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Elizabeth Mak

Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex

March 4, 2019

Being described as a “theatre event,” the unwieldy titled "Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex" is a throwback to the happenings and performance art of the 1960’s, without having the same visceral effect. Based on original work by the devising company, playwright Dan Hasse attempts to be up to the minute by including a great many hot button issues, but the endless scenes and vignettes seem to be part of a checkoff list of items to include rather than any great need to link these disparate topics. [more]

The Tricky Part

December 4, 2018

Overbearing nuns, eccentric priests and confusing religious tenets are detailed with stand-up comedy gusto by performer Martin Moran in recounting his Colorado Catholic upbringing during his absorbing self-written confessional solo play,"The Tricky Part." Following that familiar list of targets and lively audience interaction, the main thread of the show is disclosed. [more]

You Wouldn’t Expect

September 26, 2018

Ms. Anselmi succeeds at imparting her solid research on the subject through her sharp dialogue spoken by her strong characters. The play falters with the addition of a chorus who are actors that appear in darkness during scene transitions to intone the names of disparate celebrities such as Charles Dickens, Johnny Cash and Mother Theresa. The explanation for these many names that are cited is that due to their personality quirks they would have been sterilized in North Carolina. That supposition is arguably a stretch, the main thing is this obtrusively weakens the momentum considerably. [more]

In the Bleak Midwinter

September 11, 2018

In 14 concise scenes lasting 85 minutes, Ms. Lyman quite skillfully transforms the familiar premise of a resolute aged person clashing with her relatives over giving up her independence into an engrossing play. The characters are all fully developed, background information is smoothly imparted and the dialogue is a rich blend of humor and emotion. The plot has suspense and resonance as both arguments are set forth with equal validity. Lyman has also written a great part for herself. “I got a nice leg of lamb. Not as nice as what Eileen and Ed used to raise, but now she’s in Florida and Ed’s dead. Costco’s my butcher now.” [more]

A Walk in the Woods

March 30, 2018

The two talented, delightfully understated actors have taken on these roles with energy and sincerity.  Manning makes Honeyman both simple and complex at the same time while Van Treuren mines Botvinnik’s uncanny ability to charm and frighten at the same time.  You root for them from beginning to end and hope against hope for them to actually produce a treaty. [more]

False Stars

August 23, 2017

Nora Sørena Casey’s "False Stars," part of this year’s Corkscrew Festival at the Paradise Factory, starts slowly but gradually grows more involving as all the interconnections between the characters slowly reveal themselves. [more]