Non-Registered Critics: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Jan

Nowhere On The Border

The performances are spectacular, each actor subtly and yet still forcibly touching minds and hearts at every turn.  Reminding us all that we are all of us the same, all of us needing love and safety and a sense of purpose.  This play is gorgeously constructed, with pathos and wit and style.  The direction is light enough for these stellar actors to find themselves in their parts and bold enough to support the very big themes the play contains.

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Jan

Musket and the Rat

Plays like these, full of grit and intensity, hard-fought humor and deeply felt love are few and far between.  These are the stories of the streets that most theatre goers do not live on.  And yet the theatre is such an important place for them to be told.  Theatre is life and death, quite literally darkness and light.  These stories are ancient ones and worth telling over and over if only to remind ourselves where our world really is.  Fighting to survive every day with poetry and terror and love.

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Jan

Chemo Barbie: My Lady Bits' Journey Through Breast Cancer

This is multi-award-winning solo show and with good reason, I can tell you. It’s funny, inventive, emotional, perceptive, warm, engaging and riveting…and it’s also about cancer. We have all been touched by cancer. I can say this without doubt of contradiction because there is not one person in my life that hasn’t lost someone, nearly lost someone or survived their own cancer. So this topic is about as relevant and leveling as any I can think of. Heather Keller is a recent survivor of breast cancer. Throughout her journey, she took copious amounts of notes, kept a journal, wrote a blog and filmed some of the more significant treatment moments as if anyone thing she went through was any less significant than any other. She shares everything with us…and I mean everything. The pain, the stress, the indignation, the rows with her husband, the depression and self-doubt, and the strength she found in herself and others. It’s quite a story, as you can imagine. But Heather has managed to find the humor in the hardship, the affirmation of the adversity and the triumph of the tragedy. She’s a warrior woman!...In short, it's Inspiring, it’s hilarious and you would be crazy not to see it…

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Dec

Salvage

Do yourselves a huge favor and see this show. It’s a world premiere of a show that I believe will play and play and play and this, the first-ever cast, is just superb.

Their voices and their musicality are extraordinary, and the story that links them all is quite beautiful…loved it!!!

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Dec

Tap Dancing My Way To The Nuthouse

“Tapping my Way To The Nuthouse” is one of the most gorgeous solo shows I have had the pleasure of seeing. The best solo shows are always the most simple, the most effortless and the most intensely and utterly the property of the performer. This play is definitively “Lynne Jassem” and a gift to us all. Bravo!

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Dec

A Christmas Carol: The One-Man Play

I loved it. I held my breath, I squirmed in my seat, I shed a few tears and I ached for my homeland and its fierce ownership of Christmas and all its Dickensian traditions.

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Dec

Unraveled

“Unraveled” is a heart-breaking journey through one woman’s story of coping with her beloved mother's particular unravelling. It’s not at all as obvious as it might sound. There is madness of course, but the mother's mind is affected by cancer treatment, and her decline is clinical as well as emotional. The daughter, however, her unravelling is far more of a direct result of her environment, her inability to face her mother's death and an inmate need to control everything…sound familiar? ... How very clever of this brilliant playwright, Jennifer Blackmer, to have her heroine be a physicist and one who studies time. It gives such a perfect excuse to have us all traveling back and forth through her life, like stepping in and out of the folds of her memories.

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Nov

The Italian in Me

Well, Dina Morrone is nothing if not authentic and has a way of being herself inside every one of her wonderful characters.  Solo shows are tough.  I’ve seen too many to count but I have to say that this is one of the very best.  Beautifully performed, expertly put together, with just the right amount of humor, truth and integrity, “The Italian in Me” is s testament to the hard work, determination and the sheer nerve it takes to be a performer.  Dina Marrone is performer personified….Bravo!!!

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Nov

THE DOUBLE V

Beautifully staged with exquisite set designs and ingenious direction, “The Double V” is a must-see play, full of excellent actors putting their hearts into every word and their souls into every scene. I cannot recommend this play enough… Bravo!!

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Nov

THE ART OF DINING

It’s funny, bold and far from boring. It’s intense, full-on, powerful and steamy.

The performances are loud and big and furiously good. They take no prisoners, but then they never do at Gloria Gifford shows. She picks the best material, always pushing the boundaries and challenging the audience as well as the actors. This play is hilarious, the pace fast and the stakes are high, but the result of all this ‘crazy’ is sublime.

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Nov

Elijah

The play is exquisitely produced. The staging and set design are phenomenal, but then plays at The Victory always are - such amazing attention to detail, always perfect and subtle and exactly what the play deserves, an anchoring to a place that is so familiar to us all, for a story that I can promise you is absolutely not.

“Elijah” is a wonderful play beautifully performed by gifted actors.

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Nov

Romeo and Juliet

The Porters of Hellsgate are nothing if they are not shrewd and this production is a beautiful, billowy, intoxicating, rollicking, heartfelt interpretation of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

They followed the language, they worshipped the story and left the actors to tear our hearts out with abandon. It’s a wonderful production with no coyness, no smirks, no 'lessness.’

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Oct

Mono/Poly

This really is a fascinating play and quite brilliantly acted. The characters are real and finely wrought. Their connections to each other feel true, passionate and electric.

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Oct

Sight Unseen

“Sight Unseen” is a beautiful play and gives these marvelous actors a chance to be utterly brilliant.  They are subtle and brooding and gorgeously tense.  They prowl around each other effortlessly, brimming with resentment and unresolved issues.  It gives such a lovely edge to their politeness.  They all perform stillness superbly….that must be the Pinter reference.

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Oct

URBAN DEATH TOUR OF TERROR: Haunted Theatre Attraction!

If you like horror then this is right up your alley. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart or those easily freaked out. But then nothing is these days!

I loved it, even though I almost dreaded attending. It’s profoundly well done, the actor are all fascinating and totally committed to their roles. It’s really incredible actually and a proud mainstay of NoHo Theatre. Bravo!

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Oct

THE EDGAR ALLAN SHOW

It’s a breathtakingly excellent comedy. Bold, original, coy, so quick you could blink and miss it kind of comedy. Subtle in a loud way, so effortless you just know this took a huge amount of crafting.

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Oct

George A. Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

...raw, unadulterated and it is utterly gorgeous.

...This wonderful production is so lovingly made and the attention to detail so profound that I can honestly say it is the best film to stage adaptation I have seen.

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Oct

Constantinople

Highly recommended. An extremely significant story...I was deeply moved by the strength of Vehanoush in the face of overwhelming odds. Completely transfixed by the performances and the gorgeous writing. The characters are bold and exquisitely formed.

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Sep

The Spanish Prayer Book

In any case, we should be grateful at her interest, because this marvelous and moving play touches on our most deeply held beliefs in love and in each other.

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Sep

THE HEAL

It’s a one-act play of effortlessly dramatic, funny, poignant, meaningful and harmonious storytelling.

The cast are superb, every one of them and all so exceptionally accomplished. They fearlessly take on this timeless and purposeful tale and all its ins and outs with poise and passion and….here’s that word again…JOY.

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