Posts tagged theatre review
[Prince George's Sentinel] An Enchanted Evening with 'South Pacific'

“I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was. The endless ocean. The infinite specks of coral we called islands. Coconut palms nodding gracefully toward the ocean. Reefs upon which waves broke into spray, and inner lagoons, lovely beyond description.”

So begins James Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific,” the book which was the inspirational source of  Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “South Pacific.”

The challenge of this musical was to combine visual beauty with the horror of war while sprinkling in elements of romantic comedy.

The Riverside Center for the Performing Arts production, masterfully directed by and choreographed by Penny Ayn Maas and produced by Patrick A’Hearn, succeeds in weaving these delicate threads of the music together and is complemented with an outstanding cast and brilliant singing and musical numbers.

Read More
[DC Metro Theatre Arts] Review: ‘South Pacific’ at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The winner of multiple Tony awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, South Pacific continues to charm audiences seventy years after its debut. Penny Ayn Maas directs and choreographs a powerhouse cast for this beloved production.

Read More
[Culpeper Times] CURTAIN CALLS: Islands of delight dot 'South Pacific'

One enchanted evening many years ago (seventy, to be exact) Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein opened their mint new musical, “South Pacific”, for its New Haven and Boston previews. The response was immediate and enthusiastic… Riverside Center’s just-opened production scores where it counts most in this tale of two non-traditional love affairs and war in the Pacific. Central to the conflict are one middle-aged Frenchman with the mysterious past, Emile de Becque, and his much younger love interest, the Arkansas-bred nurse, Ensign Nellie Forbush. Around them swirl issues of Japanese invasion, high jinks among the sailors, and a separate, doomed love affair with further racial implications.

Read More
[Culpeper Times] CURTAINS: “Pirates…” The Very Model of a Modern Operetta

They fancy themselves a dangerous lot, but the grim list of killed and captured by the Pirates of Penzance is…nonexistent. Their job is to be fierce and take hostages, but somehow - dash it all! – the hostages always turn out to be orphans! And being orphans themselves, they just can’t take ungentlemanly advantage. That means our pirates are no more successful now in 2019 than they were back in 1879. That’s when this Gilbert and Sullivan jewel first held audiences captive with its rapier wit, and it’s been swashing its buckles ever since.

Three cannon shots of congratulation to Riverside for staging this gold nugget and doing it justice.  In a whimsical modification, director Catherine Flye has renamed this the “Rascals of the Rappahannock” and brought the pirates to Fredericksburg in the time of George III, as opposed to the Victorian era Cornwall coast.  

Read More
DC Metro Theater Arts Review: ‘The Pirates of Penzance (or the Rascals of the Rappahannock)’ at Riverside Center

Riverside Center of the Performing Arts reprises Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, a two-act comic operetta that was first produced in December of 1879, and remains in production to this day! Director and Adaptor Catherine Flye gives the show (originally set in Cornwall) a local spin by placing the action on the banks of the Rappahannock River and offering the revised title Rascals of the Rappahannock.

Read More
[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 Zebra Press] Review: Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, Fredericksburg, Va.

I have just seen/heard an absolutely first-rate production of “The Pirates of Penzance or The Rascals of the Rappahannock” at the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg, Va. Honestly, I’ve attended many, many productions of this piece with all kinds of adaptations, and this is—hands down—the best. Boom. Period.

Read More
Culpeper Times CURTAIN CALLS: ‘La Cage' releases Folles at Riverside

Pull out your feather boa, your sequined gown and gold lame cape. Squeeze into those impossible high heels and don’t forget the fire engine lipstick.

Oh, and tell your wife to dress up, too. The “folles” have arrived!

This is a first for our favorite dinner theater. The Riverside Center has made the creative decision to branch out a bit and bring something not seen on a mainstream stage in the Fredericksburg area. But “not seen” doesn’t mean “new.” For all its glitter and illusion, “La Cage Aux Folles” has a very respectable 46-year history.

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
DCMetroTheaterArts Review: ‘A Rockabilly Christmas’ at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

This holiday season, Riverside Center for the Performing Arts presents A Rockabilly Christmas, co-created by Todd Meredith, Patrick A’Hearn and Jeremy Renner. For this production, Riverside returns select soloists alongside Todd Meredith and his band the Rave-Ons. Together, the group throws a festive party onstage by performing a collection of classic holiday songs with a rockabilly twist. They also share stories, jokes, and general holiday cheer!

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
DCMetroTheaterArts Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

A beloved classic, Beauty and the Beast is a popular choice amongst audiences. When a show’s high status is paired with Riverside’s well-earned reputation for providing Broadway-quality performances for the NOVA region, the result is a packed auditorium. I wasn’t at all surprised to see so many people at my performance (or lots of little girls in sparkly yellow ball gowns), nor was I surprised when that performance received an enthusiastic standing ovation at curtain call.

Read More
Culpeper Times CURTAIN CALLS: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” Roars On

For many years of reviewing regional theatre, I have looked around the audience with growing concern at the many grey and balding heads. Where, I asked myself, in this age of Netflix, YouTube, video games, and movie theatres with reclining chairs will the next generation of live theatre patrons come from?

Now I have an answer.

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
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
BWW Review: Riverside Center for the Performing Arts' A CHORUS LINE Captures Lightning in a Bottle

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts has a real treat for its 100th production with the classic Broadway musical A Chorus Line. From the iconic opening number to the show-stopping finale, 22 triple-threat performers work tirelessly and prove this production is something really special. There have been recent tours and productions in Virginia, but this is the "One" audiences really must see.

Read More
BWW Review: ALWAYS PATSY CLINE at Riverside Center For The Performing Arts Soars!

Get your tickets to one of the most entertaining productions of the year. Riverside Center's production of ALWAYS PATSY CLINE radiates with authenticity, humor and powerhouse vocals. Given the unique, roll-with-the-punches audience interactions, no two performances are the same. The production runs through July 15 at the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg.

Read More
(Culpeper Times) CURTAIN CALLS: Still crazy for ‘Patsy Cline’

One thing sets this production apart from countless other Patsy Cline tributes: the fortuitous pairing of Carter Calvert in the title role and Sally Struthers as Louise. What could be a pleasantly pastel evening of mildly amusing narrative and great songs is now a kick-to-the-head, thousand-watt star power night of music and comedy.

Read More
DC Metro Theatre Arts Review: ‘Always Patsy Cline’ at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts and Producing Artistic Director Patrick A’Hearn present Always Patsy Cline. Created by Ted Swindley, the show is inspired by the true story of an unlikely friendship between Cline and a Houston-based fan named Louise Seger, and gets its title from the sign-off of the letters between Patsy and Louise, from which the material is based. Carter Calvert and Sally Struthers make a perfect duo as Patsy and Louise, their dynamic onstage chemistry having ripened over a span of seven years (and counting!) touring together in these roles.

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