Review

Reviewed by George Basler In a Playbill interview about The Mercy Seat, playwright Neil LaBute said the title is a Biblical reference that pertains to mercy seat on the top of the Ark of the Covenant that was the one place where God could come and man could speak before him. “I think, hopefully, both of them (the play’s two characters) are at some point kneeling before it. They are throwing themselves at the feet (of God), looking for mercy,” he said. Whether they will receive this mercy is...
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Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri There’s something delightful about jukebox musicals, even small ones. I’m not 100% sure if Always … Patsy Cline strictly qualifies, but it does have a real jukebox,and a live honky-tonk band. And -- hell, yeah -- that’s reason enough to go see it, but there’s more. Country singer Patsy Cline's earthy, satiny, often tear-filled contralto drew many fans to her music in the late 1950s and early '60s -- and also in the many decades since...
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Reviewed by George Basler When you think of the old Soviet Union, the word romance doesn’t come immediately to mind. But that’s what’s on display in Do You Turn Somersaults?, which opened this past weekend (April 12-16) at the Cider Mill Stage in Endicott and will run through April 22. The play by the Soviet playwright Aleksei Arbuzov is a sweetly sentimental, if totally predictable, take on the age-old theme of romance among older folks. What’s most interesting about the Cider Mill production, presented by Clocktower Theater Company,...
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Reviewed by George Basler On paper, Arsenic and Old Lace is a weird play. The two major characters are lovely old ladies whose only fault is that they’re serial killers. Other characters have more than a few screws loose themselves. On the stage, though, the play is one of the truly great American farces. It was a smash hit on Broadway when it opened in 1940 and a hit Frank Capra film, starring Cary Grant, a few years later. An entertaining production that opened this past weekend (April...
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Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Last night (March 17) wasn't just any night. As Binghamton met Bernstein, the world went away. The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, with Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Hege on the podium and at the lectern, gave an all-Bernstein concert to a packed house at The Forum, 236 Washington St., Binghamton. Stunning, heart-wrenching and exhilarating renditions of music from On the Town, the overture and a suite of music from Candide and “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story celebrated the upcoming 100th birthday of legendary American conductor,...
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Reviewed by George Basler When Cabaret first opened on Broadway in the mid-1960s, the show was daring, combining splashy musical numbers with a dark plot about the rise of Nazi Germany. More than five decades later, the show still strikes a nerve. In fact, its theme about the evils of extreme nationalism and the scapegoating of certain groups feels disturbingly relevant in today’s political climate. Both the surface razzmatazz and serious undertones of this great musical are on full display in a production that opened Thursday (March 8)...
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Reviewed by George Basler A lot of words have been used to describe law school. Competitive, demanding and cutthroat come immediately to mind. But who knew it could be so much fun? Well, if the court pleases, let me introduce into evidence the Ti-Ahwaga Community Players production of Legally Blonde that opened this past weekend (March 2-4) at the troupe's Owego playhouse and will run through March 18. The production, which uses Harvard Law School as a backdrop, is a splashy crowdpleaser of a musical that provides an invigorating...
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