Non-Registered Critics: Darlene Donloe

Jul

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

The cast is in constant motion. They have to be athletic, have great timing, and of course, be able to deliver the comedy.

Everyone in the show brings their A-game!

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Jun

DANA H.

O’Connell is mesmerizing. She has spot-on gestures, pauses, laughs, shuffles, and giggles as she conducts this kind of lip-synch dance with the dialogue. We hear the interviewer ask the questions and we hear Dana’s replies. The audience feels the terror that Dana endured as every suspenseful and shocking moment of this true story unfolds...

The show is riveting. It’s full of terror, violence, and suspense.

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May

NATIVE SON

Chapman's vision for Wright's work is brilliant. Her specific direction is fluid and on point.

The cast is exceptional and gels comfortably undoubtedly due to having done the play together a year prior at the Antaeus Theatre Company. - Native Son gets an E (excellent)

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Apr

FALSETTOS

Director James Lapine, who also co-wrote the book has assembled an incredibly talented cast. While singing their hearts out and staying in character, they effortlessly maneuver the set for various scenes. It's like a set of children's blocks being assembled in various shapes for whatever the scene needs. It's like watching a beautiful dance choreographed by Spencer Liff.

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Apr

Birdland Blue

While watching Marcus Clark-Oliver work the club as Davis, the audience has to suspend disbelief. Davis was a short, dark, skinny man with a raspy voice. Clark-Oliver is a tall, light-skinned, handsome man with a healthy voice.  He doesn't really display the essence of a Davis – but rather gives the audience insight into this legendary performer. Clark-Oliver gives a stellar performance. The supporting cast all give enjoyable performances.  The actors who are pretending to play the various instruments are adept at feigning actually playing.

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Apr

ROTTERDAM

Englishman Brittain's superb writing ensures that the audience becomes fully invested in the lives of these four characters. Whether you want to or not. Whether you agree or disagree with a character's choice – you care.

Shepperd's tight, yet fluid direction moves the story forward and keeps this dynamic cast in motion. Scene transitions are literally a choreographed dance. Scene changes are made by cast members who effortlessly move the one piece of multifunctional, multifaceted furniture on set.

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Mar

Black Super Hero Magic Mama

Although at times Black Super Hero Magic Mama plays like two separate plays (a drama and a comedy) fortunately - by the time the show ends, Inda Craig-Galván wraps it up nicely...

This is an emotional journey presented with moments of levity - probably to lessen the blow surrounding a young black man being killed at the hands of the police. It's a recurring story that, unfortunately, has become our reality far too often.

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Mar

LACKAWANNA BLUES

This autobiographical narrative is a funny, emotional, intense and authentic look at Santiago-Hudson's life starting with his 1950s childhood in a small town on the banks of Lake Erie...

While his acting, writing and directing skills are on display – his harmonica playing can't be ignored. Santiago-Hudson plays it with finesse as if it's another character. He and King together bring depth and emotion to the show.

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Feb

Two Trains Running at Matrix

This cast is wrought with talent and more talent. Everyone involved is a vet of the stage and it shows with their chemistry and effortless movement about the stage...

Kudos to Michele Shay for a fluid and crisp directorial triumph!

Two Trains Running is a theatrical feast. Stop by and try the beans and cornbread!

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Feb

Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella, currently playing at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, will leave you breathless.

It can only be described as a fulfilling, visual spectacle.

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Feb

Paradise

This complex show is set to present day in the science lab of a large inner-city Bronx high school. At times the dialogue is a bit tedious and heady – giving the feel of actually being in an advanced science class. That being said, pay close attention to the words or you could get lost in the science mishmash...

Paradise gets an O (oh, yeah)

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May

DR. DU BOIS AND MISS OVINGON

Under the direction of Ben Guillory, Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington flows freely. Thomas Meleck's impressive set, Michael David Ricks' lighting, Ivan Robles' sound and Naila A. Sanders' costumes makes for a full and convincing production.

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