May 14

Good Songs and Good Cheer: NEIL BERG’S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY

Uncredited photo snagged from Larcom Theatre Facebook page.

Presented by Spectacle Management
By composer, lyricist and producer Neil Berg

Larcom Theatre
Beverly, MA
May 9th – May 11th, 2014
Larcom Theater on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) It is regrettable that Broadway too often is a business for the young, as this cult of youth cuts out so many talented actors who have finely honed their abilities through years of practice. Instead of making use of this talent in New York, actors over 35 too often are shunted off to regional tours or repertory theaters.

The show Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway, stopping in Beverly for the weekend, shows that New York’s loss is the country’s gain. A straightforward concert of some of Broadway’s most memorable tunes, this show smartly forgoes the spectacle that consumes cruise ship concerts to give the performers space to truly connect with their audience and showcase their abilities to entertain. Continue reading

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Sep 20

Anatomy Of A Rock’n’Roll Lawsuit

The tale of the URO and the lawsuit, brought to us by Sal Clemente and the members of the URO.

***Queen’s Note: If you love rock and haven’t seen the URO in action, SHAME on you!***

Wanna hear an interesting story? Some ‘behind-the-scenes’ band gossip? A tale of woe and dread eight years in the making?

Thought so…

Almost 10 years ago, when Alan and I first conceived (literally and figuratively) the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra, we really could never have predicted all of the amazing things that have happened to us, good and bad.

We’ve had the chance to work with all kinds of great, and good, people in our time with the URO. Great bandmates, incredible family, and some awesome business/theatre people, who’ve been both ethical and generous with us.

We’ve also had to adjust to the idiosyncrasies of others – a few bandmates (that’s another blog) and one person who, after working with us for several years to try to take the URO to the next level of business success, decided to quit, and then sue us for everything we have.

This is that story

We met this fellow (let’s call him, ‘Bob’) in March of 2006, after a performance at our beloved Regent Theatre – he came backstage, was effusive about the band, and how much he wanted to work with us.

We got together with Bob several times over the next few months to determine the direction of our collaboration, and in that first year, when the economy was booming and gigs were plentiful, we worked to build the foundation of a good relationship. Bob was inexperienced, older, but certainly enthusiastic and hardworking – kinda like us, so we went for it.

Our first few co-productions were a successful run at The Regent Theatre and a very successful single show at The Berkeley Performance Center.

Now what? We wanted to make a bigger splash, but what to do?

Alan and I pushed to complete a documentary film we were making about the URO and our version of Jesus Christ Superstar (hundreds of hours of footage still rest quietly in the vault), but Bob wasn’t interested – he wanted to put on more and bigger shows.

Bob insisted that the way to go was to push into downtown Boston and make the URO a “theatre event.” He wanted to make us the new Blue Man Group, and we kinda liked the sound of that. Perhaps we were all suffering delusions of grandeur.
Alan and I let Bob know there was no way for us to come up with the money to produce a long run in Boston, but Bob, who drove an Astin Martin when he wasn’t driving his Range Rover, seemed to have the deep pockets needed, and was willing to produce the Wilbur shows on his own. So, after looking closely at all our options, Alan and I agreed to do it. This was in 2007, before our current horrible recession, when W was still president and the world was young… Continue reading
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Mar 22

Not Your Daddy’s Rock Opera: URO’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Courtesy of the URO Facebook Page

Words and Music by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Presented by The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra*

The Norwood Theatre
109 Central St.
Norwood, MA
March 21st at 7:00 pm – March 24th at 2:00 pm
URO Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Norwood) The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) rocks. They have made a brilliant career out of rocking classics by musicians such as The Beatles, Bowie, and Queen. Last night’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar was no exception. Put simply, they capture all the funk that Andrew Lloyd Weber missed. Continue reading

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Oct 20

Jesus Christ Superstar: God and Everyone Else is Listening

Photos: Copyright The Boston Conservatory. Max Wagenblass, photographer.

presented by The Boston Conservatory

Music by Andrew Lloyd Weber.
Lyrics by Tim Rice.

Directed by Neil Donohoe
Music Direction by Bill Casey.
Conducted by Reuben M. Reynolds, III.
Choreographed by Michelle Chasse.

The Boston Conservatory Theater
Boston, MA

October 18 – 21, 2012

(Boston) It started out as a lovely evening. Boston Conservatory’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar is excellent – not only as a student production but as a piece of art comparable to professional area theater. The students in Friday’s performance were electric on the stage, filling every crevice in the theater with palpable, thrumming energy. Their acting was fine, their dance was great and their vocals blew the roof off. The modern dance choreographed by Michelle Chasse lends itself well to this updated production. The subtle yet evocative lighting design by Franklin Meissner Jr. was the cherry on the performance sundae. It is a good show. Continue reading

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