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Devario D. Simmons

Between the Bars

October 1, 2021

Benjamin Viertel directs "Between the Bars" brilliantly finding the balance between theatricality and reality.  Each character emerges as distinct and multidimensional, even the guards who sit passively until they show their savage sides.  This is a cast of fine actors who communicate both the indignities of confinement and its ultimate tragic toll just feet away from the audience. [more]

Tumacho

March 5, 2020

To review dramatist/lyricist/composer Ethan Lipton's "Tumacho" almost feels like missing the point of this endearingly oddball "play with songs," a comic pastiche of Western and horror tropes that is essentially the theatrical equivalent of an old Hollywood B-movie. Its major goal is to shamelessly please the audience, something it largely achieves through top-notch performances and an abiding strangeness, if not necessarily a consistent quality of jokes or characterizations or plotting. Obviously, all of the latter should matter, but the fact that it doesn't only attests to the show's bizarre charm. [more]