News Ticker

Pearl Gopalani

Ode to the Wasp Woman

November 16, 2023

"Ode to the Wasp Woman," written and directed by Rider McDowell, is a play done in the style of film noir and true crime films of the 1950’s. The show focuses on the events leading up to the death of four actors from the B-movies of the 1950’s: Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Susan Cabot, George Reeves, and Barbara Payton. It is essentially four acts in style and dialogue that are uneven in terms of theatrical structure, but given the nature of B-movies, they fit within the two dominant styles of noir and true crime. Even though McDowell captures the feel of a B-movie, there are issues within the production that don't fit. It also takes some knowledge of B-movies in terms of genres and styles. If you do not know what the B-movies were like, you may not like the show, and even if you are a B-movie fan, you may not pick up on the resemblance to those movies. [more]


April 21, 2023

Tangredi’s script has some lines that could stand revisiting, but even in its lack of polish it does have good dramatic bones. Unfortunately, "Muse" fails utterly on delivery. Although the direction by Hazen Cuyler demonstrates some inventive staging in scenes which take place simultaneously in different times, it completely misses the mark by not insisting the actors listen to each other in earnest and find their dialogue organically. Thus, the acting is unilaterally unbelievable; the performances are stiff and filled with maudlin, melodramatic mugging and grandstanding. [more]