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Stirring Quartet: 2014 Playwrights Festival, at the Village Theatre through May 11 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 05 May 2014 06:00

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.

 
New Leash on Life: "The Last Romance," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through May 4 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 28 April 2014 06:00

Tom Naab, Jackie Skiles, and Stephanie Naab in The Last RomanceThe Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's The Last Romance is, for the most part, a refreshingly lighthearted romantic comedy. Watching Friday’s performance, I was delighted not only with much of playwright Joe DiPietro’s script, but also with the tempo of director Tom Morrow’s production. The characters' conversations are quickly paced, though not unnaturally so, and maintain the piece's joyful energy, but Morrow also gives his cast moments to breathe when appropriate, allowing the play's emotions and humor to sink in before the fast-talking exchanges continue.

 
When a Hot Dog Is a Brat: "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing," at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through May 10 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 14 April 2014 06:01

Tamarin Lawler, Stacy Phipps, Brad Hauskins, and Morgan Griffin in Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingI'm not personally familiar with author Judy Blume’s children's book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but judging by the almost-packed house for Saturday’s opening-day performance, I’m pretty sure many elementary-school students are. And based on the kids' relative silence and lack of fidgeting while observing the production, I’m guessing the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse’s stage production is, for them, just as much of a hit as the book.

 
My "Crossing" to Bear: "Crossing Acheron: The Tragedy of Antigone," at Scott Community College through April 19 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 14 April 2014 06:00

William Marbury in Crossing Acheron: The Tragedy of AntigoneIt’s unfortunate that William Marbury’s angry, domineering King Creon and Analisa Percuoco’s defiant, strong-willed Antigone don’t share more stage time in Scott Community College’s production of Crossing Acheron: The Tragedy of Antigone. The actors share a similar energy in their performances, creating a palpable tension as the king condemns Antigone to be buried alive for, against his decree, twice attempting to bury her slain brother. Marbury and Percuoco are equally gifted at gleaning emotional meaning out of director/author Laura Winton’s Greek-tragedy adaptation and delivering their words with conviction, and their performances and chemistry are so captivating that they left me hoping the two will appear in a future production that involves more interaction between them.

 
Queen B.: "Lear," at the QC Theatre Workshop through April 12 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Reviews
Written by Thom White   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 06:00

Cait Bodenbender in LearIt doesn’t take long for Cait Bodenbender, in the Prenzie Players' Lear, to prove that director/adapter J.C. Luxton’s idea to reverse his characters' genders was a great one.

 
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