BY TULIS McCALL If you make it to the second act of this sluggish production you will see a master class in acting. John Pankow pulls the heart of this play out of a hat and hands it to us. Pankow drops into despair as though he were weighted at the ankles and crumples as we watch. I’m fifty years old now…. I ‘m scared. I can’t seem to hold onta anything. Life’s slipping away and I never learned what it’s all about. I dunno how to live. I oughta have someone teach me. I dunno how to...Read More
Author: Tulis McCall
Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don’t know how, but this production has managed – on the night I saw it – to nearly obliterate passion. I mean the one that counts, the one between Romeo (Orlando Bloom) and Juliet (Condola Rashad). Surprisingly, this is due more to Mr. Bloom, who appeared tired and unfocused in his performance, as opposed to Ms. Rashad who gives it all she has. She still misses the mark, but she is in there swinging with more life and zip than I have seen in her previous performances combined. We begin with a flash of lightening and a well trained dove who sits as directed on the upper lip of an enormous bell and upstages poor Brent Carver (Friar Lawrence) who delivers the prologue. This is followed by the set up of the two families Capulet and Montague – here racially divided black and white – who have nothing better to do than hang out in the street and beat the crap out of each other. After a bit Romeo enters and is supposed to be in a dither because he is not being treated fairly by love. The woman he desires ahs chosen chastity and Romeo (a teenage male) is about to burst. When he and his chums are mistakenly made aware of a party that night, they decide to...Read More
BY ALICE KLUGHERZ This is a well-seasoned two-character performance piece about too many things. The piece centers around Suzi, played by Susan McCully, her physical issues, her embarrassment of riches in the fantasy department and what feels to me like an over-arching dislike of her physical self. She is accompanied by Rachel Hirshorn, who expertly plays a different character in every scene she is in. Both Susan McCully and Rachel Hirshorn are strong performers, committed and interesting to watch. The props and set pieces by Lien French are perfect. Most of the scenes in the piece come off...Read More
As a fan of Irish writers Martin McDonagh, Conor McPherson and Colum McCann, I’ve always fancied myself a Celtophile. But thanks to Origin’s 1st Irish’s artistic director George C. Heslin, I now know that those writers are just the tip of the iceberg. And thanks again to Heslin – we’re about to be treated to the abundance and diversity that makes up the true wealth of Irish talent. Now in its sixth year, Origin’s 1st Irish 2013 is the world’s only theatre festival dedicated to Irish playwrights. It runs from September 2nd through September 29th and is curated and...Read More
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