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Christina Watanabe

Wickedest Woman

January 24, 2019

Six actors, three men and three women, in a company of seven, play many roles in this fluid production designed by Anna Driftmier that uses several different doorways,  on-stage props and furniture that is rolled out swiftly to tell Ann’s story from age 16 in 1828 to her untimely death at 66 in 1878. Jessica O’Hara-Baker is a towering Ann Lohman, aka Madame Restell, level-headed, goal-directed yet humorless as she sees a need and methodically goes about taking care of it, caring little for the mores of times or proscribed women’s roles. Narrated by Ann and including newspaper headlines read by the other cast members as well as period songs of 19th century ballads sung and played by the company, "Wickedest Woman" begins with her 1848 trial which is interrupted repeatedly in order to tell the story in chronological order. [more]

Heartbreak House

September 14, 2018

Gingold Theatrical Group’s "Heartbreak House" is an interesting but misguided attempt to update Shaw’s Edwardian masterpiece and make it seem more relevant to our times. Despite the stellar cast, the unfocused production by the usually reliable David Staller undermines much of the play’s humor and message. While the adept cast is stylish, they never gel into a true ensemble. This new version adapted from Shaw’s earlier 1914 script rather than the more famous 1919 published text will be of interest to Shaw devotees who will have never seen this rendering before. [more]

Scissoring

June 12, 2018

In the African-American Abigail, Ms. Quintana creates a complex protagonist who is sympathetic, exasperating and engaging. She is fascinated by the journalist Lorena Hickok who had a storied closeness with Eleanor Roosevelt and they appear in the play as figments of Abigail’s imagination as does former Pope Benedict. These fanciful interludes are skillfully woven into the central narrative that focuses on the conflicts of being gay in the contemporary United States with the actions taking place during the school year of 2017 - 2018. [more]

Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement

September 18, 2017

The affable Gerardo Rodriguez is hilarious as José and brings great dramatic depth to the role. As Joe, the personable Andrew Blair utilizes his geeky but appealing persona to humanize the stock character of the corporate manipulator. Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Blair have a tremendous and palpable chemistry that’s instrumental to the play’s success. [more]

Great Again

June 7, 2017

The goal of their three week Women in Theatre Festival is “a direct response to gender disparity in theatre leadership, casting, and production, the objective of WIT is to broaden the opportunities for women artists, engage with an audience who seek an indie theatre experience, and add to the canon of women playwrights writing roles for women actors.” "Great Again" quite successfully fulfills these commendable aspirations. [more]