Critical Review

33_cvHennepin Theatre Trust’s Critical Review student reviewer program gives Metro-area high school students the opportunity to attend and review touring Broadway productions, Spotlight Education events, workshops to develop writing skills and other opportunities depending on availability. Critical Review teaches communication skills and enhances critical thinking and creative response. As part of Critical Review, students receive study guides and press kits before the show, learn from experts including local theatre critics, playwrights and actors who teach workshops in lighting design to choreography, and in some cases, have expanded access to the Broadway touring cast and crew.

Students post their reviews and interact online through our Critical Review Clubhouse (online access is required for participation). Students are accepted through an application process.

This program is free of cost to participants thanks to the generous underwriting of Fred and Ann Moore.

Applications are now closed for the 2016-2017 Critical Review season. 

Student Access

Willkommen to Hell by Madilyn Duffy

Everyone dreams of that mystical place where “life is beautiful” and where one can “leave your troubles outside”. More often than not, places that project this image tend to hide darker troubles underneath. Money, sex, and drugs can have momentary happiness and help one hide a problem beneath broader images of grandeur, but simply add more troubles than they are worth. In Cabaret, directed by BT McNicholl, a fun filled evening is promised by the Emcee (played by Randy Harrison) but the fun, frilly girls and raunchy numbers mask the descent into the despair surrounding Nazi controlled Germany.

Taking place in Berlin in 1929, The Kit Kat Klub is a bawdy cabaret club filled with both girls and boys ready to perform depraved acts for money and a good time. The set reflects the idea of glory intertwined with poverty and desperation. A large frame was hung from the upper level that was lit by small, yellow glowing bulbs. Looking at it, one is reminded of a mirror backstage, but the lights are dim, as though the mirror has been sitting for a long while. The costumes show time period lingerie and scantily clad women and men, but the fancy lace and silk outfits have a distinct aged look to them, as if the girls have never changed or own few other outfits. The Emcee was clad entirely in black and white throughout the whole show, but interestingly as each scene went on he became more clothed as the glitz and glam world seemed to fall apart around him. This stylized choice allows him to seem more of the mystical figure in the background, instead of a pop of color. He could blend into the shadows or appear in the spotlight. Sally’s costumes were more grandiose, yet still showed the effects of her position in society. Her seeming glamorous life showed fur coats and an endless stream of parties, but underneath she was a vain, self absorbed cocaine addict who sabotaged any chance she had of pulling herself out of her spiralling life.

The casting of the show was sublime. Although at times Sally (played by Andrea Goss) and Clifford (played by Benjamin Eakeley) lacked chemistry on stage, both actors exemplified their stereotypical character roles. Eakeley, with his blonde hair and wish for fame (as a novelist) portrayed the typical American boy who crosses the pond seeking adventure. Goss has the short hair and flighty attitude that perfectly matches the demeanor of a young, independent woman who wants to live her own life. Some of the dances featuring the Kit Kat Klub members seemed clunky and disorderly, but overall each actor and actress brought an individual spin to the different cabaret dancers. Also, the emotions  of Scott Robertson (Herr Schultz) were felt keenly by the entire crowd, and the brutal ending was a shock that drove the whole point home.

This musical was a must see, but your discretion. It is playing at the Orpheum until October 23rd, and the cast and crew manage to balance glamour with the grim truths of the pre World War II era. The subtlety of the introduction of the Nazi party and the separation of politics is intricately woven into the background, until it comes screeching to the front in Act Two. It shows the insanity that arises when a place that is spiralling into hell attempts to cover it up and prevent it with pretty girls and endless parties and drinking. It is a warning that you can’t seem to look away from.


Deafening Silence and What It Means by Larissa Milles

In the first three seconds following the end of a show, it’s fairly easy to tell how the production impacted the audience. Sometimes, there is an immediate rush of applause that indicates a wonderful production. Every once and awhile, however, there’s dead silence. At times, a show has such a profound impact on its audience that following the finale, the house is completely silent. Cabaret, directed by BT McNicholl and playing at the Orpheum Theatre until October 23, enacted this reaction. The renowned musical takes place between 1929 and 1930 in Berlin, Germany, and follows several characters as the country goes through political change. Through its stylistic choices and striking performances, Cabaret manages to evoke a sense of gravity.

The clothes one wears is the first glimpse into who that person is. Cabaret costume designer William Ivey Long defined each of the characters with his costumes. The most notable costume distinguishment was that of the Emcee. When the production started, he was scantily clad, but as the show progressed he became more clothed. This interesting choice reflects the advancing militant-like state of Berlin. As the Emcee gained more clothing, Germany fell deeper under Nazi regime.

The set of the production was different than many professional Broadway sets. Designer Robert Brill integrated the orchestra onto the stage by having an elevated platform where they performed. This was likely done so that members of the orchestra who doubled as ensemble performers in the show would have quick and easy access to the stage. The other clear set piece was the frame that was mounted on the upper level. Different sized bulbs lit the stage and the frame. Other than that, the set was very minimal, with just a few doors and spiral staircases.

In theatre, it’s very important that the entire ensemble works together with the principal cast to give an energizing performance. In the case of Cabaret, the ensemble appeared tired and sloppy. At the beginning of Act 2, there’s a kickline performance from the Kit Kat Club girls that was surprisingly sloppy. Overall, the ensemble seemed to lack energy when they weren’t performing with Andrea Goss, who portrayed Sally Bowles. Goss’ singing performance was brilliant. Every number she performed in was packed full of emotion and magnetism, especially in the showstopping “Cabaret”. Her scene work, however, didn’t seem to have the same spunk that the songs did. This was in part due to the lack of chemistry between Goss and Benjamin Eakeley, who played young American novelist Clifford Bradshaw. Their performance together was underwhelming and not believable. Individually, though, each actor’s performance was enjoyable. The real standout of the show was The Emcee, played by Randy Harrison. Harrison was electric the entire performance, engaging with all the other actors and the audience. His performance made all the flaws of the show disappear.

When it comes down to it, Cabaret is a beautiful production that showcases the lengths humans will go to to distract themselves from the troubles in their life. The musical also shows the harsh collision of reality surfacing, which resulted in the deafening silence following the end of the show. Those three mute seconds should be enough to convince anyone that this show is a must see.

 


CABARET by Heidi Wiese

This Tuesday, Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret, opened at the Orpheum Theater. Cabaret, set in Berlin in 1931 during the rise of Nazism, revolves around the relationship of Cliff Bradshaw, an American writer, and British nightclub performer Sally Bowles. The show continuously goes between two worlds, the cabaret of the Kit Kat Klub and the stories of the characters in the outside world, with the cabaret numbers often commenting on what is happening within the plot. As I entered the theater, I saw the set was a reflection of this, as it was essentially split into two halves. The top half consisted of a platform for the orchestra that was concealed by a curtain of silver tinsel, and a giant crooked picture frame lined with light bulbs. The bottom half simply consisted of a muted red wall with three black doors. Two black metal spiral staircases on either side of the stage connected the two worlds. This design choice was very successful as it established the contrast as well as the interconnectedness of the two worlds from the very beginning. It provided a juxtaposition between real life and fantasy which amplified the main message of the show that people can so easily become blind to the political realities around them.

Furthermore, the set was quite simple compared to the often extravagant sets of other Broadway shows, as they used simple black chairs or plain wooden tables for many of the scenes. This choice helped create the environment of a Germany in a deep economic depression as well as enhance the performances of the actors.
Randy Harrison, Andrea Goss and Benjamin Eakeley lead the cast as the Emcee, Sally Bowles, and Cliff Bradshaw, respectively. Harrison, who had big shoes to fill with stars like Joel Gray and Alan C****** having received critical acclaim for their roles as Emcee, gave a stunning performance. From the very first “Willkommen,” his energy and charisma drew the audience into the world of the show and kept their attention until the very last moment when he removed his jacket and revealed the striped pajamas of a Jew during the Holocaust. Goss’s portrayal of Sally Bowles was also very captivating, especially during her solos, “Maybe This Time” and “Cabaret.” During each of these songs, the spotlight was only on her, and we saw the facade of the nightclub star fade away as the real Sally shined through. Goss’ clear voice, in these moments especially, expressed Sally’s innermost feelings and struggles and was very moving. Eakeley, on the other hand, had a rather flat performance. It was unclear, especially in Act 1, what his character wanted, a problem that can be partially attributed to his lack of differentiation in pattern of pitch when speaking. He gained a bit of momentum in Act 2, but I found that his portrayal made Cliff’s character arc very muddled. I was also quite disappointed in dancing in the show. Because I knew the show was originally choreographed by Bob Fosse, I came into the theater expecting to see Fosse choreography. However, this was not the case, and I found the reimagined choreography did not grab my attention the way I would have liked it to. The dances were sloppy, imprecise which often pulled me out of the show. However, these two aspects were the only disappointments, and the show as a whole came together very nicely. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, I would definitely recommend you do so.


Marvelous – But Don’t Tell Mama! by Nina Afremov

Since its 1966 debut on Broadway, Cabaret has captured the world’s attention with its raunchy nature and its reflection of the rise of Nazi Germany. Based on the work of Christopher Isherwood, I believe that its extreme contrasts in playfulness and solemness is what the world finds so appealing. This version, directed by BT McNicholl, takes these features to extreme limits.

Randy Harrison is an exceptional Master of Ceremonies. His performance is energetic and interactive. The theater itself becomes a cabaret as he connects with the audience; he successfully creates an intimate environment. He is also the fuel for the racy quality of the production, which at times is downright lewd. “Don’t tell Mama” is right! I blushed in my seat awkwardly on multiple occasions (half-horrified solely by the knowledge that my mother was watching, too), but I feel the exploitive nature is supposed to make audience members uncomfortable, as does the subject of the second act; they are extreme in different ways. I was impressed by the authenticity of the German accents. Patrick Vaill (Ernst Ludwig) and Mary Gordon Murray (Fraülen Schneider) impressed me with the consistency of their German accents throughout the show. Gut Gemacht! Andrea Goss as Sally Bowles also does a good job with her believable British accent, as well as perfecting the balance of sickly cloy and stony-faced.

The costumes, by William Ivey Long, contribute to the shift of the first and second act. While the shocking appearance of swastika armbands rose goosebumps all over my flesh, he also chooses details as subtle as the color of the performer’s underwear as symbolism. Also, the Emcee’s makeup and costumes range from humorous to chilling. I found it unique that they incorporated the orchestra into the show. Being able to see the musicians as well as listen to the emcee’s jokes about several of them contributes to the intimate environment. It is the two level stage, done by Robert Brill, that makes this touch possible. Initially, I felt the plastic silver fringes on the second level of the stage looked cheap, but they truly dazzle beneath proper lighting. This show exemplifies how greatly the lighting can affect a show. By Peggy Eisenhaur and Mike Baldassari, the lightbulbs lining the stage create a bedazzled, “it’s showtime” excitement. At other times the lights shocked me. The most powerful moment was the use of strobe lights at the end to create an abstract, disorienting feeling that feeds the most momentous scene of the musical.

All in all, the fact that this version of Cabaret reaches such extreme levels on both a raunchy and on a serious level is what makes it worth watching. It will make you feel so uncomfortable, but I believe that the art that makes you feel unsettled is the art that is most powerful. It is uncomfortable for a reason, and diving headfirst into tense moments offers the greatest amount of growth and the greatest amount of understanding of the human condition.


A Perfectly Marvelous Cabaret by Jada ShaNel Gardner

Roundabout Theatre Company’s national tour of Cabaret is, to say the least “perfectly marvelous”. Stellar leads paired with brilliant lighting design and an already amazing script and musical score make for a good show. Randy Harrison opens the whole production as the Emcee of the Kit Kat Club, where the people of 1930’s Berlin go to forget their troubles for a while. Clifford Bradshaw, is an American traveler who finds himself at the club. There, he meets the charming Sally Bowles (Andrea Goss), who convinces Cliff to let her stay with him when she’s fired from the club. As Sally and Cliff fall in love, so too do Cliff’s landlord, Fräulein Schneider, and a local fruit shop owner- who just so happens to be jewish. As the rise of the nazi party alters the face of German politics, the doomed relationships begin to fall apart, ultimately ending in Cliff’s return home, Sally’s return to the club, and Fräulein Schneider breaking her engagement.

The show began while the audience was still filing into their seats. The lights were up in the house, but actors were coming on stage, stretching and talking as though preparing for a performance. This allowed for the audience to feel as though they were inside the cabaret from the very beginning. The show itself started with a lackluster performance of “Willkommen,” that failed to grip the audience as an opening number usually should. From there on, though it got better, with a particularly energetic and amusing performance of “Don’t Tell Mama.” Andrea Goss nailed all of her songs, and played Sally with a vivacity that brought life to the stage. The Emcee’s playful banter with the audience, and the almost brechtian effects of his being on stage for virtually the entire show, including scenes he wasn’t actually apart of, made for a two-way connection between the events onstage and the audience, which can only happen when the fourth wall is completely disregarded.

For the most part, the leads made the show in this case. The choreography seemed somewhat untrue to the nature of Fosse, and where the Kit Kat girls were concerned, it left much to be desired by way of synchronization. The vocals were strong, but consistently competing with the orchestra. Still, the show as a whole was good, with Act Two’s sudden dark twist into a political commentary effectively hard-hitting. Furthermore, the lighting design was excellent, with the shadows on the wall in “Mein Herr” and green wash in “Money”, as well as other smart choices throughout the show.

All in all, Cabaret was a wonderful production. The initial scattered energy came together in a rousing final half hour or so that completely made up for any beginning oddities. Particularly, “If You Could See Her” and “Cabaret” stirred emotions from the audience about 1930’s Germany. The show was entertaining and thought provoking, and reminded the audience that not standing against evil is quite similar to choosing to enable it.


Cabaret is ‘Perfectly Marvelous’ by Eleanor Wilhelmi

If you manage to procure a ticket to the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret, consider yourself lucky. The Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis hosts the show through October 23rd, making it a divinely provocative opener for Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Bank of America Broadway on Hennepin Season. Cabaret follows Clifford Bradshaw, an aspiring American novelist, as his desire for inspiration brings him to Berlin on New Year’s Eve of 1929. There, he is introduced to the notorious Kit Kat Klub, and to Sally Bowles, an English performer overflowing with charm and ambition. Their complicated relationship quickly becomes a major focal point of the story, while various other subplots add a sociopolitical, thought-provoking element to it.

The cast is packed with talent; the Kit Kat dancers double as the orchestra, going from playing their instruments to doing a kick-line in a minute flat (and executing both flawlessly). Mary Gordon Murray and Scott Robertson tug at your heartstrings as the star-crossed Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, as they’re forced to face the devastating complications of having an interfaith relationship in 1930’s Germany. While it’s almost difficult to notice behind her incredible voice, Andrea Goss’s Sally is somewhat stiff and difficult to connect with throughout the first act. However, she makes up for it in the second, and is teeming with emotion by the finale. But, Randy Harrison unquestionably steals the show as the Emcee, parading around the stage in little more than a harness and lipstick and delivering a bawdy, hypnotic performance that could easily rival those of the legends such as Joel Grey who have held it before.

Set designer Robert Brill’s clear understanding of Cabaret’s essence lends itself well to create a minimalistic set that is both functional and sexy, with a dark, moody color scheme opposite a delightfully gaudy curtain of silver streamers. Incandescent light bulbs line the stage and the proscenium, and add another pinch of classic broadway flavor, strategically flashing at the most emotionally charged moments of the show. The placement of the orchestra is unique, in that it is on a high platform onstage, perched above the apron, as opposed to the usual pit. This allows for the orchestra members to switch to their roles as Kit Kat dancers quickly, and access the stage below via the twin spiral staircases on either side of it. A good set is always an important component in creating a good show, but it’s vital to Cabaret in particular, and Brill’s vision gives it all the support it needs.

With a brilliant cast, an impeccable set, and a riveting plot, it’s hard to know where to look or what to pay attention to when watching the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret. This theatre-going experience is an unforgettable way to spend an evening and is more than worth the ticket price.


Cabaret: Joyously Heartbreaking by Ella Padden

“Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome,” crooned the Emcee, played by Randy Harrison, as the curtains rose onCabaret’s opening night at the Orpheum Theatre. Cabaret, which takes in place in Berlin, Germany from 1929 to 1930, has returned to the Orpheum for a six day run opening on October 18th and closing on the 23rd. Performed by The Roundabout Theatre Company for their 50th Anniversary Season, Cabaret was a stunning show. Andrea Goss, who played Sally Bowles, and Benjamin Eakeley, who played Clifford Bradshaw, lead the cast of Cabaret in a spectacular narrative about love and the world’s opinion on it.

We first meet our characters at the KitKat Club, a grimey but charming cabaret in Berlin. They are led by the Emcee, an over-the-top character brought to life by Randy Harrison. Harrison, steals the show, both literally and figuratively. By inserting himself into every scene, Harrison turns the Emcee from a mere Master of Ceremonies into a mouthpiece for the cast that entices and connects with the audience. He even gets down and dances with both men and women in the front row, as true to his character. The Emcee draws you in and leads the audience through the different stories woven together in Cabaret. One disappointment found throughout the main cast however, was the lack of diction and the fact that the heavy accents made many lines hard to hear. Some lyrics in songs were muffled and, especially at the back of the theater, far too many lines were missed. However, the chorus/band made up for this with their seamless execution of both music and lyrics. The score, written by John Kander and the lyrics, written by Fred Ebb, created a rich environment and helped to bring in intense emotions. The KitKat girls and boys played in the band and danced on the stage, tying the two levels of the set together. The spiral staircases were used to their full capability and the lighting and technical details were on point. The dancing was risque at points, especially with the KitKat Chorus. Audience members in the first few rows may have seen more of the actresses and actors than they bargained for. It was very clear that the enthusiasm varied among the ensemble; the two members that were played by understudies might have had some effect.

Many messages were interwoven into Cabaret, helping the audience to relate to the characters and reflect upon their own lives. It was heartbreaking to watch the characters throw away their happiness for a shallow reality and minimal life security. Andrea Goss, who perfectly balanced Sally’s naiveness and addictions, and Mary Gordon Murray (Fraulein Schneider), who pulled at the audience’s heart strings with her love for Herr Schultz (played by Scott Robertson) brought emotional intensity to Cabaret. The fear of the unknown portrayed by these two characters was so painfully realistic that some audience members may have been inspired to question their own fears and actions.

Through some of the jokes were missed due to the heavy accents and lack of diction, and the raunchiness teetered between advancing the story and possibly being uncomfortable, Cabaret was an overall enjoyable production. Filled with heavier topics, emotional rollercoasters, and a bit scattered but simple enough to follow plot, the production packs a powerful punch in its music and many messages. Although it may not be a traditional feel good musical, it is one that will make you think, causing your theater experience to become more interactive and intimate.


Perfectly Marvelous by Elizabeth Donovan

When the lights came up at intermission, I thought “This show is enjoyable. A little weird, but, you know, in a good way.” When I walked out of the theatre after curtain call I was thoroughly speechless. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret, directed by BT McNicholl and playing at the Orpheum Theater through October 23rd, left me breathless more than once. The story follows American author Cliff Bradshaw and his dramatic love affair with English nightclub performer Sally Bowles as they come together and fall apart in 1930s Berlin Germany, which is wrecked with political and social turmoil as the Nazi party becomes impossible to ignore. An alluring Master of Ceremonies, or Emcee, acts as a liaison between the audience and the story, establishing a uniquely personal connection with everyone watching.

Accompanying the Emcee is an ensemble of nightclub performers known as the Kit Kat Girls and Boys. At times it was difficult to tell if the choreography and energy was directed to be somewhat sloppy and half-hearted or if the ensemble was actually struggling. I interpreted the ensemble as accurately portraying a group of people who were only “here to serve you” and had come to lose themselves in the process. Benjamin Eakeley, who played Cliff Bradshaw, and Angela Goss, who played Sally Bowles, both captured the erratic energies of their characters. However, it was sometimes too erratic and the ups and downs of the characters became distracting. Their chemistry, too, was lacking for much of the show. I wasn’t blown away by Goss’s vocal performances until she performed “Cabaret” in the second act. She was completely committed emotionally and it was much stronger vocally than her solos in the first act. A surprising stand-out character in the show was Fräulein Schneider, Cliff’s elderly landlady, played by Mary Gordon Murray.  Murray maintained a balance of the character’s maturity and youthful energy, and her vocals were stunning. In contrast with Cliff and Sally, Fräulein Schneider and her love interest, Herr Schultz, played by Scott Robertson, had consistently strong chemistry on stage. Naturally, the character who rose above the rest was the Emcee, portrayed by Randy Harrison. From the second the show began his energy, characterization, and vocals were spot-on. As the show went on, he began to fall apart in pace with the crumbling storyline. Harrison maneuvered through the extreme complexities of the role, jumping from eccentric and sensual to cynical and tragic without missing a beat.

Technically, the show was magnificent. The set consisted of three doors upstage and a spiral staircase on each side of the stage leading up to an open platform where the orchestra – which included many of the Kit Kat boys and girls – could be seen for most of the show. Chairs, tables, and hanging props clearly distinguished the different settings, including Fräulein Schneider’s apartments, the Kit Kat Klub, and the inside of a train.  Color and shadow played heavily into the lighting to emphasize story elements and add symbolic resonance. The orchestra was incredible; the music alone gave me chills on more than one occasion. The music, lights, and sound established abrupt and complete tone changes that caused the whole audience to catch their breath.

Every piece of the production culminated flawlessly in the final scene to create the truly haunting final moments of the show. In the final seconds the whole theatre held its breath. I was physically shaking as I watched the harrowing finale unfold. The entire show was beautiful in a real and heartbreaking way. It was by no means perfect, but in many ways these imperfections made it even more beautiful.


Cabaret Needs More Intimacy – Just Not Between the Actors by Delia Grimes

Cabaret is a show more about ideas and metaphors than plot: much of the story doesn’t pull together until the end, and the main plot lines are actually subplots that serve its themes rather than driving action.The show is set during Berlin’s “roaring twenties,” a renaissance of sorts in Germany post World War One. The Kit Kat Klub, where the show is focused, serves to show the audience the sentiments of Berlin, and Germany in general at the time: political struggles and inflation has led people to aim for a life of carefree fun. This creates an atmosphere of artistic freedom, meaning the cabaret numbers are flashy, over the top, and above all sexual.

The main plot line follows Clifford Bradshaw (Benjamin Eakeley), a novelist/English teacher from the US, who moves to Berlin for inspiration. There he visits the Kit Kat Klub, and meets Sally Bowles (Andrea Goss), a young performer there trying to make a name for herself, and a complicated romance ensues. Above all, the Emcee (Randy Harrison) serves as the Master of Ceremonies for the club; a clown-like character who is overly cheerful, perverse, and a direct reflection of Berlin. 

There is no doubt: any production of Cabaret is going to be sexual. This serves to display the libertine attitudes during this period and the appeal of the cabaret. It purposely makes you squirm in your seat, walking the line between raunchy humor and full on inappropriate. The majority of the choreography of this production is the Kit Kat Girls humping the floor, licking their lips and trying to make themselves as seductive as possible, turning what is supposed to show the promiscuity of the time into simply squirming around on stage: no longer furthering the plot, solely making people uncomfortable, and no longer serving its original purpose.

The overall impact of the show is the reflect the rise of fascist politics onto a more understandable platform — the cabaret. The show rapidly descends from a silly, satirical musical to a darker interpretation of Germany during the 20’s, which is a very emotional period. Without a doubt, Cabaret transports you into the heads of people during this time period, but the size of the Orpheum theater does not allow for as intimate a connection between the audience and performers, despite the skilled acting. Much of what is going on on stage is hard to see if you are more than a few rows back, generally making you feel disconnected to the story. This is especially disappointing knowing the full potential of the story and how much of a reaction it can draw from people, but instead you are left with the feeling of watching a movie instead of the more personal connection one hopes for when enjoying theater.

If you have a strong stomach — both for uncomfortable raunchiness and dark plot twists — you may enjoy Cabaret, playing at the Orpheum until October 23rd. Just don’t expect an intimate theater experience unless you’re willing to shell out for front row seats — and definitely don’t go if you’re looking for mindless, goofy entertainment.

Goals

  • To develop and enhance critical thinking, self-expression and analytical writing skills
  • To provide a unique and engaging forum for students learning outside of the classroom
  • To provide high school students the opportunity to develop an appreciation for live theatre

Elements of the Program

  • Participants see up to eight live theatre performances, often touring Broadway productions, at the Orpheum, State, Pantages or New Century Theatres and write reviews
  • Opportunity to review press materials provided to the professional media
  • Workshops with professionals in the theatre and journalism fields
  • Tour of one of the Trust’s Historic theatres
  • Student reviews posted on the Hennepin Theatre Trust website and SpotLight’s Critical Review reviewer site

What participants are saying:

“I LOVE Critical Review so much! Going to see all of those plays was so amazing. I really appreciate what the program has done for me.”
-Diamond Billinger, Critical Review student

Fiddler on the Roof is one of the best performances I have seen this year, tied with Wicked and Spring Awakening. There is no one better than Chaim Topol to tell the classic story of family hardship and change.”
-Sara Sommers,  Critical Review student

“I have loved Rent ever since I saw the movie. Being able to see the stage version with two of the original cast members was beyond amazing. It was so much fun and definitely an experience I’ll always remember.”
-Alicia Battle, Critical Review student

Contact Us

For more information about Spotlight’s Critical Review Program please contact:

Pete Tedrow, Education Coordinator
pete.tedrow@HennepinTheatreTrust.org
612.455.9529