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Companies Reviewed#
Button Theatre1
Georgia Shakespeare1
The Towne Lake Players1
Average Rating Given : 4.83333
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REVIEWS

Noises Off, by Michael Frayn
Impeccably performed
Saturday, August 6, 2011
5.0
My family and I have been a fan of GA Shakespeare for a few years now. My oldest son loves the Shakespeare performances in particular. I personally tend to like the other shows best, namely "Shrew the Musical" and now "Noises Off" both of which, coincidentally enough, Joe and Ann Marie were leads in. My only regret is though there was an intermission between Act One and Act One there wasn't an intermission between Act One and Act One (no, there's no typo here, see the show read the program, very clever).

Everyone performed well in a very difficult production to perform, but standouts in my mind were:
* Joe Knezivich
* Carolyn Cook
* Ann Marie Gideon

And I can't say enough about Joe Knezivich's perfomance . . . "you know" (yes, it's in the show and you'll get it when you watch the show). His delivery was spot on, never once broke accent that I can tell and with all the running up and down the stairs he must have a decent lung capacity. In any case, not sure what else to say other than if the show in general wasn't so darn good, would still be worth watching just to see him perform.

I was very impressed with Carolyn's sardine bit with all the complicated blocking. She didt't miss a beat . . . astounding.

Ann Marie was superb playing a ditzy bombshell of an actor insistent on nailing delivery of her character's character's lines and sticking with blocking come hell or high water and regardless of context: "bag! bag! bag! . . . no bag!" Again, see the show, you'll love it.

One point of note, regardless of role (lead or minor), Chris Kayser nearly always steals the show. Sorry Chris, but not this time. Nothing wrong with your performance and I still love ya, but the three aforementioned have got ya beat this time.

Lastly, kudos to Richard Garner for insisting on directing excellence in one of the best plays I've ever seen in my life.

Hats off to all at GA Shakespeare.

To all that read this review, you simply have to see this show. If there's no other show you see all year, this is the one.

The Fantasticks, by Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones, Music by Harvey Schmidt
energy and delivery
Monday, October 20, 2008
4.5
If I had one word to characterize this production, it would be 'Energy.' Everyone brought lots of energy to their roles, some more than others, but the audience always likes to see performers give it their all.

Luisa was by far the standout in this production:
* Very clear enunciation
* Delivery was spot on for each of her many funny lines
* Sung like an angel
* Great characterization of a young girl hopelessly in love, fairy tale like. I enjoyed every minute of her, quite captivating.
* Her offline performance remained true to character throughout, continuing to portray her unfettered longing for love.
* the show well worth seeing if for no other reason than to watch Luisa's quite endearing performance

El Gallo effectively portrayed both a 'better than thou' bad guy and a 'dry delivery' narrator. Though these were his two primary roles, I have to say I enjoyed him most during the Rape Ballet when he and the others were faking their own deaths, particularly when he dragged his foot across the stage multiple times in an exaggerated fashion, over-dramatizing yet not too much his own fake death. This scene could have easily confused the audience, but I thought the cast was very effective at both 'selling' the fakeness of it all to the audience and yet remaining convincing for the ever-in-love and 'easily duped' Luisa. I definitely admired this illustration of how difficult it can be to strike this delicate balance.

I also very much appreciated how they subtly they inserted the disclaimer about the term 'rape', as a natural part of the dialogue with no noticeable breaks or callouts separate or distinct from the flow of the production.

Matt seemed a little bit slow to start but then peaked when he left if all out on stage, he very clearly he gave it his all in 'I Can See It.' Very commendable, hardworking (perhaps the most of them all) performance

Best company performance --> This Plum is Too Ripe. Wow, everyone's delivery of 'Sorry' and depiction of contention and frustration with each other was so very effective. Though the theme and term was repetitive, 'sorry' was delivered fresh and anew each time. Again, a hard thing to accomplish.

Hucklebee, like Matt seemed a bit slow to start but then peaked during 'This Plum is Too Ripe' . . . Damn those little Komquats (sp?).

Bellomy consistent throughout, good characterization of a motherly Mom, a bit uptight and yet conniving at the same time.

Mortimer continued to draw my attention whenever he was onstage. He was, after Luisa, was the best offline performer. When he did have lines, his mannerisms and delivery were spot on.

Henry's crowning moment was 'You're in my light.' Honestly I don't know whether he accidently stepped out of the light or not. If so, this point drew much laughter. If he didn't, boy did he covered quite well, very effective delivery heading off a potentially very awkward moment. Without missing a beat, he quickly responded and drew laughter as if it was scripted. Either way, it was very well delivered (if scripted) / pulled off (if not).

Though each musician and singer were accomplished in their own right, my one main criticism was that the drums seemed to compete with the singers. I don't think this would've been a problem if they were glassed off to dampen them a bit. I don't fault either the actors or the musicians for this, for each were clearly talented of their own accord. I left wishing they 'worked together' or complemented one another better. Perhaps the rehearsals were done in a different venue and it wasn't a problem in another venue?

All in all, very entertaining and worth the price of admission.

The Sound of Music, by Rodgers and Hammerstein
Cast Mountain and Kami Mathews
Monday, May 19, 2008
5.0
Disclaimer: I am not related to or am friends with any of those in the cast or am affiliated with Towne Lake Arts Center in any way. I therefore have no biased interest in promoting this show, this theater or any of the actors. This feedback pertains to the 3:00 PM show, May 17th, Cast Mountain and, having not seen the other cast, Cast Edelweiss, this review is not intended to slight them in any way.
***********************************************************
Overall, very well done . . . a lot of singing talent, most everyone acted very well. Remarkably professional show. A few standouts are listed below having saved the best for last:

Music was incredible, two accompaniests worked together flawlessly, never missed a beat, well done.

Nuns singing together was wonderful. Reverend Mother solos rivalled the movie.

Kudos to Liesl and Elsa (played by Amanda Wilborn) for shouldering arguably the two most challenging supporting roles.

Standout youth performance goes to Louisa (played by Madison O'Brien).

And now, the best for last, the highlight of the show . . . Maria (played by Kami Mathews). After taking into account:
* the high expectations often associated with a lead role for being the strongest performer to begin with and
* having seen Julie Andrews in the movie many times,
even after all that . . . WOW! She blew me away. She made The Sound of Music a brand new experience for me. Frankly, I was (and still am) overwhelmed by just how much she drew me in.
* impeccable singing
* very confident, very comfortable on stage and in and amongst the audience
* consistently conveyed Maria's joy, love for life, and enthusiasm
* excellent staying in character
Even as I write this, I still marvel at how taken I am with Kami's portrayal of Maria. I'll say it again . . . WOW! I'd gladly pay to watch this cast and Kami again if I could.

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