Average Rating Given : 4.00000
|Rosewater Theatre Company||1|
Reviews in Last 6 months :
|The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
Salem smells of Pumpkin|
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 ||
In all honesty I will say that I've seen The Crucible performed many times and each has been excruciatingly slow with good acting, poor blocking, and achingly bad character development. I went into the Blackwell Playhouse a bit skeptical. Though I've had bad experiences in the past I have always had a love for Arthur Miller's writings. Always honest and appropriate, his message offers an insight into our society's self righteous hypocricies. A message so desperately needed now in our society's fragile state.|
The set is simple and symmetrical. I find that the younger girls in the cast are incredibly strong in line memorization and delivery. Abigail was believably naive, and shockingly manipulitive. At times it was hard to hear her, but throughout the play she was very strong. I had a hard time believing her affections for John Proctor were genuine, but in the final act she showed great strengths in the courtroom scene.
John Proctor's character is by far one of my favorite characters ever written. Zip Rampey's vision of his character was soft, charming, and honestly human. He played each emotion very well. I believed his emotional struggle, and followed him every step of the way. His moments of comedic relief were also very nice.
Tituba, Sarah Good, and Giles Corey were also very strong. The dialects in the show were well rehearsed and spot on. It was obvious to me as a fellow thespian and theatrical patron that the director and artistic staff did not hesitate to work on pacing, distinct blocking, dialect, projection, character development, and delivery. All were very strong by every member of the cast.
Amanda Hardie as Elizabeth Proctor was elegantly delivered. I have seen this actress in many musicals, but never in a straight drama. She stayed focused, and delivered a very nice performance. Her chemistry with John Proctor was believable, and the emotion she evoked on a rollercoaster throughout the final act was outstanding.
Jonathon Horne was decent as the Reverend Hale. It was nice to see his character grow throughout the final act. I do struggle with this character. Does the incredibly righteous Hale really have a deep empathy for the lives he has condemned or is his triumphant return to the town just an act out of fear for his own selfish salvation? This is a question I am continuously looking for the actor portraying Hale to answer, and it seldom ever is.. Jonathon though, did bring a new and refreshing element to the character and the overall production with his elegant delivery and chemistry with each character he interacted with. Nice job.
There are a few characters I have not gone into detail about, but each were strong in their presence, and confident in their delivery.
The overrall production value was good. Smooth set changes, nice sound effects, great timing from lighting operator, and a fantastic fall ambiance in the auditorium. The pumpkin candles were a great touch. Seeing this production was a refreshing start to the fall season of local theatre. The Blackwell Playhouse's renovations are outstanding, and it is very nice to see John Christian putting so much energy into this playhouse.
This is my first time seeing a production by Jerry Harlow, and in my opinion he did a great job. I would recommend this production to anyone interested in a night of theatre that will make you thankful for the human rights we all are so damn lucky to have.
|Chicago, by Kander and Ebb
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 ||
Now, before I start this review I must say that I am slightly bias (which probably makes me a crummy critic, but hey, no one's perfect) because I had the privilege of spending time in rehearsals with the very talented cast of Chicago. That being said, on with the review:|
I saw the Rosewater Theatre's production of Chicago opening weekend. The cast entered on a vintage car from the 1920's and entered the theatre completely in character and full of energy. Very nice indeed.
The overture started, and the dancers were full of energy and life. Everyone had a smile on their face and a complete look of accomplishment in every move that they made. As the show evolved into "All that Jazz" I was very pleased to see how everyone framed Lauren Jann (Velma Kelly) perfectly. Her vocals in the opening number, and throughout the entire show, were extremely clear and powerful. In fact, there were times when she brought me right where Velma was. She was not afraid to be vulnerable. She was not afraid to be "un-ladylike". Mrs. Lauren Jann was on fire, and I am more than lucky to have had time to work with such a great performer. Well done.
The crime scene following the opening number first introduced the audience to Nick Morrett (Amos Hart). I loved Nick's portrayal of Amos. He brought a presence of classic vaudeville to every scene he was in. He embraced the character and ran with it. Well done.
The "Cell Block Tango" was extremely well done. Congratulations to Lauren, Danielle, Lauren. Suzanne, Stefanie, and Kara for bringing six very vibrant characters to life with a single monologue and fiery choreography planted firmly by Colleen Hargis- Gaennsley. These ladies brought it all to the table in this number.
I can't say enough about Kathy Russell. Mama Morton was powerful, forgiving, and slick. Thank you so much for playing this role so gracefully! Even though Mama had her "naughty" moments she made me love her throughout the entire show. Incredible acting and amazing vocals. Well done.
Daniel VanHiel was terrific as Billy Flynn. I was very impressed with his vocals in "Reached for the Gun". I was also very shocked to find that this was his first leading role in a musical. He held his own and took the slimy nature of his character to the perfect level.
A.L. Pickard-Hardie was delightful as Mary Sunshine. Her comedic timing was wonderful, and I was also very impressed with her as a dancer in the ensemble. It's very nice to see such a talented and well-rounded performer.
I was also very impressed with "go to hell Kitty" (played by Alicia Gum Stratton). She brought the attitude to the table and didn't miss a beat.
The ensemble was filled with extreme talent. At times, I caught myself taking my eyes straight to them. The level of character development and dedication to the rehearsal of choreography and music showed. Andy Danh delivered more than a few beautiful tenor moments. Chris Smith created an ensemble of great characters in the court room, Tyler Kanady held an outstanding level of energy each and every time he was onstage, Adrienne Harris was filled with attitude and charisma, Cheryl Rogers and Valarie Wagoner delivered great performances as well. Very very VERY strong ensemble.
The Band, led by Mr. Bob Russell, was also wonderful. They did a wonderful job with a Kander and Ebb score that I hold so dearly to my heart and have such high expectations for. Hats off to the band.
Choreography was fantastic. I have worked with Ms. Gaennsley and I love her style. I love the way she incorporates acting and character into all of her dance. She motivates and strengthens her dancers. She put her own spin on a Fosse classic, and she succeeded. Bravo!
All in all the show was a success. The only critique I would give would have to be the "Hot Honey Rag". The number lacked a certain flare. It seemed a bit like the chemistry was being forced. Now, in all fairness this could have been because both ladies in the number were extremely tired by the time of this number, but it is one I always look forward to, and I felt a little let down by the climax. All the same... great night of theatre. The cast of the Rosewater Theatre's Production of Chicago should be very proud.