A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
Companies Reviewed#
Atlanta Classical Theatre1
Dad's Garage Theatre Company1
Rogue Planet1
Average Rating Given : 2.66667
Reviews in Last 6 months :

Impossible Marriage, by Beth Henley
Not Impossible, but Imperfect
Friday, May 31, 2002
The good things about "Impossible Marriage": Spencer Stevens, Pat Bell, Sarah Reiss, and, mostly, Mark Wallace and JAS Sustrich, depenfing on who they're onstage with. Their performances make a fluffy, mannered script interesting and fun for the audience. The central conflict of the show revolves around a rather obvious, but still fun, problem of Reiss' character. The trouble with that is, I don't think it's supposed to be. I think I was supposed to care about the whole risk of the marriage being called off, but frankly, I didn't. The blame on this is shared by Beth Henley, the actors playing the bride and groom, and the director, Topher Payne. Topher was there the night I came. I noticed he didn't watch. Maybe he's too young for all this, but that seems like an easy excuse, since I've been told (too often) his writing belies his youth. There is a style problem with this show. Half the cast appears to be performing in a different interpretation of the show. One half is in a great production. The other half is in a mediocre farce. Bottom line- the strength of the majority covers for the weaknesses of the few, but it leaves you wanting more than you get.

Closer, by Patrick Marber
Close, But No Cigar
Sunday, October 7, 2001
So, I went to see "Closer", as part of a busy little theatre weekend that also included "Lost in Yonkers". Let me tell you, it is odd seeing those two together. But I'm digressing.
"Closer" is one of those plays that reviewers call 'realistic' because everyone is bland and depressed, and seek anonymous sexual encounters to be bitter about later.
This is not an original concept, and "Closer" does not contribute much new to the dialouge.
I'm not certain if the director or the playwright is to blame for the fact that all four actors appear to be playing variations on the same character. More specifically, they all appear to be playing variations on Stacy Melich's character. The imitation does not flatter the rest of the cast, and makes you appreciate what a fine performer Melich is. This is not to say that the cast as a whole is not wonderfully talented. They indeed are, and I've seen most to fantastic work elsewhere. Listening to the text, the problems appear to arise from the script. Frankly, I was a little bored.
"Closer" is a marginal work uncertain of its purpose. Not funny enough to make you laugh, not emotional enough to make you care, not sexy enough to turn you on. The script itself appears jaded. There are probably many people who connect with the themes presented in this play. The problem, however, is that these people should be spending their free time in therapy, not theatre.

Action Movie II: Episode One, by Daniel May
A Prequel True To Form
Wednesday, July 4, 2001
Remember when the "Star Wars" Prequel arrived, and there was the requisite marketing overplay and hype, followed by the triumphant opening of one of the highest-grossing films of all time? Remember seeing it? All the ins and outs and wild cross-referencing, feeling a sense of deja-vu as characters you grew up with, now portrayed by younger and, ostensibly, prettier actors, lived the back story you'd always wondered about? Remember feeling that something was fundamentally missing that kept it irrevokably seperate from the original? Well, ladies and gentlemen, you can experience that cocktail mix of anticipation, action, and an unsettling feeling of mediocrity with Dad's Garage's production of Action Movie II: Episode One.
Written by Daniel May, a fine actor now dipping his quill into a new pursuit, and directed with frenetic "look at this!" excitement by Sean Daniels, "Episode One" picks up 20 years prior to the "story" of the hit original. I'd delve into the details of the plot, but just like any action movie worth its salt, nobody's going for plot.
Our heroes are Damon Bogess, Jason Armit, Lucky Yates, Chris Blair, Nick Few, and Salia, stopping the evil forces of, well, everyone else. You can tell they're the good guys because they're the only ones with character development. May prefers to rely on the mid-20th century film concept of good-is-complex-but-evil-is-just-evil. And even in comedy as broad as this, you feel the void left behind. Ironically, the point of "Star Wars: Episode One" was to explain what led to its central villain's turn against the Jedi, while "AM:E1" uses it as an excuse to enjoy blaxploitation movie humor.
Some rise above the material, like Stacy Melich as villainous Lectra, preening and conspiring like the Queen of Outer Space. It takes an inspired performer to be that bad. Nick Few, overall, does the same, crossing Jimmie Walker and Richard Roundtree for a creation that is resoundingly unique.
By and large, the cast has a series of false starts and never really takes off. Saila appears to be muttering her lines to herself, keeping them secret from the audience. Sloane Warren follows her lead, so make friends with the people in the front row and find out what her dialouge contributions were after the show. Alison Hastings leads a crew of actors wishing they had more to do than die repeatedly, while Scott Warren moves his lips as people around him sing. Music played, and yet no actual sound came from his lips. And Daniel May shows true humility by giving himself the least-developed character in the piece. A valient effort, but it only serves to further perplex the viewer.
Two things stayed with me after seeing the show: The first is that Damon Boggess should take a break from playing such broadly drawn roles and take a subtle character before audiences forget he can play it. The second, and this is what May and Daniels appear to have forgotten, and what killed Leslie Nielson's career: Parody is harder than a legitimate work. "Action Movie", the original, worked because the performers, writer, and director worked so hard to sell a new concept. The actors know they're in a highly anticipated hit, and they behave accordingly. Less is at risk, so they don't try as hard. And with potshots at gays, GA Shake, and ethnic minorities, "AM:E1" takes the easy route every time in a production that is in itself shooting to be inventive, but no more sumptuous than eye candy. And that won't sell in a genre that has seen it all.
At least they killed off Jar-Jar.

Last Laugh! Stand-Up Competition
by Justin Spainhour-Roth
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
Last Laugh! Stand-Up Competition
by Justin Spainhour-Roth
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
Almost, Maine
by John Cariani
Centerstage North 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
Titus Andronicus
by William Shakespeare
Live Arts Theatre

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