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Jamie Heinlein

Dining with Ploetz

September 13, 2019

"Dining with Ploetz" at Theater for the New City consists of three short plays by writer, director and teacher Richard Ploetz. The program adds up to slightly under two hours’ running time (with one intermission). The plays are all billed as comedies, and—as the title implies—they all, to one degree or another, involve “dining.”  They are, however, quite diverse in terms of style and tone. The first and last of them (both of which the playwright directed) hold the audience’s attention fairly well. The middle piece, directed by Steven Hauck (who acts in the other two), is riveting. [more]

Secret Identity

January 29, 2019

At the center of "Secret Identity" is Keith Weiss who plays JT. The proverbially baby-faced Mr. Weiss is physically, emotionally and vocally entrancing. With his rumbling low voice and expressive imposing physical presence, Weiss truly takes on the character exhibiting the pathos of the outsider. He casts off sullenness to deliver some amusing Robin Williams-style antic riffs while doing impersonations of teachers. His contorted manner when observing Trey disrobe speaks volumes about how JT feels. Weiss is onstage virtually the entire time and his performance is a chief measure of the play’s success. [more]