Non-Registered Critics: Melanie Hooks - Colorado Blvd

Nov

The Abuelas

Too often plays about married couples emphasize the brokenness without also considering the work real couples do to stay together. Walker, Quarleri and Dever, and director Andi Chapman capture the real fire of love – both long-term and fleeting – within this production, reason alone to watch.

sweet - ...read full review

Nov

Buried Child

Ever-excellent Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott now couples it with Sam Shepard’s dark family drama Buried Child, set in rural Illinois, amongst a family you’ll likely be glad not to join – but you should go watch them from the safety of the audience.

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

How the Light Gets In

Workshopped last summer here at Boston Court Pasadena and recently at Chautauqua Theatre Company in New York, the play now gets a full-length staging, and the months of hard work show. Playwright E.M. Lewis and Director Emilie Pascale Beck achieve a smart written, loving look at a rocky topic: how to let go of fear – or at least, learn to live through it.

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

A Kid Like Jake

Both actors bring such barely-restrained screaming-under-my-skin intensity to their portrayals that audience members were not only moved opening night, they often looked away, embarrassed to be overhearing such personal revelations from a couple in turmoil. Director Jennifer Chambers must be lauded for shepherding one of the most realistic marriages into stage life in years.

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson

If you’ve only read of Wilson but haven’t experienced much of his work live, this is a chance not to be missed. Multi-layered characters of different generations are treat enough alone...

A Noise Within hopes to bring Wilson’s entire cycle of ten ‘Century’ plays to life; don’t be the person who misses the first one. Your inner storytelling soul will be sorry.

sweet - ...read full review

Jun

Ladies

All this heavy ‘think piece’ type work might easily fall flat in lesser hands. But rest assured, these mitts are masterful. Poignant, dramatic, extremely funny and above all intensely human, “Ladies” is an extraordinary play. ‘Dynamic’ seems too small a word to describe each and every performance. ‘Perfect’ is fitting, though each actor might still find new moments to shine as the freshly workshopped piece continues its first run all month.

sweet - ...read full review

Apr

Argonautika

...almost everything about A Noise Within's newest show, “Argonautika,” feels fresh and alive, despite it being a retelling of one of the world's oldest tales – The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts...

The entire cast excels at expending this incredible energy, from Michael Uribes's malcontented Meleager to Cassandra Marie Murphy's Woman of Lemnos who soars above our heads, Cirque du Soleil-style, with charming moments from Marc Leclerc and Murphy as bickering son/mother Eros and Aphrodite.

sweet - ...read full review

Mar

The Glass Menagerie

The play asks us, ‘What price are you willing to pay for freedom…and who pays it?' – ultimately becoming a quest to “Let Me Out” instead of “in.” We've likely all known someone like Amanda, who demands nothing less than all of our own ambitions and self to serve her own. But to come away with something like hope after an evening of those demands is the special gift of this particular production – well worth seeing and always, worth feeling.

sweet - ...read full review

Feb

RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL

This is the show that every other on the L.A. scene this year will be judged by. See it for yourself, for bragging rights, or just to soak up the magic that artists at the top of their games can gift. The large 21-member cast is a gamble these days that most playhouses don't have the means to take. Pasadena's bet has already paid off with a perfect night worth gushing about.

sweet - ...read full review

Jan

Special

“Special” delights and satisfies its core demographic while appealing to anyone fascinated by Hollywood's ongoing inability to understand itself.

sweet - ...read full review

Nov

The Marriage Zone

Not to mislead you, Gould's dialogue and direction (and the rest of the pro cast) keep the evening fresh and briskly moving through the 90-something minute performance without an intermission. It's an intimate evening, a stolen moment of fun and ‘what if's.

sweet - ...read full review

Nov

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

Laugh at the head-spinning swirl of “Who's on first? What's on second?” style humor. Stay for the meaning of life insights.

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

EVERYTHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED

Boston Court does a clean and moving job of putting Mantell's timely and affecting piece front and center – a treat from our only Pasadena theater focused on living playwrights and emerging work. New work, yes, but destined to last.

sweet - ...read full review

Aug

Man of La Mancha

The voices so sweet that they'll make you cry belong to the three women: Cassandra Marie Murphy as female lead Aldonza, Cynthia Marty as Maria/Housekeeper, and Cassie Simone as Antonia/Fermina. All three excel in strength, emotion, vocal clarity and tone... ANW has a strong showing of women behind the scenes, but performances like these make one yearn for more frequent onstage representation as well.

sweet - ...read full review

Aug

Under Milk Wood

A successful “Milk Wood” production relies on cast connection as they must cast the spell of people who know each other under the skin, who wouldn't be surprised by anything another did, no matter how outrageous, and the Open Fist Company embodies this admirably. Director Ben Martin must be credited for this extraordinary closeness, which must be encouraged in a such a successful ensemble. One gets the feeling that the people onstage have no boundaries between one another, and this translates to their connection with the audience, which is immediate, like theater in surround sound.

sweet - ...read full review

Feb

Henry V

A Noise Within's production hasn't quite found its rhythm, and the tone could use some clarifying. One feels though that whether these things settle into a more cohesive whole or not, directors Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott's “physical, muscular production” (self-described) asks the right questions.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Mar

Disinherit the Wind

Whatever one's own conclusions about the origin or meaning of life, it's unlikely that Disinherit the Wind will leave the mind unchallenged or unaffected.

Well worth your time – enjoy!

sweet - ...read full review

    ADS
    • CHARLEY'S AUNT

    Featured LemonAide