Non-Registered Critics: Dale Reynolds

Feb

Sunday Dinner

The dialogue per-se is not bad and the actors are all professional in bringing their under-written characters to life, but at just about two hours, the evening didn’t jell, creating conflicted feelings amongst the thoughtful audience, which would suggest that the material would be better suited for the limitations of soap-opera than live theatre.

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Dec

Julius Caesar

As part of their Mission Statement, “the Company is driven by the core values of empowerment, diversity, tribe, trust and resiliency,” which is most of what makes this latest version of Julius Caesar so compelling, entertaining, and meaningful. It proves that full diversity, married to talent and experience, can make any piece of theater relevant and striking.

Go see it at once!

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Nov

The Abuelas

Quarleri and Blasor find hidden resources that bring the daughter/mother tensions to a hot boil, and DeSantos and Dever also find subtleties in their men’s reactions to the difficult news.

It’s a glorious evening of explored emotions, not to be missed or ignored.

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Nov

The 7 Stages of Grieving

Learning about any culture is worth the effort and Ms. Deemal’s performance illuminates much of the text’s quiet admonitions and educating talk.

After learning what I did during this experience, I can highly recommend audiences flocking to watch this timely show unfurl its wisdom to us.

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Sep

Nick Dear's Frankenstein | California Premiere

This is an experimental failure, as the tale of a romantic Promethean hero miserably failing in his attempt to help mankind, largely because of societal prejudice against non-attractive looks as well as male arrogance destroying itself is a fascinating, if sadly irritating, endurance test.

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Sep

Early Birds

So, plot points in or out of favor here, Schwartz has written solid roles for three women — two of them past 65 — not a small feat anymore, and the play is sweet enough.

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Aug

Apple Season

Lewis’ play, at about 75 minutes, as well-written as it is, feels incomplete. We do learn much about the three characters’ lives – past and present – but not enough to fill in their various futures, which is frustrating as they’re realistically presented. It’s easy to infer why they are who they are, but limited in actual fact, leaving us perturbed.

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Aug

100 PLANES

Having a next-to-nothing budget hasn’t helped the look of the piece, although director Elizabeth V. Newman’s handling of the pace and of her actors does keep us attended to the plot, such as it is. All four of the performers were up to snuff, each mostly delineating their characters’ needs carefully.

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Aug

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Antaeus has worked its usual magic on a difficult play using their always remarkable company as an ensemble, under the notable direction of Stephanie Shroyer, to not only underplay the polemics (peasant v. noble) but find the humanity behind the horrors of war and polluted politics, including invented music by her company to the song lyrics of Brecht...

If you are unaware of this play, do yourself the favor of seeing it as it’s now a classic piece, well-produced here. You’ll have a grand time watching it.

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Aug

Dancing at Lughnasa

Now, god knows, the Irish are unquestionably known as a gregarious lot, and Friel’s sweet play does live up to that stereotype, making the two-hour-plus run somewhat excessive. But this well-produced production, under the more-than-able hand of Barbara Schofield, allows her actors plenty of movement and timing to make the individual moments shine with excitement (the dance at home, for one, superbly choreographed by Jason Gorman) amid the overall feeling of sadness that filters through.

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Jul

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

Depending on one’s awareness of bad non-professional theatre, and a willingness to go along with its madness on a well-constructed set (Nigel Hook) eccentric lighting (Ric Montjoy), and a well-thought-out costume design (Roberto Surace), a good time is to be had. Just be willing to sink into the demands of “bad” theatre produced by unfettered professionalism.

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Jun

Diana of Dobson's

This is a curious museum-piece that still speaks to us in these unsettling times for democracies around the world, as well as for the continued growth of the woman’s movement. Definitely worth seeing.

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May

Daniel's Husband

Director Levy makes sure the actors reach their emotional goals, and every one of them makes the most of their moments. Watching the four middle-aged actors not over-or under-play their characters’ wants and needs is a joy to behold...

This is an exciting piece of quality theatre and works for all with its clarity on the issues and its strong emotional resonance.

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Jan

deLEARious

This take on "King Lear" is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a boon for those of us who love low-level buffoonery, but less would have worked a bit better. Far too much noise while punning and dancing for those with gentle ears. Still... how much do we ever get from using tragedies as jumping-off points of humor? Not often enough, as it turns out.

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Oct

Stupid Kid

Director Cameron Watson has taken this offensive play and shaped it into something watchable with excellent actors who, in truth, make it a meaningful event. That there is no one to root for, including everyone in this low-IQ'd family, and the young woman who is so evilly abused by good-ol'-boy Uncle Mike, makes it a rough time. And White's tacked-on "happy" ending doesn't help it.

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Oct

MASTER CLASS

It's a fun evening, exploring how art lives behind the personality of any artist.

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Oct

The Madwoman of Chaillot

Director Stephanie Shroyer does what she can with her superb cast to make it entertaining, but is sabotaged from the beginning by the playwright.

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Oct

HEAD OF PASSES

This is a remarkable and authoritative performance, showing all of us what great acting is. And that only happens when great writing allows us to scale the heights.

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Oct

Fixed

The timing is right for plays or films to address the issues surrounding variations of sexuality, and Alvarez' contribution is in the right direction, but the playwright needs to more fully explore the placement of these folk into our political and social landscape.

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Sep

Big Night

But without great actors delivering the quality dialogue under empathic direction, Rudnick's play might seem heavy-handed or perhaps too cute. But, surprisingly, it isn't. The play flows naturally, with Rudnick's well-acknowledged flair with comedic moments making us laugh through our tears.

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