Tag Archives: John Penird

Reviewed by George Basler Hold on to your hats: a human tornado in the form of Mama Rose is anchoring an outstanding new production of Gypsy by the Endicott Performing Arts Center Repertory Company. Mama Rose is the centerpiece of the show, and Terri-Jo Ramia gives a blistering performance as the classic stage mother who plays out her own frustrated dreams of fame through the lives of her two children. The rest of the cast is equally good, from the leads to the supporting players to those filling smaller...
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By George Basler The Southern Tier, during the past year, wallowed in revenge, murder, cannibalism and lust. Don’t panic: We’re not talking real life here, but the world of the stage. For whatever reason, Broome and neighboring counties were treated to three productions of Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s classic musical horror story about a naïve barber who becomes a revengeful serial killer. The Endicott Performing Arts Center mounted a production last fall and Tri-Cities Opera in the spring. The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown is currently staging the bloody...
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Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri

If you really love musicals and can’t get enough of them this summer, the relatively new group SPARE (Singers Performers Actors Repertory Entertainment) has put together an energetic production of Chicago, the long-running Broadway show by Fred Ebb (book and lyrics), Bob Fosse (book) and John Kander (music). (more…)

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Reviewed by George Basler In the 37 years since it was first staged, Sweeney Todd has become one of Stephen Sondheim’s most produced musicals. It’s also one of the darkest musicals ever to grace the Broadway stage. Hearts and flowers aren’t on display here. Instead, hatred, lust and depravity take center stage in the penny-dreadful tale of bloody revenge in Victorian London. The musical requires the cast to convey the right tone and also perform a difficult score with complex lyrical passages, atonal melodies and counterpoint. So it...
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Reviewed by George Basler The King and I is one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most loved and familiar musicals, coming in just after The Sound of Music on the popularity scale. And that’s both a blessing and a curse for the production running through Sunday at the Endicott Performing Arts Center’s Robert Eckert Theatre. On the blessing side, the show is such a proven crowd-pleaser that the audience is hot-wired to love it for its wonderful, if old-fashioned, songs and compelling plot. The fact that the stage is...
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Reviewed by George Basler In his remarkable  40+-year career, nobody has ever accused Elton John of understatement. To the contrary, John's name conjures up a rock star image with over-the-top performances in large arenas and stadiums, outrageous costumes and driving rock bands. One image that doesn't leap to mind is performing his songs in a intimate, cabaret setting, with only a keyboard accompanist. That is the challenge being taken on this weekend by the Half Light Theatre, a new local theater group, which is peforming a wide-ranging concert...
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