Next to Normal


Under the direction of Robert Barry Fleming, Tantrum Theater’s impeccable, wrenching production of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s musical locates the beauty, as well as the hardwon laughter, that coexist with the pain of this story.

-Margaret Quamme, Columbus Dispatch

The greatest gift Robert Barry Fleming gives the piece here is not treating it with kid gloves. With such sensitive material, there can be a temptation to play it safe. Fleming and his cast take a physical, visceral approach to these people and this situation.

This beautiful take lets a phenomenal musical shine anew. Tantrum’s Next to Normal is essential viewing on these hot summer days.

- Richard Sanford, Columbus Underground

Photo Credit: Daniel R. Winters

The Royale


Cleveland Play House associate artistic director Robert Barry Fleming, his superb team of designers and as perfect a cast as anyone could hope for capture the intensity of the sport without anyone landing a punch. No hard rights to the solar plexus or chin... we lean in, pulled by the gravitational force of this gripping, pulse-pounding production, staged thrillingly...actors stalk the edge of the ring, often with their backs to each other and facing the audience, a brilliant use of the always challenging arena theater model...Fleming matches the strength of the playwright's language in every facet of his flawless production...No split decision here. "The Royale" is magnificent, the final moments as startling as the taste of blood in the mouth.

Andrea Simakis, The Plain Dealer

Everything is propelled forward and given emotional punch by director Robert Barry Fleming, who does not give the audience an opportunity to exhale during this intense, highly sensorial production.

-Bob Abelman, Cleveland Jewish News

The entire cast is sharply driven by director Robert Barry Fleming...At the end of this play you will find yourself wanting to stand up and cheer as well as cry at the same time. This is in your face drama that goes beyond the historical tale and into the nearly overpowering struggles of the African-Americans at the turn of the last century. You will leave the theater a changed person.


- Mark Horning, The Mark of Excellence


The production itself, filled with foot stomps, handclaps and fist bumps, is outstanding, exceeding the material. The cast, the effective directing by CPH’s associate artistic director Robert Barry Fleming and the technical aspects are all of high quality.

- Roy Berko, Cool Cleveland




 Photo Credit: Roger Mastroianni


Between Riverside and Crazy

Photo Credit: Roger Mastroianni

This is a marvelous production, due in large part to director Robert Barry Fleming recognizing that the play contains social commentary and truth telling on par with the works of Lanford Wilson, employs powerful and poignant language reminiscent of Tennessee Williams and, like Arthur Miller, finds immense heroism residing in broken people.

Fleming respects the work by allowing it to speak for itself without distraction. And he has cast exceptional out-of-town talent who bring both the comedy and the drama to the forefront with remarkable dexterity, realism...

-Bob Abelman, Cleveland Jewish News

In his directorial debut at the Play House, associate artistic director Robert Barry Fleming keeps the nasty wit of playwright Stephen Aldy Guirgis at the center, delivering a corrosive tragicomedy laced with Guirgis' famous profanity (never have so many mothers been verbally defiled) and motor-mouth word play.

- Andrea Simakis, The Plain Dealer

The CPH production, as directed by Robert Barry Fleming, the theater’s associate artistic director, in his local directing debut, is well-paced, nicely nuanced, and plays the humor against the angst. The cast is excellent and nicely textures their performances, walking the thin line between comedy and drama.

- Roy Berko, Cleveland Cool


Caroline or Change

Photo Credit: Daniel R. Winters

Director-choreographer Robert Barry Fleming finds sobering humanity and redeeming humor in author-lyricist Tony Kushner and composer Jeanine Tesori’s moving ensemble piece.

-Michael Grossberg, The Columbus Dispatch’s a testament to Fleming that this production moves as fluidly and naturally as it does, his liquid choreography understands how people move. It slips into dance without ever stooping to a moment of transition, there’s no “We’re dancing now,” suddenly the movements just catch fire. He understands the delicate balance between fantasy and reality this play needs and the micro- and macro-rhythms.

-Richard Sanford, Columbus Underground


Destiny of Desire

Full-blown production numbers break out here and there which features eclectic choreography by Robert Barry Fleming...And, my gosh, even each scene change/transition is an amusing event in itself. The cast doesn't just place a doorway or a curtain or a set piece down at their marks with determined precision, they frikkin ballet dance (!) these things to their places on the stage (the hoisting of the enormous chandelier as the set transforms to the Castillo mansion is a particularly funny, exaggerated sequence).

-Michael L. Quintos, Broadway World

They ...move with lascivious grace through the show’s numerous song-and-dance numbers (per... Robert Barry Fleming).

- Kevin Green, NewCity Chicago

Most of the actors do play more than one role, and there are lots of set changes that are done by the cast, but done as a sort of dance (choreographer Robert Barry Fleming has done a superb job) that is indeed very “camp”!

Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago

The show is crazy comical, colorful and continually provocative. Jose Luis Valenzuela, assisted by choreographer Robert Barry Fleming and musical director Rosino Serrano, guides this fast-moving production and brings out the best in his gifted acting ensemble.

-Colin Douglas, Chicago Theater Review

The flair of Valenzuela's production is accentuated by Robert Barry Fleming's choreography, which has the actors float across the stage with their arms aloft after finishing a scene.

- Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


If you missed the Juneau run of Perseverance Theatre’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and you’re planning on being in Anchorage in April, I highly recommend you catch the production at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. This is a standout show, anchored by riveting performances...directed by Robert Barry Fleming...As Brick says in the second act, “Communication is -- awful hard between people.” For me this is part of what makes this story timeless and accessible. I was grateful to see it brought to life so beautifully. 

-Amy Fletcher, Juneau Empire


Milvotchkee, Visconsin


Director Robert Barry Fleming has experienced Alzheimer’s firsthand in caring for his ill mother, and his sensitive, nuanced direction is brutally realistic.

-Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune


Stick Fly


I suppose you could call “Stick Fly” an upper-class sitcom, but what sets it apart from most of that genre is playwright Diamond’s facility for clever, intelligent and engaging dialogue of the Aaron Sorkin variety, aided here by terrific production values including Fleming’s excellent direction.

-Jean Lowerison, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News


She Loves Me


In a word, the production, directed by Robert Barry Fleming, is wonderful, and delivers a version of the much-revived show that is about as good as it can be.

-Pat Craig, Contra Costa Times

The Little Dog Laughed


One unexpected delight of the Diversionary production is the speed and expertise with which director Robert Barry Fleming moves his cast from one mode to the other, never skipping a beat or missing a laugh in Beane's crackling, one-liner-strewn writing. Fleming...makes a strong directorial debut at Diversionary.

-Ann Marie Welsh, North County Times

There is much serious (and cynical) commentary about Hollywood and the closet in The Little Dog Laughed, and quite a sweet love story as well, but with Beane writing the lines, you’re never more than ten seconds from the next laugh, especially with a cast as splendid as the one assembled here under the crackerjack direction of Robert Barry Fleming, who never lets them miss a comic beat.

-Steven Stanley, StageScene LA

Ella: The Musical


"Ella"...hits all the right notes [and] is a near-guaranteed pleasure. Cason and most of the company in director Robert Barry Fleming's production rise well above that level.

-Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle