Review Roundup – III

BWW Review: THE ADDAMS FAMILY A NEW MUSICAL is Creepy Funny at the New Theatre in Overland Park

By Steve Wilson | July 19, 2015

All things ghoulish, macabre, ghastly, and a little bit frightening are alive and well living within the walls of the Addams Family home. The only place to see this outrageous musical comedy is at the New Theatre in Overland Park.Richard Carrothers directs The Addams Family a New Musical running through September 20 at the dinner theater. Daniel Doss provides musical direction and Katelin Zelon the choreography for the delightful yet maybe a little bizarre musical.

The musical based on the characters in gag cartoons created by Charles Addams with book by Marshall Brickmanand Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa opened on Friday July 16. The production opened on Broadway in April of 2010, running until December 31, 2011. The original Broadway production received two Tony Award nominations and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design, the Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre and Distinguished Performance, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design.  [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

PHIL POTEMPA: Theatre at the Center has Elvis energy with fun run of ‘All Shook Up’

By Phil Potempa | July 21, 2015

When my editor caught the run dates for Theatre at the Center‘s new production of “All Shook Up,” the Elvis Presley inspired stage musical, she drew my attention to the closing show date — Aug. 16.

As she pointed out, it’s the same fateful date of the anniversary of Presley’s death at age 42 in 1977.

Even for those who are not a fan of The King, there’s no denying his lasting impact and impression on others.

Actor David Sajewich gives Elvis his due, and then some, starring as the lead for this polished run of “All Shook Up,” which is the perfect example of summer stage musical fun.

It runs just slightly more than two hours, including one intermission and Sajewich is cast as the Elvis-tribute lead character “Chad,” a musical rebel with likeable qualities who manages to cast a spell over an entire small town.

All of the greatest hits from the Presley music library are showcased, woven with nostalgic rock n’ roll highlights, romance and silly mix-ups with Theatre at the Center Artistic Director Bill Pullinsi and Jeff Award-winning choreographer Danny Herman co-directing. The musical features the book by Tony Award-winning Joe DiPietro.

What makes this musical so charming is it doesn’t attempt to be serious or life-changing. Instead, it embraces an almost cartoon quality to entertain and leave audiences smiling. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on ALL SHOOK UP.

‘Spamalot’ light on nutritional value but laughably easy to digest

By Don McLeese | July 20, 2015

By the middle of the curtain-call reprise of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” it was hard to tell who was having more fun: the standing, clapping and singing audience at the Des Moines Community Playhouse or the dancing, clowning, and mugging troupe onstage.

Through two hours of “Spamalot” — songs and swords, punchlines and blackouts, Finland and flatulence, flying cows and a decapitating attack by a vicious rabbit — the anything-goes comedic farce had once again demonstrated its durability.

Many in the audience weren’t even born when some of these bits were fresh, after the 1975 film “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” became a cult favorite, twisting the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table into a slapstick quest. Thirty years later, Python’s Eric Idle reshaped the material into a Tony-celebrated Broadway musical, a play that stretched the plot even thinner with one of the silliest scores on record. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on SPAMALOT.

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Review Roundup – II

Perry Players’ “Addams Family Musical” is frightfully funny

By Angela Woolen | July 15, 2015

Duh, duh, duh, duh. Snap, snap.

If the familiar phrasing brings to mind creepy, kooky, mysterious and ooky, then the “Addams Family Musical,” which starts Thursday, is a must see at the Perry Players.

The cast transforms into the characters of Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Grandma. Lurch and ghosts of ancestor Addams with costumes that are quite elaborate.

It takes the actors and actresses two and a half hours to get into makeup and costume, director Hunter Hufnagel said.

The outfits took a team of four costume designers 10 weeks to perfect. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY.


Monty Python’s ‘Spamalot’ provides rollicking comedy for relaxing summer fun

By Jessica Voorhees | July 9, 2015

Audience members are gathered with friends, laughing as they relax on picnic blankets and lawn chairs; the MoonDance Amphitheater is ablaze in stage lights for the night’s open-air performance.

That’s the way Summerfest Executive Director Wesley Nelson envisions it.

Summerfest kicks off its 30th month-long season with Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical comedy inspired by 1975’s film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

“A lot of people think of going to theater as a chore sometimes,” says Nelson. “We like to think that Summerfest is more of an experience. You’re not going into a dark theater and sitting in a tight seat where you can’t move.

“Out here we have no roof; you’re lying under the stars on a blanket, having some food and wine and a great time.” [MORE]

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Going to the Theatre – As Explained in GIFS

When you find out your favorite musical is being performed near you.

You’re like…

When the orchestra starts to warm up and the person next to you is on their phone.

You’re like…

When you have the perfect seat and someone is seated in the middle of a song.

You’re like…

When a fellow audience member is still on their phone halfway through act 1.

You’re like…

When you want to beat the intermission rush to the bathroom.

At the end of Act 1 you’re like…

When curtain drops on the final act of your favorite show.

‘Cause you don’t care what other people think, you’re like…

When someone asks what you thought.

You’re like…

When you wait by the stage door and the star comes out.

You’re like…

When people ask why you love musicals.

You’re like…

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Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) is proud to offer the exciting opportunity to have Daniel Wallace, the author of the novel BIG FISH, at your production. He is the only person who has been involved in the story since its inception: from the book, to the film, to the Broadway production. His insights are sure to provide a unique perspective for your theatre. If you are interested in having Daniel Wallace at your production, please email Trinity at info@tuesdayagency.com for booking details. We hope that you will jump on this opportunity to share a truly memorable experience with your patrons and audience members alike.

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, BIG FISH centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward’s incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Now available in a small cast version.

“BIG FISH 12-chair” is the new, small-cast version (for 12-actors) of the Broadway musical featuring music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) and a new book by esteemed screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, BIG FISH is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre – for an experience that’s richer, funnier and BIGGER than life itself.

Click HERE for more information on BIG FISH.

Click HERE for more information on BIG FISH 12-CHAIR.

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Review Roundup

Ravenswood Man Finds Way to Explore, Show Love in ‘All Shook Up’
By Kelly Bauer | June 29, 2015 5:59am


CHICAGO — Patrick Tierney sees a chance to teach audience members about love and how it knows no boundaries through his role in upcoming musical “All Shook Up.”

“All Shook Up” is “lighthearted, essentially a comedy,” with four or five storylines about love, Tierney said. The musical features hits from Elvis Presley.

Tierney, a West Lawn native who now lives in Ravenswood, plays Dean Hyde, a young man who lives under the thumb of his mom in the Midwest during the ’50s.

Dean finds love with Lorraine, but his mother plans to send him away to military school. Dean and Lorraine also face controversy since they are an interracial couple.

But love is “not about the color of your skin; it’s about the person you are,” Tierney said. “Some people can learn some things from this silly 1950s musical.” [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on ALL SHOOK UP.

Bravo to the Valley Players for The Addams Family
By Carol Skewes | June 29, 2015 6:16 pm


The Valley Players presentation of The Addams Family finished Sun., June 28 to a full house inside the Humphreys Burson Theatre.

Based on a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, and characters created by Charles Addams, the Valley Players rendition was directed superbly by Jerre’ Delaney.

The ghoulish costumes of ancestors: Deiondra Ceasar, Lauren Hard, Reagan Mayor Riley Mayo, Steven Pinkard, Terri Searls, Paul Stafford, Rowdy Williamson and Randi Wilson painted a contrasting backdrop for the colorful main actors to flow through their scenes. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on THE ADDAMS FAMILY.

‘Bare: A Pop Musical’ Talkback Sparks Positivity And Diversity
By Bradley Hartsell | June 28, 2015


Newnan Theatre Company wraps up “Bare: A Pop Opera” today following a two-weekend run, but the local performing arts group hopes the conversation spawned from the thought-provoking production will continue.

Following opening night on June 18, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation hosted a talkback session with the musical’s cast and crew and with the audience members who chose to remain following the performance. In “bare,” youth struggle with sexuality against the church’s conventions.

GLAAD Director of Programs Ross Murray and YouTube personality Raymond Braun joined the production’s artistic director, Paul Conroy, and his young actors to lead discussions on raising awareness and acceptance for the LGBT community, which is lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. [MORE]

Click HERE for more information on BARE.

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In North America and throughout the world, ALL SHOOK UP has rocked solid in thousands of productions. Now, the show is formally introduced to the UK as LOVE ME TENDER-A New Musical Inspired by and Featuring the Music of Elvis Presley. The song list that tells the Shakespeare-infused story features mega-hit after mega-hit as the King’s incomparable catalogue of chart-toppers rolls-out.

The story? Set in a small town in 1950’s USA, a guitar-playing, hip-swivelling stranger rides his motorbike into town. Is he The Devil In Disguise or a Hound Dog in his Blue Suede Shoes? The townsfolk are about to be All Shook Up and could be headed for Heartbreak Hotel, but for Natalie, the love-struck, tomboy mechanic, it really is Now or Never. Packed with 25 of the best loved songs by The King himself, LOVE ME TENDER, by the writer of the award-winning West End and Broadway smash hit MEMPHIS, is a funny and moving tale of hope, second chances and the healing qualities of Rock’n’Roll.

Here’s the promo video for the tour:

ALL SHOOK UP is available for productions throughout the world, except it is currently restricted in the UK for all except authorized school groups. Contact us directly for details at Licensing@theatricalrights.com.

Click Here for information on tickets for the LOVE ME TENDER UK Tour

Click Here for information on licensing ALL SHOOK UP

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Free E-Perusal Available Now for a Very Limited Time

Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) is proud to announce the acquisition and immediate release of DUSTY-The Original Pop Diva. This brilliant new bio-tuner is the life and music of one of the greatest pop stars of all time, Dusty Springfield. From a triumphant Australian premiere that played to over 400,000 ticket-buyers, to scores of regional and top-notch amateur productions around the globe, this fresh, exciting and mega-popular musical theatre sensation is now available for productions throughout North America, exclusively from TRW.

DUSTY – the Original Pop Diva is the story of Mary O’Brien, who the world knew as Dusty Springfield. In the 1960s, Dusty took the entertainment world by storm with a score of hits, a top TV show and a legion of fans. She was the most influential British female artist of the 60’s. Her compelling story is told through her incredible career of smash hit songs that resonate with today’s audiences of all ages, just as they have for over 50 years.

Dusty’s story begins in the 1950s, when a star-struck London schoolgirl imagines she could become a glamorous movie idol. Her parents tell her that her fantasies will never come true, but nothing deters her, and blessed with an amazing voice and talent, she sets out to become a singer and star. Soon, plain Mary O’Brien has transformed herself into the blonde pop icon, Dusty Springfield. But while Dusty, the gorgeous blonde star, is the image the world sees, it is an illusion behind which little Mary O’Brien still lives; the alter ego from which Dusty can never escape and who remains with her throughout her life. Finding strength in adversity, Dusty returns to soar to the top. With the world applauding again, she has one more battle to fight.

The book, by John Michael Howson, David Mitchell & Melvyn Morrow is musical theatre story-telling at its finest. As we are immersed in the true story of Dusty Springfield, the hit parade begins and doesn’t let up until the finale sends audiences dancing into the streets! This show is a very producible title that features a casting breakdown that will work for a host of different theatre organizations:

9 Women, 1 Girl

8 Males

Numerous featured roles

Free E-Perusal for DUSTY-The Original Pop Diva

As we roll-out the release of this hot new show, we want to get your personal reading copy to you now, free of charge. For a limited time, now through June 11th, 2015, you can receive a complimentary E-Perusal of DUSTY-The Original Pop Diva. Simply click below and fill-out the very short form and you’ll receive your free E-Perusal within 24 hrs. Then contact us right away to book your premiere productions throughout North America. U.K. customers, please stay tuned for periodic news on the release of the show in your area.

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We know many of our customers are still booking shows and seasons for 2015-16, looking for just the right titles to complement your Broadway fare. Giving your audience a new show they’ll add to ones they love is a great way to gain loyalty and appreciation from your patrons. At TRW, we’ve built a world-class roster of Broadway’s best contemporary musicals. We’ve also curated a catalogue of Off Broadway and major Regional Theatre shows that feature a star-studded stable of musical theatre artists and writers. From the exciting new production from the New York Public’s Lear deBessonet & Todd Almond (THE TEMPEST), to a brilliant new show by Broadway legend John Kander with Greg Pierce (THE LANDING), we invite you to explore the exciting possibilities of lighting up your stage with a title from our Off Broadway and Beyond Collection. For a limited time, we are offering a free e-perusal package that includes your discount code for a 10% discount on the licensing fee for selected titles. Click HERE to fill out the fast form and receive your free e-perusals.

Five Free TRW E-Perusals!

Off Broadway and Beyond Offer

  • After perusing our Off Broadway Collection, we know you can find a TRW show that will bring out the best in your theatre organization. To help, we’re offering a significant incentive discount on licensing fees for select titles.
  • As a special invitation to our blog readers, we’re offering up to FIVE Free E-Perusals from our Off Broadway & Beyond Collection! After filling out a short form, you’ll receive your selected E-Perusals within 48 hours. Along with your Complimentary Perusal Packs, you’ll receive a 10% Licensing Fee Discount Code you can use with any title included in the offer.
  • This offer is for a limited time only. To receive your free E-Perusals, CLICK HERE and fill out the quick form!

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The Landing“ELEGANT AND POIGNANT! Fans of Mr. Kander will certainly appreciate hearing this old master elicit increasingly complex feelings from what at first feel like basic melodies. Greg Pierce, has infused his wispy bedtime stories for grown-ups with an autumnal sense of regret for lives lost and paths not taken. The deft cast artfully matches its surroundings… gentle, color-coded stylishness in sophisticated storybook shades of gray, blue and red. David Hyde Pierce is quietly terrific throughout!”   — Ben Brantley, The New York Times

John Kander’s acclaimed work throughout his vast career is in a class by itself. His canon of musicals is unparalleled in the genre. With THE VISIT now the toast of Broadway, this legendary master is still at the top of his game. His latest musical invention is now home at TRW.  THE LANDING is now available for productions worldwide. With writing partner Greg Pierce, Kander has once again created an exciting new musical that delivers a beautiful and haunting new show, consisting of three thematically-connected tales of desire, love and loss.

“ENCHANTING! THE LANDING KEEPS YOU ENTHRALLED. It is a lovely, quirky new musical theater work with a sparkling cast! Julia Murney brims with cheerful loopiness and Hyde Pierce radiates a comical menace. THE LANDING leaves you wanting more. Let’s hope Kander and Pierce have lots more like this ahead!” – Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press

The Landing at The Vineyard“HAUNTING, STARTLINGLY ORIGINAL AND DEEPLY MOVING! Directed with a nimble hand and a full heart by Walter Bobbie. THE LANDING transports us and lifts our hearts. Young Frankie Seratch juggles Noah, Darius and Collin with impressive dexterity. Paul Anthony Stewart brings a robust sensitivity, then shows his deft lighter side.”- Elysa Gardner, USA Today

“THE AMERICAN MUSICAL HAS A BEGUILING, RISK-TAKING, NEW WRITING TEAM AT THE VINEYARD THEATRE THESE DAYS! Excellent actors! Kander’s music mixes his street-smart show-biz signature with yearning romantic ballads.” – Linda Winer, Newsday

“HEART-PIERCING. Under Walter Bobbie’s stylized direction and mounted on John Lee Beatty’s abstract sets gorgeously lighted by Ken Billington, the pieces in this minimalist show look unmoored from what we earthlings call reality. The conceptual treatment of longing and loneliness is imaginative and the four-piece ensemble is excellent.” – Marilyn Stasio, Variety

“HAUNTING AND UNFORGETTABLE!The Landing at The Vineyard Director Walter Bobbie leads this four-person cast to committed and boundlessly energetic performances. The Landing is an excellent production. Fascinating and heart-rending!” – Zachary Stewart, Theatermania

Click HERE for more information on THE LANDING at TheatricalRights.com

Photos by Carol Rosegg, from the original production at The Vineyard Theatre

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