Ross B

Edmonton | 65+ | Male
About:  A theatre fanatic from the best regional theatre city in Canada. I do a couple of annual trips to New York to catch as many of the hot new shows and revivals as possible. My taste is eclectic but I like to see work that pushes the boundaries as well as the full on traditional Broadway production.
Reviews (86)
55
Quirky, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You aren't looking for a plot that makes much sense or characters that might do what you expect them to do.

Don't see it if You are easily offended by boorish male chauvinistic behavior that seems to be accepted by the women in his life.

Also We have 2 characters, who would seem to be strong successful modern wo... Read more Read less

89
Funny, Great dancing, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You enjoy classic broadway musicals done beautifully. Cleaver Cole Porter music sung by top broadway talent.

Don't see it if You are looking for cutting edge experimental theatre that is dealing with contemporary issues.

Also Kelli O'Hara and company do this golden age Cole Porter classic proud.... Read more Read less

49
Indulgent, Fluffy, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if You are a devoted Oscar fan and don't mind having the songs taken out of context and rearranged as elevator music.

Don't see it if You are a real Oscar fan and will be offended by the songs being treated so poorly

Also I realize that this is basically a showcase for the author of the show... Read more Read less

96
Ink
Must see, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You like great story telling, using creative stage craft to animate a true life tale of success at any cost.

Don't see it if You are looking for straight forward traditional drama and are offended but blunt and often rough street language.

Also Two stunning performances by the leads, with strong support from a lar... Read more Read less

70
Disappointing, Raunchy, Indulgent, Funny, Clever

See it if You are a big Nathan Lane fan and like your comedy broad and slapstick.

Don't see it if You are offended by lots, and I do mean lots of fake penises flying about or are expecting something Shakespearian.

Also There is little plot and the story depends on the skill of the three t... Read more Read less

62
Indulgent, Bombastic, Nice set, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You are a very big fan of Adam Driver, and don't mind seeing him as a very loud obnoxious drunken bully.

Don't see it if You are looking for a logical plot and are offended by crude language

Also From the moment Driver's character comes on stage the audience is bomb... Read more Read less

89
Delightful, Classic, Great singing, Great staging, Enchanting

See it if You are looking for classic Broadway on a grand scale as only Lincoln Center can provide.

Don't see it if You are looking for cutting edge experimental theatre with contention subject matter.

Also What an interesting way to end the classic piece. It addresses both th... Read more Read less

81
Ambitious, Epic, Slow, Confusing

See it if You enjoy modern historic drama told from a very personal perspective and you have the patience to sift through the extrenia.

Don't see it if You expect to have the story told in a direct manner, uncluttered with the complications of everyday family life.

Also Like any family, especially an extended family with multiple generatio... Read more Read less

93
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy a beautifully crafted interpretation of a classic tale. The writing is crisp and the cast captures the feel of the time .

Don't see it if You aren't interested in dealing with issues of class and ethnicity that are as relevant today as they were when Harper Lee wrote the novel.

Also To tackle a beloved classic tale is fraught with danger. When dealing ... Read more Read less

89
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy actors, at the top of their game, working with a clever script; asking difficult but pertinent questions about truth and fiction.

Don't see it if You are expecting to see Harry Potter or looking to have all the questions answered. This requires you tackling today's issues.

Also The play deals with serious questions of journalistic integrity in an ... Read more Read less

90
Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Ambitious, Too long

See it if You want to see a masterful cast performing a modern masterpiece beautifully staged.

Don't see it if You have problems with gay themes and aren't prepared to commit to nearly 7 hours of heavy subject matter.

Also I have always questioned the need for part 2 of this piece. The first ... Read more Read less

76
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Raunchy

See it if You are intrigued by the relationship between the 2 writers Tennessee Williams and William Inge in their formative years

Don't see it if You are not comfortable with graphically explored gay themes.

Also This is a an interesting dramatic exploration of the relationship of 2... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Exquisite, Intelligent, Riveting, Phenomenal dancing, Enchanting

See it if You love classic dance as an integral part of the telling of an interesting dramatic tale.

Don't see it if You want your drama told in a straightforward way without the lead characters breaking into modern dance.

Also If you have followed my reviews in the past you will know I am a sucke... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Edgy, Relevant, Resonant, Intense

See it if You enjoy intimate dramatic story telling dealing with everyday people grappling with difficult universal problems.

Don't see it if You are looking for a pleasant afternoon or evening at the theatre for which you won't have to think.

Also A well acted 4 hander that raises issues of honesty versus family loya... Read more Read less

55
Disappointing

See it if You are a big fan of the movie. You may also need to be a young princess or at least of that mindset.

Don't see it if You are a old codger and aren't into "chick flicks" or sister/buddy film.

Also Maybe I'm too old or not the right gender but I was greatly dissapoint... Read more Read less

72
Entertaining, Funny, Romantic, Fluffy

See it if you are a fan of Jimmy Buffet and like a laid back musical romp built around his music. The margaritas are good too.

Don't see it if you are looking for something with a lot of substance, on a well crafted set.

Also There is a lot of good dancing and singing, as long as you enjoy a com... Read more Read less

91
During previews
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You are looking for a charming evening with an interesting energetic band of characters singing a catchy score, with a little voodoo added.

Don't see it if You are looking for a big broadway musical with chorus lines and fancy sets and a happy ending for young love.

Also With all the recent hurricanes distroying the carribean islands it is ... Read more Read less

91
Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You are looking for a beautifully written piece exploring the challenges of family relationships when the choices conflict with beliefs

Don't see it if You have difficulty dealing with gay subject matter told in a straight forward uncompromising manner. No nudity but lots of simulated sex.

Also Bring your kleenex, this one could touch you deeply. The wonderful per... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy an interesting take on current affairs, especially if you are not overly supported of the current American administration.

Don't see it if You are a strong supporter of the Make American Great Again team and aren't open to any suggestion that things could be better.

Also The story is one of marital and extramarital relationships in a very a... Read more Read less

78
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You are interested in some fairley recent history of the wheeling and dealing in the stock market and how the Junk Bond scam toppled.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in LOTS of talk about money and not much action.

Also I enjoyed the piece, done up in grand style, as only Lincoln Center ca... Read more Read less

89
During previews
Clever, Confusing, Great staging, Hilarious, Great writing

See it if You enjoy a laugh -out-loud comedy with quirky character doing strange and bizarre things.

Don't see it if You need to have a linear story line with a logical chain of action with characters who are acting "normally ".

Also This is a truly hilarious show with so many twists and turns to leave ... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you are up for an intense drama with realistic characters from the struggling working class in industrial wasteland.

Don't see it if you are looking for likeable characters doing pleasant things. There are few laughs and lots of conflict and the climax is very disturbing.

Also Don't get confused, like I did, with the shifting time frame. The show... Read more Read less

75
Entertaining, Ambitious, Indulgent, Comfortable, Sincere

See it if you are looking for a walk down memory lane or at least a lane in the Bronx in the 50s. The tale is told sincerely from the heart.

Don't see it if you are expecting the combination of The Jersey Boys and West Side Story because it doesn't really live up to the advertizing slogan.

Also The cast does its best to charm the audience and the young boy does a ... Read more Read less

85
For a previous production
Ambitious, Dizzying, Beyond hilarious, Masterful, Quirky

See it if you are ready until your sides ache and watch a group of "amateur community players" fumble through the most disastrous performance ever.

Don't see it if you don't like broad slapstick comedy and feel comedy should be intelectual not visual all out physical farce.

Also The expression "split a gut" comes to mind but they also split a few h... Read more Read less

85
Ambitious, Clever, Great singing, Quirky, Engaging

See it if you are interested in an evening of immersive theatre and don't mind finding the cast in your lap and in your face, including Sweeney.

Don't see it if you like your theatre to stay behind the proscenium arch and your cannibalism and murder to be kept at a safe distance.

Also This isn't your traditional interpretation of the Sondheim classic but... Read more Read less

56
Overrated, Fluffy, Disappointing, Dated, Cliched

See it if You are interested in historic broadway and want to experience it in person

Don't see it if You are looking for a full scale musical production that is even vaguely relevant today.

Also This is more of a staged reading than a full production with a large o... Read more Read less

85
Quirky, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You enjoy the classic story and are open to a contemporary country and western interpretation. The chilli and cornbread is a bonus

Don't see it if You are a stickler for tradition and want the original interpretation restored.

Also Be prepared to laugh out loud, this rendition does not take it self se... Read more Read less

79
Sweet, Romantic, Quirky, Funny, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy the coming of age high school musical genre with a decidedly 21 century super microcomputer twist.

Don't see it if You aren't into teenage angst and all the problems that seem so earth shattering when you are trying to survive as the geek in high school.

Also I was pleasantly surprised at how this piece comes together, having he... Read more Read less

91
During previews
Intelligent, Romantic, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if You appreciate talented actors working with a well written script, dealing with everyday people trying to find love.

Don't see it if You are looking for lofty ideas discussed by a large cast on an elaborate set. Or if naked bodies upset you.

Also As the song says "two lost souls on the highway of life". A one night ... Read more Read less

75
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You are looking for something on the outter edge of contemporary theatre and are not disturbed by explicit sexual activity.

Don't see it if You are looking for a polite discussion of interpersonal relationships and would rather no know about the darker side of the sex world.

Also Sorry folks, but BDSM is about sex! Just because you leave your shorts... Read more Read less

85
Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Clever

See it if You are a fan of the movie and want to become a part of the television audience that witnesses the decent into madness of the main character

Don't see it if You don't like movies translated to the stage and the use of technology as a central character of the drama

86
Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Great set, Delightful

See it if You enjoy an interesting telling of an historic tale of theatre history beautifully acted on a great set.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in theatre history retold as a period drama.

Also Everything you need to know about Sarah Bernhardt and her romance with... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Disappointing, Overrated, Fluffy, Indulgent, Great costumes

See it if You are an avid Cher and know all the songs and don't mind dealing with silly fans who scream at anything.

Don't see it if You are looking for a serious biopic of the iconic star with more than token information on her actual life and family.

Also Femininism is great but even some avid feminists are sayin enough is e... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Riveting, Great chemistry

See it if You are looking for an evening of transfixing theatre that takes your breath away. The acting keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Don't see it if You want a fun evening of light entertainment. The piece also leaves you with serious questions and no solid answers.

Also It is not often that you walk out of the theatre feeling like your who... Read more Read less

77
During previews
Entertaining, Indulgent, Great dancing, Over acting, Cliched

See it if You enjoy an energetic dance chorus and don't mind actors "over-acting like hell". It does eventually engage you with the story.

Don't see it if If you are homophobic or are offended by gay themes.

Also During the first act I really wanted to dislike this show. The over th... Read more Read less

86
Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if You are a Tom Stoppage fan or a lover of complicated non linear stories that pose interesting questions that don't necessarily have answers.

Don't see it if You like your drama straight forward with characters that you can understand and empathize with.

Also Stoppard is definitely not to everyone's taste. I happen to like his a... Read more Read less

66
Clever, Indulgent, Quirky, Great staging, Slow

See it if You are fascinated by slight of hand and magic tricks mixed with storytelling

Don't see it if You are looking for interesting theatre

Also I am not in to magic shows as such, so continue to be sceptical of wha... Read more Read less

77
Entertaining, Great choreography, Classic, Indulgent, Great singing

See it if You you want to experience Broadway at the height of it golden age. The music is memorable and the dance sequences are masterful.

Don't see it if You are looking for a contemporary story told in the modern vernacular. There are also themes that are difficult to accept in the present.

Also When mounting a classic that includes family violence in this day and ... Read more Read less

74
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Fluffy

See it if You are ready for a realistic portrait of contemporary youth in all their predatory glory, performed with energy and passion.

Don't see it if You are looking for a warm cozy musical that hearkens back to high school when grandma was a teenager, told with very loud music. .

Also I haven't seen the movie so am coming to this material cold. The use o... Read more Read less

95
Epic, Riveting, Must see, Phenomenal staging, Great acting

See it if You are a Harry Potter fan and even if you aren't this is great theatre. Every element, and there are many, work perfectly.

Don't see it if You hate Harry, but you are missing a wonderful experience.

Also Don't let the 5 hours daunt you, the time flies. From the opening curt... Read more Read less

66
Entertaining, Overrated, Funny, Indulgent

See it if You are a big Harry Potter fan and have read all the books and seen all the movies.

Don't see it if You aren't a fan

Also You really need to know all the stories and characters to follow this ... Read more Read less

79
Ambitious, Dizzying, Confusing, Edgy, Violent

See it if If you are a fan of the original novel and the movie version and are willing to explore the violent world of the Drools in future England .

Don't see it if You don't like a very sparce abstract interpretation of the story, much of which is done through creative movement and graphic violence.

Also Alex and his Droogs have always been a difficult subject, what with th... Read more Read less

69
During previews
Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated, Juvenile, Quirky

See it if You are under the age of 13, a devoted Sponge Bob fan, are on some really good drugs or have absolutely nothing better to do.

Don't see it if You are looking for intellegent adult entertainment or if you have a life.

Also CUTE I will grudgingly give it, as well as energetic and enthusiastic ... Read more Read less

91
Erotic, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You are looking for a challenging evening of theatre that explores both the physical as well as the emotional sides of a gay relationship.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with graphic gay male themes and full frontal nudity.

Also The show promotes itself as an erotic work with two of the three cast ... Read more Read less

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You enjoy a great "based on a true story" edgy drama with great actors doing fine work.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with gay themes and male nudity.

Also Like most of the characters in the play I have a difficult time unders... Read more Read less

89
Delightful, Enchanting, Relevant, Quirky, Funny

See it if You enjoy a delightful tale with interesting characters, addressing inter-personal issues between people on opposite political sides.

Don't see it if You are looking for a traditional approach to the Broadway musical or aren't interested in a show that tackles personal relations.

Also What a charming glimpse of what happens when you have individuals from... Read more Read less

85
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Great staging

See it if you enjoy madcap humor conveyed through clever staging. The suicide scene and the police car chase alone are worth the price of admission.

Don't see it if you didn't like the movie and can't enjoy something that pushes your suspension of disbelief. You'll need to use your imagination.

Also I don't remember the movie so I came to the show with little expectati... Read more Read less

79
Disappointing, Epic, Raunchy, Ambitious, Indulgent

See it if you are looking for a big show with a huge chorus resetting Puccini's Madama Butterfly in a contemporary setting, that is somewhat dated.

Don't see it if you are looking for a new interpretation of this show. The faces are new but the approach isn't and the helicopter is a great dissapointment

Also I had never seen a large scale production of this show and was hoping ... Read more Read less

80
Enchanting, Entertaining, Ambitious, Romantic, Indulgent

See it if you are looking for a feel good fairy tale story with beautiful costumes and lush score. The main characters are charming as is the Villain

Don't see it if you don't like predictable endings and going home without a memorable song to hum. There is a heavy dependence on projection in lieu of set

Also I must admit that I had my reservations on this piece but the charm of... Read more Read less

90
Enchanting, Relevant, Romantic, Great dancing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy great dancing and singing in the post WW2 big band style. There is also a lot to think about, underpinning the entertainment.

Don't see it if you don't like a story interpreted through modern dance or you don't like your swing music used to address the serious problem of PTSD.

Also They lure you in with great music and a dance chorus that is as much b... Read more Read less