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Us...The Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by Jennifer Simmons

COMPANY : PlaybyPlay Productions [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre On Main [WEBSITE]
ID# 2296

SHOWING : June 08, 2007 - June 23, 2007

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A story about one day in the lives of three women. Their men...their lives...their friendships. It's about us.


CAST & CREW LIST
Writer/Composer Jennifer Simmons
Writer/Composer Scott Simmons
Director Jennifer Simmons
Music Director Scott Simmons
Set Design Hunter Aldridge
Costumes Lani Leach Brooks
Choreographer Carrie Smith
Chris Hunter Aldridge
Elizabeth Lani Leach Brooks
Armand Marc Middlebrooks
Victoria Kristine Polasky
Isabelle Jennifer Simmons
Bill Scott Simmons
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Great Show...
by dem1
Monday, June 25, 2007
4.0
I was a bit nervous about posting a review on this site. With all the comments about dismissing a new reviewer's review, it seemed to me that participation is discouraged here. But, I figured, what the @#*%. All of these established reviewers started at the beginning. So can I.
Although this show has ended, I wanted to put in my two cents, because this was a really good show. I took the wife to see this show after seeing the signs posted on Main Street in Acworth. We are residents of Acworth and we have seen two other shows at the theater (Theater on Main?, Cobb Playhouse? I'm not sure what the theater's name was when we attended other shows) and one show was very, very good, while the other was lacking, to say the least.
I really enjoyed this production, and my wife absolutely loved it. The sets were simple and the lighting was minimal (to the point that sometimes you couldn't see the actors) but......the story, the acting, the music, and the singing were top drawer. All of the characters were believable and well woven into the story. Topmost on the list of fine acting were Marc Middlebrooks as Armand, Lani Brooks as Elizabeth, and Jennifer Simmons as Isabelle. I was very drawn into the scenes between Bill (Scott Simmons) and Elizabeth (Lani Brooks) and the tango number with Armand (Marc Middlebrooks) and Isabelle (Jennifer Simmons) was hilarious. The third couple (Hunter Aldridge, Kristine Polasky) was delightful in their scenes of unrequited youthful love.
Vocally, hands down, Scott Simmons had the best voice. Incredible control and emotion. This is not to say, however, that the other actors were not accomplished in their singing. All three ladies had wonderful songs, sang them admirably, and blended beautifully on the Ladies Lament. Marc Middlebrooks and Hunter Aldridge added a perfect touch with their solos and harmonies in the ensamble numbers.
If I had to pick apart things I did not care for, I would begin with the lighting. As I mentioned before, it did not do the show justice. I also did not care for the set. It was minimal and dirty looking. Two of the actors had noticable accents that set them apart from the supposed location. Some of the singing, particularlly in ensamble went astray. I had some issues with character looks. Certain characters simply did not match the ego of what their characters were ment to portray. We HATED the trains coming through at certain scenes. And, I'm sorry to the actors, but sometimes, the scenes ran too far. Funny is funny, but there is a fine line between vulgar and funny.
All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this show. At times it made me laugh uproariously. Sometimes it made me want to look away because it was so intense. Occasionally it was lackluster and trite. That it evoked these various emotions means it did something. It entertained me. I hope, someday, and with improvements in certain areas, to see it again. Congratulations to this cast. You are something to see. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
sorry i missed it by feather
i really wanted to see. it sounded soooo fab.
A MUST SEE!!!!!
by spamalot
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
5.0
This emotional story of three mixed up couples soars above the regular and the expected. If you love exciting, seductive musicals,-this is it. This show is so original and musical and has some of the finest voices and some of the finest tunes I've heard in a long time. The songs are first-rate and slightly over the top; the cast is relentlessly talented; in particular Jennifer Simmons is a killer rising talent providing both quality acting and outstanding vocals. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Fabulous ... run, don't walk to see it!
by Airdnaxela
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
5.0
This show was absolutely terrific. It evoked every emotion...happiness, melancholy, pride, etc. The music was great, a melange of verse and styles. Perhaps the most outstanding features of this musical are the palpable excitement and deep passion the actors convey from beginning to end, which you will find are very contagious.

Last week's opening performance stands out not only for the quality and originality of the music, but for the heart and 110% all-out performance of the entire ensemble cast. The staging and choreography are fabulous, but wouldn't work without the incredible talents of up-and-coming stars such as Jennifer Simmons and Marc Middlebrooks. Their bedroom scene, with both swirling with sexy humor, was mesmerizing.

The only minor flaw is the set design. Even so, I will watch it again in a heartbeat. I left the theater feeling uplifted...hopefully you will too. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
A bit Dissaponted
by 2seeornot2see
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
2.0
There are pro's and con's to this show. There are many redeeming things to say. They do not however, ad up to more than a 2 no matter how hard I try.
The PRO: Scott Simmons does have a really great voice. The Con-His acting is not believable in the least. Everything sounds like a memorized line. The PRO: Lani Brooks has great line interpretation and plays her part well. The Con: Her voice is pitchy and irritating when she sings. And she does not fit this role as it is presented. The PRO-Kristine Polasky has great stage presence. She also has a very nice voice. CON-sometimes her voice quivered a bit and it distracted. PRO-Hunter and Marc were great. Hunters vocals especially. CON:Would like to have seen them used more. PRO: Jennifer Simmons is very pretty, and has a nice voice. CON: I did not buy her in this role, it didn't seem believable. I think this may be because she wrote, directed and acted. This is a tough thing. She is interpreting her work through her own eyes, but she can't see herself without bias. No one can. What results is an uneven play, with uneven performances and uneven music. In a normal production, the writers would have handed it over to a team that would make cuts and additions from an outside view. This obviously didn't happen here, or didn't happen right. Some songs were very good, others were blatant rip offs of recent rock musicals. Still, I can't write music like that. And my hat is off to any one who can. This has potential, but needs a bunch of work. It needs more people coming in from the outside and making DRASTIC changes. Great effort, less than OK results. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Thank you.... by Open Yon
for your thorough review with specific details. This will help me with my decision on whether or not to see the show.
I liked "US"
by theatrefreak
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
4.0
I actually really liked this production. It was not perfect, but I happen to know that this production had a lot of set backs. They just kept pushing forward anyway. I am proud of them and the show. The songs were brilliant, and the story line was good too. Scott has a beautiful, but I think he oversang his songs. Hunter brought a nice pop sound to his songs. I love his voice, and the subtle runs. Especially on his second duet (I forgot the name). I am really think by this weekend and next a lot of the kinks will have been worked out. I recommend seeing it. I enjoyed seeing this seasons underdog have a successful show. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Bravo! 5 stars!
by fanatic
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
5.0
I'm new to theater review.com. I have never been here before and donít know anyone. I just accidently came across this website when googling ďusÖĒ. It was such a fabulous show I wanted to learn more. So I googled it, and so here I am. Let me tell you about a really great theater experience I just had. "us..." is a remarkable story. The music is really, really good,-amazing really considering its a completely original musical. the characters are rich, enderuing, and the script is deeply personal. It is about the interwoven lives of three amazing women, aptly performed by Jennifer Simmons, Lani Brooks and Kristine Polasky.

First and foremost I applaud the brilliant brother and sister team of Scott Simons and Jennifer Simmons. I'm not crazy here, but Scott is a musical genius. i knew that. but he is also a sensual and enduring actor with a wonderful voice. Goosebumps went down my spine, along with a few tears, as belted out soulful melodies. Jen is the complete package, sexy with a tremendous acting and singing abilities who is the voice behind the story.

This really is an ensemble piece with tons of talent demonstrated by the entire cast. Lani Brooks and Kristine Polasky,-who along with Jennifer-played the three women whose lives are inner twined as friends and life companions. All three are fabulous. The men are hunks, especially Marc Milddebrooks as Armand, Jenniferís romantic partner. The scenes between Marc and Jennifer are incredibly sexy hot,-something you have to see too believe. Marc provides enough HOT comic relief with his scenes with Jennifer that it adds a realistic dimension to Jenís portrayal. Makes it that more realistic and nerve-wacking. Amazing! A very personal and heartwarming and contemporary experience.

I recommend this show to everyone! come see it before its too late!
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
confusing review... by Open Yon
I have a hard time buying the authenticity of the reviewer's motives here when he/she contradicts him/herself within the frame of 3 paragraphs. First fanatic states "I have never been here before and donít know anyone" (which, for the record, usually means you do). Then in the very next paragraph fanatic states "I'm not crazy here, but Scott is a musical genius. i knew that. but he is also a sensual and enduring actor with a wonderful voice." How could fanatic "know" Scott was a "musical genius" if s/he doesn't "know anyone?" I'm considering seeing this show, but would like to see an unconflicted review from a non-biased audience member before I fork over any cash. Is there anyone out there who saw this show & fits this description who can write a constructive review?
Re: Confusing Review/Musical Genius by Cavendish
All you have to do is look in the program to see who the composer is. That knowledge combined with experiencing the show could lead a reviewer to conclude the person is a genius (or a failure) without knowing him personally. I think the review was way over the top especially for an original production never before staged. As to whether you shoud see it, if you're hard up for sixteen bucks why not offer to usher, work concessions, clean up, etc?
You can just tell by fanatic
You can tell Scott is a genius just by listening to the fabulous music. Its totally amazing. I want to buy a soundtrack and listen to it everyday on the way to work. Its that beuatiful.
to Cavendish by Open Yon
Not hard up for $16, but throwing money away just isn't very, well...smart, whether its $1 or $1000. SO if I can get a constructive review that critiques things point by point, then I can get a better idea as to whether I should A. Spend $16 on a show or B. Buy a $16 share of stock in say...a company that produces toilet paper, which is something people will always use. Deciding whether or not someone is brilliant based on their credentials is not an accurate way to assess someone. George W. Bush gets to put "President of the United States" on his resume for the rest of his life. Does that mean he is a good president? Many would argue no.

Have you seen this show? Can you give me a succinct, unbiased analysis? That's really all I'm asking.
Open Yon's True Identity Revealed... by mooniemcmoonster
Clarke Howard. I totally agree with everything you're saying.
Yon by Randomguy
Yon,
I appreciate your "concerns", but most of us are here to see reviews not hear annoying commentary on what YOU think is a bogus review. I have noticed that quite a few of your comments are trying to call out bogus reviews. Why not let us decide what we think is real or not. Many of us are intelligent enough to do so. Maybe you could write an actual review instead of assuming all other reviews are fake. That is the point of this site..not to review the reviewers. What if it is a good show and someone thought they were helping the show out, and thought it deserved a good review? And what if that person is not a cast member. Maybe a parent or friend? What does it really matter? I guess I just want to know what your point is. Most of us are here to read reviews..not your commentary. I guess I am guilty now because your post annoyed me and I felt incline to write. BTW, Scott is a genius. I have heard him before. Jennifer is a great character actor so I would not be suprised if most of the facts are true. Anyway, let us judge for ourselves. Maybe you can open your own site called faketheaterreviewsuncovered.com. I would go check it out if I was in the mood for idol chit chat. Peace. (sorry I had to be the one to stoop to this level just to get my point across).
response to random guy by Open Yon
You have simply just made my point for me. This site is set up, as you pointed out, for "reviews" not "commentary." Maybe I need to define the difference for people who do not know. A review is something that is given by someone who has no bias/emotional ties to who or what they are reviewing. In the professional world, it is usually written by someone who has extensive knowledge about the subject that they are reviewing so that they can not only say that something "IS" brilliant, or awful as the case may be, but can list specific educated or informed reasons as to WHY something is brilliant or awful. If you are coming here to say something is brilliant without saying why, as was gushingly done by fanatic, then that is, Mr. Randomguy, a prime example of "commentary." I have come here to ask for something that resembles a "review," so that I can make an informed decision about whether or not to attend a show (this site is called Theater REVIEW, right? Not Theater "Commentary" or Theater "let me totally beef up a show b/c I know someone in it" or Theater "let me write a glowing review b/c I'm somehow invested in this theater & don't want its doors to close"). Since this is an amateur site, I know that there will be plenty of commentary, which is why I'm requesting a non-biased REVIEW, that is all. Why are you so offended by my simply asking for what this site is supposed to deliver?
Wow by thespisATL
I have, for a long time, wondered what exactly this site IS FOR? I have my own ideas and I have to say, it is probably what the original intent for the site was. But DEAR LORD has it taken a wrong turn! I watch this site day after day and know most of the people who are involved with the shows and it makes me wish that this community would actuallyi act as one and support each other rather than tear each other down. Come on, 99% of the people who are "new to this site" or "happened upon it" are actually actors and/or friends/familiy of those who are involved in the community. You don't just "happen upon the site" if you are a random theatre goer in Atlanta. So, my question is (before this thread is deleted), why do people in the same boat, in the same profession/hobby, in the same community, feel the need to degrade each other? Every single f*$##n review is turned into a pissing match and every time someone dares to tell the truth, whether good or bad, they are torn apart and the credibility questioned. It has made me cringe for many years now and this community continues to amaze me. Atlanta stands to be a driving force in theatre and film but people, like the ones who flood this site with their personal crap, will continue to hold it back and boy, does it depress me.
Wow indeed... by Open Yon
It is not my intent to degrade anyone. It is my intent, as I've repeatedly stated, to read informative reviews from unbiased theater goers. It ruins the integrity of this site's intent for someone to review a show if they are in any way connected to it or the theater which houses it unless they can be completely objective, which is nearly impossible. This site should be a tool for theater goers to inform themselves about smaller, community performances that do not get the publicity or media of larger shows so that they can decide to attend or not. It should also be a tool for actors/directors/set designers/choreographers etc... to learn what they have done well, or not so well, so that they might improve. If the aforementioned list of positions cannot take constructive criticism, then they are in the wrong business. No one is perfect, but everyone can strive to be, if they know where to improve. Getting bogus reviews either unbelievably glowing from friends/family or hatefully crude from enemies/opposing theaters are helpful to no one.


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