Non-Registered Critics: Ben Miles

Jan

CULTURE CLASH (STILL) IN AMERICA

The three actors are fluid in their characterizations and fearless with the issues in which (both as writers and performers) they take-on with abandon.

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Dec

Cost of Living

Although the script's seams and crevices are evident in this staging — the jigsaw assembly of the play remains like faded scar tissue; nevertheless, the drama's power hits hard and its poignancy lingers long after the show has ended.

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Nov

BUS STOP

The high quality direction and stagecraft immerses us in a showcase that highlights the skills of this ensemble, and unlike the Marilyn Monroe movie of the same title, this Bus Stop is, indeed, an ensemble effort undertaken by a most capable cast... This Bus Stop is a must stop for theatergoers.

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Nov

ASSASSINS

The entire cast is ready and steady in their performance of Assassins, including Sean McCallon as Giuseppe Zangara, who mortally wounded Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago while attempting to assassinate Franklin Roosevelt in 1933; Nick Bradford as Leon Czolgosz, who assassinated William McKinley in 1901; and Kevin Wood as Charles Guiteau, who shot and killed James Garfield in 1881.

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Oct

The Secret in the Wings

With a committed cast of nine — (Judy Mina-Ballard, David Bradbury, Paul Burt, Adam Bradley Clinton, Emily Curington, Mady Durban, Jamie Hadley, Stan Morrow, and Edgar Andrew Torrens — displaying breathtaking athleticism and top-notch line delivery, The Secret in the Wings is a theatrical Halloween treat.

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Sep

A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

...for those unfamiliar with the legacy of Joplin, A Night With Janis Joplin will serve a primer to place in rock'n roll history. For those who are fans of Joplin, this show — which features some of the singer's most memorable music, including "Cry Baby," "Piece of My Heart," "Me and Bobby McGee," and "Mercedes Benz"— will be an uneven blast to the past. Still, the show reminds us, as St. Vincent Millay's poem does, Janis Joplin's candle burned at both ends; but it gave a lovely light!

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Sep

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

Ms. Stangl's direction, as fluid and florid as it is, still keeps the attention of this costume drama more on the costume than the drama.

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Sep

The Glass Menagerie

Davis's interpretation of this American classic is not particularly innovative but as Tom confides to us during an early moment in the proceedings, “The Glass Menagerie” (named for Laura's beloved glass animal collection) is a “memory play.” Though the memories are not necessarily good, the poetic recollections compiled by Williams are poignant and profound. Underscored by functional stagecraft – Christopher Scott Murillo, scenic design; Kim DeShazo, costumes; Stacy McKenney Norr, lighting; Corwin Evans, sound – this two-hour and fifteen-minute (including an intermission) production of “The Glass Menagerie” is fittingly translucent and emotionally resonate, making it time well spent in the theater.

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Sep

I'M NOT A COMEDIAN...I'M LENNY BRUCE

Written by Jason M. Burns and Ronnie Marmo, who renders an astute portrayal of the late comic, I Am Not A Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce, receives pristine clarity and great theatricality through Joe Mantegna's straightforward direction and Marmo's riveting performance.

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Jul

The 39 Steps

Now, ”The 39 Steps” has made its way to Long Beach's International City Theatre and, after seeing it, it's difficult to imagine ever viewing the Hitchcock film without thinking about this farcical stage conceit and laughing out loud. Directed with exquisite timing by Jamie Torcellni, with a cast of four – in two acts and within about two-hours – embody some one-hundred and fifty characters.

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May

Good People

With stellar direction by Jocelyn A. Brown and a convincing cast of performers, Lindsay-Abaire's drama is brought to life on the Chance Theater's Cripe Stage, and it remains as relevant in the Trump-era of 2018 as it was when it was written nearly a decade ago, if not more so.

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Mar

Daddy Long Legs

Ably directed by Mary Jo DuPrey — but with indispensable musical direction by Bill Wolfe... this unique love story unfolds in two hours time on an accommodating set designed by Ellen Lenbergs and with detailed turn-of-the-century costuming by Kim DeShazo.

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Feb

Alright Then

Ably directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos, Alright Then is a charming and honest portrayal of the true-life love story that continues to unfold for the couple, even after 27 years of marriage... Filled with an array of emotions, what we in the audience are left with is the joy of the performance and the life affirming sense that through love, commitment, and passion, life is not only endurable, it's worthwhile.

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Sep

Silent Sky

ICT's production of “Silent Sky” is as entertaining as it is pedagogical, making learning into an artistic event.

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Jun

Crimes of the Heart

Directed by Luke Yankee with more focus on the comedy than the tragedy, this “Crimes” is nonetheless believable as a sordid slice of southern life. With a true-to-life scenic design by Pete Hickok, which depicts a down home kitchen sitting; fetchingly appropriate costuming by Kim DeShazo; ample lighting effects by Stacy McKenney; and crisp sound engineering by Dave Mickey, it would be a crime for avid theatergoers to miss ICT's “Crimes of the Heart.

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Mar

Forever Plaid

With two directors, Scott Dreier and Kurtis Simmons – both of whom have actually played as Plaid performers in past productions of “Forever Plaid” – this ICT staging is a well-timed comedy and a toe-tapping treasure trove of ever fresh pop music.

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