Non-Registered Critics: Mary Montoro

Mar

The Bluest Eye

This story is not easy to tell. Director Bernadette Speakes approaches the sensitive story into a delicate masterpiece. Incest, sexual abuse are not subjects to present carelessly. Speakes manner is tender and gentle but, still, gets the point across that this happens in all families.

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Mar

Law and Order: the Musical!

With some help from renowned choreographer Lou Becker, and Blooming Damsel Productions comes up with a hysterical and original piece of work. Fans of the series will easily find nuggets of familiarity from past cases and a pun on names...

Long-time fans, will have fun recognizing certain clues from past episodes while new fans will turn to channel TNT and binge on the shows.
DOINK! DOINK!

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Feb

Activities of Daily Living

Ms. Lipari is my new hero...

Like her spiky hair, she pokes wide jabs at the hypothesis and does it with style, humor and grace.

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Jan

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Much, much love goes out to Jack J. Bennett as the titular character. This fine actor made a despicable character into a vulnerable human being...

Robb was absolutely wonderful to watch and hear. If Grammy-award winning artist Mariah Carey sang opera, she would sound like Robb. Her innocence and sweetness are undeniably refreshing. Jacob Dalton does a wonderful job as the full-of-himself “King of the Barbers,” Adolfo Pirelli, who boasts to have shaven both the King of Naples and the Pope...

Musical director Daniel Koh and director/choreographer Mirai Booth-Ong did a phenomenal job in maintaining Sondheim’s vision of entering into a dark tunnel inside the mind of a tortured mad man.

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Dec

The Wrong Kind of People

Under C. Julian White’s direction, the show moves at an even pace. The quick-witted lines provided by Corbin coincides with the actor’s actions. Nothing feels rushed and the heartfelt laughter derived from the audience is as authentic as Corbin and White’s execution of a wonderful story.

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Nov

THE DOUBLE V

The Double V may have started as a precursor to the turbulent 60s but it’s legacy remains a mainstay.

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Nov

Romeo and Juliet in Hell

The show is a great way to spend the night. Lots of hearty laughter, great actors doing what they do best and not knowing what will happen, it’s better that way so the surprise will feel authentic, guarantees a great time. Ritchey is the new master of suspense but an old soul on getting the laughs in grim situations.

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Nov

Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson

Director Gregg T. Daniel executes Wilson’s powerful story of perseverance in strength and character. Each character individually represents where they stand pre and post slavery. Citizen Barlow and Black Mary are the new generation seeking a better way of life that includes happiness and being safe. Caesar is the new breed of African American men who have gone through hell and came out the other side receiving freedom but still a slave in his mentality. Solly Two Kings and Aunt Ester are the overseers keeping an eye on the other souls around them who need saving. Ester and Solly are powerful enough to do it. An amazing and mesmerizing show that will stay in the soul long after the curtain comes down.

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Oct

Deadly

Director Jaime Robledo does an excellent job in fulfilling writer Vanessa Claire Stewart’s vision.

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Jul

Masters of the Dark Realm

Masters of the Realm is really an homage to the D&D game and the popular movies that followed...

Director Corey Chappell does a superb job making fantasy role-playing an art.

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Jun

The 2nd Annual Trump Family Special

After nine performances last year in Los Angeles and New York, the Trump Family Special returns with more laughter and absurdity that all you can do is cradle your kidneys for fear it will explode from hearty laughter...

Let’s hope that this talented group of entertainers will return and delight those who missed it this time around.

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Jun

HELL'S FINEST

I don’t know what went through playwright and director Ashlynn Judy’s mind when she wrote this, but, I hope she never loses it. Her creative genius is all over this thought provoking and interesting story. She brings out fragile human emotion and whips it up into something realistic so everyone can relate to it. I look forward to her next production. She’s on fire.

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Jun

Ride or Die: The Hip-Hop Musical

The master of beatboxing, Shaun Fisher, does a miraculous job in moving the story along with his expert vocal gift. He along with director Kelsey Goeres and talented writer, lyricist and composer Conor Hanney, are the ideal tri-fecta group in developing and executing a fun show with heart and meaning. The songs, the raps, the beat boxing and the actors all melt into a taste worthy concoction of richness and finesse. Hip-hop hooray!

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Jun

Siren Call

Within 30 minutes, Cora executed a well-thought out show with mystery and intrigue. By keeping the cast to a few players, in a shadowy room with a soft light to relieve some of the darkness, the show becomes more intimate and gets the audience involved in the story and play Colombo by asking questions...

Wonderful cast with a skilled writer makes a great show.

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May

ALL MY SONS

Miller knows how to turn it up and out with dramatic flair. He does it with a steady ease. What appears to be rushed is disguised in a gentle, subtle reveal making it cringe-worthy to watch. It's like a crash on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, you don't want to watch it but you can't help yourself.

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May

FALSETTOS

Espinosa sounds spectacular and vibrant (“I'm Breaking Down” and “Holding the Ground”). You can hear her soul crying for answers that will mend her frustration... Jacobs does wonderful job as Jason. He is animated, quick-witted and very, very talented. It's amazing to watch him. He connects with the more seasoned actors like a veteran.

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Apr

Black Super Hero Magic Mama

Black Super Hero Magic Mama does not disappoint. It is fun, lively, exciting and of course magical...

The show is a living, breathing comic book coming to life thanks to the creative genius of scenic and projection designer Yee Eun Nam. Her mosaic use of vibrant and splashy colors are impressive. It's reminiscent of the 1960s Batman series when you saw the words POW! and BAM! across the television screen. The excitement doesn't lose momentum. From start to finish, it's a wild thrill ride.

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Mar

LACKAWANNA BLUES

King's playing brings out the guttural, deep enriched sounds. You can snap your fingers, tap your feet or even dust the dirt off your shoulder in sync to perfect harmony with King's guitar licks. Like the actor, the music embodies the show providing more insight of the characters.

Hudson-Santiago keeps his energy up in the nearly 2 hour show, smiling, reminiscing and having a great time doing dance moves, y'all remember The Dog? he does and does it well.

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Mar

Ada and the Engine

Jessie Sherman is simply phenomenon as the reluctant heroine. She's my new favorite actress! ...

Writer Lauren Gunderson does an excellent job in eloquently telling the story of two people, whose desire in mathematics and life was bigger than them. Gunderson takes time to quickly establish their love for each other by feeding their hunger in math and science and then end up falling with their hearts. She didn't use too many mathematics equation speak, but makes it understandable through the heart. Sherman and Knox make a great pair...

Truly inspiring and encouraging from perfect start to flawless finish.

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Mar

Othello

Much love goes to director Jessica Kubzansky for creating a heartfelt touch to the drama. She encourages male bonding among the soldiers declaring their love for each other as brothers and soldiers of war...

Expect nothing but a first-rate performances from both actors and this stellar cast.

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