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Erik Lochtefeld

King Kong

November 20, 2018

Designed by Johnny Tilders, the puppet Kong is phenomenal, a 20-foot tall, 2,000 pound marionette operated by the ten-person King’s Company, members of the cast assigned to operating the arms, legs and body of Kong, with the facial expressions controlled by exacting machinery that endows this artificial creation with real emotions.  The roaring and other vocalizations are amplifications of the offstage voice of Jon Hoche.  The results are not just fascinating, but eminently entertaining and even moving. [more]

A Walk With Mr. Heifetz

February 22, 2018

Although an interesting idea, James Inverne’s "A Walk With Mr. Heifetz" has lofty ambitions which it is unable to fulfill. While the advertisement proclaims that these two encounters “changed the world as we know it,” none of that comes through in the play. The thinness of the material and the two-dimensional characters fail to bring the story to life. Much more needs to be known or revealed to flesh out this intriguing but undramatized story. [more]

Napoli, Brooklyn

July 12, 2017

True, here these Italian American sisters growing up in Park Slope, 1960, don’t want to get to some place as much as get away from someplace else. As they exit their teens, their home has been made a war zone by their brutal and violent Neapolitan father Nic Muscolino who cannot deal with these women (including his Italian born wife) who think for themselves and want to follow different paths than the traditional roles defined for them. [more]

The Light Years

March 16, 2017

Playwrights Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen with developer Oliver Butler, creatively evoke the tragic, nostalgic spirit of Booth Tarkington’s "The Magnificent Ambersons" and the wonderment of the works of humorist Jean Shepherd. The scenario is engaging and the characters are lovingly rendered. [more]

Stupid Fu**ing Bird

April 1, 2016

Posner has turned Chekhov’s four-act play into two-part meta-theater: not only do the actors acknowledge the audience and solicit our participation, but they each have a monologue addressed directly to us. The actors sit around the stage when they are not in a scene, almost like they are attending a rehearsal. Aside from the obvious use of contemporary American vernacular, Posner has fun with iconic Chekhov lines that have grown stale. When asked why she always wears black, Mosh at first says, “Black is slimming,” before giving her original answer (“I’m in mourning for my life.”) He has changed Mosh and Dev’s story, giving them a different ending. While Chekhov’s Konstantin talks of the theater needing new forms, Posner’s version is the very new form that was predicted all those years ago. Finally, Posner has added an epilogue in which the actors address the audience one by one and give us a new take on the original ending. [more]