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.
Dec

Remembering Boyle Heights

The actors are committed, infectiously enthusiastic, and a little rough around the edges, just as they should be.

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Dec

It's A Wonderful Life

Theatre West mounts the show as a fundraiser for the company and features a cast of excellent voice actors, many of whom play multiple roles. The set is a barebones mock up of a broadcast studio, with stand-up microphones and a sign above the stage that flashes “applaud” to prompt a studio audience... I almost forgot to say that I really enjoyed this show. I left the theatre with a smile.

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Nov

Confederates

Playwright Suzanne Bradbeer crafts an engrossing drama replete with snappy dialogue that calls to my mind the sizzling interplay between characters in Front Page. Mr. Brown shows a crackle of star power in his performance. He is well matched by the scrappy intensity of Ms. Randel. Ms. Lichtman as Maddie carries the emotional weight of the play and displays more commanding power than one might expect in an ingénue.

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Nov

Death and Cockroaches

...we are launched into a dreamy story that does indeed include Death and Cockroaches as well as broadly played comedy, angry conflict, and affecting pathos.

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Nov

The Value of Moscow

As my companion and I moved out of the intimate auditorium, through the tiny lobby, and out to the street, I started a giggle that morphed to a guffaw and led to laughter that carried around the corner and halfway down Lillian Way before it subsided. I am still smiling.

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Nov

Desert Rats

The design by set and lighting designers Cameron Mock and Emily MacDonald creates a very credible, low-rent motel room, and sound designer Ivan Robles supports the action with skillful subtly. Jakelinne Gonzalez' costume design is ideal. Loved the cheer-leading outfit. The stage is managed with authority by Maricela Sahagun.

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Nov

Members Only

As an ensemble, the cast is excellent, giving big, passionate performances. They were rewarded by enthusiastic applause at curtain call.

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Nov

VALLEY OF THE HEART

Valley of the Heart filled my heart with joy, sadness, and the affecting energy of the Teatro Style. Its all one could ask for. I left the theatre with a buoyant heart and great appreciation. See this show!

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Nov

The Marriage Zone

Jeff Gould keeps the action fast-paced... The production is handsomely mounted and I appreciated the preshow music, which hinted at what was to come with music from eras appropriate to the three couples... See it while you can.

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Nov

Steambath

The cast is excellent, but Steambath has its flaws. It is a piece of popular culture that is frankly dated and the shenanigans in the steam bath, as delightful as they are, seem empty. It is too lightweight to sustain a two-act evening. Still, it is diverting enough to recommend as an unusual theatrical experience.

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Nov

Cal in Camo

Impeccably produced and stunningly performed by the cast of four, the play is a searing family drama that went straight to the heart of this audience member.

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Oct

Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk

The production is in turns sporadically hilarious and perplexing, but always intriguing.

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Oct

The Little Foxes

In a superb display of theatrical art, keenly directed by Cameron Watson, a uniformly brilliant cast delivers an utterly absorbing, high-tension depiction of a family rife with greed, cruelty, mendacity, double-dealing, and, ultimately, criminality.

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Oct

A Splintered Soul

Under the keen direction of Marya Mazor, the cast is spellbinding. I especially appreciated the performances of Mr. Weinberg, who utterly transforms himself in the distinctly opposite characters of Sol and Leo, as well as that of Ms. Falk who is irritatingly brittle and haughty as Sadie, warm and loving as the spirit of the Rabbi's dead wife Sarah, and urbane and sympathetic as Countess Minassi... A Splintered Soul, produced by caryn desai, is superior theatre in all aspects.

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Oct

Radiant Vermin

Radiant Vermin is brilliantly staged by Door Number 3 artistic director, Tim True, on a multilevel unit set by Pete Hickok (with excellent lighting by Bosco Flanagan) that represents the unfinished house complete with roof joists, wall studs, and raw wooden stairs. There are no props and the energetic leading couple mime everything. Mr. Talwalkar and Ms. Harris are nothing short of breathlessly brilliant and they engage the audience directly to tell their story, peering straight into eyes and enlisting responses. I even had my hand shook. Not even halfway into the two-act play, I marveled at the line load that the actors deliver to flawless perfection. In a second act tour de force, the two young players deliver a garden party for their year-old son that lurches out of control. No less than four quirky neighbor couples and a pair of teenagers are rendered in rotating sets to hilarious, breathless perfection.

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Sep

American Saga - Gunshot Medley: Part 1

Playwright Dionna Michelle Daniel has crafted a unique piece of theatre with American Saga – Gunshot Medley: Part 1... The performances are intensely affecting, never more so than when Betty turns her washrag into a baby that she cradles in her arms, one of two that were lost in the horrific brutality of that bygone time.

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Sep

All Night Long

This is some serious stuff served up as wild comedy. Mr. Munroe has wrung brilliant work out of a cast that goes for broke with broad, hyper-charged playing that is rendered with extraordinary precision.

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Sep

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

The South Coast Rep production of Sense and Sensibility is sumptuously mounted, with an expert cast at the top of their game. They embody the manner and morals of regency England with smooth confidence. The choice of director Casey Stangl to have the cast speak for the most part in refined British tones that are authentic and individual is well realized under the dialect coaching of Ms.

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Sep

Martians - An Evening With Ray Bradbury

In the new play, Martians: An Evening With Ray Bradbury, created and written by Charlie Mount and Jeff G. Rack, the warmth and good humor of Ray Bradbury is wonderfully embodied in the performance of Mr. Mount, who engages the audience with enthusiastic, playful intimacy as he, in the guise of the great Bradbury, expounds on his childhood, his writing methodology, and the universe in general. His performance is a tour-de-force. ...Whether you love Bradbury or never heard of him or read his works, Martians: An Evening With Ray Bradbury is a do-not-miss experience. Take advantage of the opportunity.

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Sep

"BLACK!"

His hope for the future calls to mind a hope I always feel when watching Star Trek, that of a future in which race or ethnicity, although honored, is irrelevant to the important work at hand.

Mr. Brown's show filled me with hope. It is a joy to experience. Go! See for yourselves.

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