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Oliver Wason

Eco Village

January 29, 2019

Similar to a flatly serious youth exploitation flick circa 1970, playwright Phoebe Nir’s utopia-in-the-wilderness yarn "Eco Village," is likeably inept. There’s a hallucinogenic drug dinner party sequence that’s out of late Otto Preminger when he was painfully trying to be with-it that has bursting strobe lights and a female dominatrix in full regalia. The whole thing has a trippy "Gilligan’s Island" vibe combined with turgid writing and overacting. The elaborate rustic set is spectacular which helps. [more]

Sesar

October 26, 2018

Christopher Plummer’s guest appearance on a 1987 episode of "The Cosby Show" giving a Shakespearean mini-recital in the Huxtable living room had a profound effect on writer and performer Orlando Pabotoy. That clip is a highlight of Mr. Pabotoy’s marvelous solo show, "Sesar" that recounts his relationship with his heroic father. Opening with a furious recreation of a storm and closing with an enchanting visual surprise, it’s 65 theatrical and emotionally resonant minutes taking place in the family bathroom [more]

PEER GYNT & the Norwegian Hapa Band

January 24, 2017

A major flaw is Peer Gynt. Personable, co-composer Park plays the title role. When we first see him, he’s wearing a hipster wool cap, plaid shirt and eyeglasses. Possessed of a good singing voice, his acting ranges from pleasantly monotonous to ineptly excessive. He strains to be charismatic especially in his dance moves and doesn’t succeed. Park’s performance has stamina but lacks grandeur to carry the leading role of this full-length musical. [more]

Sagittarius Ponderosa

November 1, 2016

Founded in 1991, the National Asian American Theater Company’s mission is to present theater with all Asian-American casts. This is accomplished by producing classics of European and American works of dramatic literature, or adaptations of these works by Asian-American playwrights or new plays written by non-Asian Americans, not for or about Asian Americans. That last precept is the case of this East coast premiere of "Sagittarius Ponderosa." [more]

House Rules

April 10, 2016

Featuring a talented and engaging cast as well as an inventively designed set that adds tremendous production value, "House Rules" would seem to have all the necessary elements of a successful production. However, though the technical and theatrical aspects of this production are undoubtedly successful, the message of this story is somehow lost along the way. Somewhere down the line, this heartfelt family story devolves into a set of characters with clichéd motivations and almost no character growth; characters who are far too often put into storylines which never receive that oh-so-satisfying payoff that differentiates an exceptional theatrical experience from the ordinary. [more]