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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. B [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
Dad's Garage Theatre Company1
ACT11
Average Rating Given : 3.50000
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

Reefer Madness: The "Hit" Musical, by Kevin Murphy
Really Great... sort of...
Saturday, October 7, 2006
3.0
It's really quite interesting how shows will have a level of quality consistant with every aspect of the show. Example: If a show has mediocre dancing, it will usually have mediocre acting and singing. Or with exceptional Directing comes exceptional execution. This is not one of those shows. You could draw a figurative line in between the aspects that were fantastic... and those that were in grave trouble. I've honestly never seen anything like it.
To start with, the show, I must say is the most hilarious script with the most hilarious musical numbers I've ever encountered. The tabboo subject matter against the exagerated farce of 30's mellow-drama... Could not be more fantastic. And of course, with Dad's garage... who expected less? I rate the show a five for five. Unfortunately there were some complications.
To start with a praise, The band could very well be a perfectly syncronised accompaniment worthy of symphonic accuracy. They truely grasped the sound and mood and mix they were looking for and it payed off. And, in spite of what you may initially guess, they were not too loud. The singers were just quiet. But we'll get to that in a second. The choreography was amazing. The orgy was a brilliantly choreographed and costumed production. I could not have been more pleased.
However, there was a severe... yes severe, lack of singing in this musical. Brilliant choral numbers were solo'd by singers who had no diaphram to speak of, either singing in an octave they have no buisness being in or giving up and just speaking the song as if it were a line. Yes... we all noticed. How akward can you get? When the actor couldn't keep the song going, they simply said their lines. This is a technique used well by many actors and musical directors. It is not used well when you're only singing every fifth or sixth line. Sadly, in some songs, this is not an exageration. It's terrible. It seemed that it wasn't so much a musical as a play interspersed with dramatic poetry readings set to music... with good dancing.
The actors also seemed a far cry from on the level with the play and production value. Many had an (eh kind of) attitude towards the farce over the topness of their charachters. I'm sorry Jack... you're the villain... act like it... Jesus!!! It's an over the top show... you can't go too far with it. One kid's in his underwear next minute making out with the guy who's supposed to be his mother... Don't go for drama... be nuts. And of course the evening was hosted by none other than Bob Newheart in Dave Folly's body. It wasn't all bad... but it was overshadowed by what seemed to be a lack of effort on most of the casts part... but nice job Chris... well done, girl. Oh and Joey, Over the top doesn't mean flamingly gay... nice energy though.
Now to the direction and production staff... Well done... Bravo... well done... it was wonderfull. From the black and white everything to the stairs... to that one green light that signals something intense. Wow... just... wow. Great set. Great costumes. Great Lights. Great sound. Great Direction. If only the singing and acting matched. Shame...
In spite of how this sounded, I enjoyed my evening thuroughly. It was quite a show... I even liked the brownies at intermission. If you're up for a good time with silly people, Dad's garage is always the place to be. But If you're feeling just naughty and really wacky... Make sure not to miss Reefer Madness... But don't expect award winning singing... except from Jessie, Geoff and Chris...

Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine
If you're even slightly curious... go see it.
Monday, August 7, 2006
4.0
Don't let the title fool you. I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of Into the Woods. It was a delightfully well invisioned. You can deffinately see that this show came from a director's vision. The cast clearly understood more about the play than first glance would offer. The set was well fashioned and the only flaws I found were not great enough to make those, who don't look for every little flaw, even the slightest bit put off.

The set construction had brilliant thought put into it with versitility and atmosphere. Where there were shortcomings (clearly due to the fact that this is a community production) The actors played to them with energy and appeal that made the audience welcome a set of birds on strings or a cow made of two peices of wood leaned on each other... Wonderfull. I will say that the cartoon sound effects were distracting at best, anoying at worst. The crash noise that could never get timed well with the hit drove me slightly mad. It would've been better without it. But other times it was funny how hokey it seemed.

The music was mildly well executed. A stellar Accompanist who had no problem keeping up with the Singers and following their lead was only hindered by her placement in the front. Put the band behind the curtain and let that drummer go nuts. It seemed like he wanted to go berserk but was unable to because he's right next to the audience... Why hire a drummer at that point? But I will say that the accompaniment, aside from obviously being a midi powered keyboard, was very impressive.

The Choreography was Marvelously more than what we've come to expect for community theater. Katie O'Neil has a future in this.

The Cast was a very well built machine that knew how to function together. With the exception of a few errors, that I would consider directorial, the show was amazingly well acted. First and foremost, Mathew Pino is a miracle child. Someone give this man a career. I will honestly be upset if I don't get to see Mathew in more productions. Clint Pridgen has a voice for miles. Were he a little more controlled as an actor, I could easily see him in a number of great roles. Aside from seeming to strive for best performance in a dramatic role while playing the witch, Traci Davison really seemed to get her character. Great performance, just misplaced. Again, this is most likely a director choice. The same goes for poor Eric Bragg, who was marooned on the far side of the stage and forced to give dramatic exposition without moving. But he clearly did well with what he had. Karen Walsh and Jim Dailey have a chemistry that should be studied by other actors trying to pretend they love each other. Sarah Holton... Oh Sarah Holton... Wonderfull, just wonderfull. She's strong... maybe stronger than Cinderella should be all the time but deffinately nailed the part. Jack and his Mother did a great job. I honestly sometimes felt that Kathy Manning took lessons from my own mother. A little scary. But great. The wonderfull encemble of other characters had a great sense of togetherness as well. The wicked stepfamily proved whole heartedly that you don't need to be the lead to effect an audience in a good way. Bravo (not "va") Wonderfull performance.

All in all if you've ever enjoyed community productions I gurantee this show will not dissapoint. I don't think I've enjoyed a non-proffessional show as much as this... Honestly. (Wow that was long)

Dr. B

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