Bob Goepfert

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Royale" At Cap Rep

Sep 28, 2018
- Jeorge Bennett Watson, Jonathan Louis Dent and Thomas Silcott in The Royale
Capital Repertory Theatre

There is something special taking place at Capital Repertory Theatre over the next few weeks.

“The Royale,” a play that uses boxing to tell a socially relevant story plays the Albany theater through October 14.   It’s an engaging and emotionally powerful production that manages to be entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time.   

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The True"

Sep 21, 2018
Michael McKean, Edie Falco and Peter Scolari in "The True"
Monique Carboni

NEW YORK - In its purest form, the political machine can serve individuals, but ultimately it neuters the democratic process.  At least that’s what playwright Sharr White says in his new play “The True.”

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Pretty Woman - The Musical"

Aug 23, 2018
Pretty Woman: The Musical, Pictured: Samantha Barks, Andy Karl and company
Mathew Murphy, 2018

NEW YORK, NY -  “Pretty Woman-the Musical,” which just opened on Broadway is a charming, well-performed musical in the traditional sense of the word.   It takes the familiar story of a well-to-do important man who falls under the charms of a beguiling female.  He falls in love, changes his ways to become a softer more human person and she becomes the dominant figure in the relationship.

PITTSFIELD, Mass.  -  “West Side Story” playing at Barrington Stage Company through September 1, is a flawless production of a nearly perfect Broadway musical.   The integration of song, lyrics and story and dance is so united that it almost creates a sense of euphoria. 

LAKE GEORGE – There is plenty of theater available in the area and a wealth of good restaurants.  

Lake Theatre in Lake George is unique in that it offers both a good meal and a pleasant play.  It employs professional actors who are members of Actor’s Equity, and is one of the smallest theaters in the country that can make that boast.

A scene from "Front Page Flo" at ATF
Adirondack Theatre Festival

GLENS FALLS - “Front Page Flo,” a new musical presented by Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls, is almost relentless in its mission to offer the audience a good time.  If you can’t find something to enjoy in this production, you aren’t trying.

The plays of August Strindberg are disturbing. Even though he wrote in the late 1800s, his plays have a psychological truth that is relevant today.  Sad to say, the hurts, fears and nastiness that are exposed in his play “Creditors” still ruin as many lives today as they did when the play was written in 1889.

Saratoga Shakespeare

Saratoga Shakespeare is celebrating its 18th season of presenting free Shakespeare in Congress Park by offering a challenging and bold production of Henry IV. The boldness comes by the troupe combining both Parts I and II in a single version.  This means reducing about seven hours of playing time into a two hour performance and using only eight performers to play a multitude of roles.

If you missed the musical “Lempicka,” at Williamstown Theatre Festival, rest assured you will most certainly have another chance to see the show.  This work will certainly be playing on Broadway in the near future.  It’s a big, bold, sprawling work that is filled with powerful music, brilliant staging, gorgeous costumes and performances that are exhaustingly perfect.

Scene from "Macbeth"
Shakespeare & Co.

LENOX, Mass. The production of “Macbeth” at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass. through August 5, is visually compelling, fascinatingly staged and articulate. But oddly, and rather sadly, this drama about a brutal tyrant who becomes a victim of his own ambitions is emotionally empty. Directed by Melia Bensussen, the work is an examination of the title character’s mental state as he assumes power by his assassination of the king and eventually the murder of all others he sees as a threat to his power.

ALBANY - Park Playhouse has, in recent years, earned a reputation for offering musicals that were a bit dark, kind-of daring and always entertaining.  Works like “Ragtime,” “Chicago” and “Cabaret” built a reputation for Park Playhouse as the summer place to see challenging theater.  Better yet, many seats are offered free of charge in the Washington Park outdoor space.

GLENS FALLS - The new musical “Loch Ness,” playing at Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls through July 14, is like a new puppy.   You love spending time with it because it is filled with energy and eager to please.  However, you know you’re going to like it better when it is older, calmer and has more discipline.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Cake" At Barrington Stage

Jul 10, 2018
Nemuna Ceesay and Debra Jo Rupp in a scene from "The Cake" at Barrington Stage
Carolyn Brown

Pittsfield, Mass. – “The Cake,” which is playing at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. through July 15 is a really smart play about a complicated topic.   

Tyler Nelson as Paul in Rocking Horse Winner
Gary David Gold

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Opera Saratoga is doing local audiences a great favor by offering two short contemporary operas. It offers an opportunity to have a strong dramatic experience, hear haunting music and see youthful talent at its best. The two pieces on display at the Little Theatre on the grounds of SPAC might not be everyone’s taste, but they are the future of opera.

Cecilia Violetta López (Hanna Glawari) and Company of The Merry Widow
Gary David Gold

SARATOGA SPRINGS - If you are looking for a pleasant time in the theater, you will not do much better that the frothy operetta “The Merry Widow,” presented by Opera Saratoga at the Little Theatre in Saratoga State Park.

Laura Michelle Kelly and Ensemble
Daniel Rader / Barrington Stage Company

Pittsfield, Mass. – “The Royal Family,” a 1927 play by George F. Kaufman and Edna Ferber is a beloved backstage look at the Cavendish clan, an egomaniacal acting family that is thinly based on the famous Barrymores.    

The  company  of  Harry  Potter  and  the  Cursed  Child
Manuel Harlan

What happens inside the Lyric Theatre stays inside the Lyric Theare.   

That’s what the producers of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” request from the audience.  As you leave the theater they hand you a button that reads  “Keep the secrets.”

LaChanzeas “Diva Donna,” Ariana DeBose as “Disco  Donna,” Storm Lever as “Duckling  Donna” and  company
Joan Marcus, 2018

There are some people who should be permitted to just let their work speak for them.  Donna Summer, who passed away in 2012, is one of those people.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The King And I" At Proctors

May 3, 2018
The cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I.
Matthew Murphy

Listening to the overture of “The King and I” playing Proctors through Sunday, you realize there are probably more memorable songs in this one show than in all the new shows that opened on Broadway in the past decade.  “Hello Young Lovers,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,”  “Getting to Know You” and “Something Wonderful”  are but a few.

Glenda Jackson, Alison Pill and Laurie Metcalf in Three Tall Women
Brigitte Lacombe

The mark of a great play is that it can mutate and change without really altering the playwright’s original intent.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Saint Joan"

Apr 26, 2018

“Saint Joan,” is the “prestige event” of the Broadway season.  

It’s kind of a “can’t lose” situation.  Even if the production is weak, (and it is)the idea of bringing George Bernard Shaw’s version of the tragic story of Joan of Arc to Broadway gets points just for being a bold choice.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Mean Girls"

Apr 17, 2018
Mean Girls (pictured L to R): Erika Henningsen (Cady Heron), Ashley Park(Gretchen Wieners), Taylor Louderman (Regina George), and Kate Rockwell(Karen Smith)
Credit: © 2017 Joan Marcus

The female millennials finally have their own musical.  Just as past generations had “Grease,” “Hairspray” and even “Wicked,” young women (and some young men) now have a contemporary musical with which they can identify. 

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Blithe Spirit" At Cap Rep

Apr 12, 2018
Brenny Rabine (Ruth Condomine), Gary Lindemann (Charles Condomine) and Yvonne Perry (Elvira) in Blithe Spirit at Capital Repertory Theatre, April 6–May 6
Kate Penn

ALBANY-   Blithe Spirit is one of Noel Coward’s most durable comedies.  Since it was first produced in 1941, it has been performed constantly.  Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany is keeping the torch alive with a pleasing production that continues through May 6.  

“Escape to Margaritaville” the new musical based on the music of Jimmy Buffett, which recently opened at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway, is a remarkably bad show.  Even the “Parrotheads” who dominated the audience seemed to respond without enthusiasm to the first several numbers.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Humans" At Proctors

Mar 8, 2018
Richard Thomas, Pamela Reed, Daisy Eagan, Luis Vega and Therese Plaehn
Julieta Cervantes

SCHENECTADY – “The Humans” is 90-minutes long, without an intermission.  For the first 75 minutes of the production it is a very funny play that touches on the serious issues of family life.  For the final 15-minutes, it is powerful, heartbreaking theater that gives clarity to the entire play.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Les Miserables" At Proctors

Feb 22, 2018
The company of LES MISÉRABLES performs “Master of the House” with J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier’ and Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier.’
Matthew Murphy

SCHENECTADY – The production of “Les Miserables” at Proctors is like spending time with a good friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time. 

Jenny Ashman (Reina) and Kelly Wolf (Deborah) in "Paris Time"
Douglas C. Liebig

Albany – The central issue in “Paris Time,” a play being given its world premiere by Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, is Anti-Semitism.  With that as a topic how can you say the stakes aren’t high enough for the audience to care about the problems of its characters?

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Bodyguard" At Proctors

Feb 1, 2018
Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron and Judson Mills as Frank Farmer in "The Bodyguard"
Joan Marcus

SCHENECTADY.  “The Bodyguard” is a musical-adaptation of the film that starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.   Though the film was a major success, it was flawed.   The stage version does not improve the material. 

Bob Goepfert Reviews Farinelli And The King

Dec 19, 2017
Iestyn Davies, Mark Rylance, Huss Garbiya and Melody Grove in the Shakespeare's Globe production of Farinelli And The King
(c) Joan Marcus

New York, N.Y.  – “Farinelli and the King,” one of the most anticipated plays of the Broadway season, opened Sunday evening.   Indeed, a sign of its popularity is that even before it opened scalpers were charging Hamilton-type prices for tickets.  Little should change.  This is a must-see show for anyone who loves theater.

Billy Harrigan Tighe and John Davidson in Finding Neverland
Jeremy Daniel / Proctors

SCHENECTADY   One day someone might ask you if you ever saw the musical “Finding Neverland.”  Your answer might be, ‘I don’t recall.’   It’s one of those musicals that are as uninspiring as it is pleasant.