Author: C.C. Garson

The Tempest

When the globe began to swing like a pendulum, sending stars careening around the dark theater to create the wild tempest that opens the play, I knew we were in good hands. Karin Coonrod directs The Tempest with clarity, simplicity, and subtle magic.

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17 Orchard Point

The literal kitchen sink in the meticulously detailed set onstage at the Beckett Theatre is an important location in this “kitchen sink” drama. I won’t reveal what takes place there, since this 75-minute play rests on its twists, turns, and revelations, but I will reveal that there were audible gasps from the audience, not just in this moment, but in a few other places as well. Lydia (Tony Award-winner Michele Pawk) arrives from Las Vegas at the apartment building she owns in Cleveland (the 17 Orchard Point of the title). She’s there for her youngest daughter’s baby shower, hosted...

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Extraordinary Extremities

I arrived at the SoHo Playhouse assuming I’d love this show. I’m a big fan of adult puppet theater, and I’d enjoyed this company’s production, The Whale, in Edinburgh. Perhaps these expectations contributed to my disappointment; I found this latest work overly sentimental and with a one-hour running time, about twenty minutes too long. Geppetto (Carlo Adinolfi) arrives at his puppet workshop in crisis. He is scheduled to perform in an important festival but must do it alone. His beloved wife and performing partner has died. We know she was beloved because of the many times he lovingly gazes...

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Murder For Two

BY C.C. GARSON Buy tickets today, now, this very minute because I suspect this murder-mystery-comedy-musical is going to sell out instantly. And it should. In this delightfully entertaining, ridiculous and sublime (or should that be sublimely ridiculous?) 90-minute roller-coaster, Brett Ryback plays the would-be detective Marcus and Jeff Blumenkrantz plays everybody else — and that’s a lot of bodies to play! The clever book by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair (who also wrote the music and the lyrics, respectively) hits all the classic murder-mystery tropes: the mysterious mansion in a remote area, the assembled guests with motives, the young but eager policeman desperate to make detective but haunted by tragedy. The exposition is handled in a breathtaking opening number by the rubber-faced, elastic-limbed Blumenkrantz, who introduces the six guests waiting in the dark to surprise the best-selling author Arthur Whitney on his birthday. The suspects include Whitney’s sudden widow Dahlia, who gave up her dreams of show biz after they were married; a bickering couple, a psychiatrist, a prima ballerina, and Steph, an earnest graduate student. Although Blumenkrantz has the show-stopping role, he’s well matched by Ryback’s desperate attempts to retain control, to seem in charge, and to not blow his chance at making detective. Other characters also making appearances, though two never make it to the stage: Marcus’s boss on the other end of his cell phone and...

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Final Analysis

BY C.C. GARSON   Vienna 1910. The Hapsburg Empire is in its twilight years, the cafes are full of intellectuals and artists, and World War 1 is on the horizon. Class and ethnic tensions are growing, but many aristocrats refuse to see the future just ahead. This is a vibrant and fertile setting, but playwright Otho Eskin doesn’t take full advantage of the rich possibilities. Perhaps he’s star-struck, having loaded his play with Big Names: Wittgenstein, Freud, Alma and Gustav Mahler, Stalin, and an unnamed “Young Man,” whose “mysterious” identity becomes clear very quickly. These Big Names all have...

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