Reviews for Different Stages Performances

Review of Cricket on the Hearth streaming production by Different Stages

Review of Cricket on the Hearth streaming production by Different Stages

by David Glen Robinson
Published on January 09, 2021

Different Stages' imaginative, effective streaming presentation features welcome familiar faces in a a clever interpretation that's close to actual in-person performance. A fine epiphany for Epiphany!

  Once again, Austin's Different Stages has found a different stage, and as with many others, has mastered it. The Cricket on the Hearth was billed as a staged reading, but turned out to be considerably more than that.  The costumed actors performed very much in character as the early Victorian persons Dickens enlivened to colorful perfection. Their Zoom window backgrounds revealed props or held a few set pieces, and occasional deft touches emphasized connections despite …

Read more »

Review: Gliders by Different Stages

Review: Gliders by Different Stages

by David Glen Robinson
Published on February 10, 2020

World War II gliders and the 1969 moon landing are the awkward frame for a story of domestic abuse and a fractured family. The abuser's always off stage, but the cast of women does have one male character, bankrupt and passive, to beat up on.

Gliders by Rita Anderson is a story set in the late Sixties of domestic abuse and a fractured family. The first Moon landing is the background of the play but it's no more than that, background. We see elements of three generations of a family of mothers and daughters. The family cannot gain lift-off due to the instability, alcoholism, nicotine addiction, and promiscuity of the matriarch, who blames it all on her early widowhood. The production …

Read more »

Review: A Doll's House by Different Stages

Review: A Doll's House by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on July 02, 2019

Hendrik Ibsen, that canny old plot spinner, packs a lot into his story, and Catherine Williams brings protagonist Nora Helmer vividly alive.

  Attending The Doll's House by Ibsen by Austin's Different Stages, I couldn't help but think of the American music hall ballad She's Only A Bird in a Gilded Cage, a sentimental portrait of a woman who married for money, not for love. Ann Marie Gordon's set in the Trinity Street Players' black box theatre subtly suggests just such a cage.   At the center of this famously intimate space stand the furnishings of a solid middle-class …

Read more »

Review: The Book Club Play by Different Stages

Review: The Book Club Play by Different Stages

by Amanda Paz
Published on April 10, 2019

The spectacular chemistry evident among the five actors in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY brought the characters to life. Standouts were Kelsey Mazak and Makayla Perez.

Secrets and gossip are part of having friends. There may come a time too much is revealed and no one can take it anymore.   In The Book Club Play Karen Zacarias introduces five characters who come together to form a book club. The revelation of their different personalities keeps the club continually interesting. Ana the club leader is a control freak trying to hide it, and Robert is a washed-up college quarterback who doesn’t …

Read more »

Review: The Magic Fire by Different Stages

Review: The Magic Fire by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 19, 2019

The script of THE MAGIC FIRE is a gem, rich of character and powerfully evocative, presented as a memory play by the narrator Lise, unashamedly an avatar of the playwright herself.

Norman Blumensaadt's Different Stages, active in Austin since 1981, isn't a repertory company in the strict sense. It's a creation of Norman's initiative and vast knowledge of mostly twentieth-century theatre literature of the U.S. and U.K., homeless and itinerant, beloved of a small but appreciative clan of actors and theatre goers. Different Stages offers its aficionados evenings of theatre they're unlikely to get elsewhere. Their current production, Lilian Groag's deeply moving The Magic Fire, has to …

Read more »

Review: When We Are Married by Different Stages

Review: When We Are Married by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 06, 2018

Because it's a well-made play, propriety is restored. And that's too bad, for the sharp truth-telling of comedy is covered over by a return to an only slightly altered status quo.

Different Stages' announcement of When We Are Married set up a bothersome tugging on my memory. Hadn't they done this piece before? An English comedy - on the theme of marriage - set in the very early 20th century - by J.B. Priestly? I've climbed aboard artistic director Norman Blumensaadt's literary-artistic time machine so often -- 32 times to date -- that I couldn't be sure. So of course I went checking.   And in …

Read more »