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Travis McHale

Attack of the Elvis Impersonators

June 19, 2017

Lazarus’ score is an entertaining blend of rock, pop and show tunes.   None of Elvis Presley’s actual songs are heard, but there are a number of clever takeoffs such as “Viva Milwaukee!” and “Spread the Word of Hound Dog.” His good-natured book is a shambles.  The serious, campy and satirical elements don’t connect.  The plot is crammed and wayward.  It recalls the 1960’s "Batman" television show as well as counterculture fantasies such as the 1968 film "Wild in The Streets" and Brian De Palma’s movie, "The Phantom of The Paradise." [more]

H2O

December 2, 2015

Author Jane Martin has taken the familiar dramatic staple of a love story between two clashing opposites and rendered it compellingly here. There are plot twists, witty dialogue and violent incidents all with a tone-combining sweetness and melancholy. Jake is a depressive riddled with self-doubt and Deborah’s devoutness complicates her personal emotions. [more]

Sense of an Ending

August 27, 2015

Mr. Urban does an excellent job of dramatizing and explaining a complex historical situation in this fictional treatment of a real case. In 1994, Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana died when his plane was shot down. This assassination instigated a brutal tribal conflict between the majority Hutus who blamed Tutsi extremists for the death of the Hutu president. Varying estimates of the death toll range from 500,000 to 1,000,000. [more]

Snow Orchid

February 15, 2015

Pintauro’s play about a tragic American family is highly dramatic but lacks nuance. The four main characters are clearly defined in the first fifteen minutes of the play and remain static throughout. The dialogue is unnatural at times and makes for awkward lulls and pauses. As a result, the action becomes monotonous. [more]