Christopher Caz

About:  Christopher "Caz" Caswell hails from Austin, Texas, but has called New York City his home for over three decades. Avid theater-goer, seasoned cabaret soloist, and longest running member of the award-winning pops group "Uptown Express", he shares his view from the audience for TheaterScene.net and Ma... Read more Read less
Reviews (52)
Burbank
East Village
TheaterScene.net

Although "Burbank: Walt Disney in Crisis" occasionally has its actors delivering monologues out to the audience, the most compelling drama occurs from the interactive scenes between the actors themselves; more of this would have absolutely been welcome. Nevertheless, the play does entertain and inform, revealing the financial struggles Disney went through to make such iconic films as "Pinocchio," "Fantasia," and "Bambi," even in the wake of "Snow White"’s success. Full Review

Mister Miss America
West Village
TheaterScene.net

D'Astolfo (that’s duh-STAHL-fo, mkay?), who also wrote the piece, sends Taylor off like a firecracker from the moment he comes onto the stage, speeding through Taylor’s wry and witty dialect so fast, why Mother of Jefferson Davis, he’s passing the fox! D’Astolfo’s dialogue is chock full of delightful West Virginian-isms, gay and regional. Taylor is described in the script as “wide-eyed and winning,” and this definitely describes D'Astolfo in the role. He also adds to the play’s humor in a tot... Full Review

TheaterScene.net

Freshman playwright Charles Gluck, a retired gastroenterologist who has finally followed his dream to write a play, has turned out one terrific piece of theater. There is virtually no superfluous dialogue in this script; almost every line serves a specific purpose, whether it’s to provide key exposition, continue to build the play’s fully three-dimensional characters or to accelerate and intensify the dramatic through point. Full Review

Songs About Trains
West Village
TheaterScene.net

As a piece of theater, Songs About Trains is earnest and unique. Lead author (and performer) Beto O’Byrne along with contributing authors Eugenie Chan, Reginald Edmund, Jay B Muskett and Rebecca Martínez (who also co-directs) have constructed a work that’s not definitely a musical and not quite a play, but more of a performance piece which sews stories together with music, dance and songs. Full Review

BAROCOCO (2022)
Midtown E
TheaterScene.net

Each of the actors’ performances are as unique as their costumes. Grastorf gets many laughs from her wide-eyed, innocently naivety (or just plain dimwittedness), and Mark Jaster’s puffy bravura and expressive face are delightfully campy. Mandell’s cantankerous bawdiness is perfectly chosen for her character, and Thomas plays the narcissistic Dauphine with laughable presumptuousness. Vernon’s pretentious, foppish roguery is spot on for his role, and Caleb Jaster as the simple musician interact... Full Review

WIT
East Village
TheaterScene.net

Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit, an exquisitely literate and dramatically poignant piece, would certainly suffer in the hands of less than able artists. Fortunately, the production currently running at The Paradise Factory is in well-talented hands and does the material proud. Full Review

The Antelope Party
East Village
TheaterScene.net

Meyer’s darkly comic script is ultimately terrifying, a nod to Orwell and a brilliantly satirical parable which is uncannily prescient in today’s political climate. Director Jess Chayes brings the best out of each of the actors, and finely shapes the delicate arc which begins with laughs and rainbows and descends into fear and suspicion. Full Review

Polylogues
Soho/Tribeca
TheaterScene.net

"Actor and playwright Xandra Nur Clark takes the stage, and in an assumed nod to Anna Deavere Smith, she begins to act out a collection of 21 carefully-edited interviews she’s gathered with various people on the topic of polyamory and non-monogamy" Full Review

The Sickness
Soho/Tribeca
TheaterScene.net

"As a piece of literature, 'The Sickness' has promise but as a play it is brutal to sit through. When X and Y finally overdose, everyone gets to go home, perhaps a little more grateful for their own good fortune but no less judgmental of drug addicts than they might have been upon arrival." Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"Covering the music, politics and social trends of the baby boomer age, Miller cleverly uses lights and projections in real time, making lightning fast yet seemingly effortless transitions between characters. His impersonations are as detailed and enjoyable as the characters he's portraying." Full Review

The Santa Closet
East Village
TheaterScene.net

"'The Santa Closet' doesn't reach the lofty goals of some of his other plays; however, the newly updated, tenth-year anniversary production of this frothy, zany tale is nevertheless aloft with quite a few grins and chuckles" Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"Political plots can be dry as toast. Hatem attempts to spice things up by crossing the genders of the actors playing Carter and young Cynthia; the convention is an interesting choice although it really doesn't add any new light to the characters or story and is sometimes distracting." Full Review

The Worth of Water
Soho/Tribeca
TheaterScene.net

"Rocky execution aside, the play is not without imagination, charm and just a little bit of whimsy...and the play's wonderfully emotional climax as Elle, Rebecca and Ethel cast off the shackles of their lives into the winds of an oncoming storm is absolutely jubilant and makes the entire evening worthwhile." Full Review

Reborning
Soho/Tribeca
TheaterScene.net

"Nevertheless, through the efforts of the actors and valiant direction by Triolo, this dark play does succeed in bringing to light some of the complexities of motherhood, child loss and abandonment through the very unique reborning lens." Full Review

Open
Midtown W
TheaterScene.net

"Skillman unfolds an achingly beautiful story, dropping bits and pieces of Kristen's thoughts and memories as she balances her tightrope of love, commitment, sacrifice, and transformation. Hill's performance as Kristen is funny, honest, compelling, and heartbreaking; one cannot take their eyes off her, and it's not because she is the sole occupant of the stage." Full Review

TheaterScene.net

for a previous production "Alice Ripley (Best Actress Tony Award winner for 'Next to Normal') is, in a word, astounding. Her Trisha is brimming with curiosity, honesty, humor and grace; she is inspiring to watch and simply amazing. Edie's characterization of Trisha is delicate and poignant, funny and sincere; her illuminating script is sheer writing perfection." Full Review

Mary, Mary
East Village
Manhattan Digest

"Yet for all the funny lines in this romantic comedy, this production of 'Mary, Mary' garners few laughs. It isn’t that the actors aren’t trying; more adept direction would have guided them toward better comic timing and tighter humorous synapses. Furthermore, 'Mary, Mary' is by no means the best in its 'rom com' class...Kudos to the cast for giving it their best go, and to Retro Productions for their charitable fundraising efforts and for keeping classic American theater alive." Full Review

Perp
Midtown W
TheaterScene.net

"Alexandro and Ben-Victor as the soul-stained detectives are excellently cast, playing off each other without a single misstep. The gender-blind casting of Alexandro as Jack is especially funny when she gets to deliver the hilarious line 'I got a hard-on a mile long' without blinking. Grant is brilliant as the soulful felon Myron, locked away for an unknown crime but brimming with goodness. Molina is spot-on as the creepy, anguished killer looking for love and redemption." Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"While the cadence of poetic lines can be musically pleasant to hear, if the meaning of the words is not in the forefront for the actor, then the story is lost on the listener. A few of the Frog & Peach actors in this production hit their mark consistently in this regard; some, not so consistently, and still others not very often at all. However, the entire cast has so much fun with their roles that the audience kindly overlooks the more superficial performances and warms up to all by the end." Full Review

Whirlwind
East Village
TheaterScene.net

"These two mild points aside, Jaffee's script is nevertheless hugely successful in conveying this man-vs-nature clash; his use of clever dialogue and idiosyncratic characters keep the topic in the forefront with much humor and without any preachy heavy-handedness." Full Review

Awake
Midtown W
TheaterScene.net

"Manning's direction and script are both expertly crafted. The play's moral questions are cleverly woven into each of its fully-dimensional characters' words, and their tales are often presented without bias, leaving the audience to draw its own conclusions. The actors find their full potential in this play, each one as compelling as the next, filling their portrayals with humor, earnestness and passion; they listen to each other in every moment and are a joy to watch." Full Review

Christmas in Hell
Midtown E
Manhattan Digest

“The story is silly but usually entertaining; the songs, cheeky, and often clever. The actors careen through this campy musical with dedication and gusto. There are some moments filled with less-than-inspired lyrics or dialogue, but there’s enough of oddball, quirky humor to make you chuckle throughout...For a breezy good time, check your expectations at the door and come see this not-so-wholesome holiday trifle.” Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"This nonsensical, broad comedy is penned by the clever Greg Kotis. Songs and arrangements by Steven Gross are whimsical and entertaining, and costume designer Whitney Locher presents her vaudevillian best in this frothy piece. Led expertly by director Ilana Becker, the cast bludgeons, connives and wiggles their way through this slice of holiday slapstick; young and old, the actors' comic timing is well-honed and the fun they have performing this piece is entirely infectious." Full Review

Manhattan Digest

"It unfolds like an intimate cabaret show but is in fact a theater piece with an engaging plot. Midnight skillfully weaves the best of both genres into a delightful and heartfelt 90-minute experience of story and song. Music, book and lyrics are masterfully crafted together...'Midnight at the Never Get' is wonderfully engaging and highly recommended. See it, then see it again (I did)." Full Review

Little Rock
East Village
Manhattan Digest

“The actors play multiple parts and this deliberate convention does add an interesting layer to the production...Their depiction of teenagers was on the young side and some of the smaller parts were broadly played. The actors shone most prominently in the meatier, more emotional scenes...This play makes an extremely important contribution...It reminds of the ugliness of racism that unfortunately still exists today. This story and its passionate cast deserve an audience.” Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"The Near Disaster of Jasper & Casper" is a thoroughly enjoyable, quirky fairy tale told by an expert storyteller, Jason Woods. By the end of this foray into the woods, it was time to go, I hated to leave, I had to, though. Worth a second viewing. Full Review

TheaterScene.net

Shekar’s script is extremely smart, funny at just the right moments, and morally gripping. Her characterizations of Ariel and Sanam are fully formed, uniquely individual and carefully complementary: Ariel is a crunchy-granola, bee-loving, single mom who’s desperate to prove Monsanto’s guilt, and Sanam is intense, strong-minded and honest to a fault. Through the character of Arvind, Shekar introduces the notion to Sanam that she and Ariel are looking at their study through the impartial lens ... Full Review

Bloom
East Village
TheaterScene.net

Direction by Victoria Pérez could have better negotiated the script transitions and emotional shaping of the piece; however, script, director and actors, as well as lighting design by Miguel Valderrama and sound design by Michael Hernandez all come together to create a moving ending which comes with no answers but does provide a sense of closure. Bloom hasn’t fully flowered in this incarnation, but perhaps more will be revealed in future productions. Full Review

The Patsy
Lower E Side
TheaterScene.net

Greenspan is a genius in The Patsy, and direction by Jack Cummings II, co-founder and artistic director of Transport Group, is exquisite; the build up of the story as it unfolds at Greenspan’s hand could not have been better shaped, and he keeps this three-act play going at a record pace. Full Review

TheaterScene.net

Throughout these plays there resonates an overarching message of female empowerment, a message that provides depth to the otherwise light comedy being served up. Nuns are habit forming, that’s what people say, and this viewer wanted nothing more than to run back and see this show again. Full Review

TheaterScene.net

for a previous production This show is conceived, directed, and choreographed by Randy Skinner, and his four-time Tony Award-nominated talents shine throughout the production. The choreography is inventive, interactive, fun and impressive. His staging is well-balanced and keeps the transitions moving. The opening number, “Let Yourself Go” (Follow the Fleet, 1936), sets the bar high with dynamic tapping that leaves the audience exhilarated and ready for more. Full Review

Odd Man Out
Soho/Tribeca
TheaterScene.net

"Without the benefit of sight, one must strain to listen more closely in order to understand the events of the play; footsteps, cane taps, ball bounces, far off music, distant voices and other incidental sounds make much more of an impact in the story, sounds that would have held less significance when simply watching a play. The original music by Mirko Mescia sounds even more beautiful when listened to without visual distraction, including a notably gorgeous guitar piece played by Roberto Ar... Full Review

Bundle of Sticks
Midtown W
TheaterScene.net

"Ultimately, the men and the serpent defeat Otto together, and some expendable moments and dialogue aside, Bundle of Sticks engages the audience with humor and imagination, culminating in joyous freedom for the men and their natural desires." Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"Fortunately, the piece is about more than RH factors, even if it doesn't completely spare its audience some of the dry, lid-lowering facts about the red stuff..." Full Review

A City of Refuge
Upper W Side
TheaterScene.net

"The story itself has potential, yet in spite of the actors' heroic attempts to bring truth to it, the script has its characters written to say and do so many unrealistic things that the core authenticity of what's unfolding can't be upheld." Full Review

The Giant Hoax
Midtown W
TheaterScene.net

"'The Giant Hoax' is a charming morality tale about telling the truth and growing up. The expert hands of director Christopher Michaels and choreographer Molly Model are clearly at work in all aspects of this production, bringing a touching story with affable songs and clever lyrics to life with a cast of first rate actors." Full Review

Monsoon Season
West Village
TheaterScene.net

"Vieh's script is extremely clever in its telling two sides of a story completely by separate monologues. The dialogue is real and yet extremely funny, never revealing too much, allowing the audience to piece together what's going on as the actors deliver their lines with impeccable timing and tumult." Full Review

All the Rage
Midtown W
TheaterScene.net

"Both Moran and his script are disarming, captivating, touching, and thought-provoking. The audience cranes to hear his every truth-packed word, feeling his moments of joy and triumph as well as those of disappointment, resignation and, yes, even anger." Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"A decade has passed since the much-criticized AT&T vs. Verizon commercials starring Luke Wilson took to the airwaves, but playwright Rob Ackerman has chosen to bubble up their essence into his whimsical, off-the-wall new play, 'Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson,' helmed by Theresa Rebeck in her New York directorial debut." Full Review

Manhattan Digest

“I definitely exited the theater laughing at the sheer comic genius of the actors and artistic team. The production, script and score of this show is the stuff that corn-fed dreams are made of...Utterly delightful actors and singers all...Inventive and deliciously funny...Upon leaving the show I felt I’d just seen a two-and-a-half hour musicalized version of the 'Carol Burnett Show,' and folks, that’s the greatest compliment I could give to any comedic piece of musical theater.” Full Review

The Buffalo Play
Midtown W
TheaterScene.net

"Sound (designed by Peter Musante), lighting (Mason Wagner), costumes (Sarah Kelly) and props (Ben Seratt) converge in perfect unison, thanks to the talents of this production team. Ultimately, the words are stronger than the actors, but director Wagner weaves them together into true and powerful moments." Full Review

safeword.
Midtown W
Manhattan Digest

"Might call to mind some steamy, sexy, gay bondage tale, but 'safeword.' is about so much more...'safeword.' thoughtfully and carefully uncovers these themes through excellent writing and the appreciable talents of its cast...More perfect actors could not have been found to portray these complicated but sincere people, and under Gelman’s splendid direction this play makes for a moving and thought-provoking evening of theater." Full Review

Fiercely Independent
Soho/Tribeca
TheaterScene.net

"Let's talk about the talent: Gallogly and Smith are, in a word, fantastic in 'Fiercely Independent.' They listen to each other intently, their responses are spontaneous and natural, and their chemistry is evident. Even when they're not speaking, their inner dialogues are continuous and their intents are crystal clear. Gallogly and Smith are by turns playfully fun and painfully electric." Full Review

Bonnie's Last Flight
East Village
TheaterScene.net

"'Bonnie's Last Flight' peppers its character moments with humorous sketches and air travel anecdotes. Some don't hit their mark, but most do. There's an especially amusing and thoughtful moment where the audience is handed landing cards on which they're invited to 'lighten their emotional luggage upon arrival.' All 'passengers' are asked to 'write down whatever's been weighing you down: a fear, a hurt, a grudge, anything you're ready to let go of.'" Full Review

Skin
Midtown W
Manhattan Digest

"It is up to the members of the troupe to tell a story only with faces, bodies, and music, asking its patrons to 'listen' in a whole different way. Through the course of 15 shorts, it does just that, to the delight of the audience...It was possible to miss the intent and get lost in some of the longer scenes...By and large, however, the vast majority of the scenes were successfully playful, humorous, charming and full of ingenuity...Treat yourself to the distinct pleasure of seeing a 'Skin.'" Full Review

Intelligence
East Village
TheaterScene.net

"Generic title aside, Helen Banner's 'Intelligence' is excellently written, intense, and thought-provoking. Its characters' high-stakes struggle for power and control, both politically and personally, is compelling to watch." Full Review

Daniel's Husband
Midtown W
Manhattan Digest

“Stellar writing, superb directing and exquisite acting...McKeever’s rich and poignant dialog presents familiar characterizations and story line in such a way that they’re fully experienced before they’re recognized. Direction by Brancato shapes the piece and guides its actors perfectly...’Daniel’s Husband’ achingly reminds us to never take what we have for granted. Go see it and be infused with gratitude.” Full Review

TheaterScene.net

"On paper, the dialogue between the characters of this play's American-Italian family is sometimes two-dimensional and prone to stereotype, but Claire Karpen's evocative direction, combined with the actors' superlative efforts to flesh out their characters produces a well-formed story filled with sincerity, love and earnestness. The play is at its best telling the overarching tale, carefully doling out exposition, not answering every question asked and not attempting to plumb every plot line." Full Review

The Arts
East Village
Manhattan Digest

“A new docu-drama about the history of public arts funding in the US...At the play’s end, one’s immediate impression is that they’ve just read the densest of poems without understanding much of what they read, yet on continued reflection the purpose and message of the play floats to the surface and becomes crystal clear. Art on the page as well as on the stage...A compelling, enlightening, distinctive piece of theater and worth attending.” Full Review

Tremor
Midtown E
Manhattan Digest

“All the makings of sparse British play with much cerebral potential...Although covering so much ground in such a short period of time borders on inundation, the play is so expertly written and the story so carefully unveiled that this potential excess is not too negatively felt...Diveney and Rattray tell the story with clear talent and skilled professionalism...Director David Mercalati effectively stages the actors...He expertly shaped the piece in line with the playwright’s intent." Full Review