The Play That Goes Wrong
A Christmas Carol 2018
In The Heights
The Comedy of Errors
The Marvelous Wonderettes
A Funny Thing Happened...
...On the Way to the Forum
Disney's The Little Mermaid
A Christmas Carol 2016
Next To Normal
The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee
- There is only one word to describe the current production of Macbeth at the Utah Shakespeare Festival: engrossing. Nearly every scene is a triumph of directing and acting that makes it obvious why Macbeth is one of Shakespeare‘s greatest tragedies.
Director Melissa Rain Anderson is a master of the stage picture, and frequently I wanted to stop the action and take a photograph because of the artful way that Anderson had arranged her actors. Whether it was the banquet scene with its Renaissance symmetry or the synchronous movements of the witches, Anderson created visually appealing scenes that easily grabbed my attention. I also appreciated the way that Anderson added ritual to the play, especially when Lady Macbeth called upon demons to “unsex” her or when Macbeth asked demons to strengthen him. Finally, Anderson was effective in putting the “horrible imaginings” of Shakespeare’s script on stage, with the murder of Lady Macduff and the appearance of the ghost of Banquo being gruesome yet compelling to see.
At just two hours (not including a 10-minute intermission), this Macbeth is a whirlwind of a production that grabs its audience forcefully and never lets go. Anderson and her virtuoso cast have created a production that displays the consequences of being “sick at heart.” I can, without reservation, recommend this Macbeth to any audience member, whether they are a Shakespeare novice or aficionado. An equally engrossing Macbeth is not going to happen in the near future . . . or so the witches tell me.
– Russell Warne, Utah Theatre Bloggers
- The three witches are often referred to as a collective and this production drives that point home as they often seem to be speaking as a hive mind and finish each other’s words or sentences. Director Melissa Rain Anderson has rooted this production in a heightened awareness of supernatural traditions in Scotland as well as Elizabethan superstitions and the performances of Hollis, Geer and Mugavero are as unearthly as they are riveting.
The more minor characters are most effective in conveying a sense of urgency. There are times when the Porter (Armin Shimerman) lumbers drunkenly to answer a knock on the door or guards banter easily with their lord; these are set as a stark contrast to the scenes in which characters are scrambling down staircases or fleeing up the aisles of the theater. The director’s choice to use several children in the foreground or background of the action conveys innocence or helplessness.
Scenic Designer Apollo Mark Weaver‘s Scottish setting is geared towards a state of decay and imbalance, whether with off-kilter crossbeams or trees that shed their leaves at significant moments and the dais that acts as cauldron, castle court, and conjuring circle is ingeniously used. The lighting design by Michael Pasquini appropriately emphasizes the theme of blood. Costume Designer David Kay Mickelsen provides garb that is elaborate, but era-appropriate, and hints at intentions and allegiances. Music Director Brandon Scott Grayson and Sound Designer/Original Music Composer Lindsay Jones collaborate to heighten tensions, while Fight Director Paul Dennhardt ensures that the tensions are visually riveting.
The Scottish play is running all summer long and is well worth watching soon and often. So screw your courage to the sticking place and join the Utah Shakespeare Festival for an unforgettable night at Dunsinane.
– Jennifer Mustoe, Front Row Reviewers
- La Cage aux Folles
- Geva Theatre Center
- Book by Harvey Fierstein
- Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
- Based on the play by Jean Poiret
- September 3 – October 6
- The Wolves
- Syracuse Stage
- by Sarah DeLappe
- January 22 - February 15, 2020
- Rep's 'Play That Goes Wrong' is drop-dead hilarious: Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson ...the show has the mojo of "Saturday Night Live" at its best, combining wit and pratfalls with pinpoint timing ... a spoof of stage whodunits in the Agatha Christie mode (think "The Mousetrap"). But if you're completely unfamiliar with Christie's work, don't worry — you'll laugh anyway. Loudly, repeatedly and helplessly.
– Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is a Perfect Recipe for Hysterical Disaster: ...it must be noted that it takes great skill and focus for good actors like these to pretend to perform so poorly. It's obvious they are having the time of their lives, even as they are delivering the best worst performance ever. It is impossible to single anyone out, because this ensemble works in such flawless collaboration with one another to create the biggest onstage mess you've likely ever seen. They are all equally as silly, outrageous, and nonsensical, and all prompt repeated out-loud giggles.
...directed by Melissa Rain Anderson...Repertory St. Louis is the first U.S. theatre to self-produce this show outside of New York City, and the only theatre being allowed to self-produce the play while it makes its national tour. It is also the final show of The Rep's 52nd season, and the last show under Steven Woolf's 32-year leadership as Artistic Director.
– Tanya Seale, Broadway World
- The Rep could change their branding line to ‘Live theater so funny you can feel it.’ ...the laugh-out-loud lunacy and non-stop comedy will send you home with a smile on your face.
– Harry Hamm, KMOX
- The expression “hilarity ensues” easily comes to mind when thinking of the Rep’s latest production, The Play That Goes Wrong. ...a wild and wacky show, even if it’s not really about anything other than generating as many laughs as possible, and the Rep’s version boasts an energetic, comedically gifted cast. ...In a show like this in which everything is so chaotic, precision in the staging is essential, and director Melissa Rain Anderson has impressively managed to order the mayhem with energy and style.
– Michelle Kenyon, Snoops Theatre Thoughts
- “The Play That Goes Wrong” Goes Hilariously Right As The Rep’s MainStage Season Comes To A Close. ...the audience is not only entertained, they are treated to non-stop, out loud laughs that just won’t stop. ...Director Melissa Rain Anderson [and fight choreographer Shaun Sheley] has brought slapstick to new heights in providing the main laughs for the evening with falls through windows, knocking down posts so a cantilevered second floor section can trap the “actors” unawares and, as mentioned, even knocking out one of the actresses which leads to an absolutely spectacular scene as actors and stagehands try to get her offstage through a window flat. Timing is everything and it all works beautifully the “The Play That Goes Wrong.”
– Steve Allen, Stage Door St. Louis
- Come Prepared to Laugh at ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ at The Rep. ...I don’t want to give away much of the plot or any of the surprises, but what I can say is that everything you could expect to go wrong does. And I’ve never laughed so much without a break at anything....Believe me when I say that this is one of the funniest shows you will ever see. The multiple layers make the show fascinating from beginning to end, and everyone involved is giving it their all. There’s nothing else quite like The Play That Goes Wrong – and watching a disaster unfold never felt so right.
– Kevin Brackett, Review St. Louis
- The Rep Earns $1.5 Million In Single Ticket Revenue From Its Latest Season
"We saw tremendous enthusiasm from our single ticket buyers this season," said Mark Bernstein, The Rep's managing director. "That's a testament to the strong titles that Steve Woolf selected for his final year."
Three blockbuster productions on the Mainstage helped lead the way, with Evita, A Christmas Story and The Play That Goes Wrong all entering The Rep's top 10 highest-grossing Mainstage productions of all time.
"This season was everything I had hoped for," Woolf said. "It felt like a true celebration of the theatre."
– News Desk, Broadway World
- THE WOLVES Score Big at the St. Louis Rep
Director Melissa Rain Anderson has done marvelous work in this intricately complex piece.
The sometimes overlapping chatter attains a musical quality-and it is so realistic.
– Steve Callahan, Broadway World
- 'The Wolves' is unlike anything you've seen before
Anderson gets strong performances from a cast that includes Maya J. Christian, Colleen Dougherty, Cecily Dowd, Esmeralda Garza, Mary Katharine Harris, CeCe Hill, Rachael Logue, Cassandra Lopez and Keaton Whittaker as the teammates and Nancy Bell.
DeLappe has an original voice that cries out to be heard, and “The Wolves” is an experience unlike anything you’ve seen before.
– Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- 'The Wolves' Scores with Refreshing Comic Dialogue and Universal Poignancy
Director Melissa Rain Anderson shepherds her smartly collected cast in a whimsical ensemble effort which captures the spontaneity of youth with poignancy, charm and frequently funny dialogue in refreshing fashion
As Anderson deftly directs her charges with a focused and accomplished touch, The Wolves is allowed to develop like a slowly blossoming flower.
– Mark Bretz, Ladue News
- Geva Theatre Center
- Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado
- Music by Galt MacDermot
- September 4th - October 7th
- Big River
- Utah Shakespeare Festival
- Book by William Hauptman
- With Music and Lyrics by Roger MIller
- June 30 – September 1, 2018
- Randall L. Jones Theatre
- In The Heights
- Geva Theatre Center
- Music & Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
- Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Performs: September 5 – October 8
- Cape Fear Regional Theatre
- Book by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty
- Music by Stephen Flaherty
- Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
- Co-conceived by Eric Idle
- Performs: Feb 1 - Feb 25, 2018
- ...director Melissa Rain Anderson gives full weight to the shadows in Dickens’s fable, as well as his message about the need for human goodness and generosity in an often grim and frightening world. This doesn’t mean the production is preachy or solemn, or that it lessens the story’s bright magic.
– Juliet Wittman, Westword, Denver, CO
- ...the Denver Center's stellar production, directed by Melissa Rain Anderson... This production features a wonderfully diverse cast that freshens things up by disposing of some old tropes.
– Alex Miller, Vail Daily
- Yes, [Scrooge] is still scary and mean, but his portrayal of the role, as directed by Melissa Rain Anderson, has given him more humanity, and more earnest desire to make personal changes than seen in many past productions.
– Tom Jones, Tom's Colorado Theater Reviews