By Jane Recker It’s estimated that there are at least 85,000 Elvis impersonators in the world. None of the other 85,499 can hold a candle to Eddie Clendening in Heartbreak Hotel. Eight times a week, the King is resurrected from his early grave to grace the stage of the Broadway Playhouse with his growling and
The musical theatre reviews featured here are written by reviewers, not critics. These impressions and opinions are from individuals passionate about musical theatre and represent, in most cases, one observation of one performance. The primary purpose in publishing reviews is to help patrons decide whether a production is a good use of their time and entertainment budget. Our reviewers are also encouraged to creatively shine a light on particularly good work done onstage and backstage, understanding that successful productions happen because of the work of many. Finally, ChicagolandMusicalTheatre's reviewers are asked to walk into a show expecting enjoyable entertainment—because that's the mindset of patrons who buy tickets to professional theatre.
Miller and Mac deftly fill the stage with vibrant movement and athletic physical humor. In particular, the romantic subplot between Lucentio (played with youthful bombasity by Tony Carter) and Bianca (portrayed gracefully by Emma Rosenthal) is incredibly engaging and entertaining, filled with smartly staged gags, lightning-quick banter, and dynamic dancing.
It’s a two-man show with a baker’s dozen cast of characters who provide themselves with prolific and hysterical piano accompaniment. This fast-paced 90 minutes is filled with jokes for every sense of humor.
And costume designer Patti Roeder might be the real star of the show. Her lustrous and lavish costumes brim with class and color: every bauble, sash and spat sings to the rafters, amplified by Laura Martino’s wonderful wig work.
The show is utterly silly from bow to stern, and that’s by Fruits’ design. It’s an imaginative feat of irony that would probably tickle the playwrights themselves. In modernizing and manipulating the play, the cast has actually written a love letter to the show’s spirit.