Colin Macdonald is a critic with Plays to See. 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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“In this pleasant and meandering memory play, we are told over and over that Welles was a genius...but we are never really shown this, and Welles and the many other characters...feel like only the outlines of people...It is overstuffed with short scenes and undeveloped characters...Frank himself never emerges as a full character...We don’t really feel how this extraordinary experience has affected him, even while we’ve enjoyed spending some time ourselves with Demas’s Orson." Full Review
"There is a lot to admire in the ambition, and there are glimpses of how the production could have been successful, but it never coheres, and we are left with no greater insight into either masterpiece...Some ambiguity in the conceit could have been effective, allowing audience members to debate and discuss afterward, but as is, it just descends into incoherence." Full Review
“‘The Plot’...A dark comedy...Some of the humor is too broad and the exposition of personality traits is too explicit...Lane’s enigmatic 'Ibis' explicitly addresses storytelling...Lane’s work is suffused with a haunting strangeness, and despite some minor kinks, this is the play that will stick most deeply in my memory...LaBute’s ‘Sparring Partner’, the most polished of the three plays, concludes the evening...Featuring terrific performances...The dialogue is sharp and naturalistic.” Full Review
"Joyful and high-energy production...The play text is streamlined and rendered with speed, clarity, and exuberance...Talented cast...Expertly moves between moments of slapstick humour and deeply felt emotion...Focus is on the language-spoken with such colloquial clarity that it hardly seems out of place...The performance embraces joy and merriment but with such skill that it doesn't seem naïve or simplistic. This is Shakespeare that is accessible and moving." Full Review
“Moving and absorbing…One of the drawbacks of having a play constructed from transcripts is that a certain amount of subtlety is lost...But the play text effectively incorporates ordinary details of characters’ lives into the larger political and historical backdrop, which, along with the power of hearing refugees’ own accounts and Kapustina’s expert directing, enables the production to accomplish its stated goal of humanizing the refugee crisis.” Full Review
"The monologues wander pleasantly, seeming aimless at first, but soon the pieces for the devastating conclusion are all aligned. Although some of the writing is too broad, flirting with clichés, and some of the themes are clumsily telegraphed or treated without enough complexity, both actors overcome this...with nuance and conviction...The production achieves lyrical beauty and emotional power, addressing a historical incident that remains all too relevant today.” Full Review
“More than a mere curiosity for Williams enthusiasts: it is a stylish and enjoyable, though flawed, production, which shows that there is real power in Williams’ largely comic play, even if this staging is ultimately unable to fully capture it...Nielsen is a pleasure to watch...making a full character out of what could have been a caricature...Pendleton’s direction is on point...The main problem is Lichty’s uneven and uncertain performance, a not insignificant portion of which is nearly inaud... Full Review
"This gripping opening is ultimately squandered by a series of clumsy revelations and awkward sermonizing on contemporary politics, at which point the characters cease to be complex individuals and become stand-ins for competing ideologies...The dialogue is fast paced, full of stops and starts, which all works very well under David Mercatali’s tight direction, until the move away from mystery and tension and toward all-out exposition and speechifying." Full Review
"Well-intentioned, timely, and occasionally shrewd and lyrical. But, ultimately, the story never transcends the clichés and generalizations that make it seem more like a New Age self-help speech than a complex examination of a character’s inner life...As with the script’s themes, Hoehler’s acting style is broad...What we are left with when Hoehler’s tramp has left the stage, is really just a collection of slogans that, however well presented, never take us beneath the surface." Full Review
"Conflict is exactly what is missing from this adequately staged but ultimately flat, confused, and unmoving production...The characters never emerge as anything close to complex individuals, but rather are mere outlines of people...The play is occasionally enlivened by short dance numbers and smatterings of song, but neither that nor the competent acting can overcome the flat characters, stale dialogue, and haphazard structure." Full Review