Joseph Cervelli

Joseph Cervelli is a critic with NorthJersey.com. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (31)
95
Theater Time

"The definitive production...In other productions, and all have been first rate, you felt you were watching a musical. Here I honestly felt that I was in their small town watching the actual inhabitants...While the show always had its share of hilarious and moving moments here it is performed with such robust dedication you feel you are watching the show for the first time...In its own way it has a fresh incandescent feel thanks to both Grey and the cast." Full Review

85
Theater Time

“An intense and beautifully woven new play...Marked with both fierceness and humor...Morisseau has an innate feel for her characters. The storyline is never simple but there is such a palpable embodiment in each of her characters...Santiago-Hudson has an ostensible feel for the time period directing in a film noir style which enhances the play's time period...The characters under Santiago-Hudson’s indelibly sensitive direction interplay with each other so convincingly.” Full Review

25
Theater Time

"It is still difficult for me to think that Dinesen’s story would lack the beauty and contain the silly humor that is inherent in this greatly inferior interpretation. And that inferiority is evident in both writing and most of the performances...Worst of all is the poorly conceived Babette as woefully played by a dour and expressionless Michelle Hurst...The entire production is misconceived which will bring those who love 'Babette’s Feast' to a state of anguish." Full Review

90
Theater Time

"Musical comedy heaven...We know that Peters can sing and still does quite well, and can dance very well, but she brings quintessential charm and humor...She is hilarious...She is accomplished enough knowing exactly when to pull in those reins and let the other actors get their share of laughter...We come to appreciate the show even more now in other ways. Foremost is that we remember how marvelous the musical 'Dolly' really is....Everything in this new production just glistens." Full Review

30
Theater Time

“Another disjunctive written work...So much of the storyline is staged with little sense of a coherence...Fortunately, there is incomparable dancing by Fairchild...the tentative spark that this show badly needs...You long for his dance moments and the thrilling Swann along with the musicians but have to deal with not only the pain of listening to dialogue delivered by three performers devoid of any conviction along with desultory writing and equally meandering direction.” Full Review

55
Theater Time

"What originally was a lovely, charming, and sweetly ingratiating musical has been turned by into an overbloated revival under director Michael Arden’s frantic staging...The story gets lost...Yet, among all the hurlyburly and over amplified sound there are some very special moments thanks to both Kilgore’s splendid performance and the always valuable Phillip Boykin...The resoundingly wonderful score by Ahrens and Flaherty still remains among the bounciest in years." Full Review

80
Theater Time

"Crisply written new play with the title role played with icy perfection by Uma Thurman...Pam MacKinnon's direction as usual is stinging and always on target yet not sure why she decided to turn Peter into such a goofy fellow...Yes, some of the play may feel manipulative and predictable but it is generally so well acted and Thurman is thrilling in such a quiet way that you are drawn into this snappishly entertaining play." Full Review

35
Theater Time

This current production left me cold. While Dietz does aim for something meaningful, the two characters never feel like friends...Also, neither really is all that likable a character...Jody and Carl, while friends, never have any real connection throughout the play...You never feel any real real grief...Not every show needs to pack the centrifugal force of other plays dealing with AIDS like ‘As Is’ or ‘The Normal Heart,’ but real emotion is lost in this one which, sadly, becomes tedious.” Full Review

85
Theater Time

"Vastly entertaining thanks to an array of very talented performers...Each...gives some anecdotes about the shows. I just wished there was a bit more of this...The show has a broad appeal for not only veteran theatergoers who can sit in the audience and mouth many of the songs, but even those not all that acquainted with some of them. It is worth seeing how some exceptionally fine performers lend their own brand of talent to some of the most enduring musicals in Broadway history." Full Review

70
Theater Time

“While not a perfect play and despite some unnecessarily fussy direction by Austin Pendleton, it is still Foote’s words and situations that have a beautifully real feel to them. Quite fortunately, it is also blessed with a lovely cast who personify the characters he has created…Lynn Cohen almost steals the show as the very funny but dotty neighbor Mrs. Mavis…The always reliable Ziemba does not disappoint as a woman who feels that life has passed her by.” Full Review

30
NorthJersey.com

“The play continues to meander under Scott Elliott’s lethargic direction, and while the story itself tries to tackle serious matters nothing is very deeply felt nor does anything jell…Sadly, almost none of the performances are are up to what they should be…Only Hurt seems to have any semblance of realism and is not playing a caricature like the other performers...There is some substance here, but as presented it is an over-inflated, ponderous work.” Full Review

35
Theater Time

"While the score of any show is there to propel the story along, here it actually pulls down the very strong book...So much of Kander’s music is tuneless except for a zippy though ill conceived tap dancing number. And although Pierce’s lyrics fare better even they add little to the storyline...Despite the well crafted performances and Liesl Tommy’s sympathetic direction, the show stumbles at almost every juncture once the musical numbers stalls the storyline." Full Review

85
Cervelli On Stage

"The show is written, composed and directed by the immensely talented brothers GQ & JQ playing several roles along with two other excellent actors...The lyrics are fanciful and quite clever...The ingenious lyrics are sung with such clarity that you appreciate every reference. The writers have made necessary changes that work perfectly...A wryly comedic romp with ferociously dedicated performances makes this 'Othello' overwhelmingly enjoyable." Full Review

55
NorthJersey.com

“Purposely written on a grade-school level to attract families. I am not sure how many parents will find the show all that involving, but children should enjoy it...Shapiro needs much more guidance. Her singing voice has moments of loveliness...I will place the blame here with Pappas who has not guided her properly. She has definite possibilities...All these reservations could be rectified for the show itself has an appealing quality, it just needs to be executed to its full advantage.” Full Review

10
NorthJersey.com

"There is nothing in Evan Bergman’s direction nor the merely adequate performances all around that adds any type of amusement or tenderness…The multitude of scenes, one of which has Les just tidying up magazines, are endless and all prove innocuous…Somewhere in this languid mess of a play there indeed is a sharp satire about the have and have-nots. But you have to look mighty deep to find an ounce of that. As for 'A Better Place,' it was when I left the theater." Full Review

85
NorthJersey.com

for a previous production "Finally, a lively new, if a bit overlong, musical...Some trimming here and there would help, but with the fine scene design by James Morgan along with some excellent projections on the several panels and the amiable cast 'Cagney' shines." Full Review

40
Theater Time

“This play, which lacks structure and has characters walking from room to room like robots, is directed by the usually very reliable Neugebauer. But she can add nothing to this, with thoroughly disagreeable characters in a lumbering slice of life drama...Despite some committed performances, it is a completely dismal play with characters that are either objectionable or just plain bores complete with dialogue that sinks into the mundane.” Full Review

35
Theater Time

"Maddeningly annoying...Dawkins falters here big time...Is hard to believe that they carried on in such a wildly campy and frightfully silly manner...Villa appears to be a fine actor yet under Tony Speciale’s overbooked direction he becomes frustratingly obnoxiously loud and becomes more of a caricature of the late playwright instead of a true portrayal...Isaac never seems to gain a grasp on his character...Turned into a doltish affair by both playwright and director." Full Review

75
Theater Time

"Very well written and, at times, quite affecting, the major reason to see it is the superlative cast. The actors are so accomplished in their roles that it is one of the best ensembles I have seen this season...While the play is absorbing and should keep your full attention for the nearly three hours, the problem is that it never really develops into a full fledged play mainly because there is no interconnection between the characters...Despite my reservations...it is most definitely worth a... Full Review

45
NorthJersey.com

"Pierce finds himself here overwhelmed with ideas that go nowhere. There is an overabundance of thoughts that might be going on in Pierce’s mind but mapping them out into a play despite Kate Whoriskey’s capable direction falls flat and tiresome...Pierce has written a mostly theoretical play about how ideas to help a deteriorating town can take a downward turn but never involves the audience which is its fatal flaw. The play should pack a potency and punch which it severely lacks." Full Review

55
Theater Time

"Entertaining albeit lighthearted...The second act, unfortunately, adds very little to the storyline which cries out for some complex embroilments between the lead characters...And what is a severe letdown is when we hear of Philippe’s demise rather than dramatizing it which could have been a wonderfully conclusive moment. While van Kampen’s quasihistorical drama is enjoyable, the play ultimately leaves you unfilled." Full Review

85
NorthJersey.com

for a previous production "'Harry Clarke' may be a solo show but in the hands of expert director Leigh Silverman all the various characters that Harry or Philip (take your pick) speaks about comes vividly to life...Under the vivid and cinematic style direction of Silverman you could swear that there are more people on that stage than just Crudup...As good as the storytelling and as vital the direction, this is Crudup’s show all the way." Full Review

85
Theater Time

for a previous production “Under the vivid and cinematic style direction of Silverman you could swear that there are more people on that stage than just Crudup...As good as the storytelling and as vital the direction, this is Crudup’s show all the way...There is a development near the end which I must say I found a bit impractical. Try to overlook that factor for this is still a very compelling work with a tour de force performance by Crudup.” Full Review

40
Theater Time

"Collapses almost from the very beginning...After a while all of the talk becomes unnecessary babble leading nowhere. We really learn nothing about the family...Suddenly the play takes a new detour and we are in Neverland. Here things go completely off-kilter and become quite foolish...Despite the smooth direction and the dedicated performances, the play remains stagnant, never shedding new light on much." Full Review

45
Theater Time

"As terrific as Isaac is and almost worth the endurance test of a 'Hamlet' which runs close to four hours, Gold, whom I normally have a fondness for with his originality, flounders badly here...He has turned what is considered one of the finest pieces of literature into a silly, convoluted mess…Some of the other performers do not match up to the superiority of Isaac…If you are well acquainted with the play you might find yourself shaking your head." Full Review

65
Theater Time

"No one can play a woman on the verge better than the brilliant actress Rebecca Hall...In Clare Lizzimore’s fascinating but ultimately disappointing new play 'Animal,' she again proves how galvanizing she is as someone going though the depths of emotional turmoil...The conclusion comes a bit too swiftly and tidily and is not entirely believable. Still, we are blessed with seeing an actress on a nearly bare stage whose every word you hang onto." Full Review

90
Theater Time

"The big change is that Glick seemed to have toned down the irritating characteristics of Jordan. I now felt deeply for this young man whose immaturity seems to be one obstacle in hampering him to find the right guy...Even some of his antics which were originally grating are now quite charming. It appears that Glick has delved deeper into Jordan along with what might be the great help of director Cullman...I must say I was completely taken with every moment of this production." Full Review

85
Cervelli On Stage

"In this slightly darker version with a bit fewer laughs, directed with deep sincerity by Silverman, just about everything clicks thanks to the lead and the other cast of actors who are equally good...The score, which still remains one of the catchiest in years, feels as fresh as if it was written today and the cynical book by Neil Simon has been slightly changed making it more melancholy...With such a snappy score and Foster a ray of sunshine, this 'Charity' is a bouquet of roses." Full Review

80
Cervelli On Stage

"The play is disturbing and can make you very uncomfortable, but you literally hang onto every word and inflection in Light’s incredibly stunning portrayal...The monologue might not have succeeded as well as it does in another less able actor’s hands other than Light’s and director Leigh Silverman’s almost psychological dissection of this woman. Her Mrs. Johnson will cause a whirlwind of emotions within you." Full Review

20
NorthJersey.com

"The entire play becomes a series of clichéd zingers between Parsons and Ivey, which as fine actresses as they are tend to be delivered with what feels like a whiff of fatigue. It does not help that their roles are so mundane that they add nothing to the ineffectual script...'Babes' just falls flat on all counts...The big problem is that besides the banal discussions the women have, you don’t really know or care about any of them." Full Review

80
NorthJersey.com

"What really works is the fact that the cast of children all play their instruments amazingly well besides singing...Lloyd Webber’s score is energetic though repetitious...While Laurence Connor’s direction moves the action along, he cannot do much to fast forward those lethargic scenes not featuring the children. But it is easy to get past those moments, for when those kids and Brightman are together the chemistry is so winning that you come away with a smile on your face." Full Review