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From producing and starring in family holiday pageants as a child, to avid member of Broadway Across America and Show of the Month Club, Nancy has cultivated her love of the art and respect for the craft of theatre. She fulfilled a dream when she became an adult-onset tap dancer in the early 90's ("Gotta dance!"); she fulfills another by providing reviews for BroadwayWorld.com and evolving as a freelance writer. Nancy is an alumna of Syracuse University and a retired Probation Officer-in-Charge in the Massachusetts Trial Court system.
BWW Review: High Seas Highbrow For The Lowbrow
May 17, 2013
PIRATES OF PENZANCE at the American Repertory Theater's Loeb Drama Center is tantamount to a three-ring circus being held at a beach volleyball tournament. There are beach balls, kiddie pools, beach chairs, and a grass cocktail shack. The cast performs as roving troubadours, each proficiently playing an instrument. The singing voices are good across the board and the songs are delivered with brio. As an acting troupe, The Hypocrites fit nicely with the A.R.T. aesthetic, making a strong connection with the audience both physically and emotionally. Director Sean Graney's vision serves as an introduction to the great work of Gilbert and Sullivan, albeit equivalent to a 'Reader's Digest' abridgement, and one might hope that it would motivate the previously uninitiated to learn more about them.
BWW Review: Tap Legend Hines Sings and Tells His Story
May 16, 2013
Maurice Hines puts his passion for tap, his late brother Gregory, and classic Big Band music on display in TAPPIN' THRU LIFE: AN EVENING WITH MAURICE HINES. Backed by the Berklee College of Music Select Big Band, under the direction of drummer Sherrie Maricle, Hines tells his story, shows off his vocal chops, and delights the audience with his warm, relaxed presence. The program is stingy with his dancing, but The Manzari Brothers ratchet up the excitement and kick up a lot of dust in their turn in the spotlight.
BWW Review: Lyric Stage Company: It's a Helluva ON THE TOWN
May 14, 2013
From stem to stern, the crew of Lyric Stage Company's ON THE TOWN serves up a boatload of thrills. Leonard Bernstein's glorious score, book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and Jerome Robbins' idea fuse into a terrific voyage to end the season. Director Spiro Veloudos, Choreographer Ilyse Robbins, Music Director Jonathan Goldberg, a creative design team, and a shipshape ensemble put on one helluva show.
BWW Review: Bond Meets the Bard at Vaquero Playground
May 12, 2013
FROM DENMARK WITH LOVE: A 007/HAMLET MASH-UP may be your poison if you know your James Bond movies and the crux of the Shakespeare tragedy. At times difficult to follow, the two vehicles blend better than you might think, thanks to clear direction and an energetic, fun-loving ensemble. Daniel Jones has enough good looks to play both leading men and has his hands full with the Bond girls. Playwright John J. King fulfills his mission to provide mirth while helping to save the earth.
BWW Review: PUNK ROCK Packs a Punch
May 10, 2013
Zeitgeist Stage Company's production of Simon Stephens' play, inspired by the Columbine shooting, hits very close to home on the heels of the Newtown and Boston Marathon tragedies. Director David J. Miller and an outstanding cast of teens and young adults handle the material responsibly and realistically. PUNK ROCK is an important play with an articulate message that needs to be heard over and over and over again.
BWW Review: ALMOST BLUE Almost Works
May 5, 2013
Theatre on Fire creates the noir ambiance in the intimate confines of the Charlestown Working Theater, but lethargic pacing and lack of chemistry hamper fine individual acting efforts.
BWW Review: LOOPED Tour Banks on Stefanie Powers
May 2, 2013
Stefanie Powers is a trouper who stepped into the role of Tallulah Bankhead, which was originated by Valerie Harper, when Harper's untimely diagnosis of brain cancer forced her to withdraw from the national tour of LOOPED. Although the circumstances are bittersweet, Powers' performance is informed by her working and personal relationship with the film legend. Playwright Matthew Lombardo goes to great lengths to show and tell as much detail about Bankhead as possible in the limited span of this one long afternoon in the waning months of her life.
BWW Review: Merrimack Rep's GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Closes the Deal
May 1, 2013
David Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play resonates nearly thirty years later in Merrimack Repertory Theatre's crisp, dark, funny, riveting production. In the capable hands of Director Charles Towers and an accomplished group of actors, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS is a total entertainment package and a great way to conclude the 34th season in Lowell.
BWW Review: I Cannot Tell a Lie - PORNOCCHIO is a Hoot
April 28, 2013
Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans do what they do bestand then some. The troupe's musical theater skills are evolving with every production. Grace Carney is a real boy as the title character. Don't bring your kids, but prepare yourself for a visit with your inner child.
BWW Review: Last Chance to See a Legendary Peter Pan
April 25, 2013
CATHY RIGBY IS PETER PAN National Tour completes its journey in Boston where it all began for the star in 1989, with the final performance Sunday evening, April 28, at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre. Rigby gives a magical performance in an imaginative and inspiring production, supported by a cast of the highest order. Brent Barrett is a virile Captain Hook and the entire ensemble has boundless talent and energy. Life is filled with regrets - don't let missing out on this be one of yours.
BWW Review: No 'splainin' needed: I Love Lucie
April 22, 2013
In the case of Lucie Arnaz, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz is a consummate entertainer. Her acting and comedic skills come from her mother, but she owes her music and Latin heritage to her father. AN AFTERNOON WITH LUCIE ARNAZ pays tribute to the late Cuban band leader and features a majority of the songs from her 2010 cd "Latin Roots."
BWW Review: 'M' Is For Misfire
April 18, 2013
The Huntington Theatre Company world premiere of RYAN LANDRY'S 'M' is a design triumph, but the plot misfires. Karen MacDonald is an anxious menace skulking around the periphery, casting giant shadows, and Larry Coen milks every drop of humor from his multiple roles, but playwright Ryan Landry's story gets snagged between who he is and who he is trying to be.
BWW Reviews: Imaginary Beasts Imagine Thornton Wilder
April 17, 2013
Imaginary Beasts presents a selection of ten playlets written by Thornton Wilder before his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning OUR TOWN. An egalitarian ensemble of ten actors and actresses creates a circus-like environment with mime, acrobatics, and clown collars, augmented by atmospheric lighting and original music. The gestalt results in a delightful evening of theater.
BWW Review: BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK at Lyric Stage Company
April 2, 2013
A play about a wannabe movie star features a magical blending of live performance with cinematic images in the New England premiere of 2011 Off-Broadway hit BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK. Summer L. Williams makes her Lyric Stage directing debut with Kami Rushell Smith shining at the forefront of a strong ensemble cast, most of whom play dual roles. Film and Media Designer Johnathan Carr puts his stamp on the production.
BWW Review: All Systems Go in OPERATION EPSILON
March 25, 2013
The Nora Theatre Company and Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT present the world premiere of MIT Professor Alan Brody's dramatic treatment of actual events at the close of World War II. On the brink of the United States dropping the atom bomb on Japan, the Allies held ten German scientists captive to determine how far the Nazis had gone in developing their nuclear capability.
BWW Review: A NEW BRAIN Has Heart and Music
March 21, 2013
Moonbox Productions and Director Allison Olivia Choat have reverted to the familiar terrain of musical theater with this intimate, sung-through look into the heart and mind (er, brain) of Tony Award-winning composer William Finn (FALSETTOS, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE) who grew up in Natick, Massachusetts. The cast of ten is bursting with new talent alongside three actors who have been in previous Moonbox shows, all of whom have incredible vocal chops.
BWW Review: PEANUTS Gang Reaches Puberty
March 17, 2013
Happy Medium Theatre's production of Bert V. Royal's DOG SEES GOD: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD makes good use of the intimate Factory Theatre with some strong individual performances and minimal design elements. If only the playwright had subscribed to the philosophy of less is more
BWW Review: Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston Premieres with Pinter
March 4, 2013
Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston shows promise with Director Shana Gozansky helming Pinter's THE LOVER. Joe Short and 5-time IRNE Award nominee McCaela Donovan give virtuosic performances in the cozy confines of Deane Hall at the Boston Center for the Arts.
BWW Review: STONES IN HIS POCKETS a Showcase for Acting Duo
February 25, 2013
Daniel Berger-Jones and Phil Tayler play more than a dozen characters between them in Marie Jones' 2001 Olivier Award-winner for Best New Comedy. They make it look easy, but their achievement is no small feat as they breathe life into the citizens of a rural Irish village in County Kerry who vie for roles as extras in an American film. The experience changes many of them, not all for the better.
BWW Review: Varla Jean Merman Is MILDRED FIERCE
February 23, 2013
Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans take on Joan Crawford (and Bette Davis) in the noir musical MILDRED FIERCE. Add this one to a long string of hilarious productions recognized by their clever irreverence, dazzling costumes, done-on-a-dime sets, and multi-talented ensembles. Varla Jean Merman is the icing on the cake.
BWW Review: LUNGS Pits Babies vs. The Planet
February 20, 2013
A liberal, thinking couple must weigh their desire to have a baby against their view of themselves as good people who care about the planet's survival. Duncan Macmillan's LUNGS is in its Boston premiere at New Repertory Theatre's Black Box Theater, featuring Liz Hayes and Nael Nacer, under the direction of Bridget Kathleen O'Leary.
BWW Review: LEGALLY DEAD: Certifiably Funny
February 16, 2013
Boston Playwrights' Theatre final new play of the season is Dan Hunter's LEGALLY DEAD, a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family deciding how to deal with its missing Dad. The wacky, scary characters are immensely entertaining, but you wouldn't want them on your family tree.
BWW Review: Zeitgeist Stage Company Sticks With Ayckbourn
February 12, 2013
For the fourth year in a row, Zeitgeist Stage Company produces an Alan Ayckbourn play. The East Coast premiere of LIFE OF RILEY features a cast of Zeitgeist regulars under the direction of David J. Miller.
BWW Interview: Vicki Lawrence Speaks for Two
February 11, 2013
Emmy Award-winner Vicki Lawrence of the renowned "Carol Burnett Show" and beloved "Mama's Family" brings VICKI LAWRENCE AND MAMA: A TWO-WOMAN SHOW to Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston on Sunday, February 17, for a one-show-only engagement. On January 30th, BroadwayWorld talked with one half of the duo by telephone. We think that Vicki is authorized to speak for Thelma Harper aka Mama.
BWW Review: FIRE ON EARTH Scorches the Church
February 5, 2013
Fresh Ink Theatre stages new play by Patrick Gabridge about the illegal translation of the Bible into English in the early part of the 16th century. Based on a true story, FIRE ON EARTH chronicles the struggle between the powerful Catholic Church and the Army of Reformers willing to challenge the status quo in order to bring the words of God to the common man in his own language.
BWW Review: FRANK MCCOURT'S THE IRISH...AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY
February 3, 2013
A little bit of Irish history and a lot of Irish music comprise THE IRISH...AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY at the Davis Square Theatre in Somerville. A multi-talented ensemble of three women and three men sing and dance their way through Frank McCourt's wide swath of history on both sides of the pond.
BWW Review: Celebrity Series of Boston Presents AN EVENING WITH CHRISTINE EBERSOLE
January 27, 2013
Two-time Tony Award-winning actress Christine Ebersole made her Celebrity Series of Boston debut at Sanders Theatre with an intimate cabaret performance that brought much-needed warmth to a cold January night. The former "Not Ready for Prime Time" player on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is now the toast of Broadway and Harvard Square.
BWW Reviews: SISTER ACT Makes a Joyful Noise
January 25, 2013
Direct from Broadway, the National Tour of the five-time Tony-nominated SISTER ACT is in town, featuring an original score by award-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater, and a book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner with additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane. Based on the Touchstone Pictures 1992 motion picture written by Joseph Howard, the live stage show has an ensemble cast that will have you dancing in the aisles to its variety of musical styles.
BWW Review: N.E. Premiere of YOU FOR ME FOR YOU
January 23, 2013
Company One presents the New England premiere of Providence playwright Mia Chung's YOU FOR ME FOR YOU, an imaginative tale of two North Korean sisters who contemplate fleeing their homeland. The story relies heavily on magical realism and suspension of disbelief; not for the cynics in the audience.
BWW Review: OTHER DESERT CITIES Showcases Trio of Actresses
January 21, 2013
New England premiere of acclaimed Broadway play at SpeakEasy Stage Company is a complex comedy-drama about the generational and cultural divide in one family plagued by secrets. Scott Edmiston directs a stellar ensemble.
BWW Review: Underground Railway Theater Scales THE MOUNTAINTOP
January 18, 2013
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, URT brings a powerful and riveting production of Katori Hall's award-winning play to Central Square Theater. Bravura performances by Maurice Emmanuel Parent and Kami Rushell Smith.
BWW Review: SHAKESPEARE'S WILL: The Other Anne Hathaway
January 16, 2013
Vern Thiessen's play at Merrimack Repertory Theatre is a one-woman show about Shakespeare's wife and the strange bequest he left her in his will. Seana McKenna, lead actress of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, gives a riveting performance under the direction of Miles Potter.
BWW Review: Relaxing HOLIDAY in Wellesley
January 15, 2013
The Wellesley Summer Theatre Company does what it does best with a familiar cast and a couple of fresh faces in the 1928 comedy of manners, Philip Barry's HOLIDAY.
BWW Review: Savion Glover's SoLe Sanctuary
January 13, 2013
Celebrity Series of Boston and World Music/CRASHarts collaborate to present Boston premiere of Savion Glover's homage to the late, great tap dance masters who came before him.
BWW Review: INVISIBLE MAN in New England Debut at Huntington Theatre Company
January 12, 2013
Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel has been called a masterpiece that changed the shape of American literature. Adapted into a play by Oren Jacoby, INVISIBLE MAN is having its New England premiere at Huntington Theatre Company with an epic performance by Teagle F. Bougere, under the direction of Christopher McElroen.
BWW Review: 33 VARIATIONS Star Vehicle for Paula Plum
January 10, 2013
Casting Paula Plum as Katherine Brandt in Moiss Kaufman's 33 VARIATIONS was a no-brainer for Lyric Stage Artistic Director Spiro Veloudos. Her performance is courageous and heartfelt, and she and pianist Catherine Stornetta are the linchpins that give the play its heart and its soul.
BWW Review: A Musical Revue of Sondheim Rejects at New Repertory Theatre
January 8, 2013
The concept of MARRY ME A LITTLE, an easy to take musical revue at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, is a loosely-themed program of Stephen Sondheim rejects. Seventeen of the maestro's songs that have been cut from well-known shows or drawn from never-produced works are performed by a talented quartet of actor/singers, with direction and choreography by Ilyse Robbins and dual piano accompaniment by Musical Director David McGrory and Todd C. Gordon.
BWW Review: Gabriel Kuttner Gives His All in FULLY COMMITTED
December 21, 2012
Gabriel Kuttner revisits his 2010 IRNE Award-winning portrayal of thirty-plus characters in Becky Mode's one act, one person comedy at New Repertory Theatre.
BWW Review: John Kolvenbach's HALF 'N HALF 'N HALF World Premiere at MRT
December 17, 2012
Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Director Kyle Fabel collaborate with John Kolvenbach for the world premiere of his backstage comedy about life and love in a repertory theatre. When the backstage shenanigans of the protagonist spill through the dressing room door into a scene playing live onstage, all hell breaks loose. The cast is a cohesive ensemble, timing their many entrances and exits perfectly, and maintaining straight faces throughout the farcical goings on.
BWW Review: HOLIDAY MEMORIES to Warm a Winter's Night
December 13, 2012
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, with all of its blaring music and colorful lights clamoring for attention, New Repertory Theatre is offering a quiet and simple drama as a balm for our overloaded synapses. HOLIDAY MEMORIES combines two short stories by Truman Capote that are based on his childhood in rural Alabama in the middle of the Depression. If you only know him from IN COLD BLOOD, you will be pleasantly surprised by Capote's exquisite language and the warmth that radiates from these stories.
No Good Deed from Wicked on 2003 Original Broadway Cast.