Annie at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts

A classic and theatre favorite has recently opened at the Ordway and it stars a red-haired girl. That's right, Annie is here and performing through the end of the month. Now many of you who are reading this will ask "But Brett...you hate Annie." It's true. Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Annie. I never have been BUT that doesn't mean this production wasn't good. It was great and the talent is beyond amazing. Annie is such an iconic musical because of it's countless of revivals through the stage and film. There are so many people who feel passionately about this show because it was one they were in when they were little, they remember playing the VHS over and over again or they remember belting the greatest hits from their shower. Annie originally opened on Broadway in 1977 and ran for nearly six years. Since then it has had numerous national tours, revivals on Broadway (most recently in 2012 with Lilla Crawford starring as Annie and Jane Lynch as a replacement for Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan), and countless of movie versions. That being said, the Ordway's production certainly can hold a flame to the candle of all the other versions.

Annie is the story of an orphan named, you guessed it, Annie who lives in a facility in New York City with other orphan girls. The facility is run by the villainous Miss Hannigan who treats the girls like unpaid maids versus orphans. Annie believes her parents left her there by mistake and are going to come back for her someday. In the meantime, one of the richest mans alive named Oliver Warbucks decides to let an orphan live at his home for the holiday season and chooses Annie. However, Annie still believes her parents will come back for her. After developing a strong bond with Annie, Warbucks begins searching for her parents with a large reward which brings out many frauds.

The best thing about this production is there are no weak links in the cast. The entire cast is on fire from the beginning all the way to curtain call. Oliver Warbucks, played by Lance Roberts, is a different type of Warbucks than we are used to. Granted it's been awhile since I've seen the show or movie but I remember him being more frightening with a booming voice. Roberts takes a different approach to Warbucks while making him more energetic and cheerful with a zest for life. Also perks to the Ordway for breaking the mold and casting an African American male to play Warbucks. Grace Farrell, Warbucks right-hand woman, is played by Ann Michels and brilliantly I might add. Her voice, both singing, and speaking, soar with an effortless air to it. Cat Brindisi and Britton Smith play Lily and Rooster, the brother to Miss. Hannigan. They are a comedic duo and their over the top shenanigans and dialogue keep the scene's light-hearted even at dark times through the show.

Annie is played by Carly Gendell who clearly has done her homework when it comes to vocal tone. She may be little but her voice is loud and echos throughout the large theater space. She is not only a fantastic singer but also an amazing actress as she perfectly captures the innocence of a young girl but also the wit and smarts that Annie has. She's fiercely strong and was forced to grow up at a young age and Gendell hits her mark perfectly. She is the perfect amount of maturity yet playfulness for the role.

While everyone was great, there was one that shined above the rest for me. As I said before, I am not a fan of the actual show, Annie but I am a huge fan of Miss Hannigan. I think the role is hilarious and I'd die to play it. Miss Hannigan is played by Michele Ragusa and she is very far the most entertaining part of this production. She's everything I think that makes a fantastic Miss Hannigan. She's the perfect amount of campiness that the role demands and her version of Little Girls was Carol Burnett level (who played Hannigan in one of the movies). Ragusa has a fantastic voice as well. She manages to sing wonderfully throughout the entire show while still adding a bit of Hannigan into her voice.

Other highlights of this production include:

  • The set is one of the few things I wasn't entirely enthused about. The props enhanced each scene but the backdrops for scenes like Warbucks house took me out of the production. I will say towards the end of the show there was one scene in his house that included a giant spiral staircase. It was beautiful and I wanted nothing more than to gracefully glide down it.
  • Hard Knock Life is the best-choreographed number in the entire show (by Lewis E. Whitlock III). It's sharp and precise and the ensemble in this number are all children actors. They do the choreography as if they've been doing it for years. Spot on.
  • Before the second act starts, a brief video plays about the importance of family and adoption. As one of the main themes of the show, I loved that the Ordway took a show and partnered it with a cause. There is one thing I love more than good theatre and that's theatre for a cause!

Annie is beautifully performed and nostalgic to many people with plenty of songs. It runs through December 31st and tickets can be purchased here.

In the Heights at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in collaboration with Teatro del Pueblo

In-the-Heights.jpg

When I heard the Ordway was producing their own production of "In the Heights" I was pretty excited. It was a musical I knew maybe a song or two but that was pretty much it. I knew it was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (who wrote Hamilton, but I hope you already knew that) and it was rooted in Hispanic stylized music. Other than that, I really didn't know too much about it so I was thrilled to be able to attend.

Even after seeing the show, I still can't quite describe what it was about. Was it a love story? Yes, there was a bit of love. Was it a story about struggling artists? Yeah, it was. Was it simply just about the lives of a group of relatable people who live in Washington Heights? Yes, that's exactly what it was and that is ok. For someone who sees a lot of theatre, sometimes a big huge overcomplicated plot with a hero, villain and a typical story of a boy getting a girl to fall in love with him gets very overdone and very boring...very quickly. That is why I felt very drawn to these characters. They were relatable. Each had their struggle that many of us feel day to day. Whether you're someone struggling in college, trying to find money to pay rent, or just living life and don't know how to overcome typical struggles, everyone can relate to at least one character.

The show opens with the title song "In the Heights" and we are introduced to the entire company. Usnavi, played by Justin Gregory Lopez, narrates the show. He owns a small bodega that many of the characters visit daily which how is how we are introduced to the close-knit neighborhood within the almost 7 and a half minute long song. As the lights turn on and the sun rises on the day we see the full lit set, designed by Anna Louizos. It is extremely charming and has a homey feel to it, almost like Sesame Street. Also, I would have loved to have walked up on set just to admire the sheer amount of detail from Usnavi's bodega to Daniela and Carla's salon.

Speaking of Daniela (played by Lauren Villegas) and Carla (played by Emily Madigan), easily my favorite element of the production. Daniela and Carla work in the salon that Vanessa (played by Val Nuccio) also works in. These two ladies were one of the best dynamic duo's I've seen in a while. Talk about comedic timing because these two ladies had the audience eating out of the palm of their hands the entire night. Their song "No Me Diga," involves the girls talking about how they know pretty much everything that happens in the neighborhood, was my absolute favorite in the entire show.

The voices were unique with each soloist having their own strength. Abuela Claudia (played by Debra Cardona) had a passion in her voice that was like none other. Vanessa had an unbelievable amount of power behind it. Nina often held long gentle notes for multiple measures. While sustaining these note (hello breath support!) her voice was so pure.

While soloists were pretty impressive, I felt some acting was a little static. I appreciated Nina's version of "Breath" due to the high notes she hit, however, I felt it could have gone further. The sheer emotion in that song could have been heightened even more than what she was giving the audience. That is really my only critique.

One of my favorite things, next to "No Me Diga," (yes I loved it that much!), was the choreography. After seeing the Ordway's production of West Side Story, I knew we were in for a treat with In the Heights. Choreographer James A. Rocco is completely in his element and knows exactly what he is doing in the group numbers. Each group number was beautifully constructed and superbly executed by the performers. I had so much fun just watching them, I can't imagine how fun it is dancing it.

In the Heights is the must-see season opener across the entire Twin Cities. The music will have you dancing in your seat and the dancing will make you want to get up and join the performers on stage. It is a stellar production about family, friends, never giving up and never being afraid.

In the Heights has a limited run through Sept. 24. Tickets can be bought here.

*All photos provided by the Ordway and are by Rich Ryan.

The Illusionists at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

file (10).png

The Illusionists was by far one of the most engaging shows I've seen in a really long time. I can't count how many times I was on the edge of my seat during this show. I have always been a fan of magic tricks however the entire time I was at this show, I was convinced none of these acts were tricks. The tag line for The Illusionists is "witness the impossible" and that is exactly what I saw. The show was not only spectacular features in magic however entertaining in many ways including humor and theatricality. Coming from a theatre background I loved this aspect.

The amount of sheer talent between these seven illusionists was unreal. I was stunned the entire time. However there was one illusionist that had my attention the entire time and that was Dan Sperry. His role within the show was the "Anti-Conjurer" and he was amazing. His eccentric personality, wit and humor mixed with his magic was what kept me begging for more. I would pay money to watch a show entirely made up of him, just him. His abilities can be seen on YouTube and I highly recommend you search it. He conjured birds (and a cockatoo named Spike). I think I held my breath the entire time...however not as long as Andrew Basso, the Italian escapologist who kept the entire audience motionless. 

Andrew Basso's part of the show was much more than a magical illusion...because it was pure talent. He is known as the Escapologist. His act mimics that of his hero, Harry Houdini. Andrew Basso was locked in handcuffs and submerged (see picture on left) in a tank of water, UPSIDE DOWN! The time varies, however during the show I saw he managed to unlock himself from the handcuffs, get his feet loose and get out of the tank in under four minutes. This was an interesting part about this section of the show. It wasn't an illusion. It was completely real and absolutely amazing.

If you get a chance to see this show, I highly recommend it. It was great for many ages (most of the adult humor is too witty for children to understand). If you don't get the chance, check out their website or look them up on YouTube.

Evita at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts

Evita is a musical that opened on The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Stage on August 12 and will run through August 17. For those who do not know, Evita is a musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and a score written by multi-award winning composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical is about the former First Lady of Argentina, Eva Perón. The musical follows her early life, rise to power, charity work and her eventual death.

Eva Perón was born in 1919 in the poor town of Los Toldos, Argentina. She made her way to Buenos Aires (the capital of Argentina) in the 1930s at the mere age of 15. Soon after moving there she rapidly climbed the social ladder and became an actress on a radio station. She then married Juan Perón, a military officer, in 1945 after dating for a year. The following year he became the president of Argentina where Eva used her position as the first lady to fight for women's suffrage and improving the lives of the poor. She died in 1952 of cancer and was given the title "Spiritual Leader of the Nation."

Going into this musical with very minimal knowledge was a mistake. If you do not know anything about Eva Perón, I suggest you musical to take the time to research her and her life. The musical's plotline was a little twisty turny and due to the large chorus numbers (sometimes sung in Spanish), it was a little hard to follow. The chorus had a wonderful sound and tone to it however at times it was hard to understand.

This production had something that I haven't seen in quite some time. Something that is simple but in my opinion required in almost every musical I would like to see and that is dance. This new staged production uses beautiful tango choreography by Rob Ashford that is truly beautiful and really adds to the authenticity of the Argentinean production.

The thing I enjoyed the most about Evita was the powerhouse leading actress, Caroline Bowman, who portrayed Eva Perón. She had such an amazing stage presence that had me begging for her to return to the stage every time she exited. Bowman's powerful vocal stamina is what really brought me into the musical. At times she had a belt that is in the ranks of Broadway legends like Patti LuPone (the Tony-Award winning actress who originated the role on Broadway) while other times her voice was soft and gentle in songs like "Don't Cry for Me Argentina."

At the top of the second act, Bowman came out onto the balcony to address her people. She wore a dress that was almost too fabulous for the Argentinean diva as she delicately sung the musical's most popular song. It was this moment when I knew just who Caroline Bowman was. Just like the lyrics in the song "Buenos Aires," Caroline Bowman is an actress with true star quality.

Bring It On: The Musical at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts

Bring It On: The Musical opened on The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Stage on May 13 and will run through the 18. 

If you attend this high flying musical, in hopes to hear the same favorite quotes from the original 2000 cult classic movie starring Kirsten Dunst, then you will be sadly disappointed. Upon entering the Ordway, I was expecting the same story line that made me fall in love with the movie, however it's quite different.

The plot line for Bring It On: The Musical is similar to the second movie Bring It On: All Or Nothing in which a transfer student must compete with a new inner-city school's cheer squad against her old high school. In this musical, Campbell is the shows protagonist. Due to the school board re-districting parts of the city, she is forced to attend Jackson High School. This is of course after she has been named cheer squad captain which is all she's ever wanted and is expressed in the shows opening song What I was Born to Do.

The show had it's ups and downs for me. First off I did love the choreography and vocals. The choreography has two different distinct feels. It opened with Truman High School, Campbell's original school, doing many flips and gymnastic styled moves. I guess it's hard to classify it as either choreography or gymnastics. However the students of Truman High School had plenty of bumping and grinding dance moves all across the stage that they integrated with their gymnastics for their final squad routine. During the final show-down, my friend Lexia and I jumped a few times in fear that someone wasn't going to be caught! It was the most memorable thing from the show and really set it apart from other musicals I've seen in the past. Believe me, I've seen a lot.

The vocals were remarkable as well. The performers were constantly belting out some really stellar songs while at the same time twerking, flipping and tumbling. The music was something that kept me interested through out the entire production. This is no surprise when I found out Tony award winners Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and Lin-Manual Miranda (In the Heights) both composed music for this show, as I am huge fans of both of their work. At times it was pop-like and sweet as the show opened, featuring Truman High School. However as the scenes transitioned into Jackson High School, the music shifted into music that had more hip-hop influence. 

Now for what I did not care for. I thought the writing was in a word...cliche. It was funny and witty at times however I thought the story line progressed way to fast and really was completely unrealistic. Now we all know that in musical theatre, very rarely is anything realistic which is when the actors actual acting abilities come into play. This is when I am torn. Was the book just that poorly written that I did not believe it or was it the fact that the actors did not truly pull me into the story enough to make me believe it. I'll let you decide upon seeing the production. 

Bring It On: The Musical plays at the Ordway through May 18.

Photography by Clint Tuccio.

The Wizard of Oz at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts

The timeless tale of The Wizard of Oz had their opening night of their new production by Tony, Grammy and Oscar winner Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera) on December 4th at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul. This was a fun production for the family and all ages. Upon walking into the lobby of the Ordway I noticed instantly a little girl who was wearing the iconic red slippers, braided pigtails and of course the farm girl blue checkered dress. 

I must applaud whoever designed the lobby of the Ordway for this production. There was a set up in the lobby of what was an upside down Christmas tree complete with decorations and a small house with the Wicked Witch of the East's recognizable striped socks and red ruby slippers. Upon further examination of the tree, it was discovered that the tree was supposed to replicate the tornado that appears in the show. How creative!

file (1).png

Now for the production itself. I thought it was enjoyable and charming. I have never been the greatest fan of the movie The Wizard of Oz however since it was a staged musical rendition, I was hoping that I would enjoy it. Webber does a fantastic job of re-imagining a story that many generations know and love while at the same time adding an almost new modern feel to it. For example one of my favorite things about the show was the amazing portrayal Jacquelyn Piro Donovan created of The Wicked Witch of the West (below). 

She was just as evil as the original with the same cackle of a laugh while at the same time adding an almost diva-esque quality to the character. The production has the classic songs from the original Oscar award-winning movie such as "Over the Rainbow" and "The Merraward-winning Oz." Webber does write new songs as well such as "Red Shoes Blues."

Recently I saw a production of the restaged version of Les Misérables where they used a projection screen to add a sense of depth to the stage. This production of The Wizard of Oz used that same concept however to the point of annoyance. The projection screen I think is a really amazing technique that designers can use however at some points I felt like I was watching a movie. The screen should have been used to slightly enhance the audiences interpretation of Oz, now create it for them. At times I felt like the magic of musical theatre was nonexistent. As a co-worker of mine said "Attach those flying monkey's to some pulley's and get those pretties to fly!!"

The Wizard of Oz will be playing at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts through December 29th. Get your tickets before they fly off back to Oz!

*Photo Credit: Tom Donoghue

Miss Saigon at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Miss Saigon, a very controversial show, graced the Ordway Center for Performing Arts on October 8th in St. Paul, Minnesota. Miss Saigon is a modern take on the opera by Puccini, Madame Butterfly. This powerful musical is a timeless tale of love, war, and suffering and will only be performed in three cities before opening in May 2014 across the pond in London. The Ordway Center for Performing Arts was its last stop in the United States.

Miss Saigon is a tragic love story between a 17-year-old Vietnamese woman named Kim and an American GI named Chris. It takes place during the occupation of Saigon during the Vietnam War in the 70's. Miss Saigon has had numerous amounts of criticism for some believe it is a racist show with a sexist overtone despite it's multiple Tony Award nominations and wins. In 1991 it had won three Tony Awards including Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, and Best Featured Actor.

file (3).png

I neither hated or absolutely loved Miss Saigon. It was not my favorite piece of musical literature, however, I really enjoyed some parts. There were a few flaws in the script that I felt didn't make sense or were just completely unrealistic. For example, in the first Act, I did not understand the love between Kim and Chris. They met, had sex and all of a sudden Chris is singing about his love for this young woman, whom he just met. I understand some musicals don't have enough time to set out a huge long love story. Due to them falling in love so fast, I had a hard time fighting for their relationship throughout the musical. I felt no emotional appeal for the two and did not want to fight for their love.

As I mentioned before, there were some things I did enjoy. First off I have to give absolute praise to Manna Nichols (Kim). From her very first note, she had my attention. Her voice was one of the purest voices I've ever heard on a stage. Her acting was superb however her singing is by far what kept me engaged. She would effortlessly hit a wide range of notes from both a high register and low register. It was beautiful.

Miss Saigon was once deemed one of the most technically challenging shows of its time. I had heard this before seeing the show and I was confused as to why. It didn't seem that technically challenging until the second act when a helicopter flew downstage almost from the depths of Vietnam itself. It was quite extraordinary and I was extremely impressed with it. Miss Saigon will be running at the Ordway until October 13th.

*Photo Credits: J. Urdaneta Photography

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts

Another blogger night at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" musical is a fast paced rock and roll themed night of fun. "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" is a stage musical that includes over twenty of Buddy Holly and rock and roll's greatest hits. It is considered one of the first jukebox musicals and has been seen in over fifteen countries across the world. For those who don't know, a jukebox musical is a musical that uses previously released popular songs as its musical score (such as Mamma Mia and Rock of Ages).

Buddy Holly released over 10 hits within his first 18 months of hitting the scene. His hits included songs such as Peggy Sue, Oh Boy, That'll Be the Day and many more! The musical tells the story of how he originally started out as a country singer who wanted nothing more than to play his music, his way. It explores his meteoric climb to fame, his adventures through it and eventually his young and untimely death, the day the music died.

I enjoyed the talent of the show, not necessarily the actual production. It just wasn't my type of show. When I see a musical I am all about a stereotypical lights, costume and belting type musical (which this was not). This was more of a concert type musical (similar to Million Dollar Quartet). However I can not at all disrespect the talent of Kurt Jenkins.

In this production, there are two leading men who alternate the part of Buddy, Andy Christopher and Kurt Jenkins. I had the pleasure of seeing Kurt Jenkins who played the part to the best of his ability despite the less than stellar plot line. In the first act (which had a substantial amount more of acting than the second act) Kurt was enjoyable. Complimenting his lovely voice he played the quirky and almost dorky Buddy perfectly.

Through out the show I did complain on how hard it was hard to hear him at some points due to the loud music which out played his voice. Sometimes I felt like since the production was a concert structured show, I did not feel any connection to the songs. The songs were only being sung for the sake of being sung. There were almost no emotion  behind the pieces. To be honest the young woman who sang "Shout" I feel was one of, if not the best thing in the entire show. She had me wanting to stand up on my feet and jump around with her as she strutted across the stage of the "Apollo Theatre" in Harlem New York.

Overall the talent of the show was good however the plot line and concert style musical was not for me. I think my generation might not be able to appreciate this production only for the fact that he wasn't in our generation. His music didn't touch us the way it touched our parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. By the ending scene (which was exactly like a concert) patrons were standing up, clapping and dancing in the aisles which was a fun site to see.

Anything Goes at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts

It was another wonderful night with the touring cast of Anything Goes by the Roundabout Theatre Company. The cast had it's opening night at the Ordway Theatre for Performing Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota and it was spectacular.

Anything Goes, a musical written by Cole Porter in 1934, has been revivied a total of three times. The most recent revival, starring Sutton Foster, won three Tony Awards in 2011 including Best Performance  by a Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Revival of a Musical. Anything Goes is a charming, witty and fun show for all ages.

Anything Goes is musical about reckless antics abroad the "S.S. American," a ship on it's way to London from New York. Reno Sweeney (Rachel York) is a swanky nightclub singer who boards the ship where she runs into her friend, and stowaway,  Billy Crocker (Josh Franklin). Billy hopes that by stowing away on the ship, he can win over the heiress Hope Harcourt (Alex Finke) who is aboard the ship with her fiance Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Edward Staudenmayer). Aboard the ship as well is Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin (Jeff Brooks), who aids Billy in his quest for love.

Let's start with talking about our leading lady, Rachel York. This is that awkward part of the review where I already don't know what to say. Rachel York was brilliant. She left me speechless through out the entire production. One thing I despise about theatre people is the constant need for comparison. People were comparing Rachel York to Sutton Foster the entire night. However as much as I love both of these ladies, I felt Rachel York did a spectacular job. I felt York brought a new look to Reno Sweeney which many of us haven't seen since the great Patti LuPone played the part. York brings back an air of seduction to the character with her beautiful acting and superb vocals. York's voice is raspy and sultry while at the same time reaches a new level of clarity with numbers such as the title song "Anything Goes" as well as "You're the Top" and "Blow Gabriel Blow!" It was not only a joy and a thrill but an honor to see Rachel York live in the flesh performing such a wonderfully fresh new revival of a timeless musical

I've been to many musicals in my time here in Minnesota and never have I ever seen an audience erupt in applause-mid dance. During the Act 1 Finale, Reno Sweeney leads the cast in the title song Anything Goes. The casts tap sequence was something like nothing I have ever seen. The cast flawlessly tapped their ways into the audiences heart with what looked like absolutely no effort. Upon finishing the tap sequence mid song, the audience erupted in applause as the tap dancers continued to tap even more while York began to belt out the shows title song. Never have I ever seen something that impressive on a stage. Ever. I mean how many people can tap dance their sea legs off for what seemed like 5 solid minutes of tap, and then blow the roof off the place with their powerful belt? Not many, however Rachel York sure can.

Overall the national touring cast of Anything Goes was magnificent. You know me, give me a Broadway star, a tony award winning score and a couple of sailors and I'm on board. (Ha-ha). Get your tickets now before it sails away on May 12th!

Chicago at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts

file.png

The cast of "Chicago" begins yet another national tour around the country. This tour was by far one of the fiercest things I've seen on a stage. The leading ladies were eye catching, showing a lot of leg, however that didn't keep the audience away from listening how amazing the voices were. The cast included Terra MacLeod as Velma Kelly (who has a long running resume with Chicago, starring in the Broadway & West End Companies to the French Premiere), Tracy Shayne as Roxie Hart (who joins straight from the current Broadway production) and even the award-winning actor John O'Hurley as Billy Flynn. These three leading personalities skill in singing, dancing and acting proved this show to be the perfect triple threat musical, some performing better than others.

file (3).png

One of the first things I noticed and that all I could think of through the night was how after the Overture, the beginning couple of notes for "All that Jazz" began to play, I was amazed and stunned when Velma Kelly (MacLeod) emerged from a rising platform. She looked stunning as I began to clap for her....only to realize no one else was. However later in the show when John O'Hurley simply walked on stage the audience went nuts for him. I understand he is a star however this is a topic that has always gotten to me. The way people will be interested in a musical for one night just to see a big named star who to be honest didn't do as well as I'd hoped. He was absolutely nothing compared to the combined power of MacLeod and Shayne. I thought his dance moves were very...simple for someone who made it to the last round of "Dancing With the Stars."

Ann Reinking, choreographer of the original New York Production, does brilliantly with sexy and seductive choreography. The use of each actor and actresses hips, shoulders and fish net stocking legs make for a very crisp and precise combination of dance moves. I've seen a lot of shows ranging from The Ordway, The Guthrie, The Orpheum and even a handful of shows in New York on Broadway and never have I seen such amazing dance moves. You know a musical is great when you can't pick out that one weak dancer and let alone some of the strongest dancers were the male actors.

I was almost a little disappointed in the set design. It was a little too simple. The used down stage as a platform for the actors to use however upstage was a giant almost sandbox looking square that was set upright where the pit orchestra actually played. Sometimes the actors would even perform conversations with the conductor for their was a staircase leading up to the middle of the square. Always a favorite for us theatre lovers, breaking the fourth wall.

This national tour of Chicago was by far one of the best productions I've seen in a long time. I still can't get the catchy tunes out of my head as well as the fabulous dance moves. This musical will have you dancing all the way home and snapping all the way to Chicago.

The Addams Family: The Musical at Ordway Center for Performing Arts

The Addams Family: The Musical at Ordway Center for Performing Arts

Imagine a typical 1950s family living in a perfect house in a perfect neighborhood. In this house lives a perfect mother who leaves a fresh baked apple pie on the window sill to cool off while a little boy feeds the dog before going out to play. Now imagine a large mansion in the middle of Central Park with a mother who rips off the heads of roses and asks her butler to put the stems in a vase while her son is busy feeding the monster that lives under his bed. This is where I spent my Tuesday night on May 8th, 2012. Welcome to a night with The Addams Family.

Read More