Monthly Archives: March 2018

“One of the best scripts… brought to life at Western Reserve Playhouse”

How many times have you looked forward to tomorrow morning or how many times have you dreaded tomorrow morning? Fear, dread and the wonderful anticipation of the sunrise prepare us for the change in our lives that will come tomorrow morning.

This may be the root of our lives and the plot of Laurence Wythe’s musical “Tomorrow Morning,” which is on stage through March 24 at Western Reserve Playhouse. Wythe wrote the book, music and lyrics.

The plot involves two couples who are separated by a span of time. Jack and Catherine, who are in their late 30s, are getting divorced. They argue about their divorce settlement. Adam, their 10-year-old son, disappears, sending them into hysterics.

John and Kat, who are in their 20s, are getting married. On the eve of their wedding, Kat finds out that she is pregnant. When she informs her fiancé, he walks out on her.

The show is directed by Ian Atwood, with musical direction by Bryan Bird.

Atwood designed a set showing a stage divided in half. On stage right is Kat (Madeline Krucek), who lives in her mother’s home. The audience sees Kat visited by John (Tony Heffner). They talk about tomorrow morning, their wedding day.

On stage left is Catherine (Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski), who lives with her husband, Jack (Michael Snider), and Adam, their son. Adam never appears on stage. Catherine and Jack talk about their 10-year marriage and the divorce agreement they plan to sign tomorrow morning. She has a more successful career than he. She is the editor of a major publication, and he, a screenwriter, has not had much success.

Wythe has created characters that ring true. They do the good and the dumb things we see happening all around us, but their honesty makes their scenes seem to be our biography.

“Tomorrow Morning” is a musical with 18 different songs. Wythe wrote romantic love songs including “Catherine’s Moment,” a funny song titled, “The Pool Guy,” a song about Adam called “Look What We Made” and, of course, other songs about life and love. “The Secret Tango” permits each character a chance to reveal a secret, which will implode in the life of at least one other character if that secret is ever revealed.

Catherine’s secret is she likes to shop. Kat keeps a secret of her need to snack and that snacking secret has helped her gain so much weight she’s afraid she won’t fit into her wedding dress. John is addicted to pornography and must keep it hidden from Kat. Finally, Jack’s secret is his secret dates with a woman at the office where he works.

Bird did an excellent job with the instruments, the voices and the pacing of the musical numbers. Bird has musical experience at most of the best musical theaters in Cleveland and brought that experience to work on this production.

This is one of the best scripts I’ve seen brought to life at Western Reserve Playhouse.

For ticket information, call 330-620-7314 or visit


David Ritchey has a Ph.D. in communications and is a professor of communications at The University of Akron. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Cleveland Critics Circle.

Tomorrow Morning Gets a Smart and Well-Sung Production at Western Reserve Playhouse

Western Reserve Playhouse

Community Theatre

Review by: Kevin Kelly

Not many people may know this hidden treasure of a show by Laurence Mark Wythe, but it has had quite a ride so far. The musical was first seen in London in 2006, then traveled to Chicago in 2009 and won a Jeff Award for Best New Musical, and landed off-broadway in 2011, earning a nomination for Outer Critics Award for Best Musical. Tomorrow morning is the brainchild of British Wythe who provided the Book, Music, and Lyrics. So bringing this musical to the Western Reserve Playhouse was a well-played selection. The musical is not often produced, hence the Regional Premiere, but interestingly enough, Michael Snider, who plays Jack in the production, was lucky enough to be in a production in Indiana a couple of years past, so luckily it is our region’s turn to bring it to life. Director Ian Atwood has the privilege to helm this production, along with musical director Bryan Bird, both accomplished performers.

The story concerns the relationships of two couples separated by a decade of life. The older couple, Jack (Michael Snider) and Catherine (Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoksi), are getting divorced. They navigate through a discretion that rips their trust apart and presents some very tough questions that a lot of couples have to face sometimes. How do you apologize? How do you forgive?

The Younger Couple, John (Tony Heffner) and Kat (Madeline Krucek), are getting ready to be married. Before the big day, the stick turns blue, and reality becomes reality. Growing up sucks, but higher responsibility is not always a welcome gift. Three is company. and stressful. They have their own questions. Are we ready for this? Do we love each other enough to get through this?

As we meet the couples, each has their conflicts established, and we watch as both couples work at it, and work through it. And the importance of the bond with a child provides the answers to the most difficult questions.

Director Ian Atwood has put together a strong cast of endearing actors and vocalists. As the older couple, Sniadak-Yanmokoski and Snider are given the emotional heavier roles to play. They both are grounded in character and certainly create a depth of despair and regret that each has to accept. It will be enjoyable to continue to find that line between angst and introspection. Both have beautiful voices and connect well with the storyline, even when it calls to be disconnected. As the younger couple, Krucek and Heffner get to play around a little more, and they work beautifully together. They both pack formidable voices and quite frankly, are charming as hell. They handle the touching moments well, especially after their playful moments which are really enjoyable. You just want to give them a savings bond and say “You’ll be alright!” Don’t get me started on “The Pool Boy” number. Heffner has more humps than a herd of camels. The good thing is you care about these two couples, and that is an important quality to crystalize.

Also, each actor has poignant musicals moments. My favorites for each are Catherine’s Self Portrait, Jack’s Autobiography, John’s Every Day, and Kat’s Girl in the Mirror. Each song owned as if a part of their DNA. Beautiful, touching, and sometimes funny adept choices of performing gold.

Atwood keeps the pace flowing, and does a nice job of working the two sides of the stage in tandem to keep the stories separate, but also connected. At times, there does seem to be a repetitive staging group sing position, and some songs are blocked with upstaging with distracts a bit. But the good thing is this is original work, and Atwood is bringing this show to life with his own themes and execution, and that is to be applauded. Bryan Bird does a wonderful job playing the score, although I wish the piano had more of a sharpness out in the house in the sound system. But Bird accents and joins the characters in performance seamlessly.

Stage Manager Whitney Miller called a great show. Atwood designed a solid set to highlight both families and lives. Luke Scattergood did another solid costume design. The Lighting Design seemed a bit weak though. Something about the blend of color and stark white, seemed muddles at times, and to be honest, I don’t know if that is unfocused, a choice, or a lack of instruments. The Sound design was clear, however, Snider’s mic was off for a large part of act one. But, the balance in the house was good.

Western Reserve Playhouse is on a mission. This season was expanded to include an enhanced offering of plays and musicals to push the theatre to grow and assimilate itself to a variety of audience members. Artistic Director Sniadak-Yamokoksi and Co-Artistic Director Brian Westerly are doing a wonderful job of expanding the vision and the offerings to the theatre community, and as a result, the audience members. Bringing in talent to direct, such as Atwood, and performers with enticing production choices is definitely a plan for success.


Cleveland Stage Alliance

Announcing the Cast of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”!

Western Reserve Playhouse is thrilled to announce the cast of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”!

Randle P. McMurphy – Ryan Rasnick
Nurse Ratched – April Deming
Billy Bibbit – Zach Zimmerman
Chief Bromden – Dennis Burby
Nurse Flinn – Abby Morris
Dale Harding – Joe Turner
Dr. Spivey – Vince Sarowatz
Aide Warren – Bradley Haramis
Aide Williams – David Wagar
Charles Arkins Cheswick III – Marc Dusini
Frank Scanlon – Craig Webb
Anthony Martini – Andrew Gordon
Ruckly – Irv Korman
Candy Starr – Mikhayla Wilkins
Sandra – Annette Fernandez

The show is directed by Co-Artistic Director Brian Westerley.

Performances – May 11-26. Friday & Saturday evenings at 8PM; Sunday, May 20th at 6:30PM. Talkbacks will occur after the performances on Saturday, May 12th, Sunday, May 20th & Friday, May 25th in collaboration with Portage Path Behavioral Health.

Opening Night is Here & so is Our Final Cast Member!

Today, we take a look at our fourth & final member of the “Tomorrow Morning” cast (just in time for Opening Night!): Artistic Director Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski!

Dawn (Catherine) is thrilled to be the Artistic Director of Western Reserve Playhouse. Past directing credits include “Songs for a New World”, “Godspell”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Dummies Guide to High School”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “All Shook Up” and the regional premiere of the opera, “Game of Chance”. When not directing Dawn sings and acts her way on stage. Some of her favorites to date are Lady in the Lake in “Spamalot” Diana in “Next to Normal”, Evita in “Evita”, Eve/Momma Noah in “Children of Eden”, Jane in “My Mother’s Jewish Wiccan Wedding” and Velma Von Tussle in “Hairspray”. She has also performed at Aurora Community Theater, The Beck Center, The Player’s Guild, Huntington Playhouse, Stow Players and Olde Towne Theater, BTOTS and Weathervane Playhouse.

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Meet Our Third Cast Member from “Tomorrow Morning”!

Michael Snider (Jack) is excited to be a part of his first show at Western Reserve Playhouse.  Since his family’s move home to Cleveland in the fall of 2015, he has been seen as Dan in Next to Normal, Bert in Mary Poppins, George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Floyd in Floyd Collins, The Beast in Beauty and the Beast and Edward Bloom in Big Fish.  A few of his favorite previous roles include John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, Bobby in Company, Monty in Violet and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.  He would like to thank Ian, Bryan and Dawn for the incredible opportunity to play this role, and to join such a talented cast. Most importantly, he sends all his love to Trinidad, Kirstin, Colin, Dylan and Michaela!

Continuing to Meet the Cast!

Today we present Madeline Krucek, who plays Kat in “Tomorrow Morning”!

Doing what she loves, Madeline is just as excited to bring this show to life as she is to work with such a wonderful cast. Her most memorable performances would be Veronica Sawyer in “Heathers: The Musical” at The Beck Center, Bonnie Parker in “Bonnie and Clyde” at Cassidy Theatre and Mimi Marquez in “RENT” at Tri-C West Theatre. Since graduating with a BA in Theatre from Baldwin Wallace, she realizes life is now a balancing act that gets pretty hectic. But, she has endless adoration and gratitude for all of her loving family and friends as they support her to their fullest in her pursuits.

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Meet the Cast of “Tomorrow Morning”!

Tony Heffner (John) is thrilled to be making his Western Reserve Playhouse debut in such a beautiful show! He resides in Berea and has participated at many theatres in the Greater Cleveland area, including: Cassidy, Cain Park, Blank Canvas and The Beck Center. Some of Tony’s favorite credits include: Gabe in Next to Normal, Bobby Strong in Urinetown: The Musical, Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me if You Can: The Musical. When not on the stage, Tony is an instructor at The Little Gym of Westgate, teaching gymnastics, sports and dance to children ages 4 months to 12 years.