University of Kentucky graduates Derek Keeling and Gregory Turay both had big shows open in the past few weeks, and the reviews are in.
Keeling, who a lot of us got to know through the NBC competition series Grease: You're the One That I Want, is playing Charles Darnay in Jill Santoriello's musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. The show just opened its out-of-town run at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Fla.
~ January Holmes of the Bradenton Herald called the show, "an enthralling theater piece."
~ Daily Variety's Jay Handelman wasn't as jazzed, saying Santoriello didn't give Derek much to work with.
~ Handelman also penned a slightly different take for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
A note about suggestions that the show needs work. If you don't regularly follow theater, that is often what these out of town tryouts are all about, seeing what works and what doesn't before the show gets to Broadway. We'll let you know when there is more news about a run on the Great White Way for Tale. The show runs in Sarasota through Nov. 18.
Turay has played Rodolpho in the 1999 world premier production of William Bolcom's A View from the Bridge at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the subsequent production at the Metropolitan Opera. This month, Frank Galati's production of the opera, based on Arthur Miller's play, is at the Washington National Opera under the baton of Placido Domingo.
Turay gets high marks for his performance from both of the D.C. dailies:
~ The Washington Post's esteemed Tim Page called Turay, "altogether terrific."
~ The Washington Times' T.L. Ponick says Turay makes the most of some of the best music in the score.
~ The Baltimore Sun's Tim Smith doesn't seem to have filed a review yet, but he does lead his thorough preview with Rodolpho's big moment.
A Lexington delegation was in Washington for the opening performances last weekend. If you want to see it, there are four more performances between now and Nov. 17.