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Michael Abrams

The Rainmaker

May 6, 2018

“Never judge a heifer by the flick of her tail” is just one of the many kernels of down home wisdom in playwright N. Richard Nash’s lovely piece of Americana, The Rainmaker. It’s been tenderly revived by the Blackfriars Repertory Theatre and The Storm Theatre Company with every role perfectly cast. [more]

Death Comes for the War Poets

June 17, 2017

In the play which is billed as “a dramatic verse tapestry,” playwright Joseph Pearce ably weaves together poems and diary entries by Sassoon and Owen with extracts of other writers of the era.  Though Mr. Pearce identifies the characters as the English Sassoon and Owen, he provides scant biographical details about them. From this treatment, they could be any British young men of that time.  [more]

Deconstruction

March 14, 2017

The acting isn’t detailed or expansive enough to make Leaf’s words come alive or give the slightest notion of the intelligence of these three. Ms. Dobbins’ McCarthy is far too girlish. Yes, the playwright’s point is to show how even an intellectual can be seduced by a good-looking person, but she never boils over. The closest to anger she achieves is petulance. [more]

Divine Comedy

October 9, 2016

The problem with Peter Dobbins’ productions is not the quaint spiritual underpinnings of the plays but the fact that they are directed too leisurely and consequently do not generate any laughs, fatal for comedies. Several of the actors are innocuous where they should be more incisive. The rhythms of both plays seem much more formal and genteel than they need to be. The short, curtain raiser plays like an extended anecdote, while the longer, more famous play is a comedy of manners play that seems rather thin for its length. The stilted, old-fashioned translations from the French also do not help. [more]

Collaborators

January 22, 2016

Ross DeGraw as Joseph Stalin and Brian J. Carter as Mikhail Bulgakov in a scene from John Hodge’s [more]

Gigi

January 21, 2015

Not only does Anita Loos’ adaptation of "Gigi" not make us miss the famous Lerner and Loewe songs, its intimacy and sophistication make it a fine play in its own right. This first major New York revival staged by Peter Dobbins captures the perfect graceful style needed and keeps us entertained at all times. Under his astute direction, Connie Castanzo in the title role and Kathleen Huber and Evangelia Kingsley as her sophisticated relatives give memorably evocative performances. [more]