Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.
For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.
He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.
BWW Reviews: SOUTH PACIFIC Lights Up Porthouse
June 16, 2013
Under the directing abilities of Terri Kent, the Porthouse production of SOUTH PACIFIC makes for a fine evening of summer entertainment.
BWW Reviews: Oft Brilliant, But Flawed MEDEA, Introduces Mamai Theatre
June 15, 2013
MEDEA, a masterpiece example of classical tragedy, is one of the Western world's greatest plays. It is a daunting undertaking. Some directorial decisions and story interpretation in this staging seem questionable, but the production is blessed with a brilliant performance by Tracee Patterson. It's worth going just to see this amazing actress spin her maniacal magic.
Summer Stages: Cleveland Area Summer Theatre 2013
June 14, 2013
The Cleveland area has a full schedule of summer theatre entertainment.
BWW Reviews: Beck's THE PITMEN PAINTERS - Truth is Often More Meaningful Than Fiction
June 2, 2013
Have you looked at a painting and asked, 'What does that mean?' What would the world be like without the arts? Does art have to have meaning? Does the learning of artistic technique thwart a painter's discovery and creativity? What happens when a group of uneducated, unsophisticated men are encouraged to let their emotions create their world? These and many more questions are confronted in Lee Hall's THE PITMEN PAINTERS, now on stage at Beck Center.
BWW Reviews: CROWNS - A Celebration of 'Hattitude' at Karamu
May 26, 2013
CROWNS tells an important story of perseverance and faith among the women of the Southern African American community, as represented by their 'hatitude.' The Karamu production, which has some strong performances, is somewhat tarnished by some directorial decisions, but is worth seeing.
BWW Reviews: WHAT MAKES A MAN EXPLORED at Actors' Summit
May 20, 2013
BWW Reviews: Unnerving Musical about the Crime of the Century at Convergence-Continuum
May 20, 2013
Musicals have come from various sources. There has been the tale of an illiterate flower girl who was transformed into a proper woman (MY FAIR LADY), a Biblical Jewish youth who became a leader in Egypt (JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT), a prince who kept searching for his corner of the sky until he realized that it was right where he was (PIPPIN), and a big nosed sassy New York girl who transformed herself into a famous vaudeville star (FUNNY GIRL).
BWW Reviews: Acting Overshadows Esoteric Script at Cleveland Public Theatre
May 15, 2013
Philip Ridley, the author of TENDER NAPALM, now being staged at Cleveland Public Theatre, was trained as an artist. His paintings, like his plays, are characterized by using a palate of colors, splashed all over. There is also a bizarre quality to his writing which is fairly typical of 1990s British 'In-Yer-Face' theatre. Theatre that is filled with fantasy, dark surrealism, which leaves the audience asking, 'What the hell is going on?'
BWW Reviews: THERE IS HAPPINESS (and Absurdity) at Cleveland Public Theatre
May 13, 2013
If you went to college, and took a course in poetry, you'll find yourself morphing back and wishing that your professors had had a romp in the grass, and expressed themselves with such absurd hysterical language, as the duo in THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS, which is getting a fine production at CPT.
BWW Reviews: NEW GROUND...New. Theatre. Festival, Light up Cleveland Play House
May 7, 2013
Cleveland Play House's The 2013 New Ground Theatre Festival lit up the three stages in the Allen Theatre complex starting on May 2nd with parts running through the 19th.
BWW Reviews: LOVE STORY, THE MUSICAL Showcases BW Talent at the 14th Street Theatre
May 7, 2013
Fanatics of chick flicks virtually swoon when they hear the words, 'Love means you never have to say you're sorry,' or someone hums a bar or two of 'Where Do I Begin?' Ah, yes, Andy Williams crooning the theme song from the 1970 film, LOVE STORY, which starred Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw and holds the #9 place on the American Film Institute's list of 'most romantic films of all time.'
BWW Reviews: Creatively Conceived and Thought-Provoking WORKING at Blank Canvas
May 4, 2013
Probing into the lives of real people often yields fascinating theatre. The classical musical CHORUS LINE was based on interviews that Elyrian, James Kirkwood, wove into a fascinating tale of the true life and theatrical experiences of Broadway singers and dancers.
BWW Reviews: THE LYONS Roars at Dobama Theatre
April 27, 2013
Nicky Silver's absurdist play, THE LYONS, gets an excellent production at Dobama. The balance between comedy and tragedy should get positive audience response and inspire some personal awareness.
BWW Reviews: RICH GIRL, a Sure to Please the Audience Production at Cleveland Play House
April 25, 2013
The plot: self-made vindictive wealthy person, inhibited daughter, handsome suitor who may be after her money, parent attempts to torpedo the relationship. Sound familiar? It should. That's basically the storyline of the Henry James novella WASHINGTON SQUARE and the play and film, THE HEIRESS. It's also the basic description of Victoria Stewart's RICH GIRL which takes from the past, but the play which is opening Cleveland Play House's 2013 NEW. THEATRE. FESTIVAL., adds comedy, infuses a little intrigue, and takes a 21st century twist.
BWW Reviews: THE ICEMAN COMETH, a Four-Hour Marathon at Ensemble
April 23, 2013
Eugene O'Neill, along with such writers as Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, transformed western theatre. They transitioned the stage from a place for escapist ideas into a mecca for the examination of real life problems. The quartet laid the foundation for what is now known as 'the modern theatre' and laid the groundwork for such luminaries as Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and William Inge.
BWW Reviews: Cleveland Orchestra's Exhilarating CARMINA BARANA
April 15, 2013
The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and the Children's Chorus and three soloists combined to perform Orff's masterpiece, CARMINA BURANA, for four sold out performances.
BWW Reviews: Bittersweet Evening for Inlet Dance
April 15, 2013
BWW Reviews: none too fragile's WHITE PEOPLE is Wrenching, Powerful Theater
April 14, 2013
WHITE PEOPLE is very well worthwhile for anyone who thinks that gaining insight into personal ideas and values is a mission of theatre. You won't leave this production the same person as when you entered. This is compelling theater!
Stratford Shakespeare Festival, A Place of Discovery and Delight
April 13, 2013
Want to get away this spring, summer or fall? Drive to Canada for great theatre, good food, and nice scenery. This year marks the 61st anniversary of the Stratford Festival of Canad
BWW Reviews: Compelling WAR HORSE Grasps the Imagination at the Palace
April 11, 2013
One of the fears of seeing a show which I regarded as one of the most mesmerizing that I've ever seen, was that the touring company of WARHORSE would fade by comparison. It did, somewhat, but still came out an exciting winner in the derby called theatre.
BWW Reviews: Actors' Summit's MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD - Delightful, Thought-Provoking
April 8, 2013
The great fear of realizing that MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD is a series of vignettes which look at varying phases of motherhood, is that it will turn out to be a Hallmark sentimental mindless experience. Fear not. The eighteen authors of the vignettes avoid making the experience sappy and purely entertaining. Instead, there is a balance of humor, pathos, and social commentary.
BWW Reviews: PERHAPS PERICLES - A Maybe Shakespeare Script at Cesear's Forum
April 7, 2013
For those who are interested in seeing a version of what may be the very little performed PERHAPS PERICLES, the Cesear's Forum's showing is a good opportunity.
BWW Reviews: Afrobeat, Political Commentary FELA! Rocks the Palace Theatre
April 3, 2013
At the conclusion of FELA!, the Afrobeat political awareness musical, now on stage at the Palace Theatre, caskets are carried onto center stage and piled up. On top of the stack of caskets, emblazed with names such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and words such as 'freedom,' 'bullying' and 'oppression,' was a vertical box of death entitled, 'Chardon High School.' Yes, FELA! is filled with music, but it is a wrenching tale of genocide, oppression and death, not only in Nigeria, where the show is set, but across the world, including a Cleveland suburb.
BWW Reviews: STRUCK Examines the Brain and Strokes at Cleveland Public Theatre
April 2, 2013
STRUCK, now on stage as Cleveland Public Theatre is an interesting piece, much in the vein of Arthur Kopit's WINGS, which had a startling production at Beck Center starring Dorothy Silver, in which the ramifications of a person having a stroke is investigated.
BWW Reviews: A Wonderfully Delightful MUCH ADO at Great Lakes Theater
April 1, 2013
Boy hates girl. Girl hates boy. Boy overhears that girl is secretly in love with boy; girl hears vice versa. Other boy and girl love each other, but something gets in the way of their happiness. That's the basic premise of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which is now on stage at Great Lakes Theatre. Throw in a couple of interesting subplots, including an idiotic sheriff, a phony death, an irrational lover (is there any other kind?), and a vengeful half-brother, and you have the makings of one of William Shakespeare's best comedies. In fact, the fifth best of all of the Bard's plays, according to a renowned Shakespeare expert.
BWW Reviews: SORDID LIVES is a Laugh-Filled Farce at convergence-continuum
March 30, 2013
The con-con production of SORDID LIVES is a hoot. Simon has pulled out all the farcical stops. His cast has fun, the audience has even more fun. If you want an evening of outlandish theatre, this is it!
BWW Reviews: NICK & JEREMY - An Electric, Kool-Aid Acid Trip at Cleveland Public Theatre
March 30, 2013
NICK AND JEREMY is an electric, kool-aid acid trip, minus the drugs, which would make Timothy Leary, the proponent of the use of psychedelic substances and believer in' tune on, tune in, drop out,' very happy. It should be of great interest to deep or pseudo-deep thinkers.
BWW Reviews: GOOD PEOPLE is Funny and Compelling at Cleveland Play House
March 28, 2013
CPH's GOOD PEOPLE is one of those special evenings of theatre that combines a well-written script, excellent direction, and fine acting into an evening of humor and pathos to create a must-see production.
BWW Reviews: Beck's THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES Asks Whether the Whole World is Crazy
March 24, 2013
'A man's home is his castle, unless it's a zoo' is the banner used to describe author John Guare's THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, which is now confounding audiences at Beck Center for the Arts.
BWW Reviews: SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION Challenges Audience at Karamu
March 18, 2013
John Guare, author of SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, which is now being staged at Karamu Theatre, is noted for his highly theatrical scripts. His writing often tries to expand the theatre's boundaries, which reflects his attitude that 'the chaotic state of the world demands it.'
BWW Review: FREUD'S LAST SESSION - A Fascinating Look at Belief or Lack of Belief
March 9, 2013
FREUD'S LAST SESSION is must-see, fascinating theatre for anyone who is interested in a philosophical, thought laced drama, with laughter and fine acting.
BWW Review: CWRU/Cleveland Play House MFA Students Excel in IDENTITY THEFT
March 9, 2013
IDentity THEFT, SEVEN LIVES FILTERED THROUGH THE IDEAS OF AUGUST STRINDBERG, is fascinating theatre and gave additional proof of the quality of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Programs' class of 2014.
BWW Reviews: SISTER ACT Entertaining at Palace, But . . .
March 8, 2013
There have been lots of plays, movies and musicals about nuns. Nuns, who are traditionally known as those fearsome enforcers of strict rules, wielding punishing rulers, and giving lesser human beings the evil eye. The purveyors of such wisdom as 'don't wear patent leather shoes because they reflect up,' 'don't go on a date to a restaurant with white tablecloths because it will remind the boy of bed sheets,' 'red clothing incites passion,' and 'don't wear makeup as it entices the devil.'
BWW Review: Mark Morris Dance - A Contrast of Two Acts at the Palace
March 4, 2013
Mark Morris Dance Group's first Cleveland appearance in five years was a mixed bag. After pleasing the audience with a delightful first act, the tone switched drastically in the second half, which though well presented, was tedious.
BWW Reviews: Well Done NEXT TO NORMAL @ Beck Center
March 2, 2013
There is a recent trend for Cleveland area professional theatres to couple with local university drama programs. Cleveland Play House has married itself to both Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve's MFA programs. Cleveland Public Theatre and Oberlin College have such an agreement. The connection between Beck Center and Baldwin Wallace's nationally ranked musical theatre program, has resulted in not only allowing BW students to appear on a professional stage, and the expansion of the acting pool for Beck, but the production several top notch shows.
BWW Review: Verb Ballets at Breen - A Fusion of Asian and Western Choreography
March 1, 2013
EXPLORE DISCOVER, Verb Ballet's Winter, 2013 series, was highlighted by the exciting works of Chung-Fu Chang and Richard Dickinson. It was a wonderful illumination of western and eastern modern and balletic dance.