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2008 "As You Like It" review  Providence Journal

http://www.projo.com/theater/content/lb_asyoulikerev_07-19-08_JEATL3A_v20.282f6b5.html

A Smashing 'As You Like It' in Wilcox Park 
 
 By Kristina Dorsey     Published on 7/30/2008 
 
The Colonial Theatre has returned to Wilcox Park with a bang - and not just
the bang of those pesky thunderstorms that have, alas, caused some
performance cancellations.

The theater is once again performing its popular Shakespeare in the Park in
Westerly, and it's doing so with one of its best productions in memory. "As
You Like It" is sharp and smart and assured.

Directors sometimes have a tendency to go for lowest-common-denominator
humor when directing Shakespeare's comedy, and for the most part Colonial
producing artistic director Harland Meltzer avoids that here. He keeps the
show moving with an often-sophisticated spirit.

David Birney - the marquee name in this production - doesn't have a lot of
stage time as Jacques, but he gives the melancholy character an emotional
heft and delivers the famous "All the world's a stage" speech with elan.

The cast shines, all down the line, in a story that hits all the expected
Shakespeare comedy points of interest: mistaken identities, women disguised
as men, and, of course, happy endings. Bob Colonna, as the jester
Touchstone, has an amazing talent for making every line completely real and
understandable, even for the Shakespeare-phobe. Paul Romero earns laughs as
a growling wrestler who flings the play's romantic hero over his shoulder
like a WWE star run amok.

That romantic hero, Orlando, is virtuous and valiant, attributes that
Enrique Bravo portrays eloquently. Alysia Reiner and Purva Bedi capture the
giggly girlish friendship between Rosalind and Celia, with Reiner then
getting to play the woman-being-man when the Orlando-enchanted Rosalind
decides to disguise herself.

The light and airy set designed by Mary Myers echoes the story's festive
attitude and green locale - the Forest of Arden - in a theatrical way, with
green-and-gold columns that look almost like May poles, thanks to the
streamers that billow from column to column above a stage floor that's a
mini-golf shade of green.

The reason for the Colonial's one-year break from Wilcox Park was a
disagreement with the folks who run the public park over how many weeks the
theater group could use the space. Before a recent performance, Meltzer told
the crowd "how thrilled we are to be back in the park this summer."
Shakespeare aficionados no doubt hope it will be more than a one-summer
return.


VISIT THECOLONIALTHEATER.ORG.


Regional
 

2006-"Romero and Juliet"

BY BRYAN ROURKE
Providence Journal Staff Writer

WESTERLY --

A few people stand out in the supporting roles.

Paul Romero plays an animated and affable Mercutio, kinsman of Romeo, with whom he jokes and banters with bluster.

The sword fight between Tybalt and Mercutio, (seen on U tube and home page this site) and the one between Tybalt and Romeo, are both well-executed, and both well-choreographed, by Phillip Leipf. Often in such plays you see a hokey tapping of swords. Here you see swashbuckling, and all the grunting and groaning that comes with getting gored. .

© 2006, Published by The Providence Journal Co., 75 Fountain St., Providence, RI 02902.

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The Phoenix

Colonial's engaging Romeo and Juliet  

By: BILL RODRIGUEZ
 
7/18/2006 6:30:04 PM

Tybalt had just killed his friend Mercutio (Paul Romero), who was run through when Romeo came between the two trying to break up the fight with his new, unacknowledged cousin.

(Romero reprises his swaggering performance of 10 years ago at Wilcox.)

Adj. 1. swaggering - having or showing arrogant superiority to and

disdain of those one views as unworthy; "some economists are disdainful of their colleagues in other social disciplines"; "haughty aristocrats"; "his lordly manners were offensive"; "walked with a prideful swagger"; "very sniffy about breaches of etiquette"; "his mother eyed my clothes with a supercilious air"; "shaggy supercilious camels"; "a more swaggering mood than usual"- W.L.Shirer

- feeling self-respect or pleasure in something by which you measure your self-worth; or being a reason for pride; "proud parents"; "proud of his accomplishments"; "a proud moment"; "proud to serve his country"; "a proud name"; "proud princes"
  2. swaggering - flamboyantly adventurous
swashbuckling
adventuresome, adventurous - willing to undertake or seeking out new and daring enterprises; "adventurous pioneers"; "the risks and gains of an adventuresome economy"
 

 

Review: Colonial Theatre makes 'Midsummer' dreams come true

WESTERLY - So far in 2005, William Shakespeare has endured a worse year than Martha Stewart.

It wasn't that long ago - as recently as last year, in fact - that summer and Shakespeare in Rhode Island went together like clam cakes and chowder. Trinity Repertory's Shakespeare Project produced two edited versions of the Bard's plays every summer. Mixed Magic Theater's Shakespeare-on-the-Beach in Wickford was a seasonal staple. And Colonial Theatre established a reputation as the best of the Ocean State's Shakespeare-in-the-Park presentations, with annual appearances at Wilcox Park since 1991.

But this year Trinity dropped the Bard from its summer calendar, the Wickford gig was canceled and Colonial Theatre was nearly forced to abandon its annual production because of financial considerations.

Zounds. Egads. Lord, what fools these mortals be.

In the nick of time, the cavalry arrived and Westerly's tradition was continued for at least one more season. So, if you need your Elizabethan iambic pentameter fix, you still have time to enjoy one of the true pleasures of a Rhode Island summer, watching one of the master's great plays under the stars (and occasional clouds) at bucolic Wilcox Park.

This year the Colonial Theatre chose to perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the comedy that kicked off the Westerly festival 15 years ago. It's a wise selection, since opportunities for audience-friendly rollicking, frolicking humor abound. There isn't much of a set on display, surely a consideration of budget woes, but a play set mainly in a forest and performed in a park doesn't really need one. And, while all of Shakespeare's plays are flexible enough to be staged in an astounding variety of styles and genres, perhaps none offer as much leeway as "Midsummer." Its timeless blend of fantasy and common humanity lends itself to the purest spirit of play.

Director Harland Meltzer takes advantage of its pliant nature by introducing an element of "'50s, '60s, surf be-bop style," according to Flav Martin, who composed the original score and performed his own work prior to the production. Bottom, the true comic hero of the play, even makes a reference to Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles."

So, no, this isn't your ancestor's "Midsummer," but the Colonial Theater's spirited production has more than a few highlights, including laugh-out-loud moments in the most crucial scenes: in the forest when a fairy potion goes awry, causing turmoil among two pairs of young lovers; when Bottom the Weaver is magically transformed into a donkey and becomes an object of affection for the Fairy Queen; and the climactic play-within-a-play sequence, when the rude mechanicals perform dreadfully, but with heartfelt sincerity, in front of the royal court.

Westerly's own Marion Markham plays Puck (and Philostrata). Long associated with Colonial Theatre's Shakespeare productions, Markham has excelled over the years in some of the best female roles written by the Bard, including Beatrice ("Much Ado About Nothing"), Portia ("The Merchant of Venice"), Adriana ("Comedy of Errors") and Gertrude ("Hamlet").

Her take on the spritely fairy is energetic and amusing, complete with deranged and disturbed laughter that accompanies every exit.

Paul Romero does a nice job in the play's best role. His Bottom the Weaver channels Jackie Gleason to the point where you could almost imagine his performance as a dream sequence in a lost episode of "The Honeymooners."

All of the laborers, in fact, shine in the play-within-a-play scene as Jim Egan (Francis Flute), Chris Perrotti (Snug the Joiner), Jamie Dufault (Robin Starveling) and Edward Franklin (Peter Quince, who also takes turn as Egeus) spoof theater convention and pretension and help give new meaning to the prolonged death scene.

While there are good performances throughout, Jennifer Terrell gives one of the most impressive turns as Helena, the originally scorned, then stalked, lovelorn woman.

As always in an outdoor performance, there are distractions to contend with, from moths to truck rumbles to sirens to a particularly good blues band playing somewhere nearby.

If you go, bring bug spray. Life may be a dream, as Shakespeare suggests, nearly four centuries before The Drifters, but the mosquitoes are real.

The Colonial Theater's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will take place through July 31, Tuesday through Sunday, at 8 p.m. at Wilcox Park in Westerly. Call 596-7909. The performance is free, but donations are welcome. Bring your own seating.

Cover Snapshot
 
CD Now Amazon.com
RCA Victor 09.15.98 09026-63208-2
1CD 41:23 No Lyrics
[TRACKS] [CAST]

Avenue X
Musical
Original Cast

Music by Ray Leslee
Lyrics by John Jiler
Book by John Jiler
 

 
Description / My Opinion
  Ordered at CDNow 11/06/98, shipped 12/02/98, received 12/11/98
The booklet contains a little synopsis and a little story of the show.
Certainly a very interesting cast recording. Some very nice voices in there. Although it is of a special kind: it's an "a capella" musical. But it remains interesting from the beginning to the end. (I wouldn't have thought it would!)
Musical Numbers
  1 2:34 Prologue Ensemble
  2 1:55 A Thousand Summer Nights Jerry T., Ensemble
  3 1:55 Serves You Right Jerry T., Jerry D.
  4 1:40 Waitin' Chuck, Cheryl
  5 2:37 Woman Of The World Colette, Ted, Jerry D., Wilbur
  6 1:08 She's Fifteen Ted, John L., Wilbur
  7 2:23 Stay Chuck, Ensemble Men
  8 1:38 Where Are You Tonight John L., Ensemble Men
  9 1:08 Big Lucy John-Martin, Ensemble Men
  10 2:36 Why Jerry D., Ensemble Men
  11 2:50 Darling Can't You See John-Martin, Jerry D., Cheryl, Ted, John L., Paul
  12 2:11 Follow Me Jerry D., Jerry T., Ensemble
  13 3:02 Cecilia Ensemble
  14 3:16 Africa Wayne, Ensemble
  15 1:27 Palermo Jerry T.
  16 2:49 Command Me Chuck, Colette, Jerry D., Cheryl, Jerry T., Ensemble
  17 2:50 Go There Cheryl, Ensemble
  18 2:43 Where Is Love Colette, Jerry D., Cheryl, Jerry T.
The Cast
    Sopranos/Altos Colette Hawley
      Cheryl Alexander
    Tenors Ted Brunetti
      John Leone
    Baritones John-Martin Green
      Jerry Dixon
      Chuck Cooper
    Bass Wilbur Pauley
    Additional Voices Kevin R. Free
      Wayne Pretlow
      Paul Romero
      Jerry Tellier

 

[^TOP] [SHOWS] [ACTORS] [SONGS] [AUTHORS] [SEARCH CD] [HELP]
 

 

  SHOW REVIEWS     CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS     GOSSIP     NEWS 

1 A COMEDY OF EROS is a new play by Paul Firestone with a six member cast headed by Joan Copeland and Jordan Charney with Andrea Leigh, Paul Romero and Jennifer Dorr White.

In A Comedy of Eros, Lulubeth LaBelle, a long-time widow, is totally distressed when she discovers that her daughter, Delila, loves and intends to marry Joanna Cohen, an outstanding lawyer from New York who works in Alabama State Attorney General William Jefferson Powers' office. Lulubeth, seeking to break up the lesbian partners, goes to Powers' office to enlist his help. Directed by Harland Meltzer with sets by Matthew Myrhum, costume design by Mary Myers and lighting by Brian Aldous. The Tony award winning designer William Ivey Long is costume consultant for the production and will design Ms. Copeland's costumes.

Opens January 25 at The Hudson Guild Theatre, New York City.

 SHOW REVIEWS     CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS     GOSSIP     NEWS

100 Centre Street - Episode Guide - TV Tome
... NOTE: Kate Burton is the daughter of famed actor Sir Richard Burton. ...
Rifkind) Joe Passaro (unknown) Antonia Rey (unknown) Paul Romero (unknown!!) Sean ...
www.tvtome.com/100CentreStreet/guide.html - 82k - Cached - Similar pages

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Ryan Artzberger as De Valvert.  Photo by Richard Termine.
 
Geraint Wyn Davies as Cyrano.  Photo by Richard Termine.

Paul Romero as Monfleuery. Photo by Richard Termine. “A frothy Cyrano… invigorated by a crafty star performance by Geraint Wyn Davies and the irreverence of a zinger-packed adaptation. It meshes with the vitality of Kahn's staging.
      Peter Marks, The Washington Post

" !  Michael Kahn is a master. A tour de force for Geraint Wyn Davies and a delightful surprise for the audience. Fresh, feisty, and funny. Don't miss it!”
        Leslie Milk, Washingtonian

See more reviews

Artistic Team and Cast

Press Release
Articles from Asides Magazine
Photos from the Production

 
Cyranoswordsman, poet, musician and philosopher—loves his cousin Roxane, but his larger-than-life nose prevents him from telling her. When she begins to fall in love with the young guardsman Christian, Cyrano puts all his talents into helping Christian woo Roxanne. Charming, proud and romantic, Cyrano is one of the theatre's most memorable characters. Beneath the play's
carefree bravado is a quiet undertone
of sacrifice and longing. Michael Kahn directs one of the most loved plays of the last century, described by the critic Robert Coleman as "the greatest theatre piece ever penned."

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Geraint Wyn Davies, Claire Lautier and Gregory Woodell.  Photo by Richard Termine.

 More Cyrano Reviews

“A frothy Cyrano… invigorated by a crafty star performance by Geraint Wyn Davies and the irreverence of a zinger-packed adaptation. It meshes with the vitality of Kahn's staging.
      Peter Marks, The Washington Post

" !  Michael Kahn is a master. A tour de force for Geraint Wyn Davies and a delightful surprise for the audience. Fresh, feisty, and funny. Don't miss it!”
        Leslie Milk, Washingtonian

Outstanding! Wyn Davies' swoon-worthy, star-making turn is just one of the delights of this boisterous production directed with goose feather silliness by artistic director Michael Kahn.”
        Jayne Blanchard, The Washington Times

“Marvelous! A lush, romantic romp! As smart as it is funny...and it's hilarious!”
        Bob Mondello, WETA-FM

“Masterful! One riveting adaptation that is not to be missed. Kahn is a brilliant maestro of the stage. Wyn Davies is perfectly sublime.”
        Jolene Munch, Metro Weekly

“Lively, funny! Wyn Davies' Cyrano demonstrates an effortless command of language and feeling --- a solid anchor for a production of substantial proportions and considerable grace.”
        Trey Graham, Washington City Paper

“See it! A remarkable cast working under Michael Kahn's brilliant direction gives new life to this beloved classic!”
         Bob Davis, WGMS

“Glorious! Altogether a delight.”
         Brad Hathaway, Potomac Stages

“A fun, raucous celebration of classical theater.”
         Lisa Troshinsky, The Washington Diplomat

“ The best Cyrano I've seen in years! Wyn Davies is masterful and poignant! ”
         Rich Massabny, “Arlington Weekly News”-TV Ch. 69

The following articles are taken from our Asides Magazine published five times a year. Asides Magazine offers a wealth of information about our plays and The Shakespeare Theatre that cannot be found anywhere else. If you wish to receive Asides , click here to join our mailing list.
About the Play

Swords Drawn Against the Future

Profile of Geraint Wyn Davies

Rhyme and Reason

What Critics Have Said

 

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