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Articles by Scotty Bennett

Scotty Bennett
About Scotty Bennett (7 Articles)
Scotty Bennett is a retired businessman who has worn many hats in his life, the latest of which is theater critic. For the last twelve years he has been a theater critic and is currently the treasurer of the American Theatre Critics Association and a member of the International Association of Theatre Critics. He has been in and around the entertainment business for most of his life. He has been an actor, director, and stage hand. He has done lighting, sound design, and set building. He was a radio disk jockey and, while in college ran a television studio and he even knows how to run a 35mm arc lamp projector.

Field of Mars

January 25, 2023

The set by Sascha van Riel has the feel of an unfinished work, with minimal props and an amateurish feel. His lighting does help in moving the story along, but the play itself doesn’t rise above the blandness of the set. The eleven actors, most of whom are seasoned performers, give an almost affectless reading of the script as if they are working with no direction and no understanding of the characters or the intent of the play. [more]

Offal Endings

January 16, 2023

"Offal Endings" is billed as "a dark comedy" but it is more of a drama with some comedic elements. It grapples with complicated subjects and is not always successful. It "reads" better than it plays, which is not to say that it is a bad play, just that it needs more structure in its story development and execution. The topics it touches on are important given the increased commercialization in the delivery of medical care and, more importantly, psychological care in the complex socio-political environment of the present and near future economy. It presents challenging ideas but doesn’t clarify the challenges those ideas represent. [more]

Richard Holbrook: “Christmas Magic in the Big Apple”

December 23, 2022

"Christmas Magic in the Big Apple" continues Richard Holbrook's many years of presenting Christmas season shows. What sets his productions apart from many other performers is his view that this time of year is a time for celebrating family and friends. It is not simply a time of religious holidays but more of an all-encompassing recognition of the joyous spirit that moves people to engage with one another in a celebration of life. His shows are a creative mix of holiday songs with a universal theme. Holbrook commented, “Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and I don't want people coming to my show being made to feel uncomfortable." His playlists over the years have exemplified that view, with the current show being the latest in the series. [more]

Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore

December 20, 2022

Sommerville gives an exquisite reading of Betsy's emotional highs and lows, embracing the difficult range of expression so that the audience can experience the intensity of the feelings being shown. She also provides vivid characterizations of the people who populate her story, bringing them to life as it unfolds. Sommerville seduces the audience into empathizing and sympathizing with Betsy. She uses certain physical mannerisms in her presentation that may go overboard at times, but they do add truthfulness to the depth of emotions being shown. However, please make no mistake: this is ultimately a tragic story. [more]

The Wildly Inappropriate Poetry of Arthur Greenleaf Holmes

December 19, 2022

While Arthur Greenleaf Holmes is the creation of a talented comedian Gordon Boudreau as is Holmes poetry, the presentation is very much true to the era being presented. It is funny. It is bawdy, in the broadest sense of that word. Nevertheless, it is thought-provoking for those who are interested in the skillful use of language. It is not for those who may be offended by ribald, and some may call filthy imagery and poetic descriptions of bodily functions, but it is an immensely entertaining time in the theater. [more]

La Race

December 9, 2022

Taylor Reynolds has directed an excellent ensemble in bringing this play to life in an engaging, thought-provoking, and heartfelt way, but not without some issues. Through his direction and the actors' performances, "La Race" challenges the audience with clearly articulated and impactful ideas. However, the success in presenting those ideas depends on how they are performed, which is one of the problematic areas. Expressing strong emotions about an issue is challenging without being preachy or strident. There are scenes where certain key characters go into rants about racism, sexism, and gentrification that seem out of place with the carefully constructed plot lines that approach those issues in a less strident and more thoughtful way. [more]

George Kaplan

November 20, 2022

"George Kaplan" is a beautifully realized drama with comedic elements by Frédéric Sonntag, translated into North American English by Samuel Buggeln. The viewer will laugh but will also be brought to gently encounter deeper and possibly disturbing questions about our political and cultural perceptions. Questions such as What is the nature of a surveillance culture? How do fiction and disinformation relate to the perception of reality? Does myth lead to conspiracy theories? Who is manipulating us, and for what purpose? Does any of it matter in the whole scheme of things? [more]