Saturday's Aronoff Center show is a chance to look back and appreciate the cultural relevancy — even avant-gardism — of The Monkees in their heyday. Micky Dolenz reflects on the band's 1968 movie 'Head,' which came out after the TV series had ended and was so psychedelically surreal and narratively irreverent that it freaked out those who saw its initial theatrical release.
I went into Shrek The Musical expecting a silly cartoon. That’s exactly what it is — but it’s a really well-done silly cartoon, perfect fare for an audience full of kids and parents. This high-class touring production features an eye-popping array of colorful costumes for an army of fairytale characters, constantly changing scenery (several backdrops have moving projections of clouds and weather) and crazy choreography (including a number with tap-dancing rats).
A lot of people enjoy the type of humorous storytelling found in this chick-flick sitcom of a musical. Although I'm not among them, I won't deny them their preferred entertainment. The energetic cast is led by the bubbly Becky Gulsvig, playing "Omigod" Elle Woods, the sorority girl/cheerleader originated by Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 film and its 2003 sequel.
A bathtub, a bed, lots of heavy leather suitcases — not necessarily props you expect to see onstage for a ballet, let alone for a ballet set to the high funereal seriousness of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 'Requiem.' But that's just some of what audiences will experience at Adam Hougland's world premiere ballet, 'Mozart's Requiem,' Friday and Saturday at the Aronoff Center.
Sometimes the best comedy comes from being dead serious. We learned from 'Monty Python' that no matter how silly those fellows were in word or action, they seldom cracked a smile. That's a fundamental reason why 'The 39 Steps' is a raucously funny evening in the theater: Four actors are deadly earnest, even when the action is frantically ridiculous. Laughter is inevitable.
Once every generation or so a Broadway musical turns the complacent world of happy entertainment upside down. The current generation’s trendsetter, Spring Awakening (2006 Tony winner), about adolescents dealing with coming-of-age anxieties, is onstage in a touring production Jan. 12-24 at the Aronoff Center.
Let's be forthright: Despite its seemingly upbeat title, the touring Broadway musical 'Spring Awakening' deals with dark and difficult topics: teen suicide, unplanned pregnancy, physical abuse. But the dramatic tension between pain and passion is what's awakened in this powerful show. It's a new dynamic, revealing the magnificent potential of musical theater.
If you enjoy musicals — especially movie musicals — you're in for a great time at the Aronoff Center, where Broadway Across America is presenting the first touring production of 'Irving Berlin's White Christmas.' OK, so it's early for a holiday show. It has a holiday sparkle, but the music, energy and polished performances will impress you.