Alison Durkee

Alison Durkee is a critic with Stage Buddy. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (23)
Caroline's Kitchen
Midtown E
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"Chock-full of intrigue from the characters’ lives, and Betts’s script includes comedic moments that cut through the play’s darker themes. Yet the play’s efforts to cram in as many dramatic turns as possible results in a claustrophobic piece that doesn’t give the characters, or audience, much room to breathe. Some of these plot points even feel extraneous...The constant tumult also makes the work feel largely one-note...The performers help make the unending drama more compelling to watch.” Full Review

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“An enchanting new version...Ewoldt, engagingly portrays all the play’s characters...The choreography feels unnecessary when attempting to help Ewoldt act out the action, mimed conversations...feel extraneous...The production’s projections often similarly over-explain the action...By telling a story that focuses so heavily on the wonder of imagination, ‘Anne of Green Gables: Part I’ should have trusted more in its audiences’ ability to exercise its own.” Full Review

Maple and Vine
Soho/Tribeca
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“A thoughtful, accessible production...Only hints at the mid-century vibrancy that gives the era much of its nostalgic allure...Still, the production offers a quiet, complex view into this nostalgic world through its strong performances and Harrison’s thoughtful writing. Though...slightly too long at three hours, it offers a complex view of the past and how we relate to it that will captivate both deaf and hearing audiences alike." Full Review

Desperate Measures
Midtown W
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for a previous production "Manages to transcend its corny potential and genuinely entertain. Though the rhyming can be slightly tiresome at moments, and the show’s overt humor doesn’t always land, the show is smartly structured, balancing its exaggerated shenanigans with enough subtle, tender moments to add nuance and keep its characters from being mere clichés...Its success is largely owed to its cast of six, who ensure that the musical’s over-the-top nature comes across with a balance of humor and humanity." Full Review

Bandstand
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

“Successfully toes the line between nostalgia and refreshing realism…The show’s cast manages to capture these characters as both charismatic underdogs and the complex survivors whose joy always has a darker tinge…Audiences looking forward to buoyant swing dance numbers won’t be let down here…The choreography works as an equal collaborator that elevates the book and score…The choreography physically expresses the Big Band beats of Oberacker’s score.” Full Review

The Ephemera Trilogy
East Village
Stage Buddy

"That the tales are so compelling with so few dramatic flourishes is a testament to the power these stories hold, though the piece sometimes gets muddled by the massive themes it’s trying to convey. What truly drives the piece, however, are Maeda’s artistic visuals, which transform her straightforward stories into masterful works of art...By relying not only on sand art but on the fleeting form of theatre itself, 'The Ephemera Trilogy' asserts its purpose in its actions as much as its words." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"A simple yet endearing piece…As the Clown, Herholdt does a charming job at bringing things together, with a simple yet charismatic portrayal that's both playful and mysterious…The well-crafted puppets are a true highlight of the production, giving the proceedings an added whimsy...From this charming stagecraft to the joy of discovering these unknown fairy tales in such a delightful way, 'Little Stories' is the perfect choice for families at this year’s Fringe." Full Review

Stage Buddy

for a previous production “There are plenty of knowing winks to the audience here to entertain ‘Sound of Music’ fans...Though these references certainly stand out, they don’t feel out of place with the rest of the play, whose witty tone makes the show a pleasure to watch...At the same time, the production deals with some heavy subject matter, and 'Rolfe' manages to balance its wit and cheery show tune references perfectly with its weighty take on the Nazi Party’s rise...The production unsettles even as it entertains." Full Review

The Reenactors
Lower E Side
Stage Buddy

"A thoughtful and engrossing examination of the blurred boundaries between art and life...The play asks larger questions about actors and whether they’re evil narcissists, as the Director seems to believe, or artists on par with a playwright or director. The continual emphasis on this theme is the piece's weakest point...It’s the actors' performances themselves as they navigate this ever-shifting play that proves their own artistic worth." Full Review

King Liz
Upper W Side
Stage Buddy

"The plot twists aren’t as dramatic as intended, even seeming slightly heavy-handed. But these less successful moments are rare, as Coppel’s script is largely sharp and insightful, taking on mammoth topics like race and gender in an accessible and urgently relevant way. Though it may not quite be a slam dunk, 'King Liz' takes a difficult shot and ultimately scores." Full Review

Ada|Ava
Financial
Stage Buddy

"It is a masterful production whose imaginative intricacies transcend its two-dimensional resources...What makes 'Ada|Ava' particularly spectacular are the complex visuals Manual Cinema use to tell the story. Their thoughtful cinematography gives the piece a heavy cinematic element through its striking imagery and carefully constructed montages, allowing the piece’s more surreal elements to be captured in a way that traditional theatrical techniques cannot...A compelling and awe-inspiring pro... Full Review

For the Last Time
Midtown W
Stage Buddy

"With atypical musical styles and relationships that go far beyond a traditional love plot, the musical’s high ambitions result in a few stumbles. This talented cast and wonderful production, however, ensure that its emotional tale of how we contend with our own consequences ultimately prevails." Full Review

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“An enjoyably accessible take...Frog and Peach’s production brings out the lighthearted comedy that’s so essential to ‘Twelfth Night’s’ success...Benson’s direction unknots the poetic tangles of Shakespeare’s verse...The troupe’s acting also serves the Bard well, though performers’ more emotional portrayals at times come off as a bit overwrought...Frog and Peach’s brisk and non-intimidating interpretation offers a joyful window into how enjoyable the Bard can be." Full Review

Ordinary Days
Midtown W
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"A sweet and thoughtful musical...Gwon’s score does serve the story well...These songs flesh out the characters into three-dimensional people...The show’s reliance on songs that explore character through metaphor rather than plot can cumulatively become a bit heavy-handed...The four actors bring these New Yorkers to life with both personality and heart...This production demonstrates that sometimes the most 'ordinary' things can offer the greatest joys.” Full Review

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“Galperin and Kadin’s book lacks the depth and subtlety to portray Moses’s combative career thoughtfully...Maroulis does a serviceable job as Moses, though he, too, lacks the nuance to overcome the book’s flaws...Although audiences may be entertained...they probably won’t walk out with any more clarity on Moses’s complicated tenure—but at least they may be inspired to seek out a copy of Jacobs’ ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ instead.” Full Review

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"Deevy offers brief snapshots into colorful lives, and the playwright fleshes out her characters and the complex crossroads they find themselves at clearly and succinctly within each play’s pleasurably quick running time...The pared-down production is aided by its aesthetics...The versatile cast, too, helps to infuse life into Deevy’s gentle works...Ultimately, however, it’s Deevy’s words that take center stage...These long-unseen plays deserve their chance to shine." Full Review

The Moors
Midtown W
Exeunt Magazine

“The production also gets bogged down by the wide extremes and heady themes it tries to achieve, and the frequent impositions of whimsy and camp…Aided by a talented cast, ‘The Moors’ offers a thoughtful subversion of gender roles, presenting the possibilities of power in a way that challenges and entertains, even if it doesn’t always quite coalesce...Silverman’s play is complicated and messy – but shows why it, too, should be seen.” Full Review

Life According to Saki
East Village
Exeunt Magazine

"The production’s success sits squarely on the backs of the hard-working performers, who transfer between roles with ease and keep the production consistently delightful to watch...Make no mistake–this is an entertaining show, with constant humor and a lightheartedness that puts a cheery face on horrifying events...If we must be exposed to the darkness in the world–and we must–'Life According to Saki' reminds us to find the light." Full Review

Lamia (FringeNYC)
East Village
Stage Buddy

“Though ‘Lamia’ revels in theatrical poetry, it’s in fact the quieter moments that give this overburdened production its strength...The production’s earnest poeticism and interpretive movements often feel superfluous to the storytelling, or it's unclear what their narrative purpose is...There’s a lot of potential here, though, and with some re-balancing of the elements with an eye toward moving the story forward, ‘Lamia’s’ grand aspirations could easily be within reach.” Full Review

City Stories
Midtown E
Stage Buddy

“Phillips’ inspired collection of plays defies cliche...Some of the narration drags on too long, and the script favors telling over showing. When pivotal moments are just passively relayed, sometimes their full emotional impact doesn’t quite come through...But the heart of this production is its relatable humanity...Combined with the scintillating score and eloquent prose, ‘City Stories’ is worth experiencing.” Full Review

Futurity
East Village
Stage Buddy

"Tricky concepts lie at the heart of 'Futurity'... 'Futurity' collapses past, present, and future into a beautifully cerebral folk-rock spectacle... There’s little plot or character development here, and the premise is mostly a vehicle for the dizzyingly intellectual songs... These larger ideas, are what take 'Futurity' from being solely entertaining to fascinating." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"This 'Taming of the Shrew,' though uneven in its performances, is a surprisingly adept interpretation of a typically problematic piece...This production navigates the piece’s inherent sexism quite well, presenting Kate and Petruchio as each other’s equals without reimagining or heavily adapting the text...This 'Shrew' is actually an admirable production, which entertains without requiring the audience to accept or overlook the sexism." Full Review

The Upper Room
West Village
Stage Buddy

"A call to nature is being heard in Greenwich Village this spring, as 'The Upper Room' is a simple yet transcendent production that invites us into its organically fantastical world...Despite narrative issues, the aesthetic creativity of 'The Upper Room' manages to prevail, making the piece a captivating escape from New York City into an enticingly natural world." Full Review