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Articles by Christopher Caz

Christopher Caz
About Christopher Caz (25 Articles)
Christopher Caswell hails from Austin, Texas, but has called New York City his home for over three decades. Seasoned cabaret soloist, longest running member of the award-winning pops group "Uptown Express" and contributor to ManhattanDigest.com, he shares his view from the audience for TheaterScene.net. http://www.ChristopherCaswell.com
Contact: Website

The Sickness

February 17, 2020

Even before the playwright pays homage to William S. Burrough’s "Naked Lunch" through this last line, one is already drawing comparisons to the psychotic, structureless existence of that novel, and wondering whether there is anything more to "The Sickness" than the eventual demise of two wasted lives of X and Y. Later that evening my theater companion admitted to thinking, “die already” at some point during the play, because there seemed to be nothing else happening. The audience is given no reason to like the characters, no reason to think they’re ever going to change and no reason to root for their survival; all that they’re left with is the desire for the play to end. [more]

Doctors Jane and Alexander

February 4, 2020

Additional credit can be given to Simon and Wolkowitz’s performances by the excellent supporting cast and Einhorn’s writing. The script's one weakness appears to be an insistence on providing an overabundance of mind-numbing facts about blood-type science, details which ultimately don’t lend themselves to the overarching tale of one man’s search for value and importance in his dreams, those of his family that came before him, and the question of whether he will leave anything other than a legacy of his children’s memories. [more]

BOOM

January 22, 2020

Employing an impressive array of voices and mannerisms, and only sometimes augmented with a wig or article of clothing, Miller as “Narrator” impersonates numerous performers, personalities, and politicians of the era, voicing every commercial and even dubs his own parents in short video clips at the very beginning of the piece. “100 voices. 25 years. 1 man,” the publicity statement declares, and Miller doesn’t disappoint. [more]

A City of Refuge

December 17, 2019

The story itself has potential, yet despite the actors’ heroic attempts to bring truth to it, the script has its characters written to say and do so many unrealistic things that the core authenticity of what’s unfolding can’t be upheld. Physical and emotional boundaries get crossed in questionable ways, and unreasonable demands are made to unbelievable responses. Characters drop vague references and make mysterious insinuations, demonstrating resentment and distrust in each other without explanation. Understanding who is what to whom just takes too long to be revealed, and the audience must buffer so many mysterious references and unexplained pieces of information for so long that by the time the play concludes with a battery of accusations and revelations, the audience isn’t sure what’s happening and thrown up its hands in disbelief. [more]

The Santa Closet

December 10, 2019

Houses on the Moon Theater Company’s delightful and earnest mission is to “dispel ignorance and isolation through the theatrical amplification of unheard voices.” "The Santa Closet," another one-man show written and performed by the company’s co-founder Jeffrey Solomon, doesn’t reach the lofty goals of some of his other plays; however, the newly updated, tenth-year anniversary production of this frothy, zany tale is nevertheless aloft with quite a few grins and chuckles. [more]

The Giant Hoax

November 30, 2019

"The Giant Hoax" is a charming morality tale about telling the truth and growing up. The expert hands of director Christopher Michaels and choreographer Molly Model are clearly at work in all aspects of this production, bringing a touching story with affable songs and clever lyrics to life with a cast of first rate actors, a fine ensemble, and inventive and humorous choreography. This show will never get any bigger than it is, but it’s big enough to fill the hearts of its audience to bursting, as long as actors of this production’s caliber are playing it. [more]

Confidence (and the Speech)

November 24, 2019

Political plots can be dry as toast. Hatem attempts to spice things up by crossing the genders of the actors playing Carter and young Cynthia; the convention is an interesting choice although it really doesn’t add any new light to the characters or story and is sometimes distracting.  Not to worry, though, the script is smart, imaginative, humorous at the right times and keeps its audience interested. [more]

Monsoon Season

October 31, 2019

Vieh’s script is extremely clever in its telling two sides of a story completely by separate monologues. The dialogue is real and yet extremely funny, never revealing too much, allowing the audience to piece together what’s going on as the actors deliver their lines with impeccable timing and tumult. [more]

The Worth of Water

October 17, 2019

Rocky execution aside, the play is not without humor, imagination, charm and whimsy, and the same can be said about the designs by Jessie Bonaventure (scenic), Johanna Pan (costumes), Kelley Shih (lighting), and Brian Heveron-Smith, (sound), all of which work well together to allow this tale to be told. The play’s wonderfully emotional climax which has Elle, Rebecca and Ethel casting off the shackles of their lives into the winds of an oncoming storm is absolutely jubilant and makes the entire evening worthwhile. [more]

All the Rage

September 21, 2019

Both Moran and his script are disarming, captivating, touching, and thought-provoking. The audience cranes to hear his every truth-packed word, feeling his moments of joy and triumph as well as those of disappointment, resignation and, yes, even anger. [more]

Reborning

July 16, 2019

There is a prevailing sense that the script tries to cover too much intellectual ground on the topic of reborning in too short a time frame, placing a burden on the characters to experience more than would seem realistic in an ordinary world. Nevertheless, through the efforts of the actors and valiant direction by Triolo, this dark play does succeed in bringing to light some of the complexities of motherhood, child loss and abandonment through the very unique reborning lens. Check it out for yourself. [more]

Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson

June 24, 2019

A decade has passed since the much-criticized AT&T vs. Verizon commercials starring Luke Wilson took to the airwaves, but playwright Rob Ackerman has chosen to bubble up their essence into his whimsical, off-the-wall new play, "Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson," helmed by Theresa Rebeck in her New York directorial debut. [more]

Open

June 19, 2019

Skillman unfolds an achingly beautiful story, dropping bits and pieces of Kristen’s thoughts and memories as she balances her tightrope of love, commitment, sacrifice and transformation. Hill’s performance as Kristen is funny, honest, compelling and heartbreaking; one cannot take their eyes off her, and it’s not because she is the sole occupant of the stage. [more]

The Pink Unicorn

May 18, 2019

Alice Ripley (Best Actress Tony Award winner for "Next to Normal") is, in a word, astounding. Her Trisha is brimming with curiosity, honesty, humor and grace; she is inspiring to watch and simply amazing. Edie’s characterization of Trisha is delicate and poignant, funny and sincere; her illuminating script is sheer writing perfection. [more]

The Buffalo Play

May 13, 2019

Folks, this is no ordinary play, and it's not for everyone. Call it an absurd commentary, a daydream, a nightmare, a fantasia, a memory play--come see it and decide what you want to call it. [more]

Perp

April 2, 2019

Alexandro and Ben-Victor as the soul-stained detectives are excellently cast, playing off each other without a single misstep. The gender-blind casting of Alexandro as Jack is especially funny when she gets to deliver the hilarious line “I got a hard on a mile long” without blinking. Grant is brilliant as the soulful felon Myron, locked away for an unknown crime but brimming with goodness. Molina is spot-on as the creepy, anguished killer looking for love and redemption. [more]

The New York Pops: “Movie Mixtape: Songs from the Silver Screen”

March 20, 2019

The evening’s vocal guests are exceptionally strong singers, although their talents are not equally evident in a concert format. Silverman probably shines best in a book show, as well as Osnes, although she did demonstrate more spontaneity and connection with the audience. Kilgore brought even more freedom, energy and levity, and Large’s vocal and physical presence was sheer dynamite, and never to the detriment of ensemble moments. The amazing caliber of The New York Pops itself cannot escape mention; its underscoring of each of the singers was exquisite. Their ad hoc dedication to the late Michel Legrand and Andre Previn with a superb “The Summer Knows” (Michel Legrand/Marilyn and Alan Bergman, The Summer of ‘42, 1971) and the second act opener Disney Classics Overture were wonderful moments featuring its amazing musicians. [more]

Fiercely Independent

March 12, 2019

Let’s talk about the talent:  Gallogly and Smith are, in a word, fantastic in "Fiercely Independent." They listen to each other intently, their responses are spontaneous and natural, and their chemistry is evident. Even when they’re not speaking, their inner dialogues are continuous and their intents are crystal clear. Gallogly and Smith are by turns playfully fun and painfully electric. [more]

Twelfth Night (Frog & Peach Theatre Company)

March 1, 2019

As directed by Benson, special mention goes to Primack, Quint, Payne, and Wexler for their strong and playful commitment to their characters, followed by the efforts of Mazzoccone, Porter and Belch. All the actors can be credited with bringing moments of levity and ingenuity to their parts. Favorite line in the whole play--an aside from Fabian, delivered expertly by Ungar--“If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.” Ship sailed! [more]

Bonnie’s Last Flight

February 15, 2019

"Bonnie’s Last Flight" peppers its character moments with humorous sketches and air travel anecdotes. Some don’t hit their mark, but most do. There’s an especially amusing and thoughtful moment where the audience is handed landing cards on which they’re invited to “lighten their emotional luggage upon arrival.” All “passengers” are asked to “write down whatever’s been weighing you down: a fear, a hurt, a grudge, anything you’re ready to let go of—anything to lessen the emotional kilos you carry around. When we do our trash collection shortly we will also take the emotional waste you wish to dispose of. Namaste.” I’m quite certain every person in the audience felt better after their card was taken out with the trash, present company included. [more]

Whirlwind

February 1, 2019

These two mild points aside, Jaffee’s script is nevertheless hugely successful in conveying this man-vs-nature clash; his use of clever dialogue and idiosyncratic characters keep the topic in the forefront with much humor and without any preachy heavy-handedness. [more]

Awake

January 24, 2019

Manning’s direction and script are both expertly crafted. The play’s moral questions are cleverly woven into each of its fully-dimensioned characters’ words, and their tales are often presented without bias, leaving the audience to draw its own conclusions. The actors find their full potential in this play, each one as compelling as the next, filling their portrayals with humor, earnestness and passion; they listen to each other in every moment and are a joy to watch. [more]

Intelligence

January 18, 2019

This setting and premise alone might suggest quite a dull evening of theater, except for the fact that from the moment these actresses converge on the stage, the subtle energies of their characters begin to intertwine and negotiate for space and position, piquing the interest of the audience. [more]

The Truth About Santa

December 11, 2018

This nonsensical, broad comedy is penned by the clever Greg Kotis ("Urinetown"). Songs and arrangements by Steven Gross are whimsical and entertaining, and costume designer Whitney Locher presents her vaudevillian best in this frothy piece. Led expertly by director Ilana Becker, the cast bludgeons, connives and wiggles their way through this slice of holiday slapstick; young and old, the actors’ comic timing is well-honed and the fun they have performing this piece is entirely infectious. [more]

Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon

November 25, 2018

Playing the developmentally challenged title character Bernie, Stephanie Gould captures the innocence and charm of this young woman, sometimes with broad strokes, but always with sincerity and commitment. A speech impediment called for in the script ultimately comes across as ‘baby talk;’ this affectation is sometimes distracting and annoying, but fortunately never for very long. By contrast, the character of Jeff Goldblum, a young man who Bernie has met in some of her development classes and pursues her relentlessly as a suitor, is revealed to be less-abled by his dialog alone; it’s by what he says, and not how he says it, that the audience understands he is mentally challenged as well. Goldblum is played with humor and disarming quirkiness by Benjamin Rosloff. [more]