Recent Reviews

Review (#2 of 2): A Doll's House by Classic Theatre of San Antonio

Review (#2 of 2): A Doll's House by Classic Theatre of San Antonio

by Kurt Gardner
Published on November 14, 2017

Kacey Roye's Nora is a bundle of raw nerves, overcompensating to please her domineering husband and present her “best face” to society. Her confrontation of husband Torvald in the final act is both poignant and satisfying.

 

Even though it was written in 1879, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House doesn’t seem to have aged a day— and the production now playing at the Classic Theatre certainly proves it.

 

The Classic’s approach to this staging seems to be “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The set design by Alfy Valdez is timeless, capable of fitting into any era from the late 1800s and beyond. Indeed, this ...

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Review: ANON(ymous) by Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Review: ANON(ymous) by Mary Moody Northen Theatre

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 13, 2017

There's a happy ending in this production for children, but it presents faint reassurance amid strong suggestions of murder, immigrant deaths by drowning, stifling and road accident, human trafficking, sexual coercion, and cannibalism via sausage grinding.

 

There's a curious two-dimensionality to Naomi Iizuki's Anon(ymous). It's billed as a modern take on The Odyssey, and the rough correspondences aren't too hard to make out: a central character who's washed up ashore when a ship goes down and an episodic structure in which he's rescued and held by a nymph, later encounters and defeats a cyclops, and receives occasional visitations from a goddess; there's ...

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Review: A Doll's House by Classic Theatre of San Antonio

Review: A Doll's House by Classic Theatre of San Antonio

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 10, 2017

Kacey Roye captures our attention every second she's on stage, which is most of the time. When threats arrive and pressures mount, Roye as Nora faces them with touching courage and rationality. By the third-act crisis we accept Nora's complexity and applaud it.

 

 

Publicity for the Classic Theatre's staging of A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen promised it would be set in 1950’s America with a Mad Men flair, but from the moment you settled in your seat it was clear that with his beautiful, meticulously detailed set Alfy Valdez was scrupulously evoking a bougeois Scandinavian home of the 19th century. Yes, the house's lights were electric, but all other details -- the pastel ...

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Review: Constellations by Playhouse San Antonio

Review: Constellations by Playhouse San Antonio

by Kurt Gardner
Published on November 08, 2017

In just over an hour, we experience each stage of Marianne and Roland’s relationship from multiple perspectives. As their attitudes shift, so do the endless possibilities of what may lie ahead for them. If it sounds confusing, it’s not, as it has been ingeniously assembled by the playwright.

 

Is the universe we live in actually one of many levels of contemporaneous existence? That’s the intriguing theory proposed by Nick Payne in his two-hander Constellations at the Cellar Theatre, receiving its second staging in Texas.

 

Constellations tells the story of the relationship between Marianne (Kate Glasheen), a theoretical physicist, and Roland (Jeff Jeffers), a self-employed beekeeper. When they first meet, Marianne attempts to describe to Roland what she does. She explains that ...

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Review: Dry Land by Permanent Record

Review: Dry Land by Permanent Record

by David Glen Robinson
Published on November 08, 2017

DRY LAND successfully shows how teenagers may steadfastly refuse to reach out for practical help when life happens. The dialogue and voice work produce a dynamic of high nervous anxiety that never effectively relents.

 

Permanent Record Theatre company has the look of yet another Austin pop-up theatre group, full of passion, applying  immense energy and even greater creative resources to produce plays they love.  Their inaugural production, Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, is now on view at Mastrogeorge Theatre. 

 

The play is a postcard to the world from the high school athletics locker room. And it is an SOS. The stage action is all ...

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Review: Apocalypse by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: Apocalypse by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 03, 2017

Apocalypse succeeds as an evocation not of the classic notion of apocalypse, the world ending in fire or in ice, but in intimate finales of accumulating inertia and unknowing.

You need ingenuity if you're a small theatre company facing Austin's squeeze of performing space. Equipped spaces are recording reservations well out into 2019. On the other hand, if you're a determined ad hoc band of performers not worried about the inquisition forces of the City of Austin, you can put up your tents virtually anywhere. The world is wide. And if you have no tents either, the woods are lovely, dark ...

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