Music ReviewsOperaPop/Rock/FolkREVIEWSTom Williams

Tonya & Nancy The Rock Opera

This is a wildly paced and extremely loud production that tells the story of the 1990’s ice skating scandal that marred the rivalry between American Olympic ice skaters Tonya Harding ( Amanda Horvath) and Nancy Kerrigan (Courtney Mack).

The production take a tabloid approach to the story of rivalry and desperation as the quest for Olympic stardom overtakes each skater. We see the role of the mothers both played by Veronica Garza as she belts her way through the opera.

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Music ReviewsMUST SEEPop/Rock/FolkREVIEWSTom Williams

Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Drury Lane Theatre

This fast-paced two hour revue is a non-stop songfest that has enough well performed classic rock, pop and R & B to please. . Director/choreographer Dodge has the cast doing movement and dance routines that work effectively on stage. The harmonies and the blended vocal arrangements together with the outstanding musical arrangements by Roberta Duchak sounded terrific. These nine performers demonstrate their talents and we get to hear the songbook of two relatively unheralded composers. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s tunes come alive in this fun revue. Smokey Joe’s Cafe ranks as one of the longest running reviews on Broadway (2,036 performances) and it has had a long run in the city by Theo Ubique a few years ago.

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Music ReviewsPop/Rock/FolkREVIEWSTom Williams

Ring of Fire – The Music of Johnny Cash

The folks at the Theatre at the Center have mounted a major country/folk revue of the iconic voice of Johnny Cash (1932 – 2003)- one of America’s greatest troubadours in Ring of Fire. Cash was considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century whose songs included cowboy, folk, gospel, country, rockability, rock n’ roll and pop music. From 1955 to his death at age 71 in 2003, Cash with his wife June Carter Cash, toured the country singing his heartfelt repertoire of pure Americana tunes. His distinct bass-baritone voice was his calling card.

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Music ReviewsMUST SEEPop/Rock/FolkREVIEWSREVIEWS BYTom Williams

Chicago’s Golden Soul (A 60’s Revue)

Black Ensemble Theater, under the hyper leadership of Jackie Taylor have re-mounted their Chicago’s Golden Soul (A 60’s Revue) now playing in repertory with The Story of Curtis Mayfield. Golden Soul contains a rich assortment of Chicago style soul featureing the music of jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, Gene Chandler, Major Lance, The Impressions, Betty Everett, Barbara Aklin, Etta James and the Chi Lites.

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