Show stopper

Sugarcoating is for suckers. And this isn't a candy store.

Show Stopper has moved! April 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 9:06 pm

Amanda has moved her blog to http://www.broadwayreporter.wordpress.comVisit for up-to-date happenings on Broadway and beyond.


A little preview. . . August 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 4:25 pm
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Get ready for a plethora of playbills to hit because Belmont University’s Theater Department is in full swing getting ready for the 2010-2011 theater season, and there are additional highlights from local to international artists. For all you theater lovers and goers here’s a preview of a few things Belmont stages have to offer.

Tartuffe, written by the 17th century comedic playwright, Jean Baptiste Molière, is about an impostor who claims to be a zealous, pious man while boarding at the wealthy Orgon’s home. Instead, he’s a deceiver who tries to swindle Orgon out of the deed of his house by winning the respect of his wife and attempting to marry his daughter. Evening performances, all in Troutt Theater, are at 7:30 p.m . Oct. 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9; matinees are at  3 p.m. on Oct. 2, and at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.

Troutt Theater will host an entirely different production Oct. 30 when the Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe offers the extravagant Japanese puppet theater known as “ningyo joruri” or bunraku. The troupe trained in Japan with artists who are part of the puppetry troupes that date back to 1684. The Asian Studies Program sponsors this event. Performance time and ticket information will be announced..

The week before Thanksgiving break will be the performance of 33 Variations in the Black Box Theater. 33 Variations is about two different stories that occur 200 years apart in two far off places: America and Austria. It is a dramatic American play written by Moisès Kaufman about what motivates someone to create. Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 and 21; matinees are at 3 p.m. Nov. 13, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 and 20.

The Nashville Ballet will grace the Troutt Theater’s stage with their new ballet based on Anne Frank’s life story. Dr. Mark Volker, a Belmont music faculty member, composed the music. Performances will be Nov. 19-21; times and ticket information will be announced.

The Actor’s Bridge Ensemble and perform Eurydice, playwright Sarah Ruhl’s re-telling of the classic myth. The play presents the story of Orpheus, a popular Greek musician, through the eyes of his wife. The golden ticket of this play? Eurydice “will have an amazing raining elevator and water pool on the set,” said Paul Gatrell, department chair of the theatre and dance department. Evening performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 24, 25 and 26; matinees will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 20, 26 and 27.

The Government Inspector will be on stage in the Black Box Theater in April. The Government Inspector is a satirical play written by Russian and Ukrainian playwright Nikolai Gogol about corrupt officials in a Russian town. They get into a tizzy when they hear an undercover inspector will visit to investigate them. They scramble to make their work seem decent and punishments necessary. Their attempts are interrupted when a mysterious visitor has already checked into the inn.The visitor is not an inspector but a civil servant, Khlestakov, who has a wild imagination. It should be a high-spirited and witty play, the perfect way to end the theatre season. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 8, 9, 14 and 15; matinees are at 2 p.m. April 9, 10, 16 and 17.

The dance department will round out the theater and dance department’s season with their annual Dance Production where students will showcase their talent and new techniques. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 29 and 30 and May 1.


Voice of an angel August 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 10:55 pm

I was watching “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night with my brothers. The performers were from the Youtube search AGT conducted to bring people’s talents from their bedrooms to the stage in Hollywood. I was bored to tears with a lot of the acts. From the geeky a capella group to the Carrie Underwood wannabe (believe you me, she couldn’t hold a candle to the successful singer), I was ready to turn the channel. Judges Piers Morgan, Howie Mandal and Sharon Osbourne chose these performers. I sat on the couch wondering, “What the HECK were they thinking!?” Enough with the pop prince/princesses, one-hit-wonder sellouts. Enough with the synthesized mumbo-jumbo that starts to sound the same after listening to three songs in a row. Where’s the real talent? The kind of talent that’s God-given or cultivated for years on end?

When all hope seemed lost, 10-year-old Jackie Evancho walked on stage. She looked so tiny compared to the magnitude of the theater. That didn’t stop her from belting a beautiful, angelic performance of Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”. I was awe-struck, agape, speechless! I’m never speechless!

Evancho hails from Pittsburgh, Penn. She wanted to learn how to sing after witnessing the magical Phantom of the Opera on Broadway (hey, me too!). She bit off a huge song, performed by the original Christine Daae, Sarah Brightman. The judges were speechless after her performances as was the entire audience. Evancho gave Americans a taste of true talent and for that I immensely thank her.

If you weren’t able to catch the performance, click here.


Here comes the sun

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 3:50 am

If you like bowl cuts, 70’s music and have the famous “Abbey Road” poster hung proudly on your bedroom wall, you’re in luck because the Beatles are coming to Broadway.

The Beatles’ discography will be performed by a group named Rain, a band that has taken years to master the stage moves and notes of the legendary Fab Four. 

Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles will be a multimedia event including interviews and stage performances of the Beatles’ from their humble beginnings to their later released music like “Sgt. Pepper” and “Abbey Road”. Very few people actually saw the Beatles in concert. This is a chance for you (yes, you) to experience the Beatles like never before.

Rain opens in the Neil Simon Theatre October 19, 2010 and closes January 2, 2011. Tickets range from $25.00 to $120.00.


Mama Mia! Here I go again! August 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 5:25 pm

This time to Brazil!

That’s right. The loveable ABBA-inspired musical, Mama Mia!, is heading to Brazil. A new production of the play will be performed in Portuguese and will debut at the Teatro Abril in Sao Paul, Brazil in November.

Brand new costumes and sets will be designed for the play. No casting has been announced, according to

Mama Mia! is about a young bride trying to figure out who her father is after it’s leaked that her mother had three flings all around the same time span. Songs from the Swedish super group, ABBA, make the show extra special.

If you’re in Brazil, take a chance on Mama Mia!


The return of the Queen August 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 1:48 am

Hello fellow theatre goers/geeks.

Sorry about the lack of updating. I was in Ireland for a journalism course these past two weeks. If you don’t believe me, you can visit my sister blog and get the low down on my travels. A project still needs to be completed and guess what I’m doing it on?

You guessed correctly. Theatre. Street theatre to be exact. Galway had an arts festival the few days we were there and there were so many acts. I was lost in all the dramatics from the dancers to the creepy mimes. I was in my element!

My junior year of college starts in two and a half weeks. Also, I’m writing a novel so life is busy, busy, BUSY!

Never fear. I promise to continue updating you on all the latest theatre news in the tri-state area. Maybe I’ll even include some other cities like Nashville, Chicago, and Seattle. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.

For now, though I believe I will call it a night and report on theatre news tomorrow.

‘Til then my little drama kings and queens.


Total “Eclipse” of the Twihards July 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 7:03 pm

Much to my complete hesitation I went to see “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” with my dear friend who visited from New York City on Monday.

There are a few reasons why I hesitated:

1) The expense: New Jersey movie tickets are $9.00 a person for a matinée and $10.75 for a small popcorn and drink.

2) The acting: Monotone. Over-emotional. Overly a waste of time.

3) The actors: As much as people try to convince me of the two-hour supposed “eye-candy” I get from these movies, I beg to differ. Lautner is prison bait and Pattinson is pale and needs a comb.

Having never read the books and missing the second movie, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, I thought I would be lost amongst the dark, angst, totally non-realistic vampire/werewolf love. Surprisingly, I could follow the “Eclipse” storyline very well.

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” was directed by David Slade. Slade usually goes for the darker sides of things and you could definitely tell his name was all over this movie. Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) is assembling an army of young vampires, Newbies, to kill Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart) for killing her boyfriend James. The vampires and werewolves have to work together to defeat Victoria. Meanwhile in a field of flowers, Edward Cullen( Robert Pattinson) vows to protect Bella. Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) confesses his love for her when they’re in his garage. Bella, after what seems like hours of awkwardness and unappealing sighs and whiny groans, accepts Edward’s marriage proposal but is embarrassed because she doesn’t want to hurt Jacob. Bella graduates from high school and the fight scene at the end is of epic proportion. The movie ends with Bella and Edward on their way to tell her father she’s engaged.

The fight scene was pretty cool. It wasn’t “Troy” or “Gladiator” worthy, but it held its own. Of course, the acting was bearable but terrible. It perplexes me why they got rid of Rachelle Lefevre, Victoria, because Bryce Dallas Howard can’t hold a candle to her. She didn’t portray the character well at all.

If you’re a Twilight fan, you’ll probably drool endlessly throughout the movie. If you like fantasy creatures fighting over mortals, you’ll love it. If you’re an avid movie goer, I’d suggest seeing another movie. But you already knew that didn’t you?

“Eclipse” gets two out of five stars. The only thing that saved this movie was the fight scene.