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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
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Companies Reviewed#
Kudzu Playhouse2
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.1
Atlanta Classical Theatre1
VisionQuest Theatre Company1
Stage Door Players1
Big Top Productions1
Average Rating Given : 3.57143
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

Deathtrap, by Ira Levine
They fixed it.
Monday, May 17, 2004
4.0
I did not see this play opening weekend as the other reviewers did. I do feel that the problems brought up by these previous reviewers have been fixed. The set decorations that are referenced in the lines are all present, there did not appear to be any dead space where actors missed lines, and I did not feel that any plot twist was given away be any actor's mannerisms.

On top of all this, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I thought it was well-acted, and I enjoyed the well-written script despite some of the lengthy recapitulation. There were a few props and costumes that looked out of place, but they did not detract from the overall production.

I felt I was watching a strong cast perform a solid play, and I would recommend it to others.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, by By Burt Shelove and Larry Gelbart, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
No Excuse
Sunday, April 25, 2004
2.0
There is no excuse for the choreographies and vocals in this production. It appears that the director, Rob Hadaway, cared far more about blocking than singing and dancing. The blocking was flawless. Entrances and exits were beautifully timed and choreographed - as is essential with the farcical humor of mistaken identities and slamming doors. Kudos for that.

The singing, with a couple notable exceptions, was often off-key, off-rhythm, and off-correct-words. Chorus numbers were passable, but several solos were almost unlistenable.

This is not a big dancing show. With that in mind, I was disappointed that the few dance numbers there are looked sloppy. The exception to this is "Pretty Little Picture" which was blocked rather than choreographed and, as mentioned above, this appears to be where the director excels.

Curtain call was much too long and far outlasted the applause the audience wished to bestow.

Costumes were good. The set was very impressive. The lighting was passable considering what they had to work with in this space.

I don't entirely understand people's love affiar with this show. I think the plot is trite, the characters are cliche, and the songs are forgettable. If the show itself were more interesting, then this production would have been a 3.

Maggie's Getting Married, by Norm Foster
Thoroughly Enjoyable
Monday, April 12, 2004
4.0
There has been some recent criticism of the Kudzu Playhouse for casting the same people in all of their shows. While most of the members of this cast have a lot of Kudzu credits in their bios, I believe the director found excellent actors to fill the roles. The director, Peter Thomasson, and his cast did an excellent job. Each character is convincing, real, and easy for the audience to relate to. The action on stage is engaging and motivated. The show was laugh out loud funny at times and moving at other times.

The set was very impressive - especially considering the space Kudzu has to work with.

I was a little disappointed in the script. I do expect to have to suspend my disbelief when I see romantic comedies, but the plot device used in this play is very cliche and yet unbelievable. I think it seemed especially jarring when the device was used because up until this point (late in Act II), everything had seemed so real.

Still, I would recommend seeing this play. You'll enjoy it.

Titanic: In Concert, by Peter Stone and Maury Yeston
Powerful
Monday, April 12, 2004
4.0
That's what this ensemble of singers is: powerful. Linda Uzelac has once again pulled an extraordinary sound out of a cast. The harmonies, diction, and preciseness of all the chorus numbers was well worth the price of admission. A couple of the singers are much weaker during their solo lines, but that is forgiven during the next chorus number.

Also worthy of note was the lighting. John David Williams did an excellent job.

The only major drawback to this production is the show itself. While it has several excellent and memorable numbers, it also has quite a few boring and forgettable songs. This is obviously not the fault of the cast or crew, but I did wonder why they did not cut some of them since this was an "in concert" production, and many of the less-than-memorable songs were not necessary to the plot.

Also, a couple of the themes seem to be beaten in to the audience's heads. We get it - classism is bad.

Despite the flaws, the excellent vocals should put this show on your must-see list.

Medea - the Fury, by Jim Davies and Xiao Gong Ji
See this show.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
5.0
This show was incredible. The adaptation was well-written and engaging. The choreography was entertaining and well-executed. Staging, lighting, and costumes were all excellent. The cast was talented, and it was great to see so much comedic talent in this tragedy. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not find a weak link in this cast.

The one problem I had was that some of the lighting effects that were projected on the floor of the stage could not be seen by most of the audience.

Please note that this show is at 7 Stages and not the Art Farm. Go and see it. You won't regret it.

12 Angry Men, by Reginald Rose/ David Kleist
Nice Adaptation
Friday, January 30, 2004
3.0
This is a good adaptation of the classic script. David Kleist's non-traditional casting and modifications to the script gave the show new resonance for this century without sacrificing the main themes of the original.

This is an ensemble show, but a few actors do shine. Barbara Washington as the Foreman and Teal Sherer as Juror 4 are exceptional. They both created believable, interesting, and exciting characters whom I found myself watching even when the action was elsewhere on the stage. Neither of them attempted to steal focus in any way; I just found myself watching them because their subtle actions and reactions were often more interesting and/or believable than some of the other actors who were supposed to be commanding my attention.

The set was excellent. One of the reasons I enjoy seeing shows at the Stage Door Players is that I know Chuck Welcome will have created an excellent set.

Sadly, not all the performers were as exceptional as Washington and Sherer. Some performances seemed just adequate and lacked any sense of urgency. One in particular seemed totally unbelievable.

There were either many dropped lines and missed cues, or the timing was off.

I realize that the script is old, but many of the plot points seemed to come from an episode of Matlock. I know that this show predates Matlock, but it seems that this production (since the script was adapted) could have used less time in explaining these points. A couple of times I felt like the intelligence of the audience was being insulted as the cast belabored their explanations to things that most audience members had already figured out.

Curtain call was a mess. The actors appeared unsure as to how and when to bow, and the order of the bows made no sense.

My opinion.

Blood Brothers, by Willy Russell
Some Good Talent In Search Of A Director
Sunday, October 12, 2003
3.0
There are some truly wonderful aspects of the Kudzu Playhouse production of "Blood Brothers." First, there is Tom Coleman. As the lighting designer, Coleman was able to achieve effects that seem quite impossible when you first look at the space he had to work with. His lighting does a perfect job of setting the mood and directing the audience's attention.

There are also some very talented actors in this production. Recurring Kudzu player Jason Meinhardt is excellent as the Narrator. This character could easily come across as pompous and grating, but Meinhardt is able to make him aloof without alienating him from the audience. Also worthy of mention is Paige Anderson who plays Linda. Anderson is always believable and moving as Linda grows from a little girl to a young woman. She is able to convey emotion and vulnerability in a very subtle and real way that many community theater actors have not mastered.

The production is directed by Andy Meeks. The production stars Andy Meeks. After watching the production, it appears that Meeks is an actor who decided to direct this musical so that he could cast himself as the star. The direction is adequate (i.e. no one blocks actors who are speaking, and no one delivers lines to the back wall), but very seldom is it good. It is repetitive and several times, downright confusing as to what exactly he was trying to accomplish.

The members of the ensemble turn in good individual performances with their smaller roles, but as a group, they lack cohesion. This fault can be laid at Meeks' feet. Since he is onstage with them, he is unable to sit in the audience and notice that they are not together when doing the choreography, many of the tempos are too slow, and their voices do not blend (this last fact was especially obvious in the finale when Meeks attempted to outsing the entire cast).

"Blood Brothers" is an excellent and moving script with haunting songs. While this production of it certainly is not bad, it saddens me to think of how spectacular it could have been under different direction.

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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