vitality of the play is thanks in equal part to the soundly-paced direction of TJ Firneno and the largely consistent cast. Two Guvnors has a ton of flamboyant style, but its relentlessness can sometimes feel like trying to cram an England into an American-sized hole. The fashion is evocative and most any locale is spotted with a picture of the Queen or a wandering patrolman, but the little details are missing.
Protulipac exhausts himself in the role, sometimes literally throwing himself into the character with wild abandon. Special thanks to Little Lake for complimentary press tickets. Photos courtesy of James Orr. When it seems revenge might elude him, Sweeney swears vengeance on all, using the tools of his trade to slash the throats of as many people as he can, while his business partner, Mrs.
Reviews | Lisette Oropesa
Lovett, a baker, cooks the bodies into meat pies for sale to an unsuspecting public. But that lovely lady has been keeping serious secrets from Sweeney, regarding awful doings during his absence, and she lives to regret it. Many plot twists and characters make for a busy couple of oddly engaging hours of entertainment. As presented by Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Sweeney Todd is, for the most part, a successful production of the classic. In the main, the staging is effective, although a few intensely dramatic moments fall a little flat, easily explained by the limited stage trappings of the Falk Auditorium at Winchester Thurston.
The costuming and lighting leave little to be desired, and the clever use of projections is almost always successful. One or two shortcuts are taken, but the brief self-flagellation scene, which has occasionally ruffled feathers and been removed from some productions, remains. There is a large amount of talent in the cast, and the behind-the-scenes orchestra, conducted by Douglas Levine , is well up to providing the instrumental support for the singers.
He certainly looked the part, acted it well, and sang with a steady voice which gained in mellow quality and quantity as the performance progressed.
His enunciation of the text was quite distinct, which came in handy when the surtitles projected above the stage failed. This technical snafu created a problem for some of the other singers, but every word he sang was distinctly discernible, though they seemed to lack any trace of the English accent that most of the others adopted. Anna Singer was quite in her element as Mrs.
Her singing and acting of the unique character were highlights of the evening, and she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself. In a few lighter-hearted spots, she hopped about most delightfully, resembling Mrs. Lovett, but is not so simple that he cannot sense and fear the sinister side of Sweeney.
The part is sometimes sung by a boy soprano, and he looked much like one, but the quality of his singing and acting made it clear that he is a very young adult with a promising future. Adam Cioffari , as the evil Judge Turpin, sang and acted the part quite acceptably, but was a bit too youthful looking to present a thoroughly convincing portrayal of the role. The make-up department could easily make him look at least the same age as Sweeney, if not older. This was noticeable a few times with some of the other singers in concerted numbers.
In ensembles where a few characters should have sung in equal unison, the results sounded like singing contests. Both sang their roles with voices of fine quality — and quantity. The audience was moderately large, but should have filled every seat. At the close of the performance, those in attendance expressed enthusiasm, loud and long, and in no uncertain terms.
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Sweeney Todd will receive four repetitions throughout this month. For dates, performance times, tickets and much more, please visit Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Both the opera community and the Mexican community showed up to hear tenor Javier Camarena in recital.
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Camarena demonstrated his clean Mozartian technique and a slightly grainy timbre with no hard edges and great control at soft volumes.