The Howard ~ Theater Review – “The Wizard of Oz” – Seven Angels Theater

 

 

Reviewer:             Howard Steven Frydman akaThe Howard

Production:                       The Wizard of Oz
Theater:                              Seven Angels Theater
Writer:                                L. Frank Baum
Book:                                   John Kane
Music/Lyrics:                    Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg
Director:                             James Donahue 

The Howard’s Exhale – “A Childhood Film Favorite comes to vibrant life- Oz-tastic!

Lavishly and authentically recreated, we offer bows and applause-to Seven Angels Theater in Waterbury, CT  for their current masterful musical reproduction of the 1939 MGM Technicolored film  – The Wizard of Oz, considered “one of the greatest films in cinema history”. Offering fantasy, a sentimental score by Harold Arlen and E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and such memorable characters  as The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion and The Scarecrow- take a most fantastic walk down the Yellow Brick Road from Munchkinland to the Emerald City in an effort to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and help our beloved Dorothy, and Toto too, return to her home somewhere over the rainbow. My friends – this production has heart, it has brains, it has courage – it’s an Emerald Gem!

Madeleine Tommins as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz with Toto (Mylo)

On this sultry early summer day, the Seven Angels theater is literally packed, free ice cream day aside, the theater is full of families, young and old to see this musical version of The Wizard of Oz. Observing tender tots dressed in either full Dorothy Gale regalia, from blue and white gingham dress to red ruby slippers, cowardly lions in tails, Reynolds-wrapped tin men, and scruffy scarecrows makes one think there is an “Oz-Con” taking place here instead of a musical being presented. Who knew, OZ was such an upswing affair, as I overhear a young boy adorned with “faux paws” and fighting off invisible “Winkies”, repeatedly say to his dad “I’m a mean old lion”! 

As a child of the somewhat innocent ‘60’s, I so recall our entire family gathering around our old black and white Zenith Television to watch “the event” – “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton and Frank Morgan as The Wizard. It wasn’t till many years later that I was able to see the film as intended in vibrant color, and in its entirety- or so I thought. Unbeknownst to many – the film because of running time issues, actually had planned songs and dialogue missing. 

What makes this production an exceptional experience, Seven Angels has quite rightly utilized the 1987 Royal Shakespeare Company’s rendition, which uses the original screenplay, dialogue, original unheard songs such as “The Jitterbug”, and various song introductory verses rarely ever heard including that from “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” –  When all the world is a hopeless jumble, And the raindrops tumble all around, Heaven opens a magic lane, When all the clouds darken up the skyway, There’s a rainbow highway to be found, Leading from your window pane, To a place beyond the sun,  Just a step beyond the rain, Somewhere over the rainbow…” Absolutely beautiful and not to be missed by Ozaficionados. 

Madeleine Tommins as Dorothy, Justin Torres as Scarecrow, Carey Cannata as Tin Man.

Pam Amodio as Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch, Joe Stofko as Uncle Henry, Cristin Marshall as Aunt Em/Glinda.

A good cast is worth repeating-  let me justly say I was mighty impressed with our Seven Angels Cast and ensemble, including: Madeleine Tommins as our courageous Dorothy; Justin Torres as The Scarecrow; Carey Cannata as The Tin Man; James Donahue as The Cowardly Lion (perfectly cast – he reminds one of a young Bert Lahr);  Cristin Marshall as Glinda – (your creative bubbly bubble entrance was oh too cute) and Joe Stofko as the stoic Uncle Henry.

Cast of Seven Angels “The Wicard of Oz” and Howard Steven Frydman.

Our witchipoo aka “The Wicked Witch”, Pam Amodio, reminded me more of Nanny “Euphengenia Doubtfire” at times, which is a good thing, witches can be scary for an audience mostly of young children. But in another world, we had wished she had given it a bit more of the ‘ol Margaret Hamilton-esque slant, especially when provided the gem “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too”- wow now that’s a line! 

And now for the coveted “ Howard Noticed You Awards” this time we honor two-  firstly Mr. Robert Melendez as the Oz Guard, this up and coming actor is a “scene stealer” when on stage, singing/dancing/acting, and that hair of his has a mind of it’s own- good job. Second- the well renown and acclaimed actor – Mr. Scott Kealey as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Professor Marvel” – folks literally traveled from throughout New England to see Scott in performance- and so did I – excellent- a hearty applause of appreciation!

Seven Angels Theater production of “The Wizard of Oz” is beautifully crafted for the stage, and brought forth joyful tears to this reviewer and a grateful audience. Enjoy!

Madeleine Tommins as Dorothy, Howard Steven Frydman, and Scott Kealey as The Wizard of Oz.

“The Wizard of Oz”  is currently being produced at Seven Angels Theater. For tickets call the box office at 203-757-4676, online at SevenAngelsTheatre.org, or at the box office at 1 Plank Road, Waterbury. Free Parking. Just off I-84.  GPS directions use: Hamilton Park, Waterbury.

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.

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The Howard ~ Theater Review “CABARET” at Connecticut Repertory Theater

Reviewer:             Howard Steven Frydman aka “The Howard

Production:                       Cabaret 
Theater:                             Connecticut Repertory Theater
Book:                                  Joe Masteroff
Music:                                John Kander
Lyrics:                                Fred Ebb
Director:                            Scott LaFeber

The Howard’s Exhale – “A Sizzling Summer Sensation – Provocative, Passionate, Seductive

Forrest McClendon as the Emcee in CABARET onstage at Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Does anyone want fresh luscious fruit – an orange, a pineapple, maybe a KitKat kutie? If so, then come to the “Cabaret”. Yes- Willkommen to this “soak it in” sizzling sweet confection of the Tony Award Winning Musical – “Cabaret”, presented by the Connecticut Repertory Theater (CRT) as part of their Nutmeg Summer Series under the direction of Scott LaFeber featuring music and lyrics by Kander and Ebb, and starring Laura Michelle Kelly (Broadways original “Mary Poppins) as “Sally Bowles”  and Tony Award nominee for the “Scottsboro Boys” Forrest McClendon as the “Emcee”.

Laura Michelle Kelly (Sally Bowles) and Forrest McClendon (Emcee) in CABARET

Tori d’Alesandro, Sydney Sky, Forrest McClendon (Emcee), Rebekah Santiago and Madeline Dunn in CABARET

Now folks let’s get down to the real nitty and gritty here – the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb handle controversial subjects in a most ingenious and creative manner- making YOU the audience reflect and become one with their host of creative characters. Their musicals, which includes, “The Scottsboro Boys” and “Chicago” – oftentimes present the underbelly of society in a bright golden hue, yet ultimately revolve around truth, justice and keeping always observant. There are times, that I am so certain that Kander and Ebb are today’s Nostradamus, seers describing past events in musical form that remind us of what may come, or that we should never forget and be vigilant of securing the rights of all people and our democracy- as they say “All Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

“Cabaret” is indeed the second live Kander and Ebb musical I’ve seen in two weeks, – (“The Scottsboro Boys” is currently showing at Playhouse On Park being the other) – I freely admit I have only seen the 1972 film version starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey and never a live musical production. The original musical, winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score for K & E, opened on Broadway in 1966 at the Broadhurst Theater, as you can imagine, this CRT offering is indeed a treat for a newbie like myself.

When one conjures up thoughts of “Cabaret”, you immediately think of pre-WW II Germany, the infamous sleazy underworld of the “Kit Kat Klub ”, it’s lead singer, Sally Bowles (Laura Michelle Kelly), that suave, decadent “Emcee” (Forest McClendon), the innocent American writer abroad- Clifford Bradshaw (Rob Barnes), The Kit Kat Gals & Guys, and of course the great K & E tunes including: the musical’s namesake song, and such memorable tunes including “Willkommem”, “Mein Herr”, “Maybe This Time”, “Money”, and the frightening “If You Could See Her” aka “The Gorilla Song” – “funny she doesn’t look Jewish” – absolutely terrifying in its connotation in how we except prejudice. As the Emcee states – “In here life is beautiful, The girls are beautiful, Even the orchestra is beautiful,  And now presenting the Cabaret girls, each and everyone a virgin”.  You soon realize – nothing is beautiful. One initially and eerily forgets that this musical is about the rising of Nazism, disenfranchisement, antisemitism, intolerance, dark and dire political developments, policies of hate, them vs. us – sound familiar?? 

“Cabaret” is the final entry in this year’s Nutmeg Summer Series, and we so heartedly applaud both CRT and Artistic Director Terrence Mann for another excellent season of theater. Once again we send standing ovations to our superb cast and energetic ensemble of actors. We must take note of our two leads – Miss Laura Michelle Kelly is a sublime “Sally Bowles”, sympathetic one moment, sultry the next. “Emcee” Forrest McClendon” IS “Cabaret” he sets the tone for the entire evening- and makes one believe we are part of the decadent Kit Kat Club – an exquisite and stunning performance. 

Dee Hoty as Fraulein Schneider and Jonathan Brody as Herr Schultz in CABARET

Dee Hoty as Fraulein Schneider and Jonathan Brody as Herr Schultz in CABARET

We humbly present the coveted “Howard Noticed You Award” to two cast members of “Cabaret”, first to Miss Dee Hoty as “Fraulien Schneider” – a tender, sensitive performance that tugged at one’s heart – beautiful! And second, Mr. Johnathan Brody as “Herr Schultz”, a “down to earth” real life portrayal – so sympathetic and realized. Both actors arguably stole the show whenever they appeared on stage – at times we wished “Cabaret” was more about “Herr Schultz” and the landlady “Schneider” but that would be an entirely different K & E tale – Excellent performance both!! Enjoy.

Howard Steven Frydman, Actors Aiden Marchetti and Rebekah Santiago

Howard Steven Frydman, Rebekah Santiago, Forrest McClendon.

Forrest McClendon and Rebekah Santiago

This production will take place at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theater located on the campus of the University of Connecticut. CRT is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut- Storrs, CT. For ticket information or to purchase tickets by phone: 860-486-2113 or visit online at www.crt.uconn.edu. 

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.

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The Howard ~ Theater Review “The Scottsboro Boys” – Playhouse On Park

 

Reviewer:      Howard Steven Frydman akaThe Howard

Theater:               Playhouse On Park
Production:         The Scottsboro Boys
Book:                    David Thompson 
Music & Lyrics:   John Kander and Fred Ebb
Director:               Sean Harris 

The Howard’s Exhale – “dynamic – powerful – electrifying theater – a tale to be told – often.

Playhouse on Park is currently offering a most powerful production of the musical “The Scottsboro Boys” that is “not to be missed” theater. This important historic account of 9 young black men who fought for justice in an unjust world is compelling and thought provoking. POP has brought forth an “on the edge-of your seat” production that will have you crying one minute,  and shouting for Justice the next. Directed by Sean Harris, choreography by Darlene Zoller and STARRING a most “excellent” multitalented cast of 13 actors  – this is “must see theater” at its BEST.

Folks, as mentioned this is a musical, and a darn good one – with up beat songs and dance that lifts your spirits one moment and then shaking your head in disgust the next. Throughout the musical’s two hour runtime I take note of the reactions of fellow attendees- a gentleman with head in hand in rapt attention, a young woman laying her head on the shoulders of her companion, another wiping away a tear – only a truly thought provoking and provocative live theatrical event can stir such raw and real emotions dealing with racism and injustice.

“The Scottsboro Boys”, had its Broadway premiere at the Lyceum Theater, and was nominated for twelve Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Choreography, and Best Performance by a Leading Actor.  The musical, which has Book by David Thompson, and music and lyrics by the famed duo of John Kander and Fred Ebb, who also brought us the stage musicals, “Chicago” and “Cabaret”, bravely details this infamous 1930’s  court case that set in motion the American Civil Rights Movement.

Initially brought forth in the guise of a high-energy dance and song “minstrel” show, we are introduced to Mr. Interlocutor (Dennis Holland), Mr. Bones (Ivory McKay), Mr. Tambo (Torrey Linder), and The Lady (Renee J. Sutherland), and so sadly begins the true account and aftermath of nine youths who came seeking a modest living but only found sorrow. The place: the Deep South- Alabama, 1931. Meet the “Scottsboro Boys” – teenagers – who had been hitching a ride on a train until they are all falsely accused of raping two white women. Hastily put on trial with no true evidence or due process – all are sentenced to death. The musical provides us a window to a cruel criminal justice system as it presents this stirring true account of 9 black men, a world on edge, and those seeking “a right to a fair trial”, and an end to racism forever. 

This indeed is compelling theater –  a courageous tale that we are so honored that Playhouse on Park is presenting. We rightly state ALL our nine “Scottsboro Men” are true stars with broadway worthy singing, dancing, acting – GENTLEMEN- you are wonderful and I along with a most appreciative audience give you high praise – and say bravo to – Troy Valjean Rucker, Justin Sturgis, Jerry Hamilton, Trishawn Paul, Cedric Ekra, Alex Robertson, Jaylan Evans, Grant Reynolds, and Cedric Green.

Lastly, I need to take note of two outstanding “star making aspects” of this musical production, firstly – hands down it would be the choreography by Darlene Zoller. Miss Zoller,  an adjunct professor at the Hartt School of Music and is co-founder of POP – I truly admired your energetic creative choreography- great great job!! Lastly, a “Howard Noticed You Award” goes to the talented Mr. Alex Emmanuel Robertson for your Dynamic, Lively and Awe-inspiring tap dancing – excellent!! We first met Mr. Robertson in a production by playwright Emma Krishnaswami, “The Rhythm of U.S.” several years ago, we so look forward to seeing Mr. Robertson performances in upcoming productions. Enjoy!

Howard Steven Frydman and Alex Robertson

Tickets for the Playhouse on Park’s  production of “The Scottsboro Boys” are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the POP box office at 860-523-5900 x10 or visit www.playhouseonpark.org. Playhouse on Park is located at 244 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119.

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com

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The Howard – Summer Super Screening Invite “STUBER” – Tixs

 

You are invited to the SUMMER of ‘19 – SUPER SCREENING OF

STUBER”.

The Screening of STUBER will take place on Wednesday, July 10th, 7pm, at Bow tie, New Park Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut.

To Receive complimentary passes to see STUBER- please go to the download link below. First come, first served.

http://www.gofobo.com/BowtieStuber

 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5l6a5RiR1E

SYNOPSIS:  When a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he’s thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating.  Directed by Michael Dowse, this action-comedy from 20th Century Fox also stars Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan.

Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, with Mira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan.

Written by: Tripper Clancy

Directed by: Michael Dowse

Opens nationwide on July 12th!

 

#Stuber  @StuberMovie

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The Howard ~ Theater Review – “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” at Hartford Stage

 

Reviewer:       Howard Steven Frydman aka “The Howard”

Theater:                 The Hartford Stage
Production:           Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
Book:                      Hershey Felder
Music & Lyrics:    Irving Berlin
Director:                Trevor Hay 

The Howard’s Exhale – “PianoMan Felder’s Berlin – It’s Wonderful”

Hello stage-mites all across the state – that piano impresario, singer and on stage actor, Hershey Felder, makes a triumphant return to the Hartford Stage in his one man, limited engagement production tribute – “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin”.

Fans of Felder are well versed in his other one man  “piano personification presentations” including, “Our Great Tchaikovsky, “George Gershwin Alone”, “Monsieur Chopin”,  and “Franz Liszt in Music.” Here Felder treats us to a remarkable musical recreation of the life of composer, lyricist, performer and fellow piano player – Irving Berlin.

Felder sets an extraordinary visual image on stage, here the setting is Christmas Eve, snow is freely flowing through the windows, the townhouse home is decorated for the Christmas Holiday, outside fans of Berlin are serenading him on his 100 birthday with a rendition of “White Christmas”. Unexpectedly, Berlin in intro is portrayed more as an Ebenezer Scrooge-type seen in his decline, as Felder rolls back the years, showcasing Berlin from his “rags to riches” jazzy heyday ragtime star in the making with his first hit “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”. It is through this vehicle that we relive the life, the loves, the losses and music of this American icon who states, “I wrote for love. I wrote for my country. I wrote for you” – and we are so richly grateful.

A scholar in residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music, Felder’s presentation oftentimes resembles a “Teacher at the podium” – giving a schoolroom-lecture – here the students/audience are indeed enraptured by the subject matter of Berlin’s life and career, (he wrote over 1,500 songs), that it comes  so naturally when Felder, while he is playing or singing a Berlin tune, gives a nod to the attentive audience, and they naturally join in song,  btw- so do I!

Dubbed the “Singing Waiter” in his youth, Berlin’s tunes comprise a majority of what is now called the “Great American Song Book”. Felder does these renditions including, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Always”, “Blue Skies”, “Easter Parade”, “Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In the Morning”, and “God Bless America” in “OK” fashion – believe you me Felder is no Frank Sinatra and if you heard Berlin’s real voice, neither was Berlin, but the presentation is exact, highly enjoyable, and we give high marks to this endearing tribute to a remarkable musical visionary. Enjoy!

Tickets for the Hartford Stage production of “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (860) 527-5151 or by visiting http://www.hartfordstage.org. Weeknight and evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are Saturdays, Sundays and select weekdays at 2 p.m.

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com

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The Howard ~ Advance Screening- YESTERDAY- Bow Tie Palace

 

You’re invited to an Advance Screening

YESTERDAY

We’re having an advance screening of YESTERDAY on Tues, June 25 at 7pm at Bow Tie Palace. The film is  about a musician who survives a bus accident and worldwide blackout and wakes up to realize the Beatles never existed.

 

To sign up for the advance screening of YESTERDAY on Tuesday, June 25 at 7pm at Bow Tie Palace, click here: https://forms.gle/Hhet82pJpHUZRQLw9

 

PLEASE NOTE: By completing this form, your name will automatically be added to the advance screening RSVP list. Duplicate names will be deleted from the final list. An E-Pass will be emailed before the screening takes place and will be cross-checked with the final list. Seating is first come, first served and NOT GUARANTEED so please arrive early. When the screening is full, this link will be disabled.

 

YESTERDAY

In theaters June 28

Universal

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD6FDkUXSZQ

Director:              Danny Boyle

Writers:               Story by Jack Barth, Screenplay by Richard Curtis

Producers:           Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Matthew James Wilkinson, Bernie Bellew, Danny Boyle, and Richard Curtis

Cast:                     Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon

Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He’s about to become a very big deal. From Academy Award®-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life.

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, BBC’s Eastenders) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed.

 

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The Howard ~ Theater Review- “Mamma Mia” – Connecticut Repertory Theater

 

Theater Review by Howard Steven Frydman

Production:                       Mamma Mia
Theater:                             Connecticut Repertory Theater
Music/Lyrics:                   Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus
Book.                                  Catherine Johnson                  
Director:                            Terrance Mann

Yabba ABBA Doo!!!

“Mamma  Mia – The Musical”-  featuring oh-so tender and sentimental songs by the ‘70’s Swedish pop group “ABBA”, is currently in production at the Connecticut Repertory Theater’s (CRT) Nutmeg Summer Series under the direction of three-time Tony nominee Terrance Mann. Believe you me – “Mamma Mia” – where friends and lovers abound is an endearing, cry a minute now, laugh a bit later, sing it out loud far and near-  and as stated it’s a “Yabba ABBA Dabba Doo” Good time from one end of the theater to the other!!

Legendary Director/Actor Terrance Mann, who has been associated with CRT as both actor and director since 2011, is now in his third year as Artistic Director, and believe you me we are so glad he is back here in Connecticut sharing his theatrical artistry. During my most recent visit, let me plainly state there is something miraculous going on here in the CRT Theater during this production of “Mamma Mia” and it is joyously attributed to the stellar direction of Mann, a glorious group of actors, and a creative team including “jump up from your seat” choreography by Mary Ann Lamb and Jessica Walker, Scenic design by Tim Brown, and ultra chic costume designs by the fabulous Miss Fan Zheng.

“Mamma Mia, The Musical” opened in the West End at the Prince Edward Theater before transitioning to Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre and is the ninth-longest-running Broadway show of all time with 5,758 performances. The plot – think “Definitely Maybe” (starring Ryan Reynolds) or TV sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother”, – “The McGuffin” – who’s my real dad/mom? The location- a beautiful small Greek Isle of love.

Kelly McCarty (Sophie) and Mason Reeves (Sky) in MAMMA MIA!

Here we are introduced to the recently engaged Sophie (Kelly McCarty) and her  beloved Sky (Mason Reeves). Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding including walking down the aisle with her father by her side – but alas she does not know who her real father may be. Seeking info she sneaks a peek at her mom’s diary, with clues that her dad may be one of three former loves, Harry, (Rob Barnes) Bill, (Jamie Colburn) or Sam, (Bradley Dean) and forging her mom’s name, Donna (Jessica Hendy) she invites all three to the wedding-oy!- that’s Chutzpah! Along the way we are introduced to wedding guests including Donna’s “all for one gal-pals”- Rosie (Jennifer Cody) and Tanya (Lauren Blackman), members of her former singing group- “Donna and the Dynamos”.

Jennifer Cody (Rosie) Jessica Hendy (Donna), Lauren Blackman (Tanya), directed by Terrence Mann

Let me tell you- throughout the production, theatergoers are so taken with what they are seeing on stage, they are literally dancing in the aisles, singing along, laughing, crying, and just having a case of the “Y.A.D.D.’s”. I take note of a somewhat older couple in the row in front, who not only are they holding hands, silently singing along, but as they recognize various ABBA songs including, “I Heard A Dream”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Dance Queen”, “Does Your Mother Know”, “Take A Chance On Me”, “Waterloo” and of course “Mamma Mia”, they look romantically at each other, and sneak a kiss- this Music, this Musical, this band ABBA – has certainly struck a heartfelt emotional reaction that is simply –  Yabba ABBA  Dabba DOO!

Lauren Blackman (Tanya), and the cast of Mamma Mia.

We kindly send kudos to our “oh so” energetic cast and ensemble, including our lead Jessica Hendy as Donna – an exceptional voice and performance, our “Sophie”  – Kelly McCarty – she provides an inviting, natural acting style. We happily take note of Mason Reeves rendition of “Lay All Your Love On Me”- oh so exhausting dance choreography but a certain crowd pleaser.

Jamie Colburn (Bill) and Jennifer Cody (Rosie) in MAMMA MIA!

I humbly send a coveted “Rose d’excellence” to Miss Jennifer Cody as “Rosie”.  Jennifer –  we do have to single you out as a scene stealer whenever you appear on stage and we loved it! With her deliciously enticing smile – all eyes are on this actor – Jennifer Cody is indeed a DY-NA-MO. 

Lastly we present the coveted “Howard Noticed You Award” to Miss Torrie D’Alessandro as “Ali”-we so enjoyed your high spirited performance, you added so much to this show. Plain and simply Mann’s current production is a sure fire crowd pleaser and a not to be missed musical event. Enjoy!

This production will take place at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theater located on the campus of the University of Connecticut. CRT is the professional producing arm of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut- Storrs, CT. For ticket information or to purchase tickets by phone: 860-486-2113 or visit online at www.crt.uconn.edu. 

Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com.

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