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Julian Evans

Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night

October 11, 2018

Presented by the San Francisco-based The Custom Made Theatre Company, this production is masterminded by its artistic director Brian Katz who adapted and directed it. Mr. Katz’s accomplished script tackles the difficult source material that’s structured as narrated flashbacks with overall successfully. Katz’s staging while working on a small-scale is technically resourceful but with limited theatricality. Sluggishness pervades and most crucially the show falters with its performances. [more]

Desperate Measures

June 14, 2018

Shakespearean spoofs are almost as old as Shakespeare himself, dating back to at least the Restoration period. Although the vast majority has faded into history, there are still some real standouts like the classic musical "Kiss Me, Kate," which thanks largely to Cole Porter is arguably even more enjoyable than its source material, a rare feat that the relatively new musical "Desperate Measures," now in its second off-Broadway run, also accomplishes. [more]

Unexpected Joy

May 10, 2018

With a Judy Collins-style mane of blonde hair and wearing jeans and suede, the sleek Luba Mason as Joy certainly looks the part. That mien is reinforced by Ms. Mason’s smoothly conversational vocal inflections and marvelous singing. Mason is totally convincing as the weed-smoking matriarch who follows her heart. [more]

Tick, Tick… BOOM!

October 27, 2016

Out of this frustration, Larson in 1991 began performing a rock monologue about his life and stalled career called 30/90, as it was set in 1990 as he turned thirty. Later it was retitled "Boho Days" and then "tick, tick... BOOM!," as a chief device is the ticking of a clock. The show was performed for short engagements at several New York City venues and ignited Larson’s career, leading to the creation and presentation of Rent Off-Broadway in 1996. [more]

I Like It Like That

October 21, 2016

Despite its formulaic story, "I Like It Like That" is quite exhilarating with its sensational salsa renditions as performed by its appealing cast and excellent band. [more]

Touch

August 27, 2016

Toni Press-Coffman’s "Touch" is a rather challenging play both in that a great deal of it is narrated in recollection and also that it deals with much naked emotion. The cast led by Peter McElligott who is onstage almost throughout the evening could not be bettered. Director Nathaniel Shaw has made this under-dramatized play into a more theatrical experience. While Touch will not be for everyone, it is an impressive document of the workings of the human heart. [more]

Naked Brazilian (The New York International Fringe Festival 2016)

August 15, 2016

Writer Gustavo Pace is the handsome, youthful and animated performer of this autobiographical exploration. He loudly rattles on in Portuguese and English while adequately portraying himself and several characters. These include his father, brother, a female therapist working on turning him straight, and various others he encounters. It’s an amiable and passable performance that’s heavy on volume and shaky on intelligibility. [more]

Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 35th Marathon of New One-Act Plays: Series C

June 26, 2015

Ms. Winkler’s writing is so simple but exquisite in its execution. In twenty minutes the sad lives of the girls are deftly dramatized with a compelling range of emotion. The direction of John Giampietro is a superb display of the art of stagecraft. The clever fantasy device of the cherry trees is skillfully blended into the narrative with boldness and precision. Lighting, sound and music are all utilized to great effect so that it is all visually quite stunning. [more]

Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 35th Marathon of New One-Act Plays: Series A

May 24, 2015

Founded in 1968, this theater company is, “…committed to the discovery and nurturing of new voices, and the continued support and growth of artists throughout their creative lives.” Ensemble Studio Theatre's 35th Marathon of New One-Act Plays: Series A fulfills this noble goal with its enticing and often quite remarkable variety of works. Series B and Series C will follow and all will run through several dates in June. [more]