Review On BLACKBIRD


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Writer, Registered Critic


Hard to watch this psychologically traumatizing journey unfold twice in two months but ironically, this second time out proved a fascinating and interesting homage to just how beautifully David Harrower's troubled characters are written. I want to do anything but compare the two productions or two casts but, suffice to say, if you're a student of theatre, the comparison between the two BLACKBIRDs is almost instantly apparent. Even the direction shows two totally different approaches to the same subject. Where Anna Stromberg's kinetic staging had her performers constantly circling each other ominously like caged animals, here Jeremy Ardianne Lelliott takes a far simpler, far more cerebral approach to the material, a choice which makes the ending even more devastating than the other. Both directions, amazingly, work beautifully.

Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA
TRAVIS MICHAEL HOLDER is Opinionatedasswipe-in-Chief for the new handydandy arts-oriented website TicketHoldersLA.com. He has been a LA theatre critic since 1987 and has taught acting at the New York Film Academy’s west coast campus since 2010. He was Theatre Editor for Entertainment Today for 21 years, reviewed for BackStage for 12 years, and is also currently a contributor to ArtsInLA.com. As a writer, five of his plays have been produced in LA and his first, "Surprise Surprise," became a feature film in 2010, for which Travis wrote the screenplay and appeared in a leading role. An actor since childhood who originally came to LA under contract to Paramount Pictures, he has appeared in six Broadway productions and has traveled extensively in everything from "Bye Bye Birdie," "Hair," and throughout Europe and Asia in "Hello Dolly" to touring as Amos (Mr. Cellophane) Hart in "Chicago." Locally, Travis received the LA Drama Critics’ Circle Award as Kenneth Halliwell in the west coast premiere of "Nasty Little Secrets," a Drama-Logue Award as Lennie in "Of Mice and Men," and he has also received six acting nominations from LA Weekly; a Sage Award; Ovation, GLAAD, NAACP, and five Garland Award nominations. Regionally, he was given the Inland Theatre League Award as Ken Talley in "Fifth of July," three awards for direction and performance as Dr. Dysart in "Equus," and he was up for Washington, DC’s Helen Hayes honors as Oscar Wilde in the premiere of "Oscar & Speranza." His first novel "Waiting for Walk," a memoir of growing up as a child actor, has been sitting in a desk drawer since its completion in 2005, proving there is often a deep divide between talent and functionality. www.travismichaelholder.coms