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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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Kudzu Playhouse2
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Average Rating Given : 3.33333
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REVIEWS

Chicago - a musical vaudeville, by Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse/Lyrics by Fred Ebb / Music by John Kander
A Fun Show
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
3.0
This was my first experience with the stage show “Chicago,” and so with only the movie to compare it to there was no way for the production to live up to my expectations. I should warn everyone of this fact before I continue, just so you understand where I am coming from.

The first thing that caught my attention about this production was the set. It was amazing!! With each new number, it seemed, something new physically happened to the set, and that made it all the more exciting.

The costumes confused me. Sometimes they were amazing and perfect (for instance, during “Razzle Dazzle”), but other times they seemed oddly, and distractingly, out of period.

I’ll also give a nod to the choreography, which was good enough, but not fabulous. It served its purpose, though, so I can’t really complain.

The performers were all very talented and very well cast. Special props go to Steven Benton in the role of Billy Flynn. I looked forward to each of his appearances on stage. His voice was amazing, and he was great in the role. I should also mention S.M. Simmons who had an absolutely amazing woman’s voice for a man. The large orchestra was very good, as well. However, over all none of the music seemed “big” enough. It all sounded wonderful, but I feel that if it had been louder it would have been better.

All in all I really did enjoy this show, and I would like to congratulate those involved on a job well done.

The Foreigner, by Larry Shue
Enjoyable
Saturday, January 31, 2004
3.0
I hate to be one of those who just reviews Kudzu shows, but… oh well. I still resolve to review everything that I see that I can be objective(ish) on, but I guess we'll see if that ever happens.

Anyway, I'll review this show now while I'm in a place to do so. (I'd hate to do it when my boyfriend is in it, after all.)

The show was enjoyable; very well written. It's just a very funny show. There are a lot of good things about it, most of which I've forgotten about. Sorry about that. For the purpose of growth of the theater and those involved with it, though, I will state some of the few problems I had with it.

The majority of the cast was very good. I don't really care much about what Jason has or has not said on his resume, I just know that I have enjoyed him in the show's I've seen him in, and for someone who (at least tries) to just see shows and enjoy them without the politics involved, that's all that really matters in the end. Brandy was also very good, though I could have done without so many screams, in part because the theater is too small for such a loud sound. Andy is very funny on stage, however I felt that, at least in the beginning of the show, his performance bordered on offensive. Don't get me wrong; it was still funny, but Ellard does not have Downs Syndrome (or at least there is no implication that he does), and this is how Andy played the part, to the extreme. (For more information, please visit http://www.lsi.ku.edu/lsi/internal/guidelines.html#Portryal. If that link doesn't show, I'm sorry.) However, his performance was toned down as the show progressed, and it got to be very enjoyable.

Of course, there were more good things (and bad) to say, but for various reasons, including, but not limited to, a failing memory, I'll refrain from stating them here.

Finally, I know (and figured) that the Kudzu people knew who I was, but I will say that I still wish this was, at least to a certain extent, an anonymous forum, because now I (as well as other reviewers, some of whom are even objective) have to censor myself to a certain extent as not to step on anyone's toes. I still stand by everything I have and will say, but it does make it harder to be as objective as possible with everyone being "found out."

I wish you all the best of luck in the rest of your run.

Blood Brothers, by Willy Russell
A Real Review & More!
Monday, November 3, 2003
4.0
Perhaps I am crazy for throwing myself into this mess, but here goes.

I'll start with something that seems to have been completely forgotten about – a fair review.

I saw Blood Brothers opening weekend and was pleasantly surprised. Having seen the majority of the actors in previous shows at Kudzu, as well as Andy's directorial debut with Godspell last summer, I knew that it was a talented group of people, but I still went in a little weary simply because the show seemed too big for Kudzu's little stage. However the show really came together. Although I felt that a couple of the actors were miscast there were some people that really stood out. I'll join the crowd in mentioning Jason Meinhardt, who was outstanding. Andy Meeks and Shaun Whitley gave respectable and believable performances in their roles. Paige Anderson did a great job with her character. Although it's something that often goes unnoticed, the lighting of this show was fantastic.

So, then, why not a 5? A few things. Though the direction was good enough, I know Andy could have done better. But it is hard, I would imagine, for anyone to be in a show and direct it. It is physically impossible to see whole of the stage when you yourself are on it. Next up: the accent thing that has been previously mentioned. I am, perhaps, a little too picky about accents, but I really feel that if a show is going to try to pull them off everyone needs to have a believable accent all of the time. If that can't be done, it's fine. We don't see The Diary of Anne Frank done in German because, surprisingly enough, there aren't a huge many German-speaking actors in Atlanta. Likewise, if you can't find the actors who can pull of the accents, can 'em. They're not all together necessary. And, as I have mentioned, some actors gave less-than-stellar performances (mostly because, in my opinion, they were poorly cast).

Now, I can't help but address everything that has been going on here. I'll just say now that I won't give my name in order to protect my boyfriend from receiving any ill effect from any of my comments. He is, for the record, an area actor who has worked at Kudzu in the past. Having dated an actor for over two years I have seen a lot of shows all over Atlanta, though I was only barely involved in theater back in high school and have no actual involvement in it now. That's the extent of my credentials or involvement. I don't think I'm the only one out there who feels that there have been multiple unfair reviews posted for this show. I don't think that people who date or are engaged to (or married to, for that matter) the people directly involved with shows shouldn't post, as long as they are able to be at least something resembling objective. I don't think that such people can rightfully claim, however, that they are "not related" to the show. I don't think that actors, directors, stage managers, techies, etc, etc, etc, directly involved with the given production should review it, because having put their own energy into it, it will be near impossible for them to offer a fair review. (Remember, every time I say review I am talking about an actual number; there is that seldom-used "No Rating" option for those who may have things to say but not be in a fair position to affect a show's rating.) I do think that actors and actresses should review their peers if they are not in the show because they can offer valuable feedback that laypeople like myself may not be in a position to offer. I don't think that people who do not like someone else's review because it reflects different views from theirs should post a rating just to counteract the one they didn't write. I think all in all everyone here is being really petty about something that matters very little. Yet I still had to throw in my two cents, for the cent they may be worth to all of you.

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