Bob Goepfert

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.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "She Loves Me" At Capital Rep

Nov 30, 2017
A scene from "She Loves Me" at Capital Rep
Photo taken at Pearl Grant Richmans by Douglas C. Liebig

ALBANY – If your idea of holiday entertainment is a show involving nice people who end up in a happy situation – “She Loves Me” at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany is your cup of mulled wine.  

Bob Goepfert Reviews The Legend of Georgia McBride

Nov 7, 2017
The Legend of Georgia McBride - Curtain Call Theatre - Rocky Bonsal
Amanda Brinke

LATHAM- “The Legend of Georgia McBride” is a piece of fluff with a giant heart.  It’s that heart that redeems and makes pleasant the comedy playing at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through November 18.

Bob Goepfert Reviews "Fun Home" At Proctors

Nov 2, 2017
Carly Gold as 'Small Alison' in Fun Home
Joan Marcus

SCHENECTADY - “Fun Home” is an achingly beautiful musical, that is marvelously performed at Proctors Theatre.   The show’s dark intensity might not be for everyone, but those who care for complex characters, provocative themes and haunting music you will have a rich experience at the show.

A scene from Park Playhouse's production of "Always, Patsy Cline"
Park Playhouse

COHOES – If you are a Patsy Cline fan you will love “Always, Patsy Cline” which plays at the Cohoes Music Hall through Sunday.  If you never heard of the country singer who was killed in a plane crash in 1963, you’ll probably leave the show a big fan.

Scene from Sex With Strangers at Capital Rep
Doug Liebig

ALBANY – When a play that is rooted in steaming passion lacks heat you know there’s a problem.  That’s the case in “Sex with Strangers” playing at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany through October 15.    It’s a talky work with characters about whom it is difficult to care about.

A scene from Lake Theatre's production of "The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby"
Lake Theatre Productions, Inc.

LAKE GEORGE – Sometimes in theater cute is good enough.  It’s certainly the case with dinner theater, where after a full meal a light fragile play is often preferable to a dark classic.

A scene from "Lost In Yonkers"
Kevin Gardner

Latham  - Curtain Call Theater just opened its new Latham theater with the Neil Simon play, “Lost in Yonkers".  It's hard to say which is more impressive - the space or the production.  Both are great.

Not only is the production of the “The Elixir of Love” a wonderful professional offering of a delightful comic opera, it is probably one of the most charming entertainment experiences you can have this season.

A scene from Last of the Red Hot Lovers
Lake Theatre

LAKE GEORGE - A visit to the Lake Theatre in Lake George is a reminder of the innocence that existed when the theater was first formed as the Lake George Dinner Theater in 1968.  

If you enjoy theater that makes you think and feel, you will truly appreciate “The Boy in the Bathroom,” playing at Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls.  The characters and situation will stay with you for a long, long time.

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