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Reviews

 

Kiss Me Kate

This production ran in the spring of 2008 at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

"No production of "Kiss Me Kate" would be worth its salt without a proper performance by the gangsters of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" in which Porter gets his kicks by rhyming "heinous" with "Coriolanus" Mr. Weiss and Mr. Ryall are a definite audience hit."

Anita Gates - THE NEW YORK TIMES

"William Ryall and Gordon Joseph Weiss are scene-stealingly good as the stage-struck gangsters who tap-dance their way through "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."

Terry Teachout - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

"... as played by Gordon Joseph Weiss and William Ryall, the Runyon-esque comic hoodlums with itchy trigger fingers turn "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" into a hilarious vaudeville turn."

Robert L. Daniels, VARIETY

"Porter expected that any actors playing these thugs would score with this number, so he wrote not one but two encores for it. That means the performers would have to warrant them, and Weiss and Ryall surely do. At Sunday night's opening, the audience greeted each encore with a roar that suggested they would have welcomed two or three more."

Peter Filichia, THE STAR LEDGER

"And the soft-shoe in "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," beautifully done by Weiss and Ryall, is like the dessert topping off an evening that is nearly all dessert. "Kiss Me, Kate" does Shakespeare, Porter and Paper Mill proud "

Jim Beckerman, THE RECORD

"Brush Up Your Shakespeare another winner, performed by Joseph Gordon Weiss and William Ryall which very nearly brought the house down."

Bea Smith - WORRAL PUBLICATIONS

You can expect the company's antics in old Padua, cued by the humorously repetitive "We Open in Venice," to provoke laughter. But this is tame compared to the laughs generated by Gordon Joseph Weiss and William Ryall, as two gangsters (one short one tall) who stop the show with the classic "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."

Simon Saltzman - CURTAIN UP

"Weiss and Ryall deliver Porterís witty lyrics with grand simplicity and end the number with a smile-inducing tap routine."

Andy Probst, AMERICAN THEATER WEB

"And the thugs - Gordon Joseph Weiss and William Ryall - not only getting every laugh or giggle from "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" but adding a very fine tap routine for their encore."

Stuart Duncan, PACKET ON LINE

Flying Cars and Falling Chandeliers!

"Singer, actor, dancer, vibrant personality -- William Ryall has it all, and at Danny's Skylight Room, he fills a stage with as much talent and pizzazz as the place will hold. His show, called Flying Cars and Falling Chandeliers, refers to Ryall's fleeting Broadway appearances in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Phantom of the Opera. You may not have noticed that he also played the cook in Amadeus or the major domo in High Society, but his years of theatre experience is sizable and they taught him something about taking the stage. With energy and humor, and a strong tenor voice, he applies it all to Danny's small stage, discussing, "my two favorite subjects, theatre and me." "It all started..." is the format of the show. Ryall relates the story of his life in decades, using songs as illustrations, poking fun at himself, folding his angular 6'5" into stances of awkwardness, joy, urgency and despair, even breaking into a lively dance at one point, legs and arms flying. The songs effectively sketch in the feel of the particular era and Ryall's place in it; some of them are by well-known composers, like I'll Begin Again (Bricusse) and I Wish I Were in Love Again (Rodgers and Hart), others were by less-known musicians, including his pianist, Steven Silverstein. The song that seems to tie up the show's theme is Dorothy Fields and Cy Coleman's, It's Not Where You Start ("It's where you finish"). Faced with life's unexpected turns, William Ryall seems to be facing forward, nowhere near to finishing his journey, and hopefully he'll continue to bring his joyful and enthusiastic talents to the cabaret, as well as the theatre stage."

— Elizabeth Ahlfors, Cabaret Scenes

"William Ryall, who is presently in the ensemble of the Broadway hit Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, commands the stage in his autobiographical show Flying Cars and Falling Chandeliers! at Danny's Skylight Room. Not only is the show well-written and sung exquisitely, but Ryall has the advantage of having lived an adventurous life in the theater that's worth the telling. (His Broadway credits include Grand Hotel, Me and My Girl, and the role of the Grinch in Seussical.) Musical director Steven Silverstein notably contributes to the proceedings, while director Timothy Herman adds spark and sparkle. Ryall will bring this act back to Danny's in October, so mark your calendars now."

Barbara and Scott Siegel, Theatermania.com

Guys and Dolls

This production ran in the fall of 2004 at the Long Wharf Theatre.

"Long Wharf has assembled a near-perfect cast...the towering basso William Ryall stands out as the menacing, gun-packing Big Jule from Chicago."

— Malcolm Johnson, Hartford Courant

"...cast consists of accomplished singers and versatile actor-dancers. The gamblers...William Ryall's Big Jule - imbue their characters with vivid detail and irresistable energy."

— E. Kyle Minor, New Haven Register

On Your Toes

This production ran in the summer of 2004 at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts.

"William Ryall had two bit parts, but his role as the Big Boss in "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" was memorable. He has a powerful voice and presence."

Cape Cod Today

Call Me Madam

"With David Monzione, Branch Woodman, and William Ryall having a high time as three dumb politicians, "They Like Ike" is easy to take. The players ultimately determine whether "Call Me Madam" is doable 54 years after it was a Broadway hit."

New York Times

"...a trio of politicians - William Ryall, Branch Woodman, and David Monzione - who make the most of a silly "They Like Ike" ditty."

Variety

"...solo, duet, and trio numbers certainly redeem the show. By the time a trio of Congressmen (played by Branch Woodman, William Ryall, and David Monzione) launch into "They Like Ike" - an irresistible song and dance number the show has come into its own."

Westport News

"A trio of American pols, winningly danced and sung by Mark Manley, Branch Woodman and William Ryall, also delight the house with their slick and spirited tapping to "They Like Ike". This is a smart, polished , very handsome opening for Goodspeed..."

Hartford Courant

"Mark Manley, Branch Woodman, and William Ryall stop the show with their whiz bang "I Like Ike".

New England NewsClip

"William Ryall, Branch Woodman, and Mark Manley, as three American politicians, pull off the show's giddiest number, "They Like Ike". ...choreography for this number includes tap, soft-shoe and sharp gestures, making the dancing as deliciously silly as Berlin's lyric."

ConnecticutCentral.com

"...thanks to Brennan's delightful choreography and Mark Manley, Branch Woodman, and William Ryall's gleeful singing, the audience goes ga-ga for the satirical "They Like Ike".

American Theater Web

"David Monzione, William Ryall, and Branch Woodman perform a smoothly elegant tap dance as they satirize Republican's dreams of returning to power in "They Like Ike".

The Reminder

Some Like it Hot

"The other tour de force performance is William Ryall as Spats, a mob boss who has more in common with Savion Glover than Tony Soprano."

Boston Globe

"Where this production comes to life is in some of the performances, specifically William Ryall in a show stealing turn. His athletic moves raise the temperature considerably, especially in his funny, protracted death scene where he's good to the last tap."

Boston Herald

"Then there's the 6 foot 5 inch William Ryall, one of the most unusual and impressive tap dancers to behold."

Chicago Sun Times

"William Ryall...as tall as Tommy Tune, as lanternjawed, sinister and funny as Jack Palance, and as agile as Fred Astaire."

Tampa Tribune

"There is some phenomenal dancing courtesy of William Ryall. 'Tear This Town Apart' is a highlight of the show thanks to Ryall's liquid dance moves."

Kansas City Star

"William Ryall...an electrifying presence."

St. Petersburg Times

"William Ryall, the Big Boss here, is exceptional, a tall lanky piece of evil who doesn't so much move across the stage as consume it, tap by tap. He is a powerful, fullbodied tapper: you can tell what sound will come from the soles of his shoes by watching the tops of his shoulders."

The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The gangsters movement-as-gunfire stuff is danced with particularly engaging attitude by William Ryall."

Variety

"William Ryall amazingly tall, craggy and sinisterly smooth in the George Raft role of the mobster Spats and Ryall's death desperately last-gasp tapdancing is well, to die for."

San Francisco Chronicle

"William Ryall is perfect as gangster Spats."

Talkin' Broadway.com

"...the best performance comes from William Ryall's menacing, tapdancing Spats. He's big and mean but bounds out for the finale with an infectious smile and an authentic sense of glee."

Atlanta Journal

"...a marvelous portrayal of Spats by William Ryall, a 6 foot 5 tower of talent. It's the first big moment in the show, and it may tear the Music Hall stage apart before the end of this run."

Dallas Morning News

47 Minutes of 47 Years

"47 Minutes of Excellence - There have been quite a few famous crossovers from musical theater to cabaret in recent years. Broadway headliners from Faith Prince to Christine Ebersole to Robert Cucciolli to Linda Eder have been taking advantage of their stage celebrity to mount attentiongetting cabaret shows, but big stars aren't the only theater people making this difficult transition. William Ryall isn't a household name but he is a working actor who has appeared in seven Broadway musicals, six national and international tours, and more than a dozen OffBroadway and regional shows. In his recent cabaret act 47 Minutes of 47 Years, Ryall told his life story, and this was one of the bestcrafted autobiographical shows we've seen in a long while.
"...Time after time, his patter, song selection, and musical performance combined to create emotionally and artistically perfect moments.
"...Ryall's career and personal life were intricately and satisfyingly interwoven in his act. Whether dealing with death ("Where Do You Start?") or the parenting of a pet ("I'm A Mommy , Too."), he committed to each song with the rigorous discipline of a Broadway veteran. But there was something there beyond craft and technique: This is a man bursting with talent, who has burnished that talent till it fairly glows. Everything about his performance indicated that the man is at home on stage.
"...we understand he'll be back in New York at some point during the summer and that he intends to remount his show. If so, you'd be wise to catch what may well be the best 47 minutes of cabaret you'll see this summer."

Theatermania.com

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

"John Stamos....at best a bantam weight, and has no business carrying a Broadway show. On the other hand, William Ryall as J.B. Biggley is no widget....the more angular Ryall is made of sterner stuff and it's a nice change."

Variety

Wonderful Town

"William Ryall sings "My Darlin' Eileen" stirringly."

— Howard Kissel, The New York Daily News

"William Ryall's Irish tenor voice was delightful, as were all the voices in the number, "My Darlin' Eileen".

— Rex Reed, The New York Observer

Milford Plaza Broadway Performer Series

"If the show William Ryall of 'Me and My Girl' put on recently is typical, the Stage Door Canteen has a hit on it's hands. Song and dance man Ryall gathered some other performer pals....and put on a knock 'em dead one-hour revue. Ryall produced the show and wrote special material, all four players proved they had star quality as well as a genuine love for their profession. Ryall, incidentally, was such a smash he's been invited back."

— William A. Raidy, Associated Press

The Wizard of Oz

"A farm hand named Hunk played by William Ryall (6 feet 5 in his bare feet according to the program) turns into the rubbery Scarecrow, a creature who evokes laughter with every stumble and fall, and awe with his high kicks and other tricky dance maneuvers."

— Allen Jacobson

Grand Hotel

This production at the San Jose Civic Light Opera was directed by William Ryall.

"With a thoroughly smashing revival of Grand Hotel, the San Jose Civic Light Opera has once again shown that when it comes to large, elegant, and polished musical productions, not even national road companies are more impressive. Directed by William Ryall, the SJCLO version was a solid winner."

— A. J Esta, Backstage Publications

"Director William Ryall takes this darkly intriguing and intricately orchestrated show through it's nonstop two hours without so much as a moments hesitation. An exceptional cast makes Ryall's work look deceptively easy."

— Julia Smith, San Jose Area Press

"Director-Choreographer William Ryall has kept the CLO production faithful to the original, with swift storytelling, brooding atmosphere, sardonic humor and clever details."

— Judith Green, Mercury News

"The CLO's "Hotel" is no slavish copy of the original. Almost everything feels so fresh, smart and opulently decadent it might have been invented yesterday."

— Steve Winn, San Francisco Chronicle