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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
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Companies Reviewed#
Old Alabama Road Company - A Community Theater1
Actor's Express1
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.1
Average Rating Given : 2.50000
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

Sylvia, by A.R. Gurney
Better late than never.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
4.5
A shame I waited until the last show to see this wonderful production of "Sylvia". I kept wondering why it hadn't got reviewed here and feared that was a bad sign. Happily it wasn't. Now that's it's closed, not much point in a review, but for the record I thought that this was a damn fine show.

I'd never seen "Sylvia" before, but knew enough about it from having auditioned for it. OK, actor plays dog that someone brings home, but the dog talks and is spoken to yet stays in character as a dog. Hmm, interesting idea, and lots of comedy and mayhem ensues from that premise. Enough critics have weighed in on the script and I don't have the chops to add to that, but what inspired me to write this were the excellent performances.

Pat Bell, as Kate, admirably walked a fine line between us disliking her for not wanting her husband, Greg, to keep adorable Sylvia and our shared concern for what was happening to their marriage.

Lee Buechele, as Greg, who I recently saw performing the role of "Big Daddy" would not have been my first pick as a Manhattan financial urbanite, but by the end of the play I was sold on his character and could not have imagined Greg otherwise. He made the character true to his self and his chemistry with Sylvia was charming and sincere.

Doug Graham as the friend, dog owner and therapist exhibited the the most amazingly inspired lunacy I've seen on stage in a long time. He was a treat to watch.

Jenna Edmonds, as Sylvia, was absolutely splendid. It would have been easy to be cliche in how she physicalized how a dog would be played, but she never came close to cliche and she displayed a boundless amount of energy and imagination in bringing Sylvia to life. She charmed me her first minute on stage and thus was so much fun to watch.

Credit should go also to Michael Harris who directed this talented ensemble as well as to Onstage Atlanta for putting up a show as enjoyable as this was.

The Pillowman, by Martin McDonagh
Mixed thoughts...
Thursday, September 28, 2006
0.0
First off, I'm relieved that I wasn't the only one who thought the play was too long.

Secondly, like the review before me, I was in awe of the acting performances that were uniformly excellent.

Which is why I regret saying that I didn't like the play itself; that it was overindulgent, a bit diffuse and messy with it's multitude of themes. For me the quality of the writing didn't rise to the quality of the performances. Granted that there were scenes that were astonishing, but the writing could have been a lot more concise.

Having not seen a play at Actor's Express in several years, I also wondered as to it's acting style which I can only characterize as "actorish." Is this simply their style or was this one play directed that way? I can't define "actorish" any better than to say that I found myself wondering at times if, as actors it was really necessary to find the absolute strongest choice for every single damn line of the play thruout. Since the space there is so intimate, I found myself wondering if the performances couldn't have been dialed down a notch away from it's hyper-realistic tone.

Pick, pick, pick, I know. I'm glad I saw it for the performances and excellent production, I just wish I liked the play more than I did.

Barefoot In The Park, by Neil Simon
A fun show
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
3.0
Barefoot In the Park

I saw this show Saturday night and came away favorably impressed. OK, letís get this part out of the way first. Itís performed in a church, but whatdaya want, Old Alabama Road Company is only in itís second year - a little too soon to lease that 2,000 square foot black box loft in industrial Roswell. Given that, Director Laura Nagle was pretty creative in using the space. I give high marks to her also for her casting of some really good actors and her naturalistic blocking which gave the show a lot of good energy.

Being a romantic comedy, good chemistry between the two leads was vital and Jim Dewberry as Paul and Liz Fricke as Corey didnít fail. Lizís manic energy was fun to watch and Paul was appropriately stogy when needed. You could tell they were having fun performing which made the show that much more fun to watch.

Karen Morgan as Ethel was a monster, and I mean that in the good sense so as to complement her excellent comic timing. She wrung laughs out of Simonís wittier lines by simply knowing how to nail them. Oscar DeLeon as Victor added a wonderful sense of charm to his character and his post restaurant scene with Corey was a highlight. (But Oscar, a little more volume please?). David Beaudry did well also as the phone guy.

OK, so itís a vintage Neil Simon comedy, but it didnít feel dated to me and the production was engaging, so if a light hearted fun night of family theater is what you have in mind, youíll be happy you saw it.

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