Recent Reviews

Review: Self Portraits by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

Review: Self Portraits by Bottle Alley Theatre Company

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 11, 2018

Behind the laughter was a keen sense of the absurdity and difficulty of lives of young adults; they invited us in, revealed themselves and just about knocked our socks off with energy and revelations.

 

The eleven actor/writer/participants in Bottle Alley's Self Portraits filled the Back Pack's hole-in-the-wall space in East Austin with exuberant energy reminiscent of summer camps, stand-up comedy fests and drama therapy sessions. This was a real smörgåsbord of an evening, a festive intellectual table of unpredictable experiences. These celebrants had worked up thirty pieces averaging about two minutes each, and the numbered sheets hung on a line high across the stage ...

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Review #3 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

Review #3 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

by Michael Meigs
Published on March 30, 2018

In this play those who cling to the gun either murder without apology or face death by the gun, as in the endless horror of waiting in the final scene.

 

People all around us were laughing, as if somehow they were watching a completely different performance from the one being presented to us.

 

But it wasn’t, of course. Already during the first act of The Secretary at the Rollins Theatre last Saturday night I was wondering how our perceptions were differing from the people that Theatre en Bloc was successfully entertaining.

 

At the intermission Karen looked at me, misery in her eyes ...

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Review #2 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

Review #2 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on March 27, 2018

Some supernatural things may be happening -- which is less important than the fact that at least half of the characters believe down to their immortal souls that they are.

 

                    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Dick

 

The Secretary is a multi-thematic play about the inter-relations of people working together, a local business’s communal responsibility, abusive marriages, crime and most significantly gun control.  While there are many hot button topics bandied about, the play is thoroughly enjoyable thanks to a constant ...

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Review #1 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

Review #1 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

by David Glen Robinson
Published on March 27, 2018

The audience learns quickly than more than one of these characters is certifiable, and the plot twists and turns around dementia until its unavoidably tragic end.

 

Trigger.  The word, both noun and verb, releases the catch on varied symbolism and events of heat, pith, moment, chaos, and consequence.  Theatre en Bloc’s production of The Secretary by Kyle John Schmidt, now playing at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center, explores the trigger on many levels, including that of weaponry that triggers itself seemingly without human agency. 

 

The timeliness of The Secretary is nearly perfect. The ...

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Review: The Repentance of St. Joan by Paper Chairs

Review: The Repentance of St. Joan by Paper Chairs

by David Glen Robinson
Published on March 26, 2018

The freshness of THE REPENTANCE OF SAINT JOAN is its freedom to change space, time, character, and tone from one phrase of dialogue to the next, thanks in large part to a gifted and flexible cast.

Judd Farris’ visage is a landscape.  He opens the play in monologue, speaking of what he did after the war—what war?—building villages, building churches, and working in granaries. He describes walking in snowy woodlands, and ascending a hill and its consequent aerobic effects on him. By the time he reaches the crest he has become the landscape he describes, and we trust his genuineness and authenticity.  It is time itself we cannot ...

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Review: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder by touring company

Review: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder by touring company

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on March 22, 2018

Frankly, A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER takes its cues from the likes of THE BOOK OF MORMON and AVENUE Q, for a fun-filled night out -- and a family-friendly one aat that.


 

“Why are all the D’Ysquith’s dying?” The mourners sing in chorus during the opening of Act Two in the Tony-Award-winning A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.  And it’s true more than a half of a dozen family members have already been dispatched in the first act alone. But this query can be little more than a rhetorical over-simplification of the play’s classic Shakespearean plot. When young Monty Navarro learns he is no ...

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