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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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MeisnerGuy [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.2
Neighborhood Playhouse1
Button Theatre1
Theatre Arts Guild1
Average Rating Given : 3.50000
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
Turned Me On!
Friday, November 16, 2007
4.0
I wish I had been able to review this before it closed, but unfortunately computer problems prevented this.

I got to see one of the special "After Hours" presentation of this show, and I'm not sure if it was the proximity to the witching hour or just my overactive imagination, but this show definitely brought a chill up my spine - in a good way.

While Ms. Cole and Mr. Markowski are excellent actors, the star of this show was Mr. Magursky's lighting design. Aside from the one obvious moment when the gobo machine was creaking out the water effect, every other lighting moment in show was exquisite. Combined with the fog effects and the actor's movements at times it felt as if there were 3-4 people on the stage.

I'll admit at times I was completely lost as to what was going on, and the story was not as compelling as I hoped it to be - I really wanted to be scared out of my seat as the hype promoted. But still the performances of these two very talented actors kept me interested even when I was confused (I blame the beers at Melton's before hand - which also meant I had a strong urge to go to the bathroom. Not good for a show with no intermission).

Overall, though, a very enjoyable production. I hope that Onstage continues to grow and start building an audience.

-MG

Godspell, by John-Michael Tebelak, Music and New Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Paint my face and call me a Godspell lover!
Monday, July 30, 2007
4.5
I knew I wasnít going to go to church on Sunday, so I thought Iíd make up for it by going to see ďGodspellĒ on Saturday night. Apparently, Iím one of only a few people who has never seen the show or done it before, as was made apparent by the amount of Tye-Dye in the audience and people singing along. And I now see its appeal!

Itís less Jesus Christ Superstar than I was expecting. The show focuses more on the lessons taught by Jesus. The actors did a great job of pantomiming the stories being told (without the whole scary mime aspect of pantomime). The show moves at a very fast pace, and just as you are getting the gist of one lesson, ding! Youíre on to another.

This is a new theater, so I was surprised to see the level of talent in this production. Two or three actors have done a lot of work around Atlanta, and the whole cast was very entertaining. I knew I was in for something good the second that Charlie Bradshaw started singing the opening number with a clear, beautiful voice. When the cast joined in, the harmonies blended really well. Chloe Zeitounian had a very sweet, yet jazzy voice for the song, Day by Day (one tune I did know!). Kristie Krabe wailed like a 80ís rock star on her solo, and then brought an amazingly beautiful sweetness to her duet in the second act with Cheryl Rookwood.

The comic here was Doug Graham who balanced out his outrageous antics with a sweet ballad that had the whole audience swaying. Glenda Tibbals Gray also treated us with a very funny, vampy number to open act two. One of the best moments was the rousing gospel number towards the end led by Jameel Howard which led into a very somber moment of the last supper.

I thought the Passion scene was beautifully done. Israel Hillary, who played Jesus had a great voice, but really gave an honest performance of Jesus. We were in tears during the crucifixion scene.

I thought the simplicity of the set was wonderful against the high energy choreography and colorful costumes. The lighting was very well done as well. Iím not sure if I loved the canned music track, although it was done very well. Iím not sure if a live band would have done well in that space, because it was a bit echo-y. I think they probably should have had some curtains along the walls to absorb some of the sound and a few of the actors might have benefited from microphones.

Overall, this was a great production by this new theater. I really canít wait to see what they do with three of my favorite shows Ė Youíre a Good Man Charlie Brown, Barefoot in the Park, and Company next season!!

The Oz Chronicles in Concert, by Stephen Schwarz, Harold Arlen,Charlie Smalls
Thoroughly Entertaining Evening!
Friday, August 18, 2006
4.0
Having just recently seeing Wicked at the Fox and being a long time fan of The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz, I admit that I went to this production with a bit of hesitancy. I have never really been a fan of Scott Rousseau original shows - too much exposition and cornball humor that is better suited for children's shows or Six Flags. And while some of that exists here - I was still very entertained by the talent that Onstage has gathered.

Not only did I get to see some old favorites - I was also pleasantly surprised by some new faces - Tawana Johnson and J'Nai Walker both rocked in their Wiz numbers and were sorely underused. As was Tala Al-Khudairi. Why they didn't have the opportunity to shine more is a mystery.

However, I didn't mind hearing Kristie Krabe sing - I never do. Her rendition of "Be A Lion" was so powerful, yet endearing. And her take on "Popular" was wonderful. I loved the intereaction she and Laine Binder had together there and in "For Good"

The ensemble numbers were hit and miss. They opened strong with "One Short Day" and dazzled us with an a cappella version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" but group numbers like "No One Mourns The Wicked" and "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" were at times painful.

I, too, noticed a bit of disconnect with the band and often felt the musicians were too loud (this is a common problem at this theater).

All in all, though, I enjoyed myself and found myself clapping along to the finale. I would recommend this show.

Hair, by Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot
Hairtastic!!
Monday, February 14, 2005
4.0
I knew I was in for a fun evening when I entered the theater and went to take my seat, only to find a hippie passed out in the row.

Jeff McKerley has taken an energetic crowd of some good looking kids and took them in a direction that was not only fast and fun, but also thought provoking.

Because there are many highs and lows - I will address folks individually.

Alex Picca and Brian Godleski as the team of Claude and Berger: These guys were having a good time, and as newcomers to the acting business were not that bad. Alex comes from a band background, and that translates well into Claude who has to have a bit of a rock star quality to him. He seemed very comfortable on stage - especially since he spends a good bit of time in a loincloth. Berger is another one that spends a lot of time on stage with his pants down, and while I could feel some discomfort in the audience, he didn't let it faze him once. The vocals were a bit off key at times, but I feel that is forgivable in this style of show. I give them a 4 and a 3 respectively.

Kristie Krabe as Sheila blew my mind!! She definitely stood out as the seasoned pro in this crowd. Her portrayal of Sheila was really intriguing. Here is a woman who stands for peace, love and happiness, yet she is head over heels in love with some guy who treats her badly. Kristie really displays a vulnerability to the character. Her voice was absolutely gorgeous and I was amazed that she was able to sing after the athletic running and jumping she did for the bulk of the show. I also loved how she engaged the audience at all times and made us feel like we were on stage with her. This girl earned a 10 out of 5!!

Mark Schroeder as Woof and John Jones as Hud were definitely surprising!! These characters were definitely out of the realm of normal for both of them, yet they embraced the characters completely. It is sometimes hard to find a pervert and a militant black man endearing, yet I loved them both. A 4 to each of them.

The Tribe was great as well - very young and full of energy. Four standouts from the tribe were Boris Hunter, Gaby Hergulson, Leslie Ridgeway and Alli Simpson. Boris' portrayal of Margaret Mead was dead on hilarious, while Gaby's Frank Mills was so sweet and adorable. Leslie Ridgeway was new to me and I really enjoyed her Jeanie - a character that could have been a throwaway, yet really made me want to get to know her better. And Alli Simpson rocked as the Aquarius Soloist. A 4.5 - 5 for the tribe.

The lighting by Lee Shiver was great, and I'd be curious to know how many lighting cues his board can hold! There seemed to be about 10,000. And the costumes by Neal Vipperman were very authentic. 4's to them both.

The sound was one of the things that hurt this production. I do not envy Steven Sigmon for having to track these actors and their body mikes around the stage - the actors are everywhere, and you never know when one of them is going to let out a war cry. There were times when the mikes were not as loud as they could have been, and the orchestra was a bit overpowering at times. And a few of the sound cues were too early or too late. A 2.5 - 3 for effort.

And finally a 5 to the direction of this show. Hair can seem a bit dated and can easily be done tongue in cheek with a "Hey! Look at us pretending to be hippies" flavor. This production, though really brought us into the tortured mind of Claude as he struggles to find himself and seek out his future. The reality of war is portrayed in a trippy psychedelic parody of war with makes it even more horrific to witness. The lack of linear storyline could have been confusing, but I feel it only helped me relate more to the mind altered state of the characters.

I definitely recommend this show - it is not for the squeamish, though. There are drugs, sex and nudity. Although kudos to Jeff for keeping it tasteful and meaningful in the moment.

Smokey Joe's Cafe, by Leiber and Stoller
Smoking is Bad for you!
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
1.0
I just have one thing to say... if you are going to have a musical show with a full electric band, do your performers a favor and give them good microphones!

The show that I saw on Saturday was at best strained. I've seen some of the performers in other shows, and know that they have much better voices than what I had to strain to hear over the music.

I had seen this show in London, so maybe I am biased, but the men in this show just weren't as strong as they should have been vocally for this kind of show. The women were the stand out vocal talents in this production, but unfortunately they don't get to shine at all (I'm A Woman was a Diva-fest!)

The choreography was very un-even, and over done. While the sets and lighting were good, the production as a whole was lacking.

The audience seemed to enjoy it because the music was from their childhood era, but if you are looking for a night of good singing, use the patch because this Smoke is bad for your health!

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