Registered Critic: Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Paul Myrvold has been writing theatre commentary for over thirty years, first in the Bay Area covering every kind of performance including plays, musicals, ballet, opera, circus and even a Portuguese-style bull fight. He has written about theatrical performances at all levels in all kinds of venues from the premiere theatres, such as A.C.T., Berkeley Rep and TheatreWorks, to smaller, high quality venues such as San Jose Stage Company, City Lights Theatre Company and Pacific Repertory Theatre in Carmel. He has also covered community theatre productions, college and university productions and, on occasion, high school productions. Now residing in Southern California, Paul has been commenting on shows throughout Los Angeles County and has stretched his beat to Orange County and South Coast Repertory. An Equity actor for over forty years, Paul played Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum in San Jose Stage Company’s award winning production of The Three Penny Opera and the dual roles of Sir Walter Elliot and Admiral Croft in the world premiere of Jane Austen’s Persuasion also at San Jose Stage Company. He earned a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for “Outstanding Performance” in the supporting roles of J. V. “Major” Bouvier and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in the musical Grey Gardens at TheatreWorks (2008). In the summer of 2018, he appeared in the highly acclaimed Open Fist Theatre production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood as Reverend Jenkins and Narrator. Paul has performed on Broadway (most notably in the hit show Shenandoah with John Cullum), off Broadway, off-off Broadway, in regional theatres, summer stock and as a Guest Artist at colleges and universities from coast to coast. He has performed his signature role Cervantes/Quixote in Man of La Mancha eight times over four decades, the latest of which was an intimate, theatre-in-the round production at Pacific Repertory Theatre. Some other favorite roles include King Lear, Fred Graham/ Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate, Trigorin in The Sea Gull, Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music and Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown. Paul is never happier than when he is in the theatre, either on stage or in the audience, and he hopes to see you at intermission or after the show.
Jun

Emotional Terrorism

On a bare stage with only a single folding metal chair, Ms. Daniels performs with astounding energy and utter candor. She owns the stage. She is both deeply affecting and utterly hilarious. The raw representation of her sexual encounters is physically and verbally explicit; one could say, nasty. She holds nothing back. It is as brave a performance as one could wish for.

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Jun

Crimes of the Heart

International City Theatre has a winner with the crowd-pleasing Crimes of the Heart...

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May

The Gary Plays

Directed with a sure hand by Guy Zimmerman, the cast, headed by the excellent Jeff LeBeau, is uniformly superb, each character rendered in rich, nuanced detail. Produced by Open Fist Theatre Company, the show is handsomely mounted with a minimalist, open-stage set by scenic designer Jeff Rack, lit with great subtly by lighting designer Dan Reed, and enhanced by the superb projections designed by Hana S. Kim. The extraordinary sound design by John Zalewski underscores the entire play, often with such extreme subtly that it is almost subliminal. Costumes by designer Kharen Zeunert fully support characters and action.

The Gary Plays, crafted and refined over decades by Murray Mednick, with the participation of many collaborators, is, judging by Part I, an undeniable accomplishment. This is a triumph in all its aspects, drama at its finest.

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May

Species Native to California

Guided by the skilled hand of director Eli Gonda, the show boasts a strong cast, a tight script, and an absorbing performance.

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May

KISS

Kiss is a theatrical response to the endless horror in the Middle East and intends to arouse the emotions of an audience. What can the theatre world do to affect the situation? Very little it seems, except to call attention by touching the audience in a visceral way.

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Apr

Uncanny Valley

With Thomas Gibbons' smart script, a first class cast, and a handsome production, International City Theatre artistic director, caryn desai, delivers a show that is fast paced, funny and touching.

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Apr

Farragut North

One cannot look away from this valuable, instructive work of theatre art. I think it reaches back all the way to Athenian model. Kudos to the players and all involved.

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Apr

Pure Confidence

Directed by Marya Mazor, Pure Confidence is spellbinding entertainment made all the more affecting by the closeness of players to the audience in the intimate Black Box Theatre.

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Apr

Woody's Order!

There is no overestimating the impact of this performance…with indefatigable verve and a sharp sense of comedy. Ms. Talman proves once again the value of intimate live theatre in a way that no recorded media can. Woody's Order is a magnum opus given a luminous tour de force performance. It has heart, humor and a tremendous emotional payoff. To all who read this, see it while you can.

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Apr

Punk Rock

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble's production of Punk Rock is theatre at its best, funny and horrifying, touching and mesmerizing. Don't miss it. Travel if you have to. See it while you can.

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Mar

MARTHA

All the while Ms. Carlisi moves seamlessly into dance mode, demonstrating the iconic Martha Graham style, while smoothing changing costumes from an onstage rack. Always moving the text, she perfectly captures the fluid, sometimes angular movement that made Martha famous.

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Mar

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The American classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, is an excellent choice to inaugurate Antaeus Theatre Company's new home in Glendale. With a great cast (“The Hoppin' Johns”), a sterling production and a commodious performance space, all bodes well.

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Mar

Rules of Seconds

As directed by Obie Award-winner Jo Bonney, Rules of Seconds is an intense, comedy drama, at once horrifying and humorous. The cast is extraordinary, playing it big and rendering vivid, indelible characters who deliver their words in authentic dialects under the coaching of Paul Wagar.

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Mar

The Cruise

It is an interesting, ambitious piece with an excellent cast. The play, however, wanders a bit, unfocussed in the looseness of ideas and the plethora of incidents.

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Mar

It's Time

It is an extraordinary story told by a master monologist.

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Mar

Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny

Inspired by John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, Not Man Apart Ensemble creates with brilliant, athletic dance, a vigorous musical score, and jaw-dropping projections, a retelling of the story of creation, the war in heaven, the descent of Satan, and the tragic fall of Adam and Eve (Leslie Charles Roy, Jr. and Alina Bolshakova).

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Mar

Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops

Impeccably directed with great style by Lindsay Allbaugh, Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops is utterly absorbing.

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Mar

Disinherit the Wind

Some of the arguments seem repetitious and unnecessarily academic. The theatre is not a classroom and the audience should be trusted to get it.

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Mar

A DeLusional Affair

Smart direction by Chris DeCarlo keeps the pace crisp and the emotions true.

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Feb

War Stories

War Stories, produced and directed by Stacy Ann Raposa, is an engaging show as it stands. The characters are appealing and the language crisp. I hope this is not the final version. A faster pace and perhaps some judicious trimming or rewriting could work wonders.

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