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LEGALLY BLONDE

Penn State University

 

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THE HELLO GIRLS

Prospect Theater Company

Two stars of this production that cannot be ignored are the director/choreographer Christine O’Grady and [Jenna] Houck, the scenic designer. The pair helped the young cast keep the fast-paced show moving with high energy, and a constant splash of color. The staging was wonderful and the dances — including a spectacular dance with jump ropes — were unique and highly entertaining.

By: HARRY ZIMBLER, CENTRE DAILY TIMES

It would be easy to dismiss this sort of show as pure fluff, but director Christine O’Grady avoids this pitfall by deftly blending romantic comedy and courtroom drama…we care about the emotional stakes of Elle’s love life and legal career. The whole affair would have fallen apart if it were too nonsensical or too serious, but somehow it all comes together in a weird, wonderful, effervescent blend, never tiring the audience over its two-and-a-half-hour run time.

By: KIRAN PANDEY, PSU UNDERGROUND

42ND STREET

The Weathervane Playhouse

 

SING, BIBI, SING!

The Brick House Theatre

 

"The choreography of director Christine O'Grady and [Associate] Molly Model makes the two-act, two-and-a-half-hour production completely mesmerizing."

By Paul Batterson, BROADWAYWORLD

DANCING LESSONS

Barrington Stage Company

 

"Deftly directed and choreographed by Christine O’Grady...SING, BIBI, SING! captures the heart and soul of a woman who made it in show business...expect a fun evening with lots of oldies but goodies and the entrancing tale of a woman who lived to entertain and achieved her childhood dream."

By: Elaine Mura, LOS ANGELES SPLASH MAGS

"For musical theatre lovers, this is a show you MUST see...I walked into the theatre hearing the overture to "42nd Street" and my feet never stopped dancing until the end of the show.…The show was seamlessly directed by Christine O’Grady."

By: Nancy Bianconi, NOHOARTSDISTRICT.COM

“And when a dream sequence late in the play gives achingly lyrical form to this duo’s might-have-beens, you don’t want it to end.”

- DON AUCOIN, The Boston Globe

 

“During the actual dancing lesson...his moves are so outrageously spastic that they evoke the kind of brilliant sight comedy one associates with masters like Chaplin and Keaton.”

 

“When their truly outrageous mating game finally culminated in a glorious dance, like many in the audience, I was choking back empathetic sobs. It was shattering and joyous to see them overcome such impossible odds.”

- CHARLES GIULIANO, Berkshire Fine Arts

 

“He and Segna embark on a wonderful fantasy sequence choreographed by Christine O’Grady, who has worked her magic on eight seasons of BSC Youth Theatre musicals, that allows them to dance free from their mental and physical challenges.”

- GAIL M. BURNS, Berkshire On Stage

 

“Surprisingly it is the young man with Asperger’s who winds up teaching the “normal” dancer.  There isn’t a dry eye in the audience as this couple, minus their individual handicaps do a final dance.”

- STEPHEN SORKOFF, Times Square Chronicles

 

“James J. Fenton's unit set...accommodates several detours... to Ever's apartment, a lecture hall in the New York Institute of Technology where he teaches, and the the Millenium Hotel Ballroom for a satisfyingly romantic yet realistic conclusion. Those detours are greatly enhanced by Andrew Bauer's projections, Mary Louise Geiger's lighting and Christine O'Grady's choreography.”

- ELYSE SOMMERS, Curtain Up

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SHENANDOAH

Totem Pole Playhouse

IRON CURTAIN

Prospect Theater Company

"Stephen Weiner’s music and Christine O’Grady’s choreography are lively….The Prospect Theater Company’s clever cast of 15...dances well and plays it straight-faced even in the silliest scenes, heightening the humor."

                                      - KEN JAWOROWSKI, The New York Times

"Busby Berkeley-style grandeur with just a couple of rolling platforms and a Grade A cast."

                                            - SANDY MACDONALD, TheaterMania

"Christine O’Grady’s sweetly wacky choreography suggests a paean to the Russian-born 1950s Broadway choreographer Boris Runanin—about whose work a critic once wrote, “He kept the dancers Runanin and out all evening long.”

                                         - MICHAEL FEINGOLD, The Village Voice 

"There's some irony implicit there -- and...choreographer Christine O'Grady and costumer Sidney Shannon play along, creating a rib-cracker of a proletarian dance number which features a "wheat ballerina," en pointe, trying to elude the pointy end of a pitchfork."

                                             - SANDY MACDONALD, TheaterMania

"The hard-working and lively ensemble executes Christine O'Grady's appealing choreography effortlessly, and their energy never wanes."

                                                                 - SUZY EVANS, Backstage

​"The review would be remiss without commenting on the choreography. A balletic sequence of a pitchfork chasing cut wheat was danced with Bolshoi-like feeling. The top hat, canes, gowns and tuxes hit the right Astaire Rogers tone."

                                                     - ROBERT CAMBRIA, TheTicker.org

"The hardworking ensemble makes Christine O’Grady’s energetic choreography look simple."

- DAVID GORDON, NYTheatre.com

"Choreographer Christine O'Grady ... designed movements that felt true to those rifle toting mountain boys...The actors playing the brothers were impressive in their ability to perform her robust heel-kicking choreography and return immediately to powerful singing, particularly in  the song, "Next to Lovin' (I Like Fightin')."

- MARIANN MARTIN, The Journal

"Choreographed by Christine O'Grady, the societal cast of Shenandoah pressingly and physically intertwine themselves throughout the evening's performance, often signifying the relentless subject matter, war within a nation."

"Extensive dance breaks led by the swift and visibly exciting dance dexterity of actor Zach Frank which can be in seen in "Next to Lovin',..[make] Totem Pole Playhouse's...Shenandoah a dramatic stunt to be embraced."

- BEN DENNIS, The News-Chronicle

KNUFFLE BUNNY

Cardinal Stage Company

"Christine O’Grady’s direction and choreography and Brian Samerzea’s musical direction orchestrated this sparkling musical with something for everyone, including a few discrete visual puns for accompanying adults."

"a bubbly, funny and tender production"

​"​If you have a child or a special connection with one, leave the laundry and leaf raking for another day and treat yourself to a fabulous theatrical experience that you both will long remember."

                                             - DORIS LYNCH, The Herald-Times

CHILDREN OF EDEN

Astoria Performing Arts Center

"Highlights include a shadow-puppet naming-of-the-animals sequence and a clever gathering-of-the-animals-at-the-ark ballet, with Julie Taymor–style staging tricks."

                                                                - MARC MILLER, Backstage

 

"Its ingenious parade of the animal puppets (designed by Hunter Kaczorowski) onto the arc [sic] rivals The Lion King within a much smaller budget but with tons more imagination.""

                                             - OSCAR E. MOORE, Talk Entertainment

"Wojtunik’s production makes the material look more original than it actually is, in no small part owed to his choreographer Christine O’Grady and his magnificent chorus... Among the most memorable and magical sequences are the sensuous temptation by the five (!) snakes...; “The Naming” of the animals using witty shadow puppets; the joyous feast for Noah’s family called “A Piece of Eight”; and the witty “Return of the Animals” which leads to their arrival on the Ark."

- VICTOR GLUCK, theatrescene.net

THE HUMAN COMEDY

Astoria Performing Arts Center

"A severely dated yet wonderfully staged musical by the Astoria Performing Arts Center. The production, with 25 actors and 6 musicians, is an ambitious undertaking, met with an impressive level of skill."

- KEN JAWOROWSKI, The New York Times

"[This] splendid production is notable not just for its impressive scale and dynamic staging—when the cast of 26 is not seated onstage, singing in Greek chorus, it is often milling up and down the aisles of the theater—but also for its unblinking embrace of The Human Comedy's sentimental Americana."

- ADAM FELDMAN, TimeOut

"APAC's remarkable full-scale production...strikes an impressive balance between simplicity and bustle"

- ADAM FELDMAN, TimeOut Extention Notice

"A severely dated yet wonderfully staged musical by the Astoria Performing Arts Center. The production, with 25 actors and 6 musicians, is an ambitious undertaking, met with an impressive level of skill."

- KEN JAWOROWSKI, The New York Times

"[This] splendid production is notable not just for its impressive scale and dynamic staging—when the cast of 26 is not seated onstage, singing in Greek chorus, it is often milling up and down the aisles of the theater—but also for its unblinking embrace of The Human Comedy's sentimental Americana."

- ADAM FELDMAN, TimeOut

"APAC's remarkable full-scale production...strikes an impressive balance between simplicity and bustle"

- ADAM FELDMAN, TimeOut Extention Notice

IRON CURTAIN

Prospect Theater Company

"They don't write musicals like they used to," you may have heard more than once, but it turns out that isn't quite right. In this case, "they" — Susan DiLallo, book; Peter Mills, lyrics; Stephen Weiner, music; Christine O'Grady, choreography — certainly do, deliberately making this nutty story about a blundering theatrical team look and sound like something from a half-century ago."

- NEIL GENZLINGER, The New York Times

 

“These early numbers are...boosted by Mills' witty lyrics and Christine O'Grady's inventive choreography.”

- MARK BLANKENSHIP, Variety

“Most impressively, Christine O’Grady’s choreography is energetic, precise and funny (it’s a toss-up whether Stanley and Brustofski’s tango or the dance of the farm maidens is her best). This is one curtain not to miss.”

- JOSSELYN SIMPSON, TimeOut NY


“Reichel's direction and Christine O'Grady's choreography are happily nimble and energetically paced.”

- MATTHEW MURRAY, Talkin’ Broadway
 

“The ensemble of seven...fill up the stage with an abundance of charm and energy and beautifully pull off Christine O'Grady's Berkley-esque choreography.”

- JENA TESSE FOX, Broadway World

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL

Barrington Stage Company

THE SECRET GARDEN

Astoria Performing Arts Center

“One has to commend [Director Tom] Wojtunik and Christine O'Grady (musical staging) for translating such a large-scale musical into this challenging space. The result is a creative and minimal production rather effectively haunted by the ghosts of the past."

                          - BENJAMIN COLEMAN, theasy.com
 

"A show-stopping number accompanies this positive energy...with a song called, “Come Spirit, Come Charm”. The Yorkshire natives, Martha and Dickon, join with Mary in Hindu, Celtic-Pagan, and Christian prayer to conjure a “charm” from the earth to help heal Colin. Soon the “ghost chorus” joins them in an incredible force of song and dance, bringing forth a kind of joyous resurrection." 

- GEORGINA YOUNG-ELLIS, The Queens Gazette
 

"Barrington Stage’s production effectively hits all the high notes with vigor and intelligence. The cast is energetic, singing the wide spectrum of songs with insight and flair. The dances staged by director/choreographer Christine O’Grady, especially "Get’cha Head in the Game," which centers on a basketball practice session, and "We’re All in This Together," are performed with exuberance and assurance. The enthusiasm of the young cast is contagious; one cannot leave this theatre without smiling.”

- GLORIA MILLER, CurtainUp.com

"With "Disney's High School Musical," we are once again thrilled by BSC. From the moment the lights dimmed..., the energy of this musical never stopped. A cast of 20, 18 of whom are teenagers I suspect, held the audience in rapt attention. Their talents were molded and shaped into an unbeatable ensemble by its superb director and choreographer Christine O'Grady....To not see it would be a disservice to yourself.

- PAUL DU FOUR, The Berkshire Eagle

“The Hello Girls,” at 59E59 Theaters, is a rather thrilling thing — smart, human and sardonically feminist...As it draws us into the women’s experience, there is a palpable sense of filling in an important blank: showing an adventurous female presence in the war story we thought we knew."

"an excellent cast of actor-musicians who have a multitasking ease"

By: Laura Collins-Hughes, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Move over, Mean Girls and Wicked: There's a new musical exploding with grrrl power, female camaraderie and uplifting songs, and it teaches an essential piece of history to boot."

By: Raven Snook, TIME OUT NEW YORK

"Simply stated, don't miss it...This new musical has everything going for it, a fascinating historical story, great music, an exceptional cast, and the finest staging."

By: Marina Kennedy, BROADWAY WORLD

"It's tempting to brand The Hello Girls a good old-fashioned musical; but there is nothing old-fashioned about Reichel's inventive staging, which holds the vasty fields of France between two upright pianos."

By: Zachary Stewart, THEATERMANIA

"A musically rich, beautifully staged and vibrantly performed musical...The story telling and Lianne Arnold's tri-level all-purpose scenery call for a lot more nimble shifts between spoken and sung scenes and instrument playing. All this is deftly accomplished and greatly enriched by Arnold's always apt projections. The other designers and choreographer Christine O'Grady further enhance the pleasures of this thematically relevant big little musical."

By: Elyse Sommer, CURTAIN UP

"The First Act is lean and entertaining, and it is staged fluently by Ms. Reichel with the help of choreographer Christine O’Grady. There is more movement than dance, but it all contributes enormously to this richly endowed historical pageant."

By: Richard Seff, ON AND OFF BROADWAY THEATRE REVIEWS

"Cara Reichel’s direction is perfection itself in the graceful way she, aided by the dance moves of choreographer Christine O’Grady, shifts the 10-member ensemble around the set’s complex warren of levels and passageways."

By: Samuel L. LEITER, SLLEITER BLOGSPOT

"Reichel’s creatively economical direction complemented by Christine O’Grady’s lively choreography makes the most of the small set. Steps and platforms are all that’s needed for multiple locales. Two upright pianos double as scenic design – indeed the back of a piano becomes a switchboard…The action glides from number to number, all the creative and technical elements working smoothly in concert – the subtly informative projections, the straightforward period costumes, the effectively unobtrusive lighting. The trick of actors doubling as onstage orchestra isn’t new, but it’s honed to perfection here. The Hello Girls is a winner on all fronts.

By: Jon Sobel, BLOGCRITICS.ORG

THE UNDERCLASSMAN

Prospect Theater Company

"[Grové] leads the company in the captivating song-and-dance number "To Beat the Band,"... Throughout the production, Christine O'Grady's exciting choreography...punches up Mills' already engrossing score, which strikes a fine balance between character development and storytelling."

 

"the high-energy ensemble numbers maintain the show's steady pulse."

- HAYLEY LEVITT, Theatermania

 

"The multiple musical gems are enhanced by Reichel and choreographer Christine O'Grady's smart and imaginative staging, highlighted early in Ginevra's "To Beat The Band," where she twirls through a dance card full of potential suitors while singing of her carefree lifestyle, and a drag can-can by the Triangle boys that's danced for skill instead of laughs."

- MICHAEL DALE, Broadwayworld

 

“The program lists  nineteen players, stars through chorus, but it seemed hordes more.  So it is a tribute to choreographer Christine O’Grady and her assistant JP Qualters that while the Ensemble players serve as dancers at every party, the guests at the country house, and the lugs at the beach party, they seem to both multiply when needed yet never take a wrong step.  The dancing is lively and fun, and pitch-perfect for the period.”

- KATHLEEN CAMPION, Front Row Center

 

"a sparkling delight of a musical...an intriguingly staged and designed production."

 

"Ms. Reichel, who collaborated with Mills on the book, sets the piece a-twirling with the assistance of choreographer Christine O'Grady...a supremely enjoyable production."

- STEPHEN SUSKIN, Huffington Post

 

"So winning is everything about the presentation, from Ann Bartek's simple but effective sets and Sidney Shannon's biting and beautiful costume plot to Christine O'Grady's spirited choreography and Daniel Feyer's swank conducting of the eight-piece band"

- MATTHEW MURRAY, Talkin' Broadway

 

"Period music written by Peter Mills and led by conductor Daniel Feyer produces foot tapping beats that allow the actors and actresses to show off some fancy footwork."

- MILO JORDAN, Berkshire On Stage

 

"Fun to watch...Christine O'Grady's era perfect dance and drag sequences are...first-class entertainment"

- ELYSE SOMMER, Curtain Up

 

"The show contains some elaborate musical sequences, carried off in great style... When the numbers are as alternately charming as "Letters to Boys", which the Westover girls sing as they plan their romantic conquests, fun as “A Trip to the Seaside” and ambitious as “The Blue Slip” one cannot help but be impressed. The latter song brilliantly takes the audience through six months of action in just a few minutes, as we watch the world of a young man with too many balls in the air crumble before us."

- BARNABY ED, Stage Buddy

 

"An admirable accomplishment is how the music, costumes, dances (smartly choreographed by Christine O’Grady), and (for many) even hairstyles combine to create an idealized image of Ivy League life during the War to End All Wars."

- SAMUEL L. LEITER, Theater Pizzazz

 

"Reichel gives it a full-scale staging, with a very good cast of 19, a richly orchestrated eight-piece band and high-spirited dance numbers by Christine O’Grady (some performed in collegiate drag by characters in Princeton’s Triangle Club)."

- ADAM FELDMAN, Time Out NY

 

"The choreography by Christine O’Grady was quite wonderful and used Baretek’s scenery to her advantage."

- MICHAEL BLOCK, Theater in the Now

ALLEGRO

Astoria Performing Arts Center

 “Christine O’Grady’s choreography is not only clever and expressive, but quite beautifully danced.”

- MARC MILLER, NY Theatre Guide

 

“Choreography (Christine O’Grady) is fresh and fast-moving. It capably supports the title, “Allegro,” which means “lively” on the treble clef.”

- CLIFF CASDEN, The Queens Courier

 

 

“O’Grady’s dances really evoke original director/choreographer Agnes DeMille’s style. Whereas DeMille had the luxury of a separate team of dancers, O’Grady’s smaller forces must sing and dance, and they do both remarkably well.”

- HARRY FORBES, Forbes on Film & Footlights

 

“Money Isn’t Everything,” an ironic paean to the Great Depression, opens Act II with a bang...There’s another outstanding ensemble number, “Allegro,” which nicely captures the rhythm and pace of the big city, that comes near the end.

- KEVIN ZIMMERMAN, Times Ledger

 

“Choreographer Christine O’Grady has so closely interwoven the dances into the action that it sometimes becomes difficult to distinguish her work from Wojtunik’s.”

- MARK LORD, The Queens Chronicle

 

“But what is a tale without twists, turns, conflict and surprise? Allegro, directed by Tom Wojtunik, brings it all, and does so amidst stunning dance numbers and beautiful songs, staying true to the style of the traditional musical that composer Richard Rodgers and librettist/lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II were famous for.

 

Thanks to the talents of Choreographer Christine O’Grady, the audience was treated to everything from lovely ballet steps to lively 1920s era dances, expertly performed.”

- GEORGINA YOUNG-ELLIS, Queens Gazette

 

“The choreography by Christine O’Grady is beautifully done; the cast includes some fabulous dancers, and the fantasy ballet scenes were executed stunningly.”

- REBECCA KAPLAN, Stage Buddy

  

 

TICK, TICK...BOOM!

Keen Company | The Acorn Theatre

"It's hard not to read Larson's passing into the plot strands of Tick, Tick… BOOM!, an exposed nerve of a show being honored with an emotionally overwhelming production at the Acorn Theatre."

                                                         - DAVID GORDON, Theatermania

"Christine O’Grady’s inventive choreography…contribute[s] to the magical quality of the production. Imagine a few chairs in the hands of three actors becoming hundreds of seagulls in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow!"

                                           - DAVID ROBERTS, Theatre Reviews Limited

"Beneath a graffiti-covered ceiling, the moveable piano, couch and large cable spool (the kind that might serve as a table in a struggling artist's apartment) leave plenty of room for director Jonathan Silverstein and choreographer Christine O'Grady's flashy, playful and breakneck-paced production. There's a sense of urgency throughout the ninety-minute production that reflects each character's race with time to accomplish their goals in life."

                                                     - MICHAEL DALE, Broadway World

"The sound, whether it's audible or technically silent, is deafening throughout the 90 blissful minutes that constitute the Keen Company revival of tick, tick...BOOM! that just opened at the Acorn Theatre on Theatre Row."

"A first-rate, two-tissue-box production”

                                            - MATTHEW MURRAY, Talkin’ Broadway


"Christine O’Grady’s vivacious choreography furthermore provides this intimate musical an expansive aura."

 

"When the three join together in the show’s several upbeat numbers, they make for some truly exhilarating song and dance moments."

                                                     - ADMIN, MusicalTheatreReview.com

"Blaemire perfectly captures each of Jon’s emotions and mood swings without ever losing our empathy, and also executes Christine O’Grady’s athletic choreography flawlessly."

"a simple, sincere production"

                                                    - BRIAN SCOTT LIPTON, Cititour.com

"Director Jonathan Silverstein has the cast relatively still for the emotional portions and swiftly moving around the piano and furniture that are on wheels for excellent effects…Christine O’Grady’s choreography is a pleasing combination of frenetic and graceful."

                                                       - DARRYL REILLY, Theaterscene.net

ONCE UPON A TIME IN NEW JERSEY

Prospect Theater Company

"The director, Cara Reichel, and choreographer, Christine O’Grady, hit the sweet spot with their staging of two numbers, one an outlandish song featuring bastardized Italian lyrics and the transformation of deli products into a Venice canal scene, the other serving up a lively male tango."

- NEIL GENZLINGER, The New York Times


"The show also benefits from Christine O'Grady's excellent choreography, highlighted by a production number in the second act that seems like something Busby Berkeley might have created had he worked Off-Off Broadway."

                                     - BARBARA & SCOTT SIEGEL, TheaterMania 
 

"Christine O'Grady's choreography is a delight."

                                                       - ROBERT WINDELER, Backstage

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

The Gallery Players

"This show really belongs to choreographer Christine O’Grady and associate choreograher/ dance captain Jennifer DiDonato, whose multiple fabulous musical numbers really bring the show to life."

"[Weaver and Prichard] do a standout tap duet together that makes the heart sing."

                                  -JUDITH JAROSZ, nytheatre.com

A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

The Gallery Players

"...wonderful musical staging by Christine O’Grady. The small Irish town comes to life on a creative multi-level set."

                                           - JUDITH JAROSZ, nytheatre.com

​"The Gallery Players have done themselves proud. As skillfully staged by Hans Friedrichs and Christine O’Grady, everyone on stage participates in the telling of the story, even the talented musicians of the band who wander about, sing and speak lines, increasing the feeling of community."                                                

   -JOEL BENJAMIN, Theatrescene.net

BLOOD BROTHERS

Astoria Performing Arts Center

"When something dire happens, or is about to happen, [the actors] engage in a ritualistic seated dance, hands pounding thighs, arms thrust into the air in a kind of plea to the gods, while the narrator leaps off the stage and weaves through the action with his microphone, belting out a rock anthem of admonition. All the while, the main characters innocently play out their lives".."

 

 

"Christine O’Grady’s musical staging is flawless: from swing dancing, to disco, to the raw, foreboding movements of the chorus."

- GEORGINA YOUNG-ELLIS, Queens Gazette

 

© 2019 by CHRISTINE O'GRADY