Reviews

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‘The Rocky Horror Show’ review: You can join in the fun— or just enjoy the show

Published: Friday, November 05, 2010
the-rocky-horror-show-review-revision-theatre-christoper-timson.JPGPHOTO: Jason Meehan
Christopher Timson, left, Jennifer Bowles and Chris Hall
in the ReVision Theatre production of “The Rocky Horror Show.”

They’re asking for it.

At ReVision Theatre in Asbury Park, the game cast of “The Rocky Horror Show” comes onstage, yells to the crowd “Gimme an R! Gimme an O!” — and continues the request right through C, K and Y.

And the crowd is only too happy to shout the letters back.

Crackerjack director Thomas Morrissey knows what he’s doing. He’s telling his audience, “Yes — just in case you were worried or wondering, audience participation is not only allowed but encouraged.”

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THE ASBURY PARK PRESS

Building a better “Rocky Horror”

By TOM CHESEK • CORRESPONDENT • November 5, 2010

Jesse Wildman (Columbia), Travis Morin (Rocky) and Chris Hall (Frank N. Furter) star in ReVision Theatre Company’s revival of “The Rocky Horror Show,” now playing at Asbury Park’s Carousel House. (PHOTO: ALECIA BROOKS)

To an actor, a callback can be a good thing when it comes from a casting director; not so good a thing when it comes sailing out from the seats along with fistfuls of rice, playing cards and toilet paper. But this is the way-out and wiggy world of “The Rocky Horror Show” — a place where inhibitions are checked at the door, and where the callback is not only encouraged, but surrendered to with anticipation.

If you’re a member of the two or three generations that make up the millennial “Rocky” audience”; if you’re someone who’s spent any time hanging around the Shore over the past 30 years — if you’re anything this side of Brad and Janet — you won’t be needing any kind of refresher on the stage version of “Rocky Horror” or the “Picture Show” phenomenon it spawned. All you need to know is that ReVision Theatre Company of Asbury Park has occupied the castle of Frank N. Furter; moved it into the baroque flying saucer that is the historic Carousel building and set the transducers to “stun” for an extended engagement that pushes the sweet insanity of summer almost to the doorstep of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

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ReVision’s Rocky Horror Show Reviewed

On October 28th, 2010 I attended an electrifying performance of The Rocky Horror Show presented by The ReVision Theatre in The Carousel House on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. I had no idea there was anything going on in the Carousel House, and it’s great to see that The ReVision Theatre may find a permanent home there, if they can raise the funding. If you haven’t been able to catch the show yet, you still have time since they’ve extended the run through November 13th! If you’ve seen the 1975 film, but never a stage production of Rocky, it’s a whole different experience!

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Entertainment

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Sunday, Jun. 26, 2005

Texas Star Theatre presents GYPSY

STAR-TELEGRAM/JOYCE MARSHALL
Cindy Benson stars as Rose in Texas Star Theatre’s first full production, Gypsy.

KICKING IT UP A NOTCH

‘Gypsy’ proves theater’s new staff has what it takes

By Mark Lowry
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

GRANBURY – It’s officially time to squelch the rumor around town about whether the new, large staff of Texas Star Theatre — the producing organization at the Granbury Opera House — has what it takes to bring the artistic level up a notch. Make that several lengths.

The answer is most definitely, as witnessed by its first full production, the Laurents/Styne/Sondheim musical masterpiece Gypsy. It’s clear that TST’s leader, Thomas Morrissey, is a man with the vision that goes beyond simply staging a show. He puts his stamp on it, making a compelling case for its revival.

At top, Jennifer Matthews plays June, and Brittany Bailey, rear, is Louise. The production runs through July 24.
 

>>>>READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE


 HOOD COUNTY NEWS

GYPSY

Theatre Review

‘Gypsy’ takes theater to new level of professionalism

 by STAN WEINBERG
Staff Writer

Wow!!!!

That’s what I said to my wife Friday night when the curtain came down on the opening of ‘Gypsy’ at Texas Star Theatre at the Historic Granbury Opera House.

I’ve seen many productions at that theater, but ‘Gypsy’ was one of the most energetic and professional performances I’ve witnessed.

Other members of the packed audience appeared to appreciate the outstanding performance.

‘Gypsy’ is first show under the new management team, and director Tom Morrissey had a lot riding on how it would be received. If Friday night was any example, the performance could be declared a hit.

>>>>CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW


NO NO NANETTE

Tri-Arts Playhouse

Tri-State Center for the Arts, Pine Plains, NY

Jazz Age Gem, Tri-Arts “No No Nanette” thoroughly impresses and Charms as well

Set in the roaring ‘20s, this production directed and choreographed by Thomas Morrissey certainly does roar with all the lightness and camp of a much simpler time. Morrissey has dug deep and mined the script for all its worth.

This production of “No No Nanette is a very very funny piece of solid theatre that as it happens is highlighted by much-touted singing and dancing and punctuated by gags and more gags.

The dancing in “No No Nanette” is non-stop, with all sorts of theatrical gags that are as ebulliently tongue-in-cheek as the play itself. This show is a hoot and it manages to reach with equal hilarity audience members of any and all ages.

Absolute theatrical excess, [you’ll] remember this show for all the wit and color that constantly flies on and off stage.

-Linda Pack Butler, The Taconic

‘No No Nanette,’ Cheery

The Production directed and choreographed by Thomas Morrissey, starts with his trademark: the overture is choreographed. This and other numbers move briskly and occasionally smack of Busby Berkley style movements, which is not all bad. Morrissey smartly has his actors play the play for the sweet silliness it is. It’s hard to resist tapping your feet when this versatile cast performs the musical numbers. If you like to go to a show where you can leave your mind at home and just be comfy, Tri-Arts’ “No No Nanette” is for you.

-Macey Levin, Hudson Valley Compass

 

HELLO, DOLLY!

ROCKWELL PRODUCTIONS

The Grand Candlelight Theatre & The Media Theatre

Lewisburg/Milton, PA Area & The Philadelphia Area

Thomas Morrissey directs and choreographs at an exuberant gallop

keeping the cast of [24] jumping. The title song’s athletic dances are the highlight. And the fast paced fully choreographed scene changes make the most of the Media Theatre’s notorious staging challenges. …musical comedy is only partly about visual spectacle, it’s about song, dance, fun and romance and “Hello Dolly!” has plenty. …Rockwell productions, the producing arm of the Media Theatre for the Performing

Arts does us a favor by presenting a fine fully staged “Hello Dolly!”

-Mark Cofta, Delaware County News
(BACKSTAGE Pub. Correspondent)

 

“Hello Dolly!” is a gem

Rockwell’s pros take you where you’re suppose to be. Don’t miss this engagement.

…Another standout scene is when the waiters dance at the Harmonia Gardens restaurant. They do a caterpillar-like move that has to be seen to be believed. Go see “Hello Dolly,” and you’ll have a fun night out.

-Milton Daily Star

 

Matchmaker Gets Enthusiastic Reception On Opening Night

…Few minuses diminish not a whit the enjoyment of the show from the fine singing down to the professional choreography and direction by Thomas Morrissey. Go see “Hello Dolly!” again you won’t be disappointed. -Frank Rapp, Press Focus

Dolly is saying hello again, this time at the Media Theatre, and it’s a pleasure to see her once more. As staged and choreographed by Thomas Morrissey, this production sparkles with an able cast and a talented ensemble that can sing and dance impressively.

- Faye & Al Golde, A&L Magazine/Press Focus

 

Thomas Morrissey staged an effective “Hello, Dolly!” choreographing the scene changes and keeping this big old show bouncing along. The show features adventurous athletic dancing and some spirited performances.

-In The Limelight, M.C.

 

The chorus boys deserve combat pay for their joint-endangering leaps.

-Hats Off Review

 

Director and choreographer Thomas Morrissey has to be congratulated for the bold dance numbers. So much movement by so many on the Media stage is a wonder.

-Delaware County Daily Times

 

Everyone’s favorite matchmaker is back where she belongs. Special kudos to the ensemble, mainly the men, whose flying feet deserve special mention and received applause during the “Waiters Gallop.” You belong in the Grand Candlelight Theatre too if you want to catch this entertaining whirlwind in action.

-Jack Felix

 

The Show’s liveliest moment is the “Waiters Gallop” an intricately choreographed bit of dashing and tumbling by the overly excited waiters. They make the best of their time on stage and earn some spontaneous applause.

-John Chambless, Daily Local News

 

OKLAHOMA!

Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, PA

Pocono Playhouse, PA

 

Bucks County offerings prove theatre truism

A good production can rescue a lame script, and an excellent script can survive a tame production. Better than both, however, is a nifty production of a great show—like the Bucks County Playhouse rendition of “Oklahoma!”

Directed and choreographed by Thomas Morrissey, the playhouse production is fresh and unselfconscious, with a bright and energetic cast who wipe away the 50 years that this corn high entertainment has been with us. With a cast this fresh the show really is brand new…they throw themselves into it with sincerity and nary a touch of condescension, and the result is an authentic naivete that transmits itself to the audience. If you haven’t seen this show in a long time, you might find yourself listening to “Oh, what a beautiful morning” with fresh attentiveness.

–New Hope Gazette, Anita Donovan-

 

Spirited ‘Oklahoma!’ at Playhouse

“Oklahoma!” has opened at the Bucks County Playhouse and it is a warm, poignant revival. The evening is warm and tender.

–Courier Times-

 

‘Oklahoma!’ brightens dreary day

Why “Oklahoma!” ran for five years and nine months after it’s ’43 Broadway opening, then a record setting feat, is demonstrated once again in a repeat booking at Pocono Playhouse…brightening a rainy day for an audience who found dance dominant at a spirited performance for which Thomas Morrissey was the director & choreographer.

-The Tribune Drama Critic, Sid Benjamin-

 

‘Oklahoma!’ sweeps into Pocono Playhouse

It is directed and choreographed deftly by Thomas Morrissey

-ThePocono Record, Julie Luongo-

 

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

LaComedia Theatre

Cincinnati – Dayton Ohio area in Springboro

 

Light Pirates of Penzance

I was never an aficionado of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas- From snippets here and there I assumed they were prissy and, let’s face it, stupid. But since LaComedia Dinner Theatre was giving me a night out for free, and throwing in dinner, I drove 30miles or so to take in Pirates of Penzance.

It was well worth the trip. The plot is, in fact, incredibly stupid, but the brilliance of the music and fine production made for a fun evening.

Under the direction of Thomas Morrissey, LaComedia mounted an energetic, very physical production with a cast of twenty.

-Pat Morris, Everybody’s News

 

‘Penzance’ comical blend of pirates and opera

Pirates and opera don’t usually go together, but they mesh very well in “The Pirates Of Penzance” now playing at La Comedia Dinner Theatre. The cast at La Comedia does an excellent job recreating a musical masterpiece that was created prior to the turn of this century. It is a piece full of artistic culture and history and a great way to introduce someone to opera.

-Beth Callahan, The Cronicle

 

‘Pirates’ capture imagination with wit, Charm

Is it appropriate for children? Yes, definitely. It’s silly and busy and full of pirates and policemen on the loose in the audience and that will surely appeal to the younger crowd.

Does it play to adults? Yes, in terms of singing, tap dancing and the jokes. By any definition this cast is flawlessly talented – exceptional, every one of them. “The Pirates of Penzance” is a light-hearted, no-brain musical diversion that reminds us of the magic of simple things – be it flying pirates, flashlights in the dark, or honor. Should someone suggest it walk the plank I would draw my sword to rescue it.

-Victoria Ryan, Enventure!

 

CAMELOT

Pocono Playhouse, PA

‘Camelot’ is first rate show

Camelot one of the best

As the [Pocono] Playhouse continued it’s 51st season, “Camelot” opened to heavy applause from an audience of about 400. It appears to join “Crazy for You,” which closed Sunday, as the two best shows out of five presented so far this summer.

Under the direction of Thomas Morrissey (also the choreographer), a gifted company was in excellent voice. It provided first-rate entertainment that has been surpassed rarely at [the Pocono Playhouse] Mountainhome.

-The Tribune Drama Critic, Sid Benjamin-

 

SCRAMBLED FEET

Millbrook Playhouse, Mill Hall, PA

Directed and choreographed by Thomas Morrissey, “Scrambled Feet” deals with the subject of [actors] agents, the frustration of auditions, creative blocks and child stardom to name a few.

The first act is fast paced and packed with varying types of slapstick humor, including innuendo, puns and stereotypes.

One song especially stands out—“Could Have Been” re-unites former aspiring acting buddies in a poignant duet about broken dreams.

On the lighter side Pontius Pilot and Christ do a rollicking vaudeville sketch complete with straw hats, canes and one-liners. Later the shows three male actors dress in drag as the hysterically funny “Theatre Party Ladies.”

We [the audience] laughed sometimes, we listened and we watched as the actors joked, sang and danced their way through a series of some 22 sketches, each taking a satirical look at some aspect of ‘Showbiz’ life.

-The Lock Haven Express, Lisa Andrus

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