Jun 11

“A Chorus Line” as a Period Piece

Wahle as Zach with Ensemble. Photo by Herb Philpott.

Presented by Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
Conceived and Originally Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett
Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Originally Co-Choreographed by Bob Avian
Direction; Recreation of the Original Choreography by Leslie Woodies
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez
Assistant Director/Assistant Choreographer – Lauren Gemelli

June 7 through 17, 2018
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
617 Lexington St., Waltham, MA 02452
Reagle on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Waltham, Massachusetts) I had never seen A Chorus Line so, for readers who are unfamiliar with this 1975 Broadway musical about life in show biz, please let me provide a brief summary.  On a bare stage, a group of dancers bring their headshots and personal histories to an audition where they share their birth names, stage names, birthdays, and ages, as well as their most formative life experiences.  There was a tough boy from the Bronx, another guy from a big Italian family, a saucy woman who flirted with the director, and fifteen more performers – all with large and extremely memorable personalities. Continue reading

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Jun 14

You’re Doing Fine: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

Presented by Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed and Choreographed by Susan M. Chebookjian
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez

June 8th – 19th
Reagle Music Theatre
617 Lexington Street
Waltham, MA
Reagle on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Waltham, MA) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is easily my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.   Full of camp and cheese with loads of catchy, singable songs, it’s pretty much everything I want in a musical.  As a North-of-Bostonian, I was so excited to see a production of Joseph outside the city limits at the Reagle. Continue reading

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Jun 13

“Carousel” Not a Merry Show but a Pleasant Ride

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Presented by Reagle Music Theatre
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed & Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez

June 9-19, 2016
Waltham, MA
Reagle Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Waltham, MA) It always feels a bit dissociative when I see a show that is technically a good production, but the show itself is rather terrible. While watching Reagle Music Theatre’s Carousel, I clapped, I scoffed, rolled my eyes, and was constantly asking myself, “Why?” Continue reading

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Aug 22

Strength in Numbers: “Les Miserables”

Photo Credit: Herb Philpott

presented by Reagle Music Theatre
music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel
English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer
directed by David Hugo

August 8th – 18th 2013
617 Lexington Street
Waltham Massachusetts
Reagle Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kate Lew Idlebrook

(Waltham) What is it about this musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic masterpiece, Les Miserables, that has captivated us since it’s opening in 1985? Perhaps it’s Javert’s fall from grace or Valjean’s salvation? Maybe it’s the rescue of innocents, or the death of innocents? Maybe it’s the music? There are so many reasons to love this musical; no doubt you have your own. But whatever they are, if you love the show, you’re bound to enjoy the Reagle Music Theatre’s production. Continue reading

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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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Jun 15

Effervescent Emptiness: CHICAGO

(center) Angie Schworer as Roxie and Rick Pessagno as Billy Flynn give the press the scoop in CHICAGO at Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston June 13-23, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham. (Photo: Herb Philpott)

presented by Reagle Music Theatre

book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse
music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb
Directed and choreographed by Gerry McIntyre

Robinson Theater
617 Lexington St
Waltham, MA
June 13th – 23rd, 2013
Reagle Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Waltham) Personally, I’ve had a hard time with plays that take on the rollicking 20’s. It’s rare to come across a script that strikes the right balance between the era’s bubbly exuberance and its tragically-wasted potential. Anything Goes was written too close to the source material to really make sense anymore. Guys and Dolls is more coherent, but still stubbornly devoid of subtext. And Cabaret (1931 is close enough) is built to pull audiences slowly from a dream to a nightmare, but too often productions can’t pull off the joy and the dread at the same time. Maybe I’m just allergic to flappers. Continue reading

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Oct 16

Unending Nostalgia: REMEMBERING THE 40’s

Photo credit: Reagle Music Theatre

presented by Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
Robinson Theatre
617 Lexington Street
Waltham, MA 02452
October 13th – October 14th
Reagle Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Waltham) Try as we might, we are losing our connection to the World War II generation. As our veterans of the war and the home front blink out, so goes the tangible feel of an era when much of a country was united for one cause. In anticipation of this angst, we see the children of WWII veterans attempting to interpret that experience through movies and literature (i.e. Saving Private Ryan), but it is rare to get a fresh glimpse of how that generation might view itself. Continue reading

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Jul 18

Bye, Bye, Birdie: Fully Loaded Fun

 

photo credit: Reagle Players

Bye, Bye, Birdie, music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams, book by Michael Stewart, Reagle Music Theatre, Waltham High School Robinson Theatre, 7/13/12-7/22/12, http://www.reagleplayers.com/current.html#Birdieinfo.

Reviewed by John Herring

(Waltham, MA) I’ve always enjoyed seeing shows at Waltham High School’s Robinson Theatre. The audience space is ample, clean and comfortable, the orchestra pit plenty big enough for a mid-size ensemble, the technical facility is as good as or better than many professional theatres, and the acoustics are good. Which brings me to the sound quality of the orchestra. Winds and strings went together as tightly as I recall ever hearing a show orchestra play, with volume to fully envelop the listeners. So much so that I worried about the actors having to belt when they should soften, or being overpowered altogether. But worries were unfounded. Music Director Dan Rodriguez and Conductor Jeff Leonard made sure that the orchestra did what any good show orchestra should do – support and enhance the action. Continue reading

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Jun 29

Hovey Players Presents the Annual “Hovey Summer Shorts” Festival

Hovey Players of Waltham (http://hoveyplayers.com) is proud to bring back “Hovey Summer Shorts” opening Friday, July 13.  Hovey began this festival 16 years ago when it featured 10-minute “shorts”.  Through the years, the festival evolved, incorporating short musicals, musical acts, short films, full one-act plays, and displayed works by local artists.  This year’s festival features the “shorts” format featuring ten 10-minute plays by ten local playwrights.  The festival is produced by Michael Haddad, a Hovey Board Member and Trustee. Continue reading

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Jun 19

A Chorus Line: Meant for One, Singular Audience (That May Not Be You)

Allison Russell as Maggie, Aimee Doherty as Sheila and Hannah Shihdanian as Bebe in A CHORUS LINE at Reagle Music Theatre June 15-24, photo credit Herb Philpott.

A Chorus Line, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, Reagle Music Theatre, 6/15/12-6/24/12, http://www.reagleplayers.com/current.html.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Waltham, MA) The Reagle Music Theatre is a supportive, intimate venue I remember with pleasure from when I visited it to review Christmas Time.  Reagle puts on the same high quality production in A Chorus Line, too, despite some difficulty with the microphones halfway through the play I sat through.

A Chorus Line fits for the Reagle even if the original material hasn’t aged well. Continue reading

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