Non-Registered Critics: Kevin Taft

Nov

ANASTASIA

Still, there is enough here that will entertain theatre fans, but be warned, there are no fuzzy anthropomorphic animals or sorcerers with magic like the animated film, so the kiddies might get bored. For the older crowd there's enough dazzle that the mystery of Anastasia will still enchant.

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Nov

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

The company moves through Drew Mconie's choreography to exhaustion while dance captain Rebecca Kritzer steals every number with her spot on technique and endless dynamism. (You literally can't take your eyes off of her.) At the same time, the repetitive dance moves remind one a little of an opening number from an installment of "So You Think You Can Dance."

All of this said, there is something appealing about the show. The set design and lighting is beautiful and I enjoyed the rock concert take on it: if only they extended the 90-minute running time to allow for some emotional connection.

While Beeks is clearly the standout of the show, Tommy Sherlock as Pilate, Tyce Green as Annas, and Paul Louis Lessard as a sort of drag King Herod enliven the show with powerful voices and performances.

For fans of the music, there's a lot to enjoy. While "Gesthemene" doesn't have the power it should and Jesus doesn't embody the warmth his character so desperately needs to emit, this is the mass-market paperback version of Lloyd-Weber's masterpiece which makes it go down easy, but might not have any lasting effect.

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Sep

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

And that's the thing, all of the actors give the show they're all, but some of the directorial choices by Mike Donahue don't always work. Still, I applaud the theatre for combining the familiar with something new. This "Little Shop" is worth a visit, just don't expect a revelatory new version. It's cute, charming, and entertaining; groundbreaking it is not.

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Jul

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

Timing is everything and the combination of design, stagehand expertise, and the actors' dexterity makes it all tick like clockwork.

This is a play for everyone. Even the younger set in the audience was guffawing and giggling throughout. This is a terrific night at the theatre and will have you walking out on a silly high.

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Jun

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

The songs, the voices, the sets — all of this will impress those that don't make theatre a regular event. And there's nothing wrong with that. But for those that want a more fulfilling experience, this version will lack the emotional component that is needed to make the Phantom mean something and make us feel something.

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Feb

An Inspector Calls

Written in 1946, this play couldn't be more relevant. And with the expert performances by every member of the cast and stunning set design by Ian MacNeil, it couldn't be more lovely to witness.

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Jan

Scissorhands: A Musical

The whole production will lift your soul, drift you into the Christmas spirit, and remind you once again why "Edward Scissorhands" has become the classic film it has. With its relatable and timely themes, the world needs "Scissorhands" to remind us we all have a place in this world.

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Nov

DEAR EVAN HANSEN

...this show resonates with a lot of people, especially teens and young adults and that makes this reviewer happy; especially because it's an original musical and not a retread of some old '80s movie. We need more voices like this and in that this is a success. Despite its flaws, it's a worthy show and thankfully it's one with tunes you'll find yourself humming long after you leave the theatre.

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Aug

AIN'T TOO PROUD

For frequent theatergoers, it won't be an earth-shattering experience, but it's a sure-fire way to catch new talent. As for a revelatory night at the theatre, this isn't it.

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Aug

WAITRESS

For its few inconsistencies and small things that don't totally work, "Waitress" is still a terrific show. New musicals are made or broken by their score and it seems for every "Hamilton" and "Dear Evan Hansen" there are other shows whose music is sort of D.O.A. So it's a joy to experience a delicious musical you want to rush home and listen to the soundtrack for, bake the words into your brain, and spend hours in your car tasting the sweet lyrics and singing along.

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