Bob Goepfert

Bob Goepfert: Julius Caesar

Jun 15, 2017

I recently attended the Public Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”.  Perhaps I’m naïve, or it’s the times in which we live, but when I left the Delacorte Theatre in New York’s Central Park, I never expected the production to be so controversial.  I certainly never expected Shakespeare’s political drama to be criticized for being political.

Steel Magnolias at Curtain Call Theatre b- L to R Allison Tebbano, Laura Graer, Cristin Loffredo, Pat Hoffman
Amanda Brinke

LATHAM - It’s hard to knock a play about friendship.   It’s especially difficult when the friends are a group of diverse and decent women living in a small Louisiana town.  They are sweet yet tough, and so local you can almost smell the magnolias outside.

TROY  - Sometimes a question is not a question.  Take this conversation for an instance:  “I’m going to take the two granddaughters to “Freckleface Strawberry” at Russell Sage College.  Do you want to come with us?   You might enjoy it.”

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Kunstler"

Jun 1, 2017

PITTSFIELD, Mass.   During the 1960s and 70s, whenever there was a trial involving political controversy you could be sure the defense attorney for the headline-making cases was William Kunstler. Today, unless you are of a certain age, Kunstler’s contributions to the cause of social justice are almost forgotten.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Cabaret" At Proctors

May 11, 2017
Leigh Ann Larkin as Sally Bowlesand Benjamin Eakeley as Clifford Bradshawin in CABARET
Joan Marcus

SCHENECTADY  -  The national touring production of “Cabaret,” that is at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady through Sunday, is proof the show is one of the all-time great musicals.  

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Bandstand"

May 9, 2017

NEW YORK, NY – A new and rather special musical, “Bandstand,” just opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on 44th Street in Manhattan.  It’s an uplifting work about soldiers returning home after World War II. It’s a show that is filled with music and dance but never depreciates the challenges facing veterans returning from war. Indeed, it’s just the opposite. This is a work that honors all veterans, and its d it balances traditional music theater with a topic rarely addressed by and it’s accomplished with pandering.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – When “The Foreigner” was first produced in 1984, it was seen as a jolly, light-hearted farce.   The production that is playing at Home Made Theatre in Saratoga Springs through May 7 maintains all the comedic values in the piece, but because of today’s political climate, the play’s once seemingly innocent approach to foreigners now has more of an edge to it.

 Kris Anderson and Chris Foster in The Normal Heart
Amanda Brinke

One of the more notable things about the production of a “The Normal Heart” presented at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through April 30, is that it generates a span of emotions ranging from compassion to outrage.  

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Beautiful" At Proctors

Apr 13, 2017
Julia Knitel as Carole King
Joan Marcus / Proctors Theatre

Schenectady - Sometimes you go to a Broadway musical and leave without ever hearing a familiar song. In “Beautiful – the Carole King Musical” you not only know every song, but if you are of a certain age, you will likely know what you were doing when you first heard them.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Sound of Music" At Proctors

Apr 6, 2017
A scene from "Sound of Music" at Proctors
Proctors Theatre

SCHENECTADY -  One of the most difficult things about reviving a classic musical is finding the balance between being faithful to the original production and presenting it so it seems fresh to modern audiences.

ALBANY – “An Iliad,” which is at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany  through April 2, is simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting.  It’s drama that is intellectually stimulating, moving and powerful, and frequently painful to experience.  In other words it’s theater that will touch your emotions, your heart and jar your comfort level. 

LATHAM  –  It’s difficult to define “Skin Deep,” a play that runs at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through March 25.    It’s a sweet and tender play about two people who need to be loved but it’s hard to determine if it’s a play with a lot of humor or a comedy with a lot of heart.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Wicked" At Proctors

Mar 5, 2017

SCHENECTADY –“Wicked” is one of those Broadway musicals that lives up to its hype.  It’s a big, flashy show that tells an intriguing and clever story.  It’s doesn’t have a score filled with commercial hits, but there are several individuals numbers – like “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” that bore worm holes in your brain and will stay there for days.

It’s usually a toss-up as to which genre is more popular with theater audiences – comedies or mysteries?   Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs is trying to appeal to both with its current production of “The Games Afoot.”    It’s a comedy by Ken Ludwig that incorporates the plot of a mystery.

ALBANY –“Grand Concourse” is a title of a play you’ve probably never heard of.  It is, however, a play that once you see it you will always remember it.

ALBANY – It’s the middle of winter, political tensions are high, the bills for the holiday gifts have landed and before you know it, it will be tax time.  It not only sounds depressing; it is depressing.

The Rep/Douglas C. Liebig

“If you made a list of your favorite plays or musicals that might make you think of the holidays, it’s doubtful that the Lerner and Lowe musical, “Camelot” would make your top 10. Or, for that matter, the top 25.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which is at Proctors Theater in Schenectady through Sunday, is a remarkable piece of theater.  It’s that rare work that has you leaving the performance a changed and enlightened person.

LATHAM - If you haven’t yet had your fill of vile people engaging in political backstabbing - you will be happy to know that “Farragut North” continues at  Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through November 26.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Disenchanted" At Proctors

Oct 6, 2016

SCHENECTADY -  I’m not sure very many people ever left one of Walt Disney’s animated films thinking that the princess in the piece – you know, the one who marries her Prince Charming and lived happily ever after -knew they weren’t portrayed accurately.  Few cared.  They went to the films for entertainment.

ALBANY - It is difficult to conceive of anyone not enjoying the romantic comedy “Outside Mullingar” that is playing at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany through October 16.

The play “Southern Comforts” confirms that the cliché “opposites attract” pertains to all people who fall in love - no matter your age.  

PITTSFIELD, MA. - “Tribes” is a powerful, thought-provoking drama about the sense of belonging, the need to communicate and the frustration that can accompany a moment of self-discovery.

LAKE GEORGE:  There are many different ways to measure the success of a theatrical production.  Some people look for profound material, others love spectacle on stage, and still others look for the poetry and verse of playwrights like William Shakespeare.

GLENS FALLS-   “Home” is a musical about loss.   It’s about the loss of a mother and the loss of a childhood.  The musical, which is being given its world premiere at Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls, is a superb production of very disturbing material.   At its heart it questions if unworthy parents are entitled to love from those whom they unconsciously harmed.  In other worlds, it questions the essence of love.

ALBANY – Albany has another concert venue this summer. “A Night with Janis Joplin,” which plays at Capital Repertory Theatre through August 7, is more a concert than it is a theatrical production.  It’s a sincere and heartfelt tribute to the rock star that in 1967, at the age of 27, died from a drug overdose and alcohol abuse.

ALBANY  -  In the musical “Chicago” there are two leads – Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart.  Both women murdered their husbands and have manipulated their way to become media darlings – which assures they will be acquitted by a celebrity obsessed jury.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Brighton Beach Memoirs"

Jul 5, 2016

Anyone who has ever called Neil Simon simply a writer of shallow comedies should be forced to see the production of his play “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” playing a Curtain Call Theatre in Latham.  Attending the play, which continues through July 16, is a revelation.   This is a tender and wise production of a marvelous play that is in danger of being neglected.

Simon is often called “Doc” because of his reverence towards Anton Chekhov, the legendary Russian playwright who was a country doctor.  “Brighton Beach Memoirs” is Chekhovian in style in that it creates a world that is so honest it reflects an entire culture at a specific place and point in time.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "The Marriage of Figaro"

Jun 30, 2016
Principal Artists of The Marriage of Figaro
Susan Bardack / Buzz Media Solutions

Troy Record theater reviewer Bob Goepfert takes a look at Opera Saratoga's production of "The Marriage of Figaro."  

GLENS FALLS – “Island Song,” a musical which opens Adirondack Theatre Festival’s season, is an exciting production with a lot of talent on stage and behind the scenes.  It plays at the Wood Theater in Glens Falls through July 2 and I guarantee you will remember the show and be proud that you saw these actors before they became well-known.

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