Musical Theater articles

FRINGE FEST: National Theater of Scotland

FRINGE FEST: National Theater of Scotland

By Montague Gammon III   At the eerie border between this world and the next, wrapped within the blurry boundary that separates what’s natural from what’s not, traveling near the snow bound Scottish-English border in the uncommonly frigid winter of 2010, academic Prudencia Hart found her “Strange Undoing.” The wholly fictional tale of Professor Prudencia

A Two-Fold Tempest on One Stage

By Montague Gammon III   William Shakespeare’s late career verbal enchantments meet Jean Sibelius’ late career musical magic on the Chrysler Hall stage this spring to give Hampton Roads a new look at the Jamestown-old, spell-rich play, The Tempest. Stage director Patrick Mullins, whose work at the Virginia Stage Company, formerly as Assistant and currently

Appreciating Buddy Holly: It’s So Easy!

By Jim Roberts   Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holly had a legendary run of hit songs before his untimely death on Feb. 3, 1959—from “That’ll Be The Day” and “Peggy Sue” to “Maybe Baby” and “Rave On.” But it was the song “It’s So Easy!” that got Robbie Limon most excited during a recent interview to

Flying Dutchman: Virginia Opera’s season finale will not be your ancestors’ Wagner

By Montague Gammon III   That is very much the message that comes through when talking to Virginia Opera’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Adam Turner, about the upcoming production of The Flying Dutchman, which got grand reviews at the Glimmerglass Festival in New York State, and at Hawaii Opera Theatre. For one thing, the

Love it to Death: Virginia Opera stages the romantic Romeo and Juliet

By Montague Gammon III   “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” is hardly the sort of comment that the French born and accented, multi-lingual, multi-talented stage director-actor-designer-librettist-novelist-online journalist-educator-manager and all around theatre person Bernard Uzan would utter. Yet that familiar pseudo-hick cautionary aphorism might be considered a fair way of summarizing his attitude toward

Kinky Boots Kicks Up its Heels at Chrysler Hall

By Jerome Langston Speaking to actor J. Harrison Ghee, a North Carolina native who was in Tampa for a Kinky Boots performance at the Straz Center when I recently interviewed him by phone, reminds me of the famous Oscar Wilde quote about life imitating art. Within just the first few minutes of our conversation, it

Breast Cancer Spotlighted in Menopause the Musical

By Jeff Maisey   Three of the four cast members of Menopause the Musical are breast cancer survivors.  The disease is duly noted when the popular musical comes to the Sandler Center on November 3 and 5. Terri Adams – a survivor – has played the part of a Baby Boomer housewife from Iowa since

A Fresh Bohème at Virginia Opera

By Montague Gammon III The opera La Bohème is a story of young love and heartbreak, and heartbreakingly young death. It’s back at the Virginia Opera’s Harrison Opera House, in a new production full of youthful energy and total respect for all that has made Puccini’s opera a classic. Young artists, “bohemians,” hard up for

OPERA IN THE PARK: A Grand Night for Hearing Virginia Opera

By Montague Gammon III   Hell is open for (monkey) business, and even the gods are partying there. (Olympus is just sooo boring!). The Greek gods’ “Grand Galop” at that soirée, from Orpheus in the Underworld, gives Virginia Opera’s big free outdoor Opera in the Park concert in Norfolk’s Town Point Park its rousing finale

La Traviata: Beautiful, Young, Sexy and Dying

By Montague Gammon III What can you say about a beautiful young courtesan who dies? Well, oodles of folks have been saying – and singing and even dancing – quite a lot of things about one such star-crossed lass, variously named Marie/Marguerite/Camille/Violetta, since 1848. That’s when French novelist and playwright Alexandre Dumas turned out what