Last Dancer Standing (More Than Hip-Hop)

But the real star here is the ensemble of dancers who manically translate Echoles’ varied choreography into a sweeping rhymthic movements worthy of appreciation. I always thought that the Black Ensemble needed stronger choreography to compliment the terrific orchestra and the fabulous singers. And this year, under Rueben D. Echoles.’ leadership, dance has found its place at the Black Ensemble. Kudos!

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In The Wake

It seems that playwright Lisa Kron tries to write several plays here. The result is a long-winded bore! For 2 and a half hours we are stuck with Ellen reciting the liberal political agenda without many rebuttals until Kelli Walker’s Judy retorts with a cynical unhopeful look at the state of the American dream. Kron even creates a character with homophobic beliefs that leads to another lecture. In the interest of clarity, pick one idea and develop that.

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An American in Paris – 2017 National Tour

But to make this fine music come to life director Wheeldon has cast two fabulous “triple-threat” prformers to tackle the Kelly-Caron roles from the film. Jerry Mulligan is played by McGee Maddox (a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada) and Sara Esty (a former soloist with the Miami City Ballet) plays ballerina Lise Dassin. The love sparks flow between Mulligan and Dassin throughout. But there is more to this fine book. These two are fantastic dancers, fine singers and fine actors. They fuel many show stopping scenes including the terrific ballet scene.

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Madagascar – A Musical Adventure

This is a really fun and fabulous show and really you should move it, move it and get there. Children or no children—all ages will enjoy. I laughed a lot and even danced a bit! My 10 year old Ella, who just happened to perform in this show at The Stage School in Park Ridge summer camp was especially keen of the production and well versed with the characters (having played a few herself) and said to give it as many stars as I could!

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They’re Playing Our Song

They’re Playing Our Song is essentially a two-character show. Vernon and Sonia are the sole characters on stage; each character has a three-person Greek chorus acting as their inner voices. The Brown Paper Box Co’s production uses pre-recorded music and a 70’s flavored set. Basically, it is well-sung by Dan Gold and Carmen Risi with a tad too much use of the three-person male and three-person female Greek chorus.

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The Tin Woman

The Tin Woman is a work inspired by a true story, it’s a heartwarming comedy that is a smartly crafted blend of family drama, humor and hope. Joy (Erin Noel Grennan – the playwright’s sister) has had a heart transplant and during her recovery she is questioning her second chance in life. She is depressed because she can’t come to grips with why she was given another chance to live.

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Little Fish

What the show depicts are unhappy folks, with Charlotte in the lead, each struggling to find happiness bu embarking on a strange modern-day odyssey to thwart theipast demons. We never get to like nor care about anyone as we waste 85 minutes witnessing this group of losers on their “Saturns Returns” journey whatever that means? Themes such as isolation versus connection, addiction… traume and loneliness are sung by a cast of remarkable poor singers trying to make terrible lyrics resonate or even be understood

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Beauty’s Daughter

All of the above, the character, six in all, depict Diane’s struggles and her Harlem associates. Wandachristine, in one of the strongest tour de force performances I have ever witnessed, efectively ebodies each charter, men, women, old and young with stunning acurate accents, gesturs, vocal tones in he course of delivering a powerful solo show. The writing contains vivid imagery, exceptional thythms and smart allusions.

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Something Rotten! 2017 National Tour

This set-up is more than simply a dazzling Broadway musical and a buddy comedy. It is a hhilarious spoof on classical theatre, Shakespeare, and is an amazing tribute to the history of Broaday musicals. Smart humor with puns, double-entendres and raw sexual references fuel the adventures of the lovable Bottom brothers played with empathy and truthful bu Rob McClure as Nick Bottom and the funny, sweet Nigel Bottom played with sincerety by Josh Grisetti. These brothers strive to mount a new work – a musical – to survive in the London of Shakespeare.

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