Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is appearing on the Arden’s Mainstage at 40 N. 2nd Street in Olde City and its run has been extended to April 8, 2018 due to popular demand. The minimalistic set is impeccable. Locales can be switched with a slide of a screen. The change in seasons can be denoted by the cast members wearing different color smocks and/or flowers sprouting from the “outside”. The ensemble cast is phenomenal. Nicolette Lynch, Renika Williams and Jasmine Ward all give remarkable performances of poor, young, black girls trying to understand why their place in the world is different from that of white girls’. Eliana Fabiyi, Reggie D. White, Damien J. Wallace, Chavez and Soraya Butler round out this outstanding ensemble. Jasmine (Pecola) prays for blue eyes like Shirley Temple or Mary Jane so she, too, can be loved and not ignored. A caveat, issued too late by Soaphead - be careful what you wish for. Toni Morrison’s work is brilliant and raw; alternately filled with moments of humor, shock and horror. You might need to compose yourself at the end of this breath-taking drama, but once you catch your breath you won’t stop talking about it. This is a mind-blowing tale told by a plethora of incredible performers. For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122 or visit online at www.ardentheatre.org.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
The Bristol Riverside Theater, located at 120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, Pa, is presenting Mel Brooks’ irreverent multiple Tony-Award winning musical, The Producers through April 1. Producer Max Bialystock (Danny Rutigliano) finds his Broadway flop much easier to bear when his accountant (Michael Doherty) discovers that he has actually made some money in the process. Thus a scheme is born - Produce the worst play and make a fortune. Find an awful script, hire the worst director, cast the most horrible actors and the show will certainly close on opening night. Ah, the best laid plans… Brooks’ cheeky play is an equal-opportunity offender. The Producers is satire at its most absurd. Boxing gloves are off and everything is fair game. That said, the cast and crew are marvelous. There is no weak link in this chain. The audience is wowed by Nicole Benoit’s rendition of “When You’ve Got it, Flaunt It’”, Fred Inkley’s demonstration of “Der Guten Tag Hop Clop”, and Danny Rutigliano’s lamentations in “Betrayed”. The ensemble acquits itself flawlessly. There are not only many musical numbers to sing but a wide variety of dance numbers to perform as well, not the least of which is a tap routine with walkers. Michael Doherty’s portrayal of a shy, timid accountant who is afraid of his own shadow is a perfect foil for Danny Rutigliano’s blustery producer Max Bialystock. For more information or tickets for this incredible production, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at brtstage.org.