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AMT Theater

Saw The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw

October 6, 2023

"Saw The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw" begins with a picture perfect recreation of the disgusting bathroom from the first movie in the iconic horror franchise. Then the puppet (Billy) shows up, wishing us a hearty "Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome." (Note: this review has spoilers for "Saw" the movie as well as "Saw The Musical.") The show is impressively done with a cast of three (with the exception of Detective Tapp, played via voiceover by Donnel Johnson). Danny Durr plays Gordon and Zepp, Adam Parbhoo plays Adam and Gordon's daughter Diana, and on opening night Gabrielle Goodman played Amanda, Ali and Jigsaw. Goodman in particular stands out with a lovely voice and excellent dance skills, but all three turn in solid performances. (Durr's wig is so good it deserves its own program credit.) [more]

Bettinger’s Luggage

September 28, 2023

An alternate title for Albert M. Tapper’s Clifford Odets-esque "Bettinger’s Luggage" might be "The Flood." In Tapper’s period piece, a flood destroyed the eponymous shop, an event around which Tapper’s tale of a family-owned business on Delancey Street in the Lower East Side of 1974 revolves. Solidly directed by Steven Ditmyer, "Luggage" is a classic story of one generation disappointing another with unreasonable expectations, with a touch of Jaime Sánchez’s character in the "The Pawnbroker"’s self-sacrifice tossed in for emotional heft. [more]

On the Right Track

April 22, 2023

The latest collaboration by composer lyricist Albert M. Tapper and bookwriter Tony Sportiello, "On the Right Track," proves to be a charming chamber musical for three performers playing seven roles. The show combines realism with magic and the supernatural as it tells three stories which take place on a New Jersey Transit train. The Conductor, the narrator, also is a mystical figure who is able to give the characters second chances in life and lea them to a better place than when they came on board. Owing some inspiration to such classics as Sir James M. Barrie’s "Dear Brutus", Sutton Vane’s "Outward Bound" and Frank Capra’s "It’s a Wonderful Life," "On the Right Track" avoids being preachy at the same time that it offers suggestions about how to live one’s life. [more]

Our Man in Santiago

September 19, 2022

Mark Wilding’s "Our Man in Santiago" is billed as a “raucous political farce” but it is neither loud and noisy nor hilariously funny. Inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 1974 article in Harper’s Magazine concerning the CIA involvement in the death of democratically elected President Salvador Allende, the play supposes that the CIA had operatives in Santiago ready to kill Allende when General Pinochet launched his coup that took out Allende’s government and democracy in Chile for the next 16 years. While Charlie Mount, who also directed LA’s Theater West production in 2021, keeps the play bubbling along, the one-dimensional characters and the lack of real farcical stage business diminish the play to an overlong attempt at satire. [more]

New AMT Theater Opens with an Eye on Building Community

August 17, 2022

“We want to make a difference in people's lives,” says Tapper.  “We want to do new shows, to encourage new writers and directors.  We want to feature children's shows and get young people involved in theater at an early age.  We also want to do cabaret because, well, it's just fun.  We also want to serve as a regional theater to the people in our immediate area, to draw on their energy, and solicit their opinions - because we truly value the community around us.” The clean, sleek space features a futuristic lighting scheme set against a black and white motif.  “When people hear about the black and white look, they’re a bit skeptical.  Even I was skeptical!” says Sportiello.  “But once they see the finished product, they agree it looks like a real work of art, and everyone’s been impressed.  In my opinion, it’s the most unique and striking Off-Broadway theater in the theater district. We can’t wait to share it with the community, so we’re looking forward to welcoming local theatergoers and press at a special launch event that we’ll be announcing soon.” [more]

Adventures in Vegas

August 3, 2022

A tiny dynamo, Bell Wolff, early in her career, found the perfect role as Ermengarde in several productions of "Hello, Dolly!". She yearned to perform the bigger part of Minnie Faye and nearly got the chance when she auditioned for the film version of "Hello, Dolly!". She tells of the disappointment of being passed over and sings “Moving the Line” (Mark Shaiman/Scott Wittman) about her frustration, one of 13 songs that punctuate "Adventures in Vegas," illuminating her life experiences. She is reprieved with an invitation to join a new act in Las Vegas, the "Bottoms Up Revue" at Caesars Palace, and jumps at the chance, starting a whole new chapter in her life which will include romance and, eventually, heartache. [more]

Love Quirks

June 28, 2022

Four appealingly performed single Manhattan roommates’ tangled romantic lives are depicted in the pleasant contemporary Off-Broadway musical, "Love Quirks," which has a rapturous score. Composer and lyricist Seth Bisen-Hersh’s striking melodies and literately crafted lyrics render the variety of songs with the polish of accomplished cabaret numbers. A standout is a gay male schoolteacher wryly ruminating while on a date. [more]