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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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WendyR [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
Ansley Park Playhouse1
Blackwell Playhouse1
Rosewater Theatre Company1
Average Rating Given : 3.16667
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, by Stephen Sondheim, Larry Gelbart
Comedy Tonight!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
4.0
Blackwell Playhouse’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum provided a very enjoyable evening of theater. Despite several replacements (according to the program), the main characters were well cast and there was some solid acting on that stage. Standouts included Zip Rampy as Pseudolus, whose singing was spot-on, and Patrick Hill as Hysterium, who played his part perfectly. In fact, the height of the show was their duet in Act II. Other notable performances were those of Brad Dickey (who I overheard had only one week of rehearsals) and Jonathan Horne --- who never, ever once broke character.

My biggest complaint with this production might be its “campiness.” This show is funny, it is written funny… And director Rob Hardie added some very cute “bits” to the opening number. However, a joke gets old when it is repeated over and over. He had a great book and score and a good cast; some of the additions were clearly not necessary and detracted (at least for me) from the quality of the show.

Still, all in all, I would recommend this show. It is great fun and well performed. Do not “offend the gods” – go to the theater!

-Wendy Robyns

A Sunday Afternoon At Loehmann's, by John Gibson and Anthony Morris
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Saturday, June 13, 2009
1.0
My mother always taught me “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” and I try to stick to that adage. But in this instance I feel I need to share so that others don’t make the same mistake I did.

I saw Peachtree Battle several years ago. And I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fun, entertaining, current, and well-attended. So I will say that I had high hopes going into A Sunday Afternoon at Loehmanns. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed.

First, the good… There are some fine moments of acting here. Wendy Fulton-Adams’ opening minutes in the dressing room of Loehmanns are near perfect. She sets up the play beautifully; however it is downhill from there. The only other opportunity she has to shine is playing against her husband in a lovely, little, tucked-in “bathroom” scene – one of the better written ones of the play (and reminiscent of conversations I have had in my own home). Alan Phelps is also very good. He plays the aforementioned beleaguered husband/father in a nice, understated manner. He shares great chemistry with Ms. Adams and the two guys with which he has most of his scenes. Kelly David Carr is very convincing as the blind neighbor Ben. He never breaks character – not even during scene changes. Unfortunately, he is saddled with some of the most embarrassingly bad scenes of this play (see below). Justin Miles and Angela Mitchell also deliver flashes of fine acting, when they are not attempting to compensate for the poor performances and bad writing that makes up most of this piece.

The bad… John Gibson announced during his curtain speech that he had been developing the screenplay for Peachtree Battle. It must have been taking up a lot of his time, because this play appears disjointed and frankly, unfinished. Two or three times he attempts a “split-screen” affect without much success. This is a small venue and the “set”(?) is not conducive to making something like that work. At best it is distracting; at worst it is confusing (the email/txting scene could be helped immensely with the use of telemonitors so we could see what is being sent and what is being erased). And clearly Mr. Gibson feels that all faults in writing, direction and acting can be compensated for by having his actors change clothes every 2 minutes. Why???

Pam Sharpe and Jasmine Burke both mug so big and so often, they appear to be begging the audience for laughs (which they did not get when I was there). Shannon Kraiger and Linda Snow rush through some of the potentially better moments of the show. But the worst culprit here is Christie Vozniak as Jenny. This girl takes the machine gun approach to acting. Her lines are spoken in a non-stop, unintelligible rattle with no regard to the other actors on stage. Her movements are choppy and sloppy. (Was she hitting the blind guy in the face on purpose? Had he really been a blind war veteran, he probably would have hit her back!) Consequently, we care nothing for her character and the whole point of the story is gone. And please, someone, pin her hair out of her face.

The ugly… Here is were I address the truly gratuitous nudity. The program and website both mention partial nudity on the part of the women. There is nothing partial about the scene where Ben lets it “all hang out”. Apparently, Mr. Gibson felt the play needed some help at this point, so he panders to the women and gay men in his audience. He had better hope that Mr. Carr does not get sick or leave, because for some of my fellow audience members… those were the only good seconds of the play.

In closing I must also address the noise factor. This is a professional theater - with the ticket prices to match. Yet the evening I saw the play the noise coming from the actors and crew backstage was something I would expect from children's theater. Please Ansley Park Playhouse, have more respect for your audience and remove the backstage chatter and clatter.

- Wendy Robyns

The Woman In Black, by Stephen Mallatrat (Based on the novel by Susan Hill)
A good old-fashioned Ghost Story
Sunday, October 19, 2008
4.5
I will admit it… I am an avid theater fanatic. I see anything and everything I can – professional, semi-professional, community, school-productions, etc. And I mostly believe that my opinions are just that – mine (and they should probably stay that way). However, last night I had the pleasure of seeing an amazing production - but one not well-attended - and as a result I want to share my thoughts with you.

The Woman in Black is performed in The Rosewater Theatre’s “in-the-round” space. I have attended this venue before, but not seen anything performed on this stage. I will say I was impressed. The stage was furnished with just a few pieces of furniture and some well-placed props. The lighting seemed a bit strange to me at first, but as the performance progressed into the actual Ghost Story that it is, it morphed into something beautiful. Kudos to the technical team of this show! That is one area that I find consistently lacking in local theater – but here it was well done and added so much to the mood and tone of this piece.

From an acting perspective, I have to say first – WOW! Charlie Bradshaw, an actor I have seen numerous times in musicals and operettas, moved seemingly effortlessly through several characters – making each seem different and believable. Mike Cuellar does an admirable job as the actor – turned director – turned character/victim of his own vision. I just wish there had been a bit of a separation of his “actor” and “kipps” characters in Act One. Still, by the end of Act Two, he had me right were he wanted me… scared and worried for him.

The Rosewater Theatre and Greg Poulos have much to be proud about here. I would encourage anyone who likes a good Ghost Story (no blood or gore, just a good old-fashioned scare) to come see this production. You will not be disappointed.

-Wendy Robyns

CLOSING SOON
Eclipsed
by Danai Gurira
Synchronicity Performance Group
Incorruptible
by Michael Hollinger
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.
Summer Harvest - The Corporate Collection
by various
Onion Man Productions
The Miracle Worker
by William Gibson
Gypsy Theatre Company
NOW PLAYING
Eclipsed
by Danai Gurira
Synchronicity Performance Group
Incorruptible
by Michael Hollinger
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.
Murder and Stranger Things
by John Babcock
Agathas: A Taste of Mystery
Summer Harvest - The Corporate Collection
by various
Onion Man Productions
The Miracle Worker
by William Gibson
Gypsy Theatre Company

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