Perez Reviews News Archive
The comedy is everything we were expecting - and more!
The set is big for a mostly one man play and the Will & Grace alum is even bigger!
Hayes is so magnetic! And the script, written by, David Javerbaum, with so many custom-tailed jokes not just about the actor but about Hollywood and the city of angels too!
There were even jokes about the election and Kanye West!
This show has been revamped and feels so fresh!
The laughter is nonstop, but underneath the humor are some very serious truths about mankind and why we do what we do. See, on the surface the show might seem like it's about God, but it's really about us.
And, if you go see this, you will be thoroughly entertained!!
Fiddler On The Roof has played Broadway many times and regionally even more since debuting in the '60s, but Tuesday night was our first experience with the show. Of course we knew the famous songs, but we'd never seen it on stage or watched the film.
It was a thrilling and complicated experience.
We were a bit caught off guard with how funny the show is, yet how also sad it is as well.
This production, thankfully, played went for a more serious approach with the casting. The last Broadway revival starred Harvey Fierstein and Rosie O'Donnell.
We can't really imagine either of them in these roles, but…
Danny Burstein is electric as Tevye!
The whole cast is great and this production features some of the best dancing on Broadway! Phenomenal choreography by Hofesh Shechter. And exquisite singing and harmonizing, especially by the daughters!
The theater looked sold out when we saw it, and we expect this Fiddler to have a very long and healthy run. Deservedly!
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is responsible for some of the best musicals in theater history! His latest, School Of Rock, is not one of them.
The choice material is not what one would expect of him, which we appreciate. He's trying something new! However, the bar is too high for himself and the genre of kids on Broadway, and this show is not up to par.
Alex Brightman is very charismatic as the inept substitute teacher, but he is living under the shadow of Jack Black as his performance veers too much towards imitation. Instead, a fresh take on this role would have been inspired - like Disney did with the Genie in their new Aladdin musical.
There are a couple of good and very memorable songs in School Of Rock, but the show would have benefitted far more from being a jukebox musical. Having a Stevie Nicks song be such a standout moment doesn't bode too well for your show of original music.
The kids in this production are all very solid. But, just down the street at Matilda, the child performers there are on a whole other level. It definitely helps that they have better material and direction.
Laurence Connor, who directed School Of Rock, did a fine-enough job. But a visionary director, like Alex Timbers, could have made this production so much more compelling!
But, at the end of the day, our opinion is irrelevant. As we were leaving the theater, we overhead this kid telling his mom that School Of Rock was the best show he'd ever seen. And THAT was awesome!
Allegiance is an important story to tell and a difficult one.
Inspired by his own life, the new Broadway musical stars Star Trek legend George Takei in a dramatization of the time during World War II where over 120,000 Japanese-Americans were sent to concentration camps.
Takei skillfully acts his part, although he isn't giving much material in the singing department.
Thankfully, though, Broadway and Disney legend Lea Salonga is utilized to the best of her abilities and delivers THAT VOICE, which is easily one of the top three of all time in musical theater.
Telly Leung does a fine job of playing the war hero, or is he the anti-hero of Allegiance? His character, more often than not, comes across as unlikeable. And that's a major problem for a protagonist of a show.
The music is good, if not the most memorable.
Act I felt long, but Act II flies by and really tugs at the heartstrings.
In addition to Salonga, we also were blown away by Katie Rose Clarke as the nurse with the heart of gold.
There is a lot of pain in Allegiance, but - thankfully - director Stafford Arima does a brilliant job of not making the show too dark and of finding the beauty in the bleak. The way he represents the bombing of Hiroshima is so inspired! His formations and choices are to be strongly lauded.
Fine job by all!
Perez is a diehard and lifelong Gloria Estefan fan! So the bar was set high for the new Broadway musical, On Your Feet, based on her life and that of her husband, Emilio.
This show not only met our expectations - it exceeded them!
On Your Feet will please the casual Gloria fan and also satisfy her most ardent admirers.
The show was masterfully crafted by Oscar-winning stage and screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris. His script weaves us between Miami and Cuba from the 70s, 60s, 80s and early 90s.
And the story that is told on the stage of the Marquis Theater could not be any more timely!
Yes, of course, the show touches on Gloria's nearly fatal bus accident. But that doesn't even happen until Act 2!
Instead, On Your Feet is a love story and an immigrant tale. It is inspiring and revealing!
There was a lot we did not know before, which shocked us! Notably: it was a surprise to learn that Gloria become estranged from her mother for two years at the height of her success, and that her sister "got in with the wrong crowd" around the same time too.
For a Cuban family to reveal those two things to the public - that's major!
And that's the kind of investment Gloria and Emilio made in this show! They are telling their story and telling its as authentically as possible!
Jerry Mitchell does a great job of adding great production value and making this show fit on Broadway.
And Ana Villafane was destined to play the role of Gloria! She is channeling her fellow Cubana up on that stage!!!
Gloria and Emilio did the orchestrations for Get On Your Feet and the music really shines in this show! It may surprise you how many ballads and midtempo songs are featured - we cried our eyes out - but the show ends with a bang, concert-style. Literally! There's a nearly 6 minute encore medley of uptempo hits to send you off on your way and raving to all your friends about how good On Your Feet is!
Company XIV's reimagining of Cinderella is one of the most thrilling theatrical experiences we have seen not just in 2015 but EVER!!!
Austin McCormick, who conceived, choreographed and directed the show, is a creative genius! A true innovator! So inventive!!! And he's outdone himself with this production!
We LOVED Company XIV's Nutcracker Rouge, and Cinderella easily tops that!
Billing itself as a "baroque burlesque ballet", the show is all that and so much more!
We were gasping, gagging and smiling throughout! We were so invested, moved and present! It was a delight of the senses!!! SO MANY senses!
Austin and company poured their heart and soul into this production! And their money! It looks so lavish and lush!
We also were continually surprised throughout this show! This was the first time we had seen McCormick use a three act structure, with "entre acts" in between - and it was such a win! And there were so many unexpected moments that kept happening!
She can do this and that? He can do that too? We didn't see that coming!
The dancing is more than just inspired! It is so fresh!!! Alive!!! Fun! Sexy! Emotional! BRILLIANT!!!
It helps that every single dancer and all the singers are insanely talented!
We could watch Jakob Karr do anything! His technique is on point and his delivery is superb! Plus, he's gorgeous to look at and practically naked the entire show!
And, it made us so happy to see that the phenomenally talented dancer/singer Katrina Cunningham - as the fairy godmother - was used so much more in this production. She was elevated to the superstar status she deserves!
The show is called Cinderella, but it's really all about her!
And Devon Rainey gave us cunty realness, Paris-Is-Burning fierceness as the wicked stepmother!!!!
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!!!!!!
We can't recommend this show enough!!!!
[Image via Mark Shelby Perry.]
We did not enjoy the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening - for many reasons. To recap: too dark, felt unfinished and felt like it belonged more off-Broadway.
So, we went in to this new revival with very low expectations and were very pleasantly surprised.
This new production - done with hearing and deaf actors - makes the show feel super fresh. There is much more going on this time around.
There's also some much needed levity. There's more humor in this one. And Spencer Liff's choreography and staging adds sooooo much to the show!
Michael Arden did a superb job directing and some truly standout performances from Camryn Manheim, Andy Mientus, Austin McKenzie and Katie Boeck.
Definitely worth seeing, even if didn't like the original production!