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items tagged with Alaina Pascarella

Rome and Bard: "Caesar," at the QC Theatre Workshop through January 31
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-01-26 20:05:20

John Turner in Caesar, photo by Aimee FordThe Prenzie Players' Caesar, the company's truncated title for William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, has a playfulness about it, as director Tracy Skaggs reduces the Roman leader, played here by John Turner, to the role of celebrity. This consequently provides moments of humor and fun where there might otherwise be none, the highlight of which is J.C. Luxton’s Antony grabbing patrons from out of the audience and stating “Caesar grants your wish – rise,” before using his cell phone to snap pictures of the attendees with Caesar.


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That's the One That's Not a Planet Anymore, Right?: "Plutus," at Lincoln Park through August 3
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-28 12:00:00

Bob Hanske, Bryan Woods, and Neil Friberg in Every so often, Genesius Guild's end-of-summer comedy isn't the traditionally silly, over-the-top production that mostly forsakes a story-driven plot. Such is the case with this year’s comedic romp Plutus. During Saturday’s take on Aristophanes' original text, I found myself as interested in the outcomes of the characters as I did in director/adapter Don Wooten's mockery of local icons and current events. Sometimes more so.


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Stirring Quartet: 2014 Playwrights Festival, at the Village Theatre through May 11
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-05-05 12:00:00

I've noticed a common thread among amateur playwrights, in general, that gets me cringing a bit at the thought of seeing a locally-written play – or, in the case of the one-acts for New Ground Theatre’s 2014 Playwrights Festival, several locally-written plays, which I viewed on Saturday evening. All too often, I've found these writers struggle with dialogue, particularly in regard to writing phrases and conversations in a manner in which people actually speak. I’m happy to say, however, that this is not the case with New Ground's presentation, as all four of its playwrights manage to provide believable dialogue and discussions, removing from the equation the distraction of annoyingly obvious and unrealistic speech.


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Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Friar: "Measure for Measure," at Lincoln Park through July 1
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-06-25 12:00:00

Amanda Wales, Michael King, and Andy Curtiss in Measure for MeasureThree hours goes by quite quickly during Genesius Guild’s well-paced, oftentimes hilarious production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. While the piece is considered a “problem play,” as the script defies the expectations of a traditional comedy, director Jeff Coussens highlights the work’s ample amounts of humor, particularly in the production's first half. And with Coussens and his cast punching up every punchline through inflection and a sort of “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” attitude, I ended up laughing harder at Saturday's presentation, I believe, than I’ve ever laughed while watching a Shakespeare performance.


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A Bloody-Good Mess: “Titus Andronicus,” through April 7 at the Stern Center
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-04-03 18:33:40

Cole McFarren and Aaron E. Sullivan in Titus AndronicusMany cast members in the Prenzie Players’ current offering, Titus Andronicus, are at their best expressing physical and emotional pain. There’s Aaron E. Sullivan’s shift from utter despair to cackling insanity as the title character, Catie Osborn’s post-rape brokenness as his daughter Lavinia, and Jessica White’s shrieks as she watches her character’s son slaughtered. The desperation is so penetrating in its realism and sincerity that I was often uncomfortable during Friday night’s performance – which is to say that the production is shockingly effective at delivering the darkness of Shakespeare’s work. I walked away in awe.


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