A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
Companies Reviewed#
Big Top Productions4
Blackwell Playhouse3
Canton Theatre2
Class Act Theatre1
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.1
Average Rating Given : 2.60000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

The Sting, by David Ward, adapted from the screenplay by David Rogers
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I am giving this an NR because there are folks I know in the cast. But having this said, I thoroughly enjoyed this production. I had not seen the movie so the story's twists and turns brought about delightful surprises. The show has flow and energy, scene changes are quick, and actors from the leads down to the ensemble demonstrate interesting characters with authentic accents-- everyone seems to be involved in the great con scheme. The show is quick moving and engaging. I think I was most impressed with the gentleman that played Gandolph -- the con artist Luthor sent Hooker to learn from when he got out of the business..that character was played with levels of pizazz, making the "bad guy" con artist a lovable character. Telling the story as part of a show within a show was a fun way to introduce and narrate the story, and the live music and jokes are a nice touch that polishes the transitions between scenes quite effectively.

My biggest criticism of this play is that there were not enough people in the audience to see it. Maybe that will change since this was only opening night. Well done!

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
Powerful, Moving, full of energy and momentum--and amazing talent. well don
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I am not rating this just for conscience sake because this is a theatre that is near and dear to my heart. But I paid money and sat in a seat at this dear to my heart venue-- and saw an amazing show.

From the first word spoken to the last word spoken-- this play moves and plucks at your heart strings. So many characters are just masterfully played. The gentleman that plays Hale demonstrates a range of emotions that effectively show his expression of every position he takes throughout the course of the play and finishes with an anguish and guilt that rings through even his stature at the end the emotions that gentleman communicates on stage with just a glance at times-- brought me to tears even when he did not say a word. his facial expressions and stage presence was powerful and moving.

All the characters in the play were well cast and fitting. the pacing was wonderful and the story -- and its message therein-- emotionally powerful.

From Giles's genuine outspokenness and goodness to all of the children's roles to the judges to Tituba and Sarah Good -- all of the characters and their interactions with each other were, down to the glances and sometimes glowers across the stage at each other-- amazingly well established and consistent and delightfully involved.

And the Proctors! The proctors and their journey -- from first word to last-- they engaged you and brought you to their world with such honesty that one has no choice but follow their roller coaster with them. They worked very well on stage together portraying the goodness that makes them heros and the flaws that make them so very real and human. and the combination makes the couple come to life to the point that you mourn with them with your own tears.

this show is engaging from the moment the first line is said to the final bow

beautiful job.

The Music Man, by Meredith Willson
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This was my first time to see the location at Blackwell Theatre. The place used to be a movie theatre -- they have a marquee outside, paintings in the lobby and a pretty stage area with nice seating. Friends were in the play so because of that I chose not to give an actual rating to this, and yet at the same time the show is very much so worth mentioning. I am a tough customer when it comes to the Music Man, as a little girl the movie was a favorite, and Robert Preston my hero-- (as a child he was right up there with the Incredible Hulk, Superman, and Bowser from Sha Na Na but in those days that was truly saying something in my book! ) This show captured my attention and held it even though I know every word almost by heart. It was staged with constant movement-- characters came up from the isles and onto and off of platforms on stage-- River City literally came to life before your eyes with the hustle and bustle of proud Iowans. The cast from the ensemble to the main characters from the conductor at the first line to the band playing at the end-- were lively, energetic, and entertaining. Marcellus was delightfully over the top and added volumes to the energy of the show. Eulalie Shinn was indignant and comical and brilliant in her role. Marian was a joy to watch on stage and was very convincing and fun as the skeptical piano teacher. I would have liked to have seen her a little bit more twitterpated at the social scene,i like it when marian lets her hair down a little in that scene and shows that she is in love, she kept a lot of the school ma'arm charm throughout, but it did make me rethink perhaps how marian might could be played as such and she did honor to her character in the charming firey spunk she brought to the piano teacher. Harold was flawless with his pizazz as a smooth talking travelling salesman. Winthrop-- what a voice from such a young man!! The anvil salesman was delighfully cranky, the train scene was laugh out loud funny-- The timing was quick and upbeat the music well done and not surprisingly, the pickalittle ladies just stole the show :)

Thank you Blackwell for a lovely show experience.

M*A*S*H, by Tim Kelly based on the book by Richard Hooker
DAAH dah dah daaah dah daah dah daaaaaaahhhh...
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I can't think of M*A*S*H without thinking of my dad. He would come home after working 2nd shift, and as a kid I would always know when he was home by waking up to the TV playing in the living room. A lot of my best times spent with my dad was midnite conversations while watching TV reruns way past when I was supposed to be asleep. :) MASH was one of those shows I'd watch with my dad at darkthirty in the morning, and because of that I am a M*A*S*H fan. I really wasn't sure if I was going to like a play based on the characters though, because I AM so fond of the television characters. Onstage Atlanta impressed me-- a lot of the characters were true to that of the TV show!! Radar did a WONDERFUL job!! He was my favorite character in the play. So did Lt. Blake, and Trapper. The pacing of the show ran as seamlessly smooth as a movie might and the surgery scenes were eeirily realistic looking. I LOVED the football scene! Kim Tomko does an exceptional job as the indignant but human HotLips, and David Doerrier is hysterically funny as Painless Pole! From the ensemble to the lead characters, this play seemed perfectly cast to me and the attention to detail was impressive as well. I'd cry over one scene and then wind up laughing till my sides hurt at the announcements! Great job barefoot bill! :) Thanks Onstage Atlanta for a great experience and break a leg for the rest of the run!

Big River, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Written by William Hauptman and music by Roger "King of the Road" Miller
Saturday, July 30, 2005
It's been somewhat of a long week, so forgive the brevity of this.

Simply put, wow.

The music is GORGEOUS! "River in the Rain," "Leavin's Not the Only way to Go" and "Worlds Apart" were my favorites. So many amazing voices! I was swept away by this production. You simply have to go see this one!! Great Job Big Top and Big River Cast and Crew! :)

Sylvia, by A.R. Gurney
Different-- but fun!
Sunday, June 12, 2005
To fully appreciate this play, one has to be able to embrace the concept that one of the main characters is a dog, and the dog's role is played by a human. Stephanie Friedman does a hysterically funny, unexpectedly effective job of helping you get lost in the character, and forgive the fact that the actor in this case is, human. Her nervous running around, her hair in a pony tail, even the way she turns her head and cuts her eyes-- do turn into an abstract portrayal that eventually brings you from laughing at the behavior similarities to settling you effectively -- into the story. A story of how a dog makes a husband and wife who have lost touch with each other, face the problems they have been ignoring about their relationship, with a lot of dog lover's humor thrown in. I started off laughing, and then relating to-- the characters in the story. (I suppose it might help a little that my grandmother had a dog that was "mostly poodle" that she treated like a member of the family.)

The journey through this family's lives is a strange but an entertaining one.
Neil Matchen is brilliantly funny as the marital counselor exploring gender identification, and the macho fellow dog owner in the park. Kim Tomko is a joy to watch on stage as Kate's friend from college who is horrified and driven to drink by Sylvia.

Phyllis Giller and Mark Feldman have to keep up an interesting, difficult, tug of war throughout the play that grows into an understanding of each other at the end. You hurt for them, relate to them, guffaw at the character "woe is me" moments (that are purposefully, overdramatically, written into the script just for fun ), and yet, having no choice but to recognize the underlying complexity of their situation.

If you've ever had marital problems, this one smarts a little. But if you're also a dog lover, you'll laugh through the tears. And it does have a happy ending. Great job big top!

Dial M for Murder, by Fredrick Knott
A delightful whodoneit
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I greatly enjoy going to the Canton Theatre. From the kind people at the box office who take your reservations for the ticket, to the folks who help seat you (in a beautiful theatre space -- I do not believe there is truly a bad seat in the house! which is amazing!) to sitting and enjoying the show, the entire experience is a positive thing. (the lady at the box office is so nice-- this is only my third time to order tickets there and she remembered me by name and was helpful and concientious in calling me back to make sure I get to reserve a ticket for what was to become a sold out show.) I'm not big on crowds, ok that's an understatement, I often go out of my way to avoid a crowd-- but even with every seat in the house filled, things did not feel cramped or crowded. And the show was great!! The set was beautiful, the use of the lighting in the play I especially liked-- which is hard to explain here-- but there were use of lamps to make it look more home- like (it was set in the married couple's home) and certain times they dimmed certain lights to show that folks were hiding in the dark.

Mike Wasson was extremely convincing as Tony Wendice, the gentleman scheming to kill his wife. (and after being the loveable nazi in cabaret as well,Mike, it's time to be a good guy in your next play so you can stop creeping people out as a villian!! LOL) He had the complex task of letting certain characters (and thus also the audience) know he was behind certain things happening in the plot, but come off to other characters as if he knew nothing. Thus lying, but trying to look as if he wasn't lying, with the audience in the know all along. Dawn Lokey was a wonderful Margot. Her reactions througout the play were impressive, real. Interactions between Margot and Max were lovely. There were so many clever, funny lines, and I do believe Inspector Hubbard had a good many of them! He tied everything together so well. The timing was comfortable, the scene changes quick and painless (which is always impressive to me) The play was a little long, but I truly did not realize this until the play was over, and I looked down at my watch. It was a fun plot full of fun details that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time-- trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Kudos to Martin Smith, director, cast and crew!
Great Job Canton Theatre!

Godspell, by Conceived by JOHN-MICHAEL TEBELAK. Music and New Lyrics by STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
a beautiful production
Saturday, April 9, 2005
The bright costumes, the seemingly unending amount of energy on stage, the constant quick pacing of the play, the music, the interaction with the audience, the message--- wow. Words just fall short when I attempt to describe it. It's a beautiful show.

I did not know what to think of the grape juice passed out at intermission, but this is the only thing I truly can say I wasn't sure that I liked. It was an incredible, moving, beautiful performance handed to the audience by a talented cast that never seemed to rest for a moment, not even at intermission. (actors were out and about seemingly in character speaking to guests during intermission!)

Great job big top! :)

The Diary of Anne Frank, by by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett adapted by Wendy Kesselman
I liked it :)
Sunday, March 27, 2005
When I'm in a show, I usually like it better when someone reviews about the beginning of the run and not the end of the run. My schedule would only permit me to catch the last show. I wanted however to say I enjoyed my trip to the Big Top.

Ariel Fenster's Anne was a wonderful mix of hyper adolescence, and sunshine. The hannukah scene was especially touching. The tug of war between Anne and her mom brought with it an honesty. In spite of her surroundings, the mother daughter issue is a typical young girl's struggle for independence. Very honest and well done. I loved how the set was laid out where one could see each room in the space at all times during the show.

The pacing of the play was flawless. Costume changes went smoothly and were barely noticeable, which was impressive in that setting. The evening scenes in the dark with the radio spotlighted were quite effective. It helped tie everything together with where we were in time in the progression of the play.

The spotlighted chair in the stillness, the quiet-- in the end? Wow. You could have heard a pin drop in the theatre-- it was very thought provoking and sad.

My favorite was Mrs. Van Daan, Judy Branch-- and Mr. Van Daan, Bill Man. I loved those two characters!! They had the long time married couple thing down pat! The scene between those two after he stole the bread was especially beautiful. In spite of the situation the stress and the fighting between them, those two characters truly loved each other, and that message was clearly given to the audience. well done!

Anne's father was just what he should have been throughout the play-- diplomatic and loving, the anchor in the family, often Anne's confidant and strength. The moments between Anne and her father are very indicitave of a father and daddy's little girl I can't imagine that interaction having been any better.

I always hurt along with an actor that has to cry on stage. That seems to be SUCH a difficult thing to do. It's tough to pull off, and also tough to go through, I would imagine, because for the emotion to effectively come across, you'd have to truly walk yourself through the emotion. Anne's Father's grief came across as genuine and easy to see and identify with... when his hands were not over his eyes. He meant it to look like he was trying not to cry-- it came across as he was trying to make himself cry. And then he would look up to deliver the line and you would see and connect. The last monologue otherwise was very well done, and the final bow was the most effective classy move of all-- the lights came up and everyone on stage just nodded together in silence.

Great Job Big Top! Great show!

Cabaret, by
Wow! bring tissue!
Friday, March 4, 2005
If I were to rate this it would be a 5 hands down no question in my book. There truly wasn't anybody in the show I wasn't impressed with or didn't like But I do know a couple of actors this show, so just to be honest my official rating is an NR. (But to be fair though, a lot of the shows I actually save money to go see wind up to be shows I know folks in.)

This was my first time to see Cabaret. I was expecting a story set around WWII. Because of the name, obviously, I was expecting to see Kit Kat girls. I didn't expect to become so fond of the characters involved, and for the Kit Kat scenes to be hysterically funny and the music breathtakingly beautiful. I was expecting a strong message. What I wasn't expecting was on top of that message, the powerful dynamics of the cliff and sally bowles story. All I can say is wow! bring tissue, you're going to need it!

The two that play the couple-- the German landlady and the Jewish gentleman-- frau schrader and herr schultz-- do a beautiful job of endearing the audience to their characters. Martin Smith-- what a voice!!

Mike Wasson as Ernst, is quite effective in the progression of his role -- I loved his character and was amazed and mad to discover how his character fit into the plot as the story progressed. The accents were great! My friend who spent a year in Germany would have been able to comfortably listen to the actors speak on stage. :)

I hope it's not giving anything major away to say I loved the gorilla! I laughed till I cried! And the narrator gentleman had so many songs that were just a mouthful to sing and he did so with a smile on his face-- like it was effortless...

Sara Holton does an amazing job as Sally Bowles-- you love that character one minute and hurt for her, hurt with her, and hurt AT her the next. Russ Ivey was phenomenal as Cliff Bowles, leading you through the complicated, difficult, beautiful, sad relationship and journey of the american author with those he knew and loved in Berlin during this trying time in history. That rich bairtone voice fit the songs he sang quite well. The last act was both shocking-- and breathtaking.

I went home-- overwhelmed-- by a wonderful performance that I both laughed with and cried over, with a new appreciation and sadness-- for those who actually lived through those times. It's hard to even get close to understanding what they must have gone through. Great performance, and a message to take home, and take time, and think over. Thanks canton theatre!

Hank Williams, Now That's a Sad Song, by Wendell N. Troy, Sr.
didn't realize Ii was a hank williams fan until this play!
Sunday, January 23, 2005
I just wanted to say that I greatly enjoyed this show!
I didn't realize how many of Hank Williams' songs
were, in actuality, songs I knew and LIKED
until I went to see this play.
I am fond of guitar music, so the music
was fun, but the timing, the pacing of the play, was
most impressive to me. Scene changes were
just barely noticeable. Most of them happened while
narrator spoke to the audience as if to an old friend.
Toni Hill was quite believable as Hank, most notably
in his facial expressions and movement. You get to
know Audrey through Kim Tompko's powerful performance
as the character grows and changes through time
in her relationship with Hank. Lilly and Audrey's interactions are
a satisfying mixture of charm and bite.

Hysterically comical lines throughout the play help
guide the audience to laugh through the sadness of the
plot. Minnie Pearl is genuinely
"mama hen"-ish, and funny. Young Hank and Teetot's
interactions are interesting and do a great job of
setting the groundwork for the rest of the play.

Hank playing to the audience with Teetot's presence in
the background is effective, and touching. I wound up
crying, singing, along with the cast at the curtain call.

And I LOVED that they sang "Mind Your Own Business" to
the Reporter!!

I did not rate this play because I know (and dearly
love!) probably more than half of the cast.
It does, however, just happen to be also-- an
exceptional show. :)

(Everyone did a great job! There wasn't a single
part of this play I can honestly say that I disliked.
And I don't know if I will ever run into Becca again
without scrunching my face and saying "HE PUTS KETCHUP

Dreaming Emmett
by Toni Morrisson
University of West Georgia Theatre Company
Barton Field
by John Ammerman
Relapse Theatre
Dreaming Emmett
by Toni Morrisson
University of West Georgia Theatre Company
Four Old Broads
by Leslie Kimbell
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.
Titus Andronicus
by William Shakespeare
Live Arts Theatre
Almost, Maine
by John Cariani
Centerstage North Theatre
Barton Field
by John Ammerman
Relapse Theatre
Daddy Long Legs
by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (songs)
The Legacy Theatre
Four Old Broads
by Leslie Kimbell
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.
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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