EPAC’s ‘Sweet Charity’ has something for everyone

EDITOR’S NOTE: A regular attendee of Endicott Performing Arts Center shows shared with BAMirror the comments he posted on EPAC’s Facebook site following last week’s opening weekend of Sweet Charity. Performances conclude tomorrow (Sunday, March 24).

Reviewed by Ed Arnold

Another fine evening’s entertainment was provided by the cast and tech crew of EPAC for the musical Sweet Charity. When I go out for an evening, I want to be entertained with comedy, dancing, live music, and this show had it all. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Last Five Years’ puts pair in a pop opera time warp

Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years opened last night (March 22) in Binghamton, a production of Half Light Theatre, one of the more recent entries into the theater community here. The show is not exactly a musical and is not exactly a play, but is more like an opera. I would call it a Pop Opera, but without any instantly sing-able melodies. I didn’t leave with any one song buffering in my head, just a sense of the work as a whole.

That’s OK, though, because it was good and, first and foremost, a love story — a story about the first and, no surprise here, what turn out to be the last five years of a couple’s angst-ridden, sometimes hopeful, but never really tender relationship. Performed in the intimate setting of the Roberson  Museum and Science Center’s third-floor ballroom, the show was accompanied only by Vicky Gordon, a fine pianist. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mobility documentary is as endearing as it is informative

Reviewed by Lory Martinez

Monteith McCollum’s visually affecting 2010 documentary, A Different Path, is a stunning combination of animated work and cinematography. The film, screened this past weekend at Binghamton University as a part of  the Harpur Cinema series “Forces of Nature,” takes its audiences into the lives of several ordinary people who have come up with some fairly creative ways to communicate their transportation troubles.

As someone who isn’t a fan of the documentary genre, I expected to be bored by preachy commentary on people who are against cars as a primary mode of transportation, but McCollum does a brilliant job of making his point indirectly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cider Mill’s ‘Trying’ is a triumph

Reviewed by George Basler

At first glance the plot of Trying seems to be the worst kind of theatrical cliché. One character in the two-character play is a cantankerous, demanding old man. The other is a bright, efficient young woman who goes to work for him. Of course, they’re going to start the play clashing with each other. Of course, there going to end up feeling mutual respect and affection.
But don’t let the plot summary discourage you. Trying, now playing at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, is a funny, warm and poignant play that skillfully explores both the issues of aging and the stresses of young dreams yet to be realized. Canadian playwright Joanna McClelland Glass skillfully intermixes humorous and emotional moments without ever descending into false sentimentality. Like a skillful jazz musician finding new riffs on an old tune, Glass finds new insights in the off-repeated odd couple genre.
And the Cider Mill production is first-rate, with Paul Falzone and Marjorie Donovick giving outstanding performances. Read the rest of this entry »

Comedy and commentary ring true in ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’

Reviewed by Lory Martinez

Elizabeth Mozer’s Binghamton University directorial debut, Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl, follows a woman named Jean (Christina Catechis), who finds — what else? — the phone belonging to Gordon, a dead man, and begins to answer it. She meets his mistress (Jacobella Luongo); his mother, Mrs. Gottlieb (Sarah Lees); his brother, Dwight (Rob Tendy); his wife, Hermia (Arshia Panicker) and his organ-trafficking business associate, “the stranger” (also played by Luongo). On the surface, this is a situational comedy about a woman who keeps this man’s memory alive by keeping in contact with the people in his life, but ultimately it is a play about communication. Read the rest of this entry »

They Might Be Giants … of improv

Reviewed by Nancy Oliveri

OK, here’s the situation: Ten acting students, graduates of an eight-week improv class, gather to show the world what they’ve learned. On the barest of stages, and with only their wits, they need to think fast and act faster.

Last Saturday (March 9), Tim Mollen was about to put his improv students’ newly-acquired skills to the test at the JCC in Vestal, performing ad-libbed skits under his direction to a room full of people. Expectations were high. Read the rest of this entry »

Celtic Woman concert makes a mockery of Irish music

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

Never underestimate the gullibility of the American concert-going public.
A sell-out crowd attended the travesty of Irish music by Celtic Woman Tuesday night (March 5). at The Forum in Binghamton.
The promoters should have billed the fare as Irish rock, as the show was far more about stage effects than music from the Emerald Isle. Read the rest of this entry »