Tag Archives: Gene Czebiniak

Reviewed by George Basler The Nance, which opened this past weekend (Sept.  8-10) at KNOW Theatre in downtown Binghamton, is an extremely funny send-up of old-fashioned burlesque shows, filled with routines that were old when your grandfather was in knickers. The play is also a touchingly sad character study as the life of its main character crumbles through self-delusion and self-loathing. These two aspects may seem an odd combination -- like mixing cherry soda with vinegar -- but a superb cast pulls it off in a terrific production...
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Editor's note: This is a revised version of the original review. Reviewed by George Basler Audience members know they’re in for a funny evening when even the pre-show announcement about fire exits and cell phones draws laughs. That’s the case with SRO Underground’s production of Avenue Q, which opened last weekend (May 12-14) at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City. The laughs continue throughout the two-hour and 15-minute show that is basically a spoof of the beloved children’s series Sesame Street, replete with fuzzy puppets and actors pulling the strings. The performance...
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Reviewed by George Basler Evita raises a basic question: Can a strong musical score and first-rate staging overcome cardboard characters and a muddled plot? In the case of SRO Production III’s production, which opened this past weekend (June 3-4) at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, the answer is yes. Highlighted by a fierce and intelligent performance by Caitlin McNichol in the lead role, the show is consistently engaging. But the staging can’t disguise Evita’s shortcomings. The tone is cynical and cold and keeps the audience at arm’s length....
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Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri Director Scott Fisher knew he had “an embarrassment of riches” in the talent available for SRO Productions III's presentation of the musical Les Miserables, mounted to celebrate the company's 30th year. If you have seen any staged or film version of Les Mis, as it’s fondly called, it would be  best to leave your preconceptions at the door.  This is definitely different, but no less compelling or memorable, even without revolving set pieces. Can you say “phenomenal”? Fisher opted to use every inch of usable space in the...
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Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri Having just seen and reviewed a stage presentation of Harvey, a comedy about the state of mental health care and one character's invisible friend just a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but draw a few comparisons with SRO Productions III’s Next to Normal. This show also is about the state of mental health care, an invisible friend and a family’s angst, but that’s where the similarity ends. This intense rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt was...
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Editor's note: With this review, BAMirror welcomes a new writer, George Basler, recently retired from a long reporting career at the Press & Sun-Bulletin. (Due to technical difficulty, the review previously was posted under the editor's blog sign-on.) Reviewed by George Basler To the casual theatergoer, the names Kander and Ebb might not be as familiar as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe or the Gershwins. But John Kander and Fred Ebb, who first teamed up in 1962, deserve a notch in Broadway history as the most...
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