A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
th8rluvr [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.3
Theatre Arts Guild1
Southside Theatre Guild1
Stage Door Players1
Neighborhood Playhouse1
Dad's Garage Theatre Company1
Actor's Express1
Theatre Decatur1
Average Rating Given : 4.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

Kiss of the Spider Woman, by Terrence McNally; Music and Lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb
Caught in the web
Monday, December 4, 2006
(sorry this is late - my computer has been offline for about a month now...)

Afterr seeing the amazing job that Poulos/Causey/Aponte did with Urinetown, I was very excited for this show. And I wasn't too disappointed.

Let me start with the weak points. The set was very bland. I get that they wer in a prison, but we needed something to pull us into Molina's mind during the Spider Woman moments. That blank wall could have been lit by some colorful lights or gobos during those scenes. Gould missed the mark on that. The costumes were lacking in the dream sequences as well. Sims Banes has such a beautiful figure, I wish they had gone a bit more daring/exotic with her costumes. And the hawaiian shirts for the latin number were just sad.

Now onto the good stuff. As Molina, Brian Porter nicely balances his fey-ness without going to far as to be a stereotypical gay man. His voice was great for this role as well. As Valentin, Luke Dreiling sounded good, but physically was not right for the role. He was too Anglo for the role. His voice was beautiful, though. And as Aurora/Spider Woman, Sims Banes was exquisite. Even though the role was definitely not in her vocal range, she pulled off a smokiness and sexiness that made me not mind. And her dancing was amazing.

I really have to give a hand to the ensemble of this show. They all shined through on Aponte's choreography, especially Michael Baum and Anthony Owen. John Markowski's Gabriel was very touching and Royce Garrison as the prison guard was perfectly cruel.

Overall, another great job by Onstage and the trio of Poulos/Causey/Aponte. This is definitely a collaboration that needs to continue together.

The Third Howl, by Patrick Cuccaro
Bad Doggie!
Monday, December 4, 2006
Let me preface this by saying I love Theatre Decatur and I applaud them for trying new works. However, they missed the mark big time on this show.

What is being billed as their holiday show is nothing more than a painfully long children's show about 3 dogs and a cat joining together to end hunger for the neighborhood animals. The story just happens to end in December around the 25th.

The script is weak at best, very repetitious and boring at worst. And the songs don't mesh with the story. Some songs were tolerable, mostly Sally Cat's, but the ensemble numbers lacked something - maybe not enough harmony. And the male singers just didn't have the chops to keep up with Hendrickson. She is clearly the best performer here, and unfortunately this results in a very uneven show. You find yourself sitting uncomfortably through the dogs numbers to get to a brief glimmer of light when Hendickson is on stage.

I also had a hard time getting past what I felt was unnecessary local references that were peppered throughout the show. Whenever Cafe Lily or Eddies' Attic was mentioned, it pulled me completely out of the story.

I saw that Theatre Decatur will be presenting this as their holiday show in 2007. I really hope that it gets a complete re-working before then.

Cabaret, by Kander and Ebb
A few flaws... Makes it a 2.5
Monday, March 7, 2005
I caught a performance of this show over the weekend, and I enjoyed it, but the flaws in this production made it hard for me to mark it any higher.

Laine Binder as Sally was very brash and bold, but she also was a bit flat on her big notes. And I never really liked the character of Sally Bowles. I kept hoping to see something in the character that would make her vulnerable to me, but it never happened. She was ruthless the whole time.

Brandon O'Dell as Cliff definitely did do something different with the character. But I felt he lacked a naivete that Cliff should have in order to get taken in by all the flash and spectacle of the cabaret and Sally. He just brooded the whole time.

The sound was okay - the band definitely rocked in the pre-show music and the entreact - but I felt it was a poor choice to have the bass player hop in and out of the pit like that. It completely steals focus (especially right after Dejie Johnson's emotional solo) and is very distracting.

I enjoyed David Rossetti's Emcee, but felt it was a good imitation of Alan Cummings. He is so associated with that role, I imagine it is hard to do something new with it.

And lastly - I agree with the last review about faking elements of props. It screams community theater... I'd fix that for the last few shows and get some water in those glasses!

I do echo the applauds to both Jen McQueen's choreography (the cast all handled it very well, and if there were some non-dancers in the crowd I had a hard time picking them out), and to David Crowe's directing. I particularly enjoyed the performance of Dejie Johnson. This woman stood out as the pro among the cast.

I had an enjoyable evening and was happy to see some new faces I hadn't seen before, but after all the hype on this show, I was a little underwhelmed.

Hair, by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot
Gimme Hair, Hair, Hair, Hair!!!!
Monday, February 14, 2005
I have to complain the Theater Arts Guild only does shows like this for two weekends. Boo!

Like last's year's Chicago, Hair definitely sets the bar for the rest of the year. This show is non-stop from beginning to end and you feel like you are on the trip with the characters.

The cast does a terrific job working together. you don't see them acting like they are friends, they ARE friends. And I want to know what was in those joints!

I agree that Kristie Krabe stands out in the show. I again found myself looking for her onstage to see what she was doing with the character - beautiful. Also great was Leslie Ridgeway - her moments onstage showed a great depth of character and vulnerability. And Vallen Dior earns the title of Rockingist Singer with her rendition of White Boys - you go girl!!

And folks, you have not lived until you have seen Mark Schroder make love to a Mick JAgger poster - I cannot say more, you must see it for yourself.

Go catch this show - you'll be glad you did!

Pulp, by Book by Patricia Kane, Music by Andre Pluess & Amy Warren

Thursday, December 9, 2004
Having seen Kate Warner's hilarious "Debbie" at Dad's Garage, I had to check out Pulp as well.

An amazing cast is assembled here. Wendy Melkonian is back wowing us at Express and is a force to be reckoned with. Her humor and voice are outstanding. She teams up again with Beehive castmate Katie Kneeland. Other standouts are Jennifer Levinson and Hope Mirlis.

The girls are at times tough, sexy, funny and fun. Akin to Debbie, this show is a send up of a genre, and it does it very well. Good job!

A Christmas Story, by Philip Grecian
Very Funny!
Thursday, December 9, 2004
I have been a longtime fan of this movie, so I had to see how it plays out on stage.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This was my first show at Southside and I was very impressed by the production value of the show. The set design was extraordinary. The lighting and sound cues seem to have been on track as well.

Not a big fan of kids in shows, these kids proved me wrong and I found them throughly entertaining.

This is a great show for the holiday season. Just as funny as the movie!

Home For The Holidays, by
Not bad at all!
Monday, November 22, 2004
Okay, so the Christmas decorations have been up at the mall since before Halloween, so I guess we can let Stage Door slide this time by offering their holiday show a little early.

In what is sure to be the first of my many holiday outings, I went to see Stage Door's "Home For The Holidays". It is your run of the mill holiday show - jam packed with nostalgia and music, strung together with just a bit of dialouge to get from one song to the next.

Some things really stood out in this production, though. Kristie Krabe is back at Stage Door again. She is in fine voice throughout the show - I wish she had more to do. I think I am spoiled from getting to see her so much over the past year. Also with her is partner in crime Matthew Carter. These two were absolutely adorable in "Dames at Sea" and they make an equally convincing couple here. Carter gets a few shining moments with his sweet "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and comic "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"

Cathe Hall Payne and Shawn Hale are hysterical as the mother and father of this madness. Hall-Payne is a comic delight with her facial expressions and witty asides. Hale gets to show off some Elvis like struts, as well as a lovely solo ballad early in the show.

The pairing of Jeffrey Brown and Rachel Soursa is too cute, and they light up the stage with their duets "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "What Are You Doing New Years' Eve"

With only a couple of stand out voices here, it is really nice how Linda Uzelac blended the voices and created some really nice harmonies in songs like "Silver Bells" and "White Christmas". It was nice to hear some standard songs with new arrangements.

The set design and lighting were exactly what I have come to expect at Stage Door - Fantastic! Chuck Welcome stuns again with a great design idea. My only complaint was that the floor tended to be a bit creaky in places. And the lighting design by Amy Humes Lee was great.

So, all in all I would really recommend this show. Happy Holidays!

Sweeney Todd: In Concert, by Stephen Sondheim
Attend This Tale!!!
Friday, November 12, 2004
Onstage Atlanta should just can their full productions and put more effort into costuming and creating sets for their Concert series. They have again shown us the amazing talent and voices to be found in Atlanta.

Ethan Foster as Anthony was absolutely stunning. His voice is like silk!

Benjamin Hammer as Sweeney was amazingly creepy. It was nice to see a stray from the typical heavy set hulking menace of a man and see the lithe Hammer in the role.

Alli Simpson, FINALLY gets a role that shows off what an amazing talent this girl posseses as Mrs. Lovett. Her comic timing is spot on and her singing lovely.

The rest of the ensemble really posseses a powerful sound. Kudos to Paul Tate for his excellence.

Great Show!!

Debbie Does Dallas, The Musical, by Adapted by Erica Scmidt
Debbie Did it for Me!!!
Monday, September 20, 2004
Okay, not going to lie to you about this one - I really wanted to see some more skin, but that's just the pervert in me! That is why, I put my own needs aside in order to give a fair and honest review of the latest at Dad's Garage.

I loved it!! Debbie Does Dallas is one of the silliest, humorous, provoking and ingenious shows I have seen at Dad's in a long time. I love them for their Improv work (Best in the city, if you ask me), but I really enjoy it when they take on scripted work. Just like their production of Bat Boy, This show provided humor, fantastic voices, an interesting script, and great characters.

Kristie Krabe as Debbie Benton was absolutely amazing. I cannot believe the voice on this girl. Her energy through the whole show was focused on her one goal - getting to Dallas by any means possible. Debbie's scenes with Mr. Greenfelt (Doyle Richards) had me rolling with laughter, yet really excited for Debbie that she was working hard for her goal. Her final number brought down the house - Hysterical lyrics, great facial expressions, a costume change... This girl was working!

As for Mr. Greenfelt - easily the most ridiculous character brought to stage, and played wonderfully by Mr. Richards.

The songs in this show stand out, for that is where the intended humor lies (apparently the scene dialouge was taken directly from the movie script, which makes it unintentionally funny). The songs, however, describe in detail the "Benefits" of working in a candle store, reasons why a young hunk is with his girlfriend, and the fears and thrills of a young girl's first time. My biggest regret was that I was laughing so hard during some of the songs, that I missed some words.

The rest of the cast provided some great moments as well - particularliy Katie Carkuff with her great ballad mid show.

The set and scenery were simple yet interesting - using different levels and really splitting up Dad's small space. And the lighting was phenomenal! Every mood was captured - high school stadium, rock concert, subtle street scenes, dream sequence. And the costumes, again simple and enjoyable (but then again, it WAS 1 1/2 hours of girls in short skirts...

This show may make you a bit uncomfortable at times when they push the boundary between farce and actual graphic nature. But as it is done with tounge in cheek, it was okay by me.

This show would have gotten a 4 from me because the sound was a bit loud, but I am giving them the benefit of the doubt because it was opening night, and I am sure that will be worked out.

Ragtime the Musical in Concert (2004), by McNally/Ahrens/Flaherty
Top 5 reasons I loved this show...
Monday, August 23, 2004
This is an absolutely thrilling performance. I saw Ragtime over a week ago, and have been mulling it over in my mind since then. It would be impossible to say what the best thing about this show is - there are too many moments. So I will pick my top five.

5. Eric Catania and Jerrica Knight. I love to see these two perform. They always are a highlight of any show that they are in with their beautiful voices and commanding stage presence. The chemistry between the two of them is electrifying. I just found out that they recently married. They have secured their position of "it" couple in my mind.

4. Linda Uzelac. Easily the best MD in town. The sound that she is able to get out of a group this large is astounding. Plus she is a joy to watch! Kudos also for the beautiful Tara Mitchell on violin (Her playing matches her beauty!)

3. The Act 1 Finale. Bring kleenex. The passion behind Summer Bergeron's singing combined with the raw emotion of the cast is chilling.

2. Kristie Krabe. Like the other two reviews here, I was blown away by her performance. I believe her to be one of the best kept secrets in Atlanta. I found myself watching her constantly during the show - her facial expressions are a great barometer for the audience. I can't wait to see her do bigger and better things so I can say, "I got to see her when she was doing community theater in Atlanta!"

1. The whole performance. This is one of those rare moments where it "All comes together". A beautiful score, combined with some of the most talented voices in Atlanta, and impeccable sound. Someone needs to get Onstage Atlanta into a larger space so they can mount these concerts as full productions. However, even as a "Concert" this was the best show I have seen in a long time.

Burns Night 2020
by Robert Burns
Last Laugh! Stand-Up Competition
by Justin Spainhour-Roth
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
Murder Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
by E. Xavier Wheeler
Laughing Matters
Burns Night 2020
by Robert Burns
Last Laugh! Stand-Up Competition
by Justin Spainhour-Roth
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
Almost, Maine
by John Cariani
Centerstage North Theatre
Barton Field
by John Ammerman
Relapse Theatre
Burns Night 2020
by Robert Burns
Daddy Long Legs
by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (songs)
The Legacy Theatre
Four Old Broads
by Leslie Kimbell
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.
Last Laugh! Stand-Up Competition
by Justin Spainhour-Roth
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
Midnight at the Masquerade
by The Murder Mystery Company
The Murder Mystery Company in Atlanta
Murder Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
by E. Xavier Wheeler
Laughing Matters
Titus Andronicus
by William Shakespeare
Live Arts Theatre

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