Category Archives: Mini-Review

Smokefall by Noah Haidle: An American Classic

Smokefall by Noah Haidle, which I saw yesterday, is a great and important play, given a definitive, defining, and dazzling production by the Goodman Theatre. The occasion should be marked in theater history along with the Miller, Kazan, Mielziner collaboration on the birth of Death of a Salesman,Mr. Haidle’s play and the Goodman production are […]

MAESTRO. Leonard Bernstein. A Play with Music – A Mini Review

MAESTRO: Leonard Bernstein is the most surprising theatrical event I have experienced in a long time. I’ve seem Emily Dickenson, Clarence Darrow, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt and others take the stage as one person shows and have found them entertaining. But Hershey Felder, the author and actor and musical director of this extraordinary theatrical event, […]

The Audience: A Mini-Review

A great disappointment: an unstructured series of humorous political sketches pretending to be a play. Enough said.

The Little Way of Ruthie Leming – Mini-Review

Ever read a biography of an “unfamous” person? Neither had I until this totally engrossing, profound, and magical book about home, fathers, siblings, hurt, death and the power of sacrificial love. A biography which seems written to the old Shaker tune, A Gift to Be Simple. A wonderful book to read and then pass on […]

The Iceman Cometh – Mini-Review

Since moving to Cleveland in December, we have been seeing two or three plays a month. By far the best production was today: The Ensemble Theatre’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece The Iceman Cometh. A play more talked about and admired than produced, Ian Hinz production made one of the most difficult of American plays […]

Smokey Joe’s Cafe – Mini-Review

A June 23,2013 visit to beautiful and historic Cain Park to see Smokey Joe’s Cafe – a musical revue so good it made us forget the heat and me forget how many years since I first heard Leiber and Stoller’s tunes. Seamless collaboration between director Scott Plate and choreographer Gregory Daniels produced an all-singing/all-dancing ensemble […]

Crowns at Karamu Theater -Mini-Review

The musical Crowns was the occasion for our June 9 visit to the historic Karamu Theater. Glorious singing, led by the incomparable Joyce Linzy, and Nathan Lilly wonderfully playing all of the men in the six show-stopping women’s lives. Simple but beautiful and imaginative staging by Terrence Spivey. The audience did not want the intermissionless […]

Guys and Dolls Great Lakes Theater – Mini-Review

On June 1, 2013  we made our first visit to the Great Lakes Theater in Playhouse Square’s 1921 Hanna Theater to see the new, fresh and zippy Guys and Dolls. The production boasted a wonderful romantic duo with Steel Burkhardt (Sky Masterson) and LeahHorowitz (Sarah Brown) who delighted the audience with the beautiful but overlooked […]

Les Miserables:25th Anniversary Production – Mini-Review

Cleveland’s 1922 Palace Theater, seating 3,000, was the appropriate setting for the new Les Miserables on February 9, 2013. Carrara marble and crystal chandeliers appropriately welcome a stunning theatrical event. Laurence Connor and James Powell directed this version and almost every moment has been re-imagined. Theater artists in the early 20th century vainly sought what […]

Cleveland Symphony and Chorus Christmas Concert at Severance Hall – Mini Review

On December 22,2012, Kathleen and I came as close to heaven as we expect to this year: the Cleveland Symphony and Chorus Christmas Concert at Severance Hall. Built in 1931 the hall itself is a major player in the musical events – the hall shapes, modulates, and distributes sound unlike any space I’ve ever been […]