Non-Registered Critics: Morna Murphy Martell

Feb

THE POW AND THE GIRL

Director Trace Oakley, working with a tiny space, brings the present and past to life through his concentration on character rather than lavish sets. He’s also not hesitant to show that, as in real life, there is humor alongside tragedy.

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Feb

1776 THE MUSICAL

Engaging, tuneful, witty and passionate, this clever musical depicts the likes of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with humor and humanity. Irreverent and certainly topical, this revival is directed and staged by Glenn Casale, with musical direction by Jeff Rizzo.

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Feb

A Misunderstanding

In the end it is up to each member of the audience to decide whether either one is right or wrong, or maybe perhaps they all are! You go and decide for yourself.

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Oct

Old Clown Wanted

Alan Abelew as Niccolo is cleverly devious but sadly vulnerable; Jose A. Garcia as Filippo is a delightful nag but has a tender heart beneath, and Beth Hogan as Peppino, the classic actress, hilariously takes one-up-man-ship to a new level. All are superbly clownish performers who personify the hidden heartbreak under greasepaint and funny red noses. The ending is wonderfully ambiguous and hardly what was expected. Or was it? Go and see for yourself.

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Sep

“BLACK!”

More than just character studies, Brown’s exploration of the word ‘black’ examines race from a global perspective.

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Aug

Arrival & Departure

Heading the superb cast are Troy Kotsur and Deanne Bray, and there is an intensity to their performances that transcends imaginary characters.

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Jul

Screwball Comedy

Like the zany comedies with Gable vs. Colbert, or Hepburn vs. Tracy, this delightful play crackles with wit and humor!

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Jul

Mayakovsky and Stalin

It’s a dramatic character study incorporating historical footage and photos. Sadly, it focuses mainly on the brutal suicides of tormented Vladimir (Daniel Dorr) and raging Nadya (Casey McKinnon) that makes for a sad and rather grim two hours. Historically interesting, the image of Stalin (Maury Sterling) is unsurprisingly frightening, while the irrepressible Lilya (Laura Liguori) illuminates the carefree sexuality of the 20’s and 30’s.

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Jul

Mutt House

It’s a charming show, with joyous canine songs and superb dance numbers by Janet Roston. Creator Tony Cookson’s message is clear: If you love animals help support No Kill groups. Otherwise, adopt one yourself and discover the love that always gives back. So, bring the grandkids – they’ll love it too. And don’t worry, there’s a happy ending with catchy song “All You Need is One!” At Kirk Douglas Theatre.

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Jun

Sex

Director Sirina Irwin is faithful to West’s over-the-top style that makes sex an innocent pastime with harmless vulgarity. The entire cast pull out all the slapstick stops to create a musical comedy that does not date.

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Jan

The Chosen

This one, directed sensitively by Simon Levy, is as fresh and meaningful as today’s headlines.

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Jan

Ashes to Ashes

DON’T MISS playwright Debbie Bolsky’s rollicking comedy… Michael Uribes, as The Guide, is a total delight… Lena Bouton is dynamic as the nervous Sara, and Kevin Young intensely charming as the reluctant Jefferson… Wildly imaginative direction by Katherine Jame

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Nov

New York Water

This is a really funny play, so don’t miss it!

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Oct

The Dance of Death

Adapted by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, and directed with brilliant pacing and energy by Sossi, the three superb actors, Darrell Larson, Lizzy Kimball, Jeff LeBeau, are a well-matched trio. Apt dungeon set by Christopher Scott Murillo, lighting by Chu-Hsuan Chang, sound by Christopher Moscatiello, costumes by Halei Parker and props Misty Carlisle. Do not miss this Broadway-level production.

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Sep

The Marriage Zone

It’s an intriguing conceit and handled brilliantly by author and director Jeff Gould and, after you see this play, you will never think of your own relationships the same way again.

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Jun

Building the Wall

Under Michael Michetti’s fluent direction, the two actors, Judith Moreland and Bo Foxworth, duel with passionate intensity over the difference between responsibility and blame. Many people in the arts are using their creative tools to protest injustice and here, with productions of this play scheduled across the country, the alarm is raised. Hopefully such a tragedy could not happen here even though, in this play, it makes perfect logical sense.

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May

Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers

The compassionate direction by Tony Abatemarco inspires deeply moving performances by Corryn Cummins (Dee) and Michaela Slezak (Corie). Adrian Gonzalez smoothly transforms from stern father to eager boyfriends to cool seducer, while Amy Harmon matches him as pompous mother, practical social worker, kindly nun. Marylin Winkle on cello adds haunting melancholy sound.

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May

DR. DU BOIS AND MISS OVINGON

Ben Guillory is majestic as Du Bois, dominating the action with his presence and strong voice. Melanie Cruz, as Ovington, subtly reveals the inner strength of a woman of strong principle.

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Apr

Pure Confidence

Plaudits to author Brown who subtly reveals that, in contrast to the film world’s sadistic image of slavery, everyday indignities also have the power to crush a person’s spirit.

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Mar

April, May & June

Director Terri Hanauer deserves a special round of applause since, while keeping the story of the bond between sisters flowing energetically, she has a room full of knickknacks cleared and packed and ready for Goodwill in under 2 hours.

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