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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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Companies Reviewed#
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.1
ART Station Theatre1
Average Rating Given : 5.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

The Guys, by Anne Nelson
See it! Bring a friend!
Saturday, March 27, 2004
5.0
Absolutely impeccable. It's always a pleasure to see the work that Art Station cranks out each season, and it's a particular pleasure to see the strong work of these seasoned actors. I was engrossed in this story from the moment the lights went up until the curtain call. This is most definitely worth the trip to Stone Mountain to see.

Five Women Wearing The Same Dress, by Alan Ball
These Five Women Get Five Stars...At Least
Monday, February 10, 2003
5.0
I was dragged to this show against my will. I admit it. I have seen a couple of other productions of this chick-fest over the years, and I simply saw no reason to see another version of a bunch of women whining abot men, sex, unflattering dresses and unlikeable brides.

But something is distinctly different here. Onstage Atlanta gets this one right...from the exquisite cast all the way down to the floral wallpaper and the deliciously southern pastel bridesmaids dresses. No kidding...in the first three minutes I was hooked.

Each young woman has a story to tell. Right away we meet the bride's sister Meredith (the outstanding Elizabeth Wright Coats). I have seen more than one actress fall into the easy trap of portraying this particular character as a sullen, pouting brat. Coats wisely avoids this tactic, and focuses instead on the sarcastic wit and ironic humor of the character. She infuses her performance with a breezy sex appeal, making this character one of my favorites to watch.

Lisa Parks was also particularly excellent as the groom's lesbian sister Mindy. Parks also avoids stereotyping her character and chooses to play her honestly and from the heart. It is a wonderful performance of (in my opinion), one of the more grounded characters in the play.

Karen Whitaker possesses the perfect blend of sophistication and warmth to create the likeable Trisha, a woman who has seen and done it all. She is a towering stage presence, moving about with grace and confidence.

Kim Salome does a remarkable job as the unhappily married childhood friend of the bride's. Salome demonstrates a wonderful sense of comic timing, creating a character that is impossible not to like.

And LeeAnna Lambert could not be more perfect as the sweet and devoutly religious Frances. this actress is always intersting, and in this role she comes across as so true and so sincere in her convictions that I was genuinely moved by many of her words.

Each character has her moment to shine. Each actress shines brilliantly. This is a remarkable ensemble, and they seem to be having so much genuine fun together on stage that it is impossible not to get caught up in their raucous laughter, bawdy girl talk and outrageous antics. There is one particular scene where the audience is left literally screaming with laughter...it is totally unexpected and totally absorbing. These are the kinds of moments I go to the theater for. Real moments. This production is chock-full of them.

This play succeeds due to the crisp, confident direction by Karen Beyer and the wonderfully realized performances of all six of her cast members.

My one complaint is and always has been with Alan Ball's script. Late in the second act we are suddenly introduced to one of the groomsmen, for reasons which I cannot fathom. The actor, Nick Tecosky, does a fine job, and more than holds his own with the women in the cast. The meat of his scene is mainly with Miss Whitaker, and although the two play nicely off of each other and demonstrate a palpable chemistry, the scene is simply misplaced. Perhaps it would have worked better for us to meet this lone male character much earlier on in the play. By the time the guy is introduced, the play is nearly over and we've just witnessed an emotional (and exceptionally well acted) revelation and subsequent confrontation between Coats and Parks, and we are left hanging, wishing we could see a little more of that scene. Rather than meeting one of the groomsmen at this point, I would have been more interested in meeting the much talked-about bride, or perhaps the slick heartthrob who is discussed at length throughout the play, and to whom each of the women has been linked.

But this complaint is minor compared to everything that this production gets right...and when the beautifully portrayed final moments of the play settled onto the stage, I found myself genuinely sorry that the show was over.

The script may have it's flaws. This production does not.

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