Non-Registered Critics: Julia Stier

Aug

Beasts from the Sea!

The space is cleverly laid out so that it feels huge. The low light and the in-your-face posturing of the actors are disorienting, yet wonderfully unsettling — everything a haunted maze is meant to be.

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Jul

Dancing at Lughnasa

Dancing at Lughnasa captures the human need to connect. Michael treasures the too few moments he gets with his father. Father Jack yearns to return to the community he found in Africa. The sisters don’t always dare admit their fancies aloud, but each has a moment when the possibility of love lends them a glow. It’s a refreshingly simple play that asks its audience to contemplate their own lives, happiness, and connections.

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Jun

AVENUE Q

For a night of silly songs, Avenue Q is the place to be.

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May

THE CHRISTIANS

One reason the play succeeds is that it doesn't try to paint belief as either good or bad. Without coming off as preachy, it gives both sides space to state their case, and ends up presenting an eloquent and engaging debate. The play does not try to crown either side as right, and in remaining impartial it avoids coming off as propaganda.

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Apr

Sand Moon

Sand Moon offers a profound look at the intricacies of domestic abuse, both physical and emotional, and a glimpse of the manipulative power of gaslighting. The unexpected turn the narrative takes excellently mirrors how quickly things can change for the worse. It's an intense and thought-provoking play that ends on an empowering note.

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Mar

The Second Coming of Klaus Kinski

Perez is unpredictable as the explosive Kinski. One never knows when he is going to pop into the audience, or succumb to a fit of rage. The production is a marathon for any actor; it also brilliantly showcases Perez's well-researched and skillful writing. He is fascinating to watch, and while the show's non-linear nature can make it challenging to follow, his larger-than-life performance commands attention.

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Mar

Canyon

Canyon tells a touching tale that highlights family and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love. It also does a wonderful job of exposing how quickly people abandon practicing what they preach when they feel trapped.

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Feb

America Adjacent

Humorous and compassionate, America Adjacent is not to be missed. A strong, all-female cast brings these vibrant characters to life…Top Ten! - RECOMMENDED

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Feb

MAN OF GOD

The show manages to be horrifying yet hilarious as it exposes the extent of the power play that goes on behind abuse. Relevant and well-executed, this production of Man of God manages to make the audience both laugh and squirm. - RECOMMENDED

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Jan

The Cripple of Inishmaan

RECOMMENDED
The script is full of twist and turns, some shocking, others heartbreaking, with one very hopeful one right at the end. The Cripple of Inishmaan makes no attempt to mask the blatant discrimination its characters have against the physically disabled, and in so doing exposes a very ugly side of human nature.

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Dec

Special

The show is a good time for fans of Star Wars. You do not have to have seen The Star Wars Holiday Special to enjoy it, but a love for the franchise is a must. So sit back, relax, and — as they say in this show — “May the Force Bea Arthur.”

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Dec

Clarissant

The message of the play is clear and strong — that self-acceptance allows us the power to create our own stories.

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Nov

Vendetta Chrome

While the meshing of these varying aesthetics makes it hard to place the production, it does help reinforce the idea that strict societal norms for women are present in every time period. However, with so many story lines, this important message isn't as clear as it might be.

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Nov

Desert Rats

An off-stage, dramatic ending to this comedic and thought-provoking piece allows for the audience to decide the characters' fate for themselves.

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Oct

Villainy

For those who have not read this book or know Holmes' background, the play is a bit confusing. Told in a series of flashbacks, the narrative comes out choppy. However, it is a gruesome tale befitting this ghoulish time of year.

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Oct

POSSESSION: An American Serial Killer

The dark, intimate space draws the audience into the story. However, some of the technical elements muddle the narrative rather than enhance it. Many of the scenes begin in a disorienting blackout, and the video projections of lions that appear during Bundy's more macabre scenes are a little confusing.

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Oct

STARRY

...These three lend their dancing skills to the story, and at times beautifully capture Vincent's emotions through movement. D'Angelo's simple staging allows for fluidity in the storytelling. The characters shift easily between many different locations, and the absence of a set allows the audience to be transported into the mind of Vincent van Gogh, a place of magic and madness. - RECOMMENDED

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Sep

The Rescued

Under the direction of Marya Mazor, a small yet spectacular cast takes on the personas of rescue animals and tells their startlingly relatable stories. - RECOMMENDED

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Sep

"BLACK!"

Brown's belief in the importance of this story, this message, makes him engaging to watch, and he is met with a receptive audience, willing to connect with and learn from him.

For audience members of all races and colors, this show educates, inspires, and illuminates new perspectives on the black experience. - RECOMMENDED

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Sep

ROMEO AND JULIET

Ironically enough, where this tragedy excels is in its comedy... This is a thought-provoking take on a classic tale that reflects a chilling time in history. However, there are a couple of moments that don't quite add up.

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