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North Carolina Theatre Review
West Side Story Is a High-Kicking Homage
to Original Director Jerome Robbins
By Robert W. McDowell
The North Carolina Theatre’s spirited production of the Tony® Award-winning 1957 Broadway musical and Academy Award®-winning 1961 motion picture, West Side Story, is a high-kicking homage to original director and choreographer Jerome Robbins (1918-99). NCT guest director Jerome Vivona and guest choreographer Stephen Nachamie have taken great pains to recreate Robbins’ stylish staging and high-flying dance routines. The result is a superlative piece of musical theater, frequently interrupted by applause, that brought the audience to its feet at the final curtain for an enthusiastic standing ovation on opening night (Feb. 8th).
Director Jerome Vivona and choreographer Stephen Nachamie superbly orchestrate the action. Vivona gets full-blooded, fully three-dimensional performances from his young and very, very talented cast.
Don't miss West Side Story. Director Jerome Vivona, choreographer Stephen Nachamie, and an all-star cast make this one of the best full-scale musicals yet produced by the North Carolina Theatre.
Geri Sereno - The Sun
Sweet Charity-Very Sweet Indeed
TBTS welcomes back veteran director Jerome Vivona, who was responsible for last season's exceptional shows Guys and Dolls and West Side Story. He again has graced us with another incomparable production with his version of Neil Simon and Cy Coleman's 1960's classic. Vivona has a magical touch with his productions, and guides his actors to the pinnacle of perfect performance. His knack of exact casting is evident with the entire cast he has chosen, and especially with his incredibly talented leads
The Theater Mirror - by Tony Annicone
Theatre-by-the-Sea director Jerome Vivona takes the 1960's musical Sweet Charity and infuses it with new life for current day audiences. With 19 multitalented cast members, excellent music, choreography and right on 1960's costumes, this show is not to be missed.
Director Vivona knows how to create picture postcard scenes in his productions and this show is no exception.
...He knows how to get the best out of his performers throughout the evening. Vivona is aided in his task by musical director, Jay Atwood and choreographer, Kyle Craig. - Jerome, Jay and Kyle's work blend together to create this evening of enjoyment.
Don Gillis's - Little Rhody Theatre
Director Jerome Vivona has once again provided the audience with a light hearted and funny comic production and based upon audience reaction it was a crowd pleaser to many.
Providence Journal - by Jim Seavor
- Charity has legs at Theatre-by-the-Sea
Sweet Charity, which first saw light of day in 1966, is still sweet at the Theater-by-the-sea.
...dancing courtesy of choreographer Kyle Craig -- is top-flight.
You can believe this Charity and her search for love.
Sun Journal - by Dan Marois -
Footloose explodes off the stage with energy, talent.
Footloose is a pure adrenaline rush like nothing you've ever seen at Maine State Music Theatre.
If I were writing for Motor Trend, I'd say that this show takes you from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
If I were writing for Sports Illustrated, I'd say that the show is as physically draining as a well run marathon.
If I were writing for prevention magazine, I'd give a health disclaimer that watching Footloose can create vigorous toe tapping and an accelerated heart rate.
Yes. It is that good.
The show runs on kinetic energy with a cast that explodes right off the stage. There's phenomenal dancing, bold music, and great fun that many of the younger theatergoers will particularly enjoy.
...Words can't describe the athletic vibrance, dazzling gymnastics and rhythmic vibrations that take place. Kyle Craig really earns her kudos as choreographer for Footloose. Director, Jerome Vivona, keeps a fine balance between the dance numbers that the audiences crave and the dramatic interludes that teach the evils of dancing. (The next thing you know, they'll be putting in pool tables in River City!)
...This is an exciting piece of theater not to be missed.
Entertainment Out & About - by Scott Andrews
Footloose Top Stage show
"MSMT's production benefits from the tight stage direction by Jerome Vivona..."
"Two excellent stage shows rate top ranking among this weeks array of arts and entertainment choices... In Brunswick, Maine State Music Theatre's fourth offering is Footloose."
"This is a Northern New England premier, and it's worth scrambling for tickets-I'm told they're tough to get for this show-to be the first on your block to rock to Footloose."
The Portland Phoenix - by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
Maine State Music Theater cuts Loose.
The best parts of MSMT's production are the moments when those on stage make fun of the '80s-ness of the show while also celebrating it. In Act one's Somebody's Eyes, a few girls from the local high school teach newcomer Ren McCormick (Joe Machota) about small town life while a dreamy Hall & Oates video happens around them. A portrait of President Reagan with moving eyes floats by, a lamp has a head where the bulb should be, and the shapes of townspeople watch and move mysteriously behind a scrim.
For Holding Out for a Hero, Michelle Kittrell, as preacher's daughter Ariel Moore, does a damn fine impersonation of singer Bonnie Tyler. If a glitterized, smoke machine filled King Arthur scene and sword fight for Ariel's love between Ren and bad-boy boyfriend Chuck Cranston (Tony Yazbeck) doesn't scream '80s, I don't know what does.
The Times Record - by Barbara Bartels - A hot show likely to get hotter
Under the direction of Jerome Vivona, with choreography by Kyle Craig...energy abounds on the Maine State Music Theatre stage.
Footloose is hot and likely to get hotter as it progresses into its run.
Portland Press Herald - by Thomas A. Power
Performed with the highest standards of technical excellence, Footloose
is entertaining in terms of music, dance and spectacle...
Fast moving and exciting technically...
Without a doubt the most interesting technical number in the show to me was Holding Out for a Hero. In a little more than three minutes, the stage converts from a hamburger joint to a medieval court and back again, complete with costume changes, swordplay and French fries. Great vocals and neat staging make it all look easy.
Nicely Directed by Jerome Vivona with strong music direction from Beth Barefoot-Jones and great choreography by Kyle Craig.
...Some patrons were occasionally moved to tears as they may have recalled their own terribly conflicted teen-age years.
West Side Story ----(TBTS)
The Theater Mirror --
" Director Vivona takes the well-written script and makes it soar in both the tragic and comic aspects of the show. -- This 24 member cast with insightful direction by Jerome Vivona delivers the goods in a powerful and moving presentation with outstanding acting, singing and dancing to propel the audience to their feet at the show's conclusion. Who could ask for anything more!"
The Providence Phoenix--
" This is an ensemble triumph rather than a showcase of wows by one or two standouts. Matunuck's every-burner-blazing rendition sizzles but, under director Jerome Vivona, it isn't afraid to stop and smell the poignancy."
Guys and Dolls ---- (TBTS)
A rousing good time - John pantalone
In Fact, this is one of the best productions this South County institution has put on, from Jerome Vivona's wise choice not to ignore the serious subtext and not play it cartoony… If "Guys and Dolls" is a portent of the season for Theater-by-the-Sea, make your plans now to take it all in, for this is just a grand good time.
Tallulah's Party - off-Broadway at the Jose Quintero Theater
Curtain up - choreography by Jerome Vivona
All four performers risk choreographic gridlock by doing several peppy dance routines, (including a terrific Charleston number), on the tiny space -- with Feldshuh actually doing somersaults!