Review from Mass Community Theatre "It takes acting chops and a top notch voice to make an audience cheer for a multiple murderer, but with Lawton’s impeccable comedic timing and soulful rendition of such fan favorites as “Foolish to Think” and “Sibella,” it makes you realize that with a voice like that, what's a murder or two?...Monty’s two love affairs, his long time love Sibella Holland (Heidi White) and his new romance Phoebe D’Ysquith (Elaine Crane) were also performed with excellence....The most impressive performance of the night however goes to Ben Morse who played nine separate members of the D’Ysquith family in addition to carrying about half a dozen musical numbers as a soloist. That’s nine separate physical characterizations, nine different voices and accents, nine separate costumes, and nine defined performances...With musical direction by Aldo Fabrizi, both the soloists and the chorus had clean entrances, crisp endings, and the strong musicality only produced by trained singers under good leadership....The final acknowledgment has to go to the (stage) director (Aldo Fabrizi) and the incredible chorus in this production. It’s not often that you find a cast with no weak link, but this production not only accomplished that, but every face I looked at on stage was engaged, energetic, and confident in their music and movements. The comedic timing was spot on, the show starting and ending with an exceptional performance by Martha Warren, who made me laugh the hardest in the entire show. Connell Benn and Erik Gladwin were also absolute chorus standouts who went over and above to add so many funny moments without pulling focus or distracting from the main story." Review the full review by Mass Community Theatre here.
"Under Stage and Musical Direction by Aldo Fabrizi, not only is the principal cast funny, they are wonderful singers who are all supported, vocally, by an equally capable ensemble. ...Additionally, Fabrizi has provided a fine attention to detail, carefully specified comedic movement on stage and the maximizing of the Calliope space. ...All technical elements were obviously well considered and implemented with great care, especially in the area of costumes. The costume plot for "GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE" is enormous and the entire creative team is to be commended for a fine presentation....(Taylor) Lawton is absolutely wonderful as Monty, serving as both narrator and morally obtuse anti-hero....Morse provides distinguishing characteristics for every single character he plays throughout the show, more often than not making any required costume/wig changes at breakneck speed....In GWO's “GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER,"the hilarity is virtually non-stop and the music is very much aligned to propel the humor along, which is possibly the show's greatest strength." Read the full review by METRMag here
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder - film version (May 2021)
Read our 4/25/2021 article by Richard Duckett in the Telegram and Gazette: online link here. Pdf here. Review by METRMag here Review by Tony's Corner here
A Little Night Music (March 2020)
Review by METRMag here Review by In The Spotlight here
Excerpt of one of many accolades: The acting by the ensemble equals their vocal acuity which is exceptional across the board... With our days constantly filled with our own individual and collective troubles and strife, it is nice to be able to sit back and enjoy some finely executed comedy and "A Little Night Music."
Review: The Marriage of Figaro (June 25, 2016)
Accompanied by a piano and string quartet, GWO's multilayered adaptation of the 1786 opera is performed in English and completely staged in four acts with Edwardian costuming and scenery based upon the popular PBS program “Downton Abbey.”
The plot of "The Marriage of Figaro" revolves around the sexual relationships between the regency and their servants, and is led by bass-baritone Miles Rand as servant Figaro and soprano Elaine Crane as his fiancé, fellow servant Susanna. The story unfolds as the glorious sounding baritone Ron Williams, as the Count Almaviva, manipulates an old law to try to have his way with Susanna, and both Susanna and Almaviva’s wife, the Countess, played to perfection by glorious soprano Christine Petkus, work their own methods of manipulation to prove what a lout the Count is.
Rind gave a steady performance and was adept as Figaro... Crane and Petkus have some of the best moments on stage, with Petkus especially not only displaying her prowess as a singer but also giving one of the best acting performances of the evening with her wonderful line interpretation, impeccable comedic timing and engaging facial reactions throughout the show. She proves to be Williams' equal, which is an unenviable task as he absolutely dominates with his uncanny presence on stage.
Other impressive performances include Meghan Ryan, who beams as the adolescent page, Cherubino, seeks to confess his love to the Countess. There are also riotously funny moments thanks to actors Benjamin Morse as the chronic drunk Antonio and Frank Walker as Dr. Bartolo.
Sets and scene changes were adequate to the show, but it was obvious more time was spent on the music, which, granted, was practically flawless. Highest praise goes to music director and conductor Aldo Fabrizi and the musicians in the pit as the orchestra played the lengthy Mozart score to perfection.
(Kevin Baldwin, Worcester Telegram, 6/25/16)
Reviews from past productions:
"Such home-grown magical music-making deserves celebration, support and, most of all, profound gratitude." (John Zeugner, Worcester Telegram, 6/17/07)
"Great cities are blessed with great cultural institutions. Worcester Opera Works can now be added to that group." "...as tight and beautifully sung a presentation (as) could have been found at the Met." (Dan Sweeney, Worcester Telegram, 1/14/09) "Professional aplomb, spot-on singing... voices were first-rate, bell clear and energetic... wonderfully costumed" (John Zeugner, Worcester Telegram, 3/15/10)
"The outstanding feature of this production was the singing. The scales, trills, and arpeggios... were handily executed...musically polished, with fine intonation.... a boisterous, fun-filled affair, with splendid singing by local talent." (Joyce Tamer, Worcester Telegram, 6/13/10)