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New Ohio Theatre

Blackbird

September 20, 2021

In his thankless role as Ray, Grossman’s performance is perpetually defensive, harried and out of breath. As unlikable a character as Ray is expected to be, Grossman doesn’t quite manage to bring enough variation, warmth, or earnestness to the part to engender the compassion or believability needed to sustain it. Ravera seems physically uncomfortable in the character of Una. She speaks her lines with intention, but she awkwardly drags herself around the stage as though she’s never worn heels before, and her body belies her words, words which are sometimes lost in her thick accent and lack of projection. It’s surprising to see tears come to her eyes when there doesn’t seem to be enough organic truth coming out of her lines to warrant them. [more]

Madame Lynch

May 31, 2019

Eliza Lynch (1833-1886) was an Irishwoman who grew up in France and became a courtesan. In 1854 she began a relationship with Francisco Solano López, the son of Paraguay’s president. He later succeeded his father and Lynch became First Lady. He was killed in battle in 1870. Her time in Paraguay was controversial as she was thought to have instigated wars and conflicts. She was banished and returned to France, dying in obscurity. Thank you, Wikipedia, for these details because they’re scant in this treatment. Ms. Sherwood and Mr. Flanagin are more concerned with superficial theatrics rather than concretely crafting a comprehensible narrative chronicling the life of a fascinating figure who was a cross between "Barry Lyndon" and "Evita." [more]

The Itch

September 7, 2017

Ms. Zelman-Doring’s cryptic scenario of deeply close twin siblings (Ana offers to masturbate Simon when he is tied up in a chair)  is out of Sam Shepard and her dialogue is a pleasing cross between Harold Pinter’s spare eloquence with flourishes of Christopher Durang’s silliness.  The abrupt and inconclusive conclusion is in keeping with what went before it. [more]

A Christmas Carol (Blessed Unrest)

December 26, 2016

Director and choreographer Jessica Burr has created a number of dazzling moments with her precise unison of expressive staging, movement and dance. With only a few vintage trunks and a door, all on wheels, Ms. Burr achieves many vivid stage pictures. Walking up a flight of imaginary stairs is a thrilling display of mime. Burr’s work with the ensemble, most of whom play several roles is excellent with their colorful characterizations as evidence. [more]