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items tagged with Jonathan Grafft

Disability Assurance: "The Boys Next Door," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through June 14
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-06-08 12:00:00

Victor Angelo and Jonathan Grafft in The Boys Next DoorI sat through Thursday’s The Boys Next Door at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre fascinated and perplexed by the mixture of emotions I felt. Author Tom Griffin’s play about four men with various degrees of mental illness living together in a group home is a comedy, for sure. But director John VanDeWoestyne and his cast presented it in such a way that I wanted to “Ha!” and “Aw-w-w!” simultaneously during almost every moment. The piece is both funny and deeply touching, and much of the credit for that goes to the perfectly cast actors playing the titular “boys.” While it took time for a couple of them to win me over, by intermission, each one had me convinced that he shouldn’t have been cast any other way.


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A Coupla Theatre Guys Sittin’ Around Talkin’: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss 2014's Area Stage Scene
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-12-18 12:00:00

the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Irving Berlin's White ChristmasIf you’re new to this almost-annual recap, what follows is my conversation with Reader theatre reviewer Thom White about the area’s stage stage over the past 12 months.

If you’re not new to it, you know the drill. Clear some time, grab a snack, and enjoy!


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Eight Is Not Enough: "Cheaper by the Dozen," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through November 16
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-11-10 12:00:00

first row - Hannah Hogue, Elisabeth Grafft, Colby Rapps, Amira Siddique; second row - P.J. Hilligoss, Joe Mroz, Yvonne Siddique, and Ben Klocke; third row - Jack Sellers, Jonathan Grafft, and Aidan Grafft in Cheaper by the DozenCheaper by the Dozen seems a perfect fit for a company such as the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre. It’s a wholesome family tale – one featuring a large group of children – that suits the theatre’s charm, and given playwright Christopher Sergel’s endearing script, should easily please patrons.


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Home on the Ranch: "Of Mice & Men," at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through January 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-01-13 12:00:00

Cody Johnson, Ed Villarreal, and Greg Boulijon in Of Mice & MenThe Playcrafters Barn Theatre’s production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men begins with a scene in which Cody Johnson’s George and Ed Villarreal’s Lenny share a slow and (mostly) gentle conversation about their plans to work as ranch hands, and their dreams of using their money to buy their own piece of land and “live off the fat” of it. The patient way in which Johnson, with obvious compassion, speaks with Villarreal’s not-so-bright Lenny leaves no doubt as to George’s sincere concern for his daft companion, and Lenny's wide-eyed trust, shown as he hangs onto every word George says, suggests the loving connection Lenny has with George. Their relationship is immediately both clear and touching, and sets the foundation for the deeply emotional events that transpire through the course of this story.


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Moral Combat: "The Best Man," at the District Theatre through November 18
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-11-12 12:01:00

Jonathan Grafft, Pat Flaherty, and Matt Mercer in The Best ManAfter 12 years in the television-news business, I spent my first Election Day in more than a decade not covering the elections, but rather seeing a play about a bid for the presidency and the decision of whether to use personal attacks on opponents. And while watching the District Theatre’s The Best Man, directed by Bryan Tank, I wondered if the point being made in this political morality play – that the business of politics is on a downward moral spiral – is one that needs to be made. Don’t we, as a nation, already know that dirty politics are wrong, and doesn't this make the message of playwright Gore Vidal’s 1960 work dated? A day later, though, I read an article about personal attacks and dishonesty continuing to be a part of political campaigns because these tactics work, and so Vidal’s play, for better or worse, appears relevant after all.


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