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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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JasonMeinhardt [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
Kudzu Playhouse6
Village Playhouses of Roswell1
North Spings High School Drama Department1
Kudzu Sprouts1
Aurora Theatre1
Average Rating Given : 4.57143
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

The Bad Eggs, by The Bad Eggs Writers...
If I could rate it higher, I would
Friday, July 30, 2004
5.0
I am kicking myself for not going to see these guys every weekend. Unfortunately, rent must be paid, so I had to work. But I am very happy I was able to attend their "Best Of" show. I had the privilege of seeing the first installment of "The Bad Eggs" and as you can see in my review, I thought it was amazing. However, seeing this show, makes me wish there was a higher rating than a 5 on here.

I know some of you "cynics" are saying "Look everyone! MORE hype for a show at Kudzu!!" All I have to say is: these extremely talented young comics deserve even more hype and I only wish that they were not all returning to school and so Bad Eggs will have to wait until next year (I hope that is the plan). I laughed harder at these sketches than I have since seeing SNL in NY live. I can't stand SNL on TV. At least not since the most recent glory days with Phil Hartman, Chris Farley, etc. The writing boardered on genius and the performances surpassed it. Yes, these are all friends of mine and never have I been more proud to say so than I was last night.

They parodied everything from The Matrix, Harry Potter, George W., and of course, Lord of the Rings. The characters were well thought out, the timing was amazing, and Andrew, Nick, and Jimmy have to be the ugliest "women" I have ever seen onstage! Folks, if you miss this, you will be missing out on some of the best sketch comedy you will see in Atlanta. I hate it that I have to say goodbye soon to some of my closest friends who are in this show but I know that they will make something of themselves if this show is any clue.

Atlanta, do yourselves a favor and treat your funny bone to "The Bad Eggs". Only two more nights (Fri and Sat @ 10:40) and you will have to wait until next summer. Trust me...don't wait! Come see it before its too late!

To the departing "Eggs": Good luck to you all and congratulations on a job well done.
~J~

The Bad Eggs, by The Bad Eggs Writers...
My stomach still hurts....
Tuesday, June 1, 2004
5.0
I know this is a “biased” review and normally, I would give my reviews an “NR” rating, but I felt that it would be unfair to the members of “Bad Eggs” if I did. Not only does this troupe deserve a high rating, it deserves many, many words of praise. I’ve known most of these talented actors for a long time. One, Andrew Durand, is practically a little brother of mine and every time I see him do something else, I get prouder and prouder. This show was no exception. I haven’t laughed that hard at a comedy troupe since I was fortunate enough to see SNL in New York a few years back. With no set, minimal costumes, etc. these talented actors performed everything from a twisted version of “The Peanuts” that would make Charles Schultz spin right out of his grave. Tolkein would be joining him if he saw the Eggs’ take on the unsaid relationship between Frodo and Sam. They even topped the evening off with a song, which I was lucky to hear at my b-day party, but still laughed my ass off when I heard it again.

These kids are some of the most talented comedic actors you will see in Atlanta. They put a lot into coming up with these sketches and it shows. The only thing I can say that needs to be worked on is the tech. Michael Wilmer did a great job running the tech, but the sound had a lot of static at times and the music was a little low. But I’m sure it will be fixed and it is a VERY minor problem.

Do your funny bone a favor and go see these guys! You will not be disappointed, in fact, you will be surprised at how funny these young, local actors can be and you will continue to come back. I promise!

The Odd Couple, by Neil Simon
A fun night...
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
-1.0
Again, I am putting NR since I do not wish to offend the "bias police" of Atlanta. Let me say, first off, that the Odd Couple is one of my favorite Neil Simon plays and Neil Simon is one of my favorites, as well. Also, most of the actors in this show, I have worked with on many occasions and if I haven't been onstage with them, I have known them for quite a while. I thought Ned Thurman (who played Oscar when I did the show), did a wonderful job setting up the scenes, the blocking was done well, and overall did a great job directing this show. The actors (Brink Miller, Brad Zuber, Chris Arapoglou, Wally Hinds, and I would mention the rest, but I don't have a program in front of me and do not know everyone else personally) did a great job. I believe most of this cast, reading their bios, don't have a TON of experience, but based on performances, it would be hard to tell. Save for a few line blunders (which can be attributed to opening night jitters), the show was very entertaining and I enjoyed my evening.

My only major issue with this particular production is, the play is supposed to take place in the 60's. I have seen it done (the production Ned, Brink, and I did), where it was done in present day and with a few little line alterations (the money value, etc), it worked fine. The problem I had was, until the girls came out in the second act, I had no clue that this was in the past and the problem was, it looked like the Pigeon sisters were going to a Halloween party. The costumes were way too modern and the other problem I had was props. Again, 1960's and yet when Oscar opened the Wall Street Journal, there was a beautiful full page color ad for the new Nissan Z. The large bag of chips were Kroger brand and to my knowledge and experience in NY, I never came across a Kroger. These are all little things, but nonetheless, very distracting to a show that is performed well and directed well.

I love every single person at Kudzu like family and I do not intend to insult or hurt but only to point out things that can easily be fixed and make it a spectacular show. Kudos to all the actors in this show and to Ned, whom I didn't know directed, but was proven that he can and can do it well. If you will take a "biased" opinion, then go see this show for the laughs and a good time.

Maggie's Getting Married, by Norm Foster
The year's most biased review!
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
-1.0
Yes, that is correct. Not only do I know people in this show, but I am marrying one of them. The rest of the cast are very close friends of mine, as well. Oh yeah, AND I was cast as one of the roles, but unfortunately had money to earn and pursued my current job instead. That said, this was a thoroughly enjoyable show. I was there on a Sunday and as you may know, Sunday matinees aren't magnets for the largest and greatest audiences. This was no exception. However, the cast mustered up every ounce of energy they could to put on a great performance. When I first read the play, my reaction was that this was a cliche-filled show. The situation is nothing new to "romantic" comedies. However, it was the way Mr. Foster wrote the lines for his characters that made the show funny. Add in wonderful performances, and you have a great play. Even though I was not able to do the show, after watching it, I am glad I wasn't. Richard Omark had me cracking up with his portrayal of Maggie's fiancee. He was over the top in the beginning which was perfect when his final monologue is delivered. It was a great contrast between the Russell everyone else sees and the true Russell. Brink Miller and Patty Siebert were true to the "parents of the bride" characters. Mr. Miller was hysterical at times and heart warming at others. One of my favorite performances was Axel. Jim, like Richard, had me in stitches throughout the show. Now, to the girls...Amy Rundbaken, playing yet ANOTHER character named Maggie shined and between her and Brandy Rizk, they carried the energy throughout the show. And yes, I am now going to "review" my own fiancee. Brandy has grown so much as an actress this past year. From small roles to finally getting her chance at a larger role in Jerry Finnegan's Sister, to the infamous "Foreigner", and now to this role as Wanda, Maggie's slightly naughtier sister. Brandy has finally loosened up, stopped "acting", and was the most comfortable on stage even with an jaw-dropping stunt at the end of the show. I am biased towards her, yes. But I can honestly say, I enjoy watching actors grow and she has done so. This cast was superbly put together by Peter Tomassan, whom I wished I had a chance to work with and I sincerely hope I have the chance to in the future. Please see this show, despite my biased views, it is just a fun show to watch.

Caught in the Net, by Ray Cooney
Another "biased" review....
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
4.0
That was my warning, just in case people are going to use this review as a decision maker as to whether or not they are going to see this show. I am, of course, affiliated with Kudzu and more so...I was in the prequel to this show, Run For Your Wife last year. I agree with "andy" that I think the script for Run For Your Wife was tighter and the overall storyline was crisper (not to mention it had Sgt. Troughton in it and I loved playing that role). This cast remained tight and it was fun to watch from an audience point of view. The roles were switched with Stanley (Sean O'Rourke) and John (Kevin Garrett) moving from supporting role to lead role and vice versa. I enjoyed all the jokes and got a lot more than the rest of the audience because a lot were from the previous show. Its a great situation these characters were put in and provides a laugh a minute. Definitely worth going to see even if you didn't catch last year's show.

Moon Over Buffalo, by Ken Ludwig
A surreal experience.....
Monday, February 9, 2004
5.0
My fiancee and I saw this production this weekend with my good friend, Andy Meeks. I was tossing up whether or not to review it since I had just finished playing Paul at a different theater. But I enjoyed myself so much, I thought…what the hell?! First off, I am not going to do any comparisons. I don’t think its fair. Plus, I didn’t SEE our production, so I cannot give a fair comparison. Now, the set was beautiful. It captured the pure essence of a green room and everything on the set helped submerse you into a world and an era that many people don’t know. The costuming by Michael Reynolds was flawless. Mr. Reynolds costumed me in 1940’s Radio Hour a couple years ago and he cares so much about his craft, it shows in every aspect. The only “comparison” I am going to make is about the staging. Ken Ludwig lays out everything pretty clearly and both directors skillfully related his staging to the casts. What is so much fun about this show, is that, as a cast, you are allowed so much freedom to find comic bits (Mr. Rodriguez’s shirt bit and the “twisted neck” bit, etc.) and to me, THAT is what makes each production of this play different. The performances were flawless. Tony Rodriguez and Shelly McCook (Ms. McCook is one of my favorite comic actresses in Atlanta), were the epitome of the term “fallen starlets”. Their chemistry and relationship was beautiful to watch. My other favorites were Mr. Ensweiler and Mr. Taylor. I must admit, when they first entered, I wasn’t sure…but they quickly exceeded my expectations and I loved every minute they were onstage. Mr. Young played Paul to a tee. I will not begin to compare our performances, because I cannot, but I loved watching him and it was almost a surreal experience watching another actor play the same role. I found myself mouthing the lines with him (silently, of course). I can only imagine that Mr. Young had as much fun with this part as I did and it showed in his performance. Overall, my experience was great. I finally got to meet Ann-Carol and she instantly made us feel at home there. Thank you, Aurora, for giving us a thoroughly enjoyable theatrical experience!

Les Miserables, by Boublil & Shoenberg
A very nice surprise!
Monday, January 19, 2004
4.0
Well...I went to see this production last night (Thursday) with many other actor friends of mine. I kept having to remind myself that even though this is a performing arts magnet school and the walls are overflowing with amazing talent, it IS still a school production. Let me just say, Les Miz is probably one of the most difficult productions to produce. Vocally, it is a VERY demanding show even for veteran adult musical theatre actors to do. Staging on a stage any smaller than the Fox or the Civic can be challenging. Tech, music, orchestrations, etc. are the many obstacles that I believe keep many companies from attempting a show of this calliber. However, keeping my expectations where they should be, I was very impressed. I came to see my long time friend and "little brother", Andrew Durand and a couple more friends I knew who were in it (and some I did not). I know it may seem biased, but trust me, I am not biased when it comes to reviewing a show... no matter who I might offend or hurt. Andrew not only kept me in awe, but everytime he entered the stage, the intensity and energy shot up ten-fold. I enjoy every moment I have shared onstage with Andrew and I only hope that the two of us can continue with this career and share much more time. Paige Anderson (Eponine), had a voice that brought chills to your skin and tears to your eyes. My only comment on her...(and I've known her for some time), she needed more dirt...she's too cute (as if there is such thing as too cute). Jimi Kocina was the biggest surprise for me. I have seen him play many roles, but this, by far was his biggest stretch and he played Javert (one of my dream roles) with such intensity that it was a shame to see that some of his songs (Stars, Confrontation)were edited for time, I'm assuming. The majority of the cast definitely surprised me and I could take time and space going into them all, but I'm sure people have started dozing off already. Tech needed some work (Mr. Thenardier (spelling)had no mic for "Master of the House" only to have it pop on every other line), the band hit a few sour notes, and during one scene in particular, a sign was being changed in the middle of the Fantine death scene (which was done very well by Nikki Dillon) only to have it put up just in time for the curtains to close for the next scene change (in other words, it could've waited). But my expectations were exceded and I was thoroughly surprised by the talent on this stage. Everyone needs to be proud of themselves for performing a feat rarely attempted by even the most professional of theaters. You all had a rare experience to perform dream roles in a dream show. And since Les Miz is gone from NY, some of us, may have to settle for keeping it at just that...a dream. Congrats to you all.

A Christmas Carol, by Adapted by Wally Hinds
I agree
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
4.0
I know...I am a Kudzu regular. I know...some people do not agree with actors reviewing shows that have friends or family performing in it and I am sure that we will see some "comments" after this review. However, I will risk it by saying that I have to agree with Mr. Forrester. Being in this show for many years, playing anything from Marley to Young Scrooge and even directing it one year, I know that it is VERY hard to fit that many actors on that small stage and it is overall, an extremely difficult production to pull off and pull off well. Kudzu did a great job with it, was very true to the original story and being on the audience's side (for the first time in a while), it was great to finally sit back and enjoy this production rather than running around like a monkey backstage changing costumes, sets and makeup. With as many times as I have worked with Brink (scrooge) and many of the other actors in this production, everyone continually gets better and better every year and with every role they bring to life. The first time actors gave heart-felt performances and yes, Andrew (Tiny Tim)did a spectacular job (his sister, Rachel played the role last year and nailed the part as well). R.P. brought a rich and enjoyable turn on his role as Present and Chris Arapoglou, who claims himself as the "lesser talented of his family", proved himself wrong as he did much justice to the roles he played. I could go into everyone's performance in this show and part of me feels bad that I don't have room enough on this or time to mention everyone but I must say, to all in this production, cast and crew...you deserve the sold out houses and hope you enjoyed putting the Christmas spirit in everyone's hearts this year.

CLOSING SOON
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by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
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by Robert Harling
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