Nov 11

Scarily Relevant Once More: WEST SIDE STORY

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, MA
November 1- 20, 2016
NSMT on Facebook

BOOK BY: Arthur Laurents
MUSIC BY: Leonard Bernstein
LYRICS BY: Stephen Sondheim
Director: Bob Richard
Music Director: Milton Granger
Choreographer: Diane Laurenson
Based on Conception of Jerome Robbins
Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) How quaint – working class whites and Hispanics fighting for control of a few city blocks. West Side Story is a fun period piece hearkening back to a time when institutionalized racism was the norm and …
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Jul 15

Is God Laughing With You or At You?: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Photo Credit: Reagle Music Theatre; Scott Wahle sings “If I Were a Rich Man.”

presented by Reagle Music Theatre
book by Joseph Stein and a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
based on the stories by Sholem Aleichem
directed by Kirby Ward
choreography by Jerome Robbins, recreated by Susan M. Chebookjian
music directed by Dan Rodriguez
conducted by Jeffrey Leonard

Waltham, MA
July 11th – July 21st, 2013
Reagle Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Waltham) The tradition of Jewish wit has been honed through years of hardship, and the best productions of Fiddler on the Roof capture that teetering line between joy and pain.  It’s not an easy task.  To pull it off, you need an expert master of ceremonies to play Tevye, the central protagonist; through his lens, we are pulled into the world of a hardscrabble Jewish village eking out an existence on the margins of pre-revolutionary Russia.  The task is made more difficult by the fact that the 1971 film version of the play features an iconic portrayal of Tevye by Israeli actor Chaim Topol.  Topol kills it with an original scene-chewing performance, creating a man at once both larger than life and lost in the currents of change.  To go down Topol’s beaten path for Tevye is folly, even though that is what most audience-members expect, and many productions succumb to this error. Continue reading

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