Posts tagged the free lance-star
[The Free Lance-Star/Culpeper Star Exponent] Review: A shipshape 'Pirates of Penzance' is swashbuckling fun at Riverside

Brilliant wit, successfully delivered, is a rare delight—to experience such wit, joyously sustained and sprinkled steadily over several hours may occur only a handful of occasions in a lifetime.

“The Pirates of Penzance,” onstage now at the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Stafford County, qualifies as one of those occasions—an opportunity to be avidly sought and relished by any intelligent music lover with a sense of humor.

Read More
[The Free Lance-Star] Riverside's 'The Pirates of Penzance' gets a Fredericksburg-themed hook

Arrrrr, matey. Let’s go on a pirate-filled adventure, shall we?

Don’t worry, this one isn’t dangerous or life-threatening like you’ll find off the Somalian coast. Instead, it’s a beloved comic operetta hitting a local stage and being customized with familiar places and people galore.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance—The Rascals of the Rappahannock” opened at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday and runs through July 7.

Read More
Young Life: 'Steal Away Home' tells of two brothers' journey to freedom

With a cast of eight actors (including two who are 12 and under), the Riverside Children’s Theatre production of “Steal Away Home” will take audiences on a powerful and unforgettable journey through history and into moments of introspection, humor, dangers and heartwarming joy.

Read More
Free Lance-Star Review: Warm up to a fabulously funny ‘La Cage aux Folles’

The French Riviera comes to Fredericksburg as “La Cage aux Folles,” with its irrepressible star Zsa Zsa, flies into the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts.

And what better way to escape this arctic blast than with a heartwarming show about love and family, complete with drag queens and flashy musical numbers?

“La Cage aux Folles” is packed with humor and heart as it follows an older gay couple, Georges and Albin, and the challenges they face when Georges’ son, Jean-Michel, announces his engagement to the daughter of a super-conservative politician.

Read More
[Free Lance-Star] Riverside lets loose the Broadway classic 'La Cage aux Folles'

Remember “The Birdcage”?

The 1996 instant-classic-of-a-flick, starring Robin Williams and Gene Hackman, left audiences in tears—both laughing and reflecting on love in its many forms.

Now the musical version of this wonderful story is making its way to the ’Burg. “La Cage aux Folles” owns the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts stage through early March.

Read More
[Free Lance-Star Year in Review] 2018: a big and bright journey to the past

In 2018, I saw nearly 30 area productions (not to mention “Frozen” on Broadway and “West Side Story” sung entirely in Spanish while on vacation). That number is only a small dent in the incredible theater that was presented on local stages.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Read More
Free Lance-Star Review: Riverside rocks the holiday classics in 'A Rockabilly Christmas'

If you’re looking for Christmas, you’ll find it—and a lot more—at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts. This month, the dinner theater is cranking up the holiday cheer with “A Rockabilly Christmas.” And it has recruited some of your favorite Riverside faces like Ian Lane, Sheri Hayden and Kadejah Oné. But the show’s biggest gift to audiences is Todd Meredith and the Rave-Ons, and their high-voltage energy and concert theatrics.

Read More
Free Lance-Star Review: Riverside's 'Beauty and the Beast'

Everyone knows the story of “Beauty and the Beast.” One of Disney’s most beloved and popular movies, it tells the story of a vain, cruel prince who is cursed to live as a beast after turning an old woman away from his castle for her appearance. Only by learning to love someone and be truly loved in return can the prince break the spell. Enter Belle, an independent village girl who dreams of more outside her quaint little village.

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts brings this classic story to life with all of the favorite songs and characters from the 1991 animated feature, but it also offers fans and newcomers so much more to enjoy. What makes this show stand out are the quieter moments that resonate with the audience. That is what Riverside is trying to shine a light on: the relationships at the heart of the story.

Read More
Discover the charm and grandeur of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' at Riverside

“Song as old as rhyme ... Beauty and the Beeeeaaaaaaaaast!”

You know the lyrics. You’ve seen the iconic Disney flick. And now, it’s time to experience it live.

Through Nov. 25, “Beauty and the Beast” and all of its timeless glory is at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Riverside’s producing artistic director Patrick A’Hearn, this one is full of storybook and “once upon a time” charm.

Read More
Free Lance-Star Review: 'A Chorus Line' exposes heartache and thrill of making it on Broadway

It takes an army of super-talented dancers, singers and actors to put on the big-ticket productions Broadway is known for—shows like “Les Miserables,” “The Lion King,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Wicked.” Who are these hundreds of largely anonymous people? How did they end up where they are?

Onstage at the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts through Sept. 16, “A Chorus Line” examines a handful of these unique individuals and what drove them to pursue such a career—as well as the ins and outs, the starts and stops, the thrill and devastation that make performing what it is.

Read More
Free Lance-Star: Get in line for Riverside's latest musical treat: 'A Chorus Line'

Periodically we all have an audition.

These auditions can come in the form of a job interview, passing an important test or meeting all of your spouse’s BFFs. It can be grueling.

Well, performers, dancers and actors go through auditions all the time. And there’s an iconic musical coming to town focused on that process as well as the unique folks that typically comprise it.

The time-tested and iconic Michael Bennett production “A Chorus Line,” with music by Marvin Hamlisch, owns the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts stage through Sept. 16.

Read More
Free Lance-Star: 'Always ... Patsy Cline' is a heart-warmer and a hoot

Meeting your favorite singer is a dream for many, but for one lucky fan that became a reality and turned into a cherished friendship.

Always … Patsy Cline,” now onstage at the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, shares the true story about how one divorced mother of two formed a special bond with a country music legend.

Playwright Ted Swindley weaves together more than 25 songs into this incredibly heartwarming and surprisingly funny show, starring Broadway actress Carter Calvert as the Winchester-born singer and TV icon Sally Struthers as super fan Louise Seger.

Read More
Free Lance-Star Review: What makes a monster and what makes a man? Riverside's 'Hunchback of Notre Dame'

From the ominous opening melody to the crashing “Finale Ultimo,” Riverside Center for the Performing Arts’ production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” seduces a depth of fascination from audience members not often seen at the dinner theater.

An ambitious production, led by Justin Luciano as Quasimodo and Thomas Adrian Simpson as Dom Claude Frollo, sends chills through the viewer, repeatedly inspiring the desired mix of horror and delight. The 18-person cast, the largest in Riverside history, is backed by a chorus of 20 and accompanied by a nine-piece orchestra.

Read More
Letter to the Editor: "Riverside show a treat in all respects"

On Thursday evening, my wife and I and another couple had the great pleasure of attending a spectacular performance of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Riverside Dinner Theater.

This production is based on the classic Victor Hugo novel, and is highly theatrical and entertaining. The cast, along with the Stafford Regional Choral Society, provided a most professional and entertaining production.

Read More
Ring the bells: 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' swings into Riverside

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts is ending its 20th season with a big ol’ bang.

A cast of 18, community choir of 22 and nine-piece orchestra are sharing the stage for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”—the theater’s largest production ever. The epic musical owns the stage now through May 6, with performances Wednesdays through Sundays.

Read More