Reviews

An Uneven “Playboy” Crosses the Atlantic

Director Ben Barnes and his Abbey Theatre troupe turn “The Playboy of the Western World” into a more modern look at celebrity worship. It’s a good idea but the results are mixed. Read the review.

THE THEATER IN 2003-04:
Lions, Bunnys and Lots of Hairspray

Boston and Providence announce full schedules for the coming theater year as “The Lion King” and “Hairspray” lead new musicals on the road. There’s also an American classic, “Harvey,” and even Shakespeare and O’Casey. Read the story.

August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” a Proud Achievement

The latest in a chronicle of African-American life in the 20th Century, this play looks with vigor and love at a community of souls striving for freedom. Read the story.

Elaine Stritch Is Boffo In Boston

Stritch’s life has roller coasted from alcoholic stupor to the heights of the theater. Her one-woman show about it all is honest, moving and very funny, too. To paraphrase Rodger and Hammerstein, there is nothin’ like this dame. Read the review.

It’s Mr. B And Peter in Boston

The Boston Ballet opens its season with two classics by George Balanchine and a new work by Peter Martins. The result is mixed but crowd-pleasing. Read the review.

“Raymonda” Returns Courtesy of the Bolshoi

Most ballet fans have seen variations taken from “Raymonda.” But many, such as our writer, have never seen the whole thing. Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet is touring it in the United States and Mexico this fall. Read the review.

“The Producers” Produces in Providence

Sure, it’s not Nathan and Mathew, but the road cast still makes Mel Brooks’s musical sail on to hit-land. Read the review.

Once again, Ibsen Proves He Is Still Modern, Still Strong

The Gamm Theatre takes on “An Enemy of the People” and despite a little overplaying shows us that some things never change. Read the review.

The Heart is At Home in “Home Movies”

Melding dance, theater and film, Everett takes on their own lives and shows us how closely connected we all are in a splendid evening of dance and theater equaling art, and life. Read the review.

“The Heiress” at 2nd Story Turns Art into Melodrama

A cast mostly not ready for prime-time makes this staging of a Henry James story less than it ought to be. Read the story.

No Misbehaving At Trinity Rep in A Fats Waller Fest

_A8L6818The cast and the band are fine in Providence. But one does have to wonder if recreating Broadway successes is what a top New England arts group should be aiming for. Read the review.

A Double Bill in Newport is Just a Single

The Firehouse Theatre gets an evening half right; it’s the Elvis end that works. Read the review.

“Where’s Charley?” Why at Goodspeed, Thank Goodness

Sure the book creaks, but on the banks of the Connecticut, and propelled by an ecstatic performance by Noah Racey, this Frank Leosser show wins you over all over again. Read thereview.

Once Again, Cirque du Soleil Is Extraordinary

A re-doing of the Icarus myth leads to some magnificent athleticism and is the hit of the summer in New England. Read the review.

The Pillow Remains a Dance Mecca In the Summertime

Although this company has closed at Jacobs Pillow, it typifies the kind of spirited attractions you can see at “the Pillow.” Read the review.

New England’s Best Honored at Norton Awards in Boston

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It takes a village to turn out good theater and about 400 members of the theater world turned out for the 2004 Norton Awards. Read the story.

“The Ruby Sunrise” Asks Us About How Far We Are Willing to Go

A co-production with a Kentucky theater, this new play concerns television and us; the effect is a little snowy, but there’s lots there. Read the review.

“The Thug With a Rug” May Have a Musical Future

Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci (now a guest of the federal government) is the center of a new musical. It went well at the New York International Fringe Festival and is being considered for a run in Providence. Here is a review of the New York production.

Two Reviews of the Kirov Ballet

The Kirov: A Company Both Old and New

In its Boston visit, this oldest of ballet troupes provides a look at Mikhail Fokine, a choreographer who changed the ballet a century ago. Read the review.

From Russia with Skill: The Kirov

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One of the world’s great artistic association, the Kirov Ballet of St. Petersburg is bringing its best to Boston. Read the review.

There’s No Gray in the “Hairspray” Now on the Road

Transformed into a goofy, good-natured musical, John Water’s 1970s film is truly a winner. it has a point or two to make, too. Bet you can’t stop tappin’ your foot if you go. Read the review.