Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

About:  Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens is a critic with Applause! Applause!. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the International Association of Theatre Critics. Dr. Stevens also serves as President and General Counsel of Beaux Arts Society, Inc. (www.BeauxArtsSociety.org)
Reviews (50)
Preview te3
90
Applause! Applause!

"This is an emotionally riveting play with an extraordinarily talented cast. In turn, we hear the stories of six wrongfully convicted individuals. The Exonerated has a substantive book that follows the characters from the time of their arrest through to the difficulties they face readjusting after being exonerated. James S. Washington is brilliant as the poet, Delbert Tibbs, who says, "It's not easy to be a poet here, yet I sing." The play is very dramatic and moving. I highly recommend it!" Full Review

Preview tos1
95
Applause! Applause!

“A one-act musical that chronicles the 3-week creative process that went into the show's submission as a possible entry in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and then follows its journey off-Broadway, and eventually to it being produced on Broadway. The production features a perfect cast of extremely talented actors with superior vocal abilities. The dialogue is fresh and realistic. I give it my highest recommendation. It's all very clever and entertaining. Not to be missed!” Full Review

Preview a new brain web image 1
60
Applause! Applause!

“‘A New Brain’ is a musical written by William Finn shortly after his having successfully undergone surgery to repair an arteriovenous malformation. It contains too many songs (32 numbers), too many scenes, and a particularly unlikeable, neurotic, main character. The cast is extremely talented. At only $25.00 a ticket, seeing this show is worth your effort and time. You will receive good value in exchange for your hard-earned money.” Full Review

Preview tso1
35
Applause! Applause!

“The play is about a working-class Irish family living in North Philadelphia. Josie and Neil Fisher's daughter Amy is hopelessly in love with Aubrey Piper, an obnoxious, toupee-wearing blowhard. Unfortunately, Annette O'Toole as Mrs. Fisher, and Ian Gould as Aubrey Piper, fail to deliver the performances required to engage and interest the audience. That said, the set is beautiful and the costumes are period appropriate. There are also some talented and charismatic actors in the cast.” Full Review

Preview js1
78
Applause! Applause!

“Jessica has disappeared and over the past four years, her devoted, controlling, rich boyfriend Allister has been searching for her. He commissions LYFE Industries to make an Android Jessica, who might help him find her. This play raises many interesting questions about artificial intelligence. It will keep you interested and engaged as it unfolds. The set was impressive and the acting top-notch. Oh, by the way, ‘Do you have any waffles?’ I've been hungry for them ever since I saw this play.” Full Review

Preview two by tabori
60
Applause! Applause!

"In this play, Omri Kadim, a charismatic, talented actor, portrays young Adolf Hitler as needy, unloved, and paranoid. There is some clever writing in the script but in the end, other than hatred towards Hitler, Tabori really doesn't offer up a consistent premise or a thesis as to why and how Hitler turned out as he did. The play is sure to offend many and to give others something to think about." Full Review

Preview luft gangster
80
Applause! Applause!

“This is a riveting and intense drama that reveals the tedium of being a POW and the different psychological and emotional coping mechanisms each individual prisoner uses to get through. The play builds in intensity and keeps the audience engrossed in the story and the ultimate fate of Louis ‘Lou’ Fowler, a United States Army Air Corps waist gunner on a B-24 Liberator, who was shot down in March 1944 during a routine bombing mission and held prisoner in Stalag Luft VI. Highly recommended!” Full Review

Preview marry me a little
60
Applause! Applause!

"This show contains three alternating casts of two actors singing lesser-known Sondheim songs about love. They live in identical one-room apartments a floor apart. There is no dialogue, no costume changes, and no amplification. Devoted Sondheim fans will love his show. Everyone else should use caution. The show contains moments of brilliance but only runs for one hour. This is a review of the cast with two males, which contains a masturbation scene involving a dildo." Full Review

Preview fringe of humanity
15
Applause! Applause!

"The underbelly and rejects of humanity in this play are the loathsome characters portrayed who are willing to go to great lengths to get what they want. Their use and abuse of partners, friends, and co-workers also reflect their lack of morality. If you are in the business, you may recognize and/or identify with a number of the people in this show. I would not recommend this play. It is too loud, too violent, and too intense with a very annoying background soundtrack." Full Review

Preview few good men comp 200x300
80
Applause! Applause!

“The story relayed in this play is loosely based on real-life events that took place at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in July 1986. This is an outstanding production with extremely talented actors in all of the roles. There isn't a weak link in the chain of command. This play brings back to life all the excitement and intensity present in the original Broadway production and the movie. If you don't go, Col. Jessep may ‘rip the eyes out of your head and piss into your dead skull.’" Full Review

Preview dandy
90
Applause! Applause!

“‘Dandy Darkly’ is a colorful, outrageous performance artist with a talent for telling dark tales using wordplay, alliteration, and a sophisticated soundtrack. Prepare yourself for a journey during which you will encounter well-meaning alien cats, patriotic dogs, flying space pyramids, a virtual reality character, a professor of anthropology, a Geisha android, Persephone, and Cha Cha, the first ‘artist’ on the planet. This show features compelling narratives brought to you by a master of myth.” Full Review

Preview tyfbaf 800x1200
65
Applause! Applause!

"The energy level is high, the jokes keep coming, and the dance numbers are entertaining. The girls have to deal with Ricky Martin holding gay sex pool parties next door. All the actors are appropriately dressed, speak with the proper cadence, and nail the hand gestures of each of their characters. On the negative side, the technical engineer was sloppy, the story is weak and untenable, and the songs are forgettable. But the audience seemed to love the show and have a fantastic time." Full Review

Preview gypsy concept 1 200x300
85
Applause! Applause!

"The production of 'Gypsy' at The Gallery Players is huge. It contains 31 actors, all of whom are excellent in their respective roles. Rose tried mounting many shows to make her daughters stars but the depression and the talkies were ruining vaudeville. Gypsy Rose Lee eventually ends up in a burlesque house appropriately called The Bottom. Whether you have seen a production of 'Gypsy' or not, I guarantee you will enjoy this show, which received a standing ovation from the sold-out audience." Full Review

Preview super16 4519
60
Applause! Applause!

"There were a number of very talented actors in this musical with excellent voices. Others not so much!There were moments of sheer brilliance. At other times, the word 'torture' came to mind. Some lyrics need to be re-written and the story line must be updated to be made more interesting. I wanted to be taken on a journey to a place I haven't been before. I wanted to be surprised and moved emotionally.Instead, I just got more of the same I've experienced many times before in this genre." Full Review

Preview 3fffe4d62d55 poster
85
Applause! Applause!

"David Leeper's extraordinary talent is on display not only when he embodies each individual character, but also when he rapidly cycles through all the characters in quick succession during one extraordinary monologue near the end of the show…David Leeper gives each of his characters a distinctive voice bringing them to life right before your eyes…’At The Flash’ gives you a glimpse into gay history when gay bars were one of the very few places those who were different could call home." Full Review

Preview theradicalizationofrolfe16 4477
75
Applause! Applause!

for a previous production "The highlight of the show was the depiction of the loving relationship between Rolfe and Johan. Logan Sutherland, a talented, charismatic actor with a strong stage presence, was perfectly cast as Rolfe Gruber. Alex J. Gould's natural acting style was well-suited for his portrayal of Johan...You won't regret seeing 'The Radicalization of Rolfe.' While it needs a little touching up, you will still have a very good time at this show." Full Review

Preview hereisit800x1200
5
Applause! Applause!

"I went into the show extremely optimistic regarding its potential for success. What I experienced was a 50-minute epic fail featuring 4th-grade humor...The only good thing worth seeing in the show was the set...There was no point to the story and you get what turned out to be a complete waste of time...This show is not entertaining and may very well be the worst show to open on Theatre Row in a decade." Full Review

Preview screen shot 2015 12 03 at 2.47.29 pm
80
Applause! Applause!

“A crowd-pleaser! Bill Bowers is a compelling storyteller who captivates the attention of his audiences transporting them in space and time to circumstances and situations outside of their current reality. While in retrospect, you may realize the stories Bill Bowers has told are not very substantive, you will nevertheless be entertained and will leave the theater feeling your money was well-spent.” Full Review

Preview grandparadise
70
Applause! Applause!

"All of the dancers are extremely talented performers and are very attractive. The choreography is inspired and utilized to exhibit sexuality and/or to tell a story...Interactions seemed forced and were unusually uncomfortable...The company members didn't seem to have the skills to put a guest at ease...That having been said, 'The Grand Paradise' is an experience you will not want to miss. It is part of the happenings of our decade." Full Review

Preview golden bride white
90
Applause! Applause!

for a previous production "'The Golden Bride' is absolutely delightful! It is an upbeat, spirited operetta featuring first class performers. The acting and singing are top-notch. All the actors are superior entertainers." Full Review

Preview then she fell
80
Applause! Applause!

"Came across more like a dreamlike experience than something comprehensible...Certainly an experience worth having, but...not inexpensive. I think the alcohol and fruit offerings could be upsized. I also would have liked to have had more physical contact and interaction...That way, the staff could make the 'patients' feel less like observers and more like someone actively participating in the fantasy...One of those once in a lifetime experiences you will not want to miss!" Full Review

Preview mystery of irma
85
Applause! Applause!

"Tyler Nye and Dominic Sellers do a fine job portraying all the characters. They are both highly proficient and talented actors who never cease to be entertaining...If you are looking for a way out of your mundane, humdrum existence, a good first step would be seeing Charles Ludlam's campy comedy." Full Review

Preview theblackbook resized
30
Applause! Applause!

"After seeing this play, my interest in suicide was not piqued. All I desired to know was why Phil Blechman hadn't yet burned every copy of this convoluted, incomprehensible script that leaves audiences scratching their heads and wondering why they had to be subjected to such unfocused, ridiculous drivel...On a positive note, all the actors in this production were top-notch professionals." Full Review

Preview the international resized
95
Applause! Applause!

"'The International' will give you insight into what it is like to be touched by war and human brutality...This brilliant and talented ensemble cast will take you on an emotional roller coaster leaving you feeling drained by the end of this engaging 80-minute journey. 'The International' is a powerful, moving and honest drama." Full Review

Preview bachelorettelogo
70
Applause! Applause!

"The format of this show has legs. I can see it utilized on cruise ships where the contestants are regular passengers competing for a date with a single girl...Still, to compete as a bachelorette party alternative, the show needs to jack up the sexual tension and move from a PG-rated show to at least an R-rated one. That having been said, no one will leave this show not having had a great time. I highly recommend you see 'That Bachelorette Show!' and immerse yourself in the experience." Full Review

Preview chess web image 204x300
80
Applause! Applause!

“When you play chess, you must be careful to select only the most strategically advantageous moves. This play highlights the fact this is also true in matters of the heart and regarding issues of statecraft. For those who are fans of the musical, you will not be disappointed with this 30th anniversary revival. Producing and directing this complicated musical is not an easy task but The Gallery Players are to be congratulated for pulling it all together in a manner that will please most people.” Full Review

Preview plaza suite web image 204x300
85
Applause! Applause!

"’Plaza Suite’ is a play with three stories which all involve different characters, performed by some of the same actors, who are staying in Suite 719 of New York City's Plaza Hotel. This production is a must-see. The material holds up well and the acting is amazing. The entire ensemble cast is top-notch. You will have no complaints. The show is extremely entertaining. I highly recommend you see this old gem while you can.” Full Review

Preview isby1
90
Applause! Applause!

“There are many surprises and reveals in ‘It Shoulda Been You,’ performed to perfection in this hilarious production at The Gallery Players. The set and the costumes are impressive and perfect for this play. The musical numbers were well-performed and the direction was spot-on. The cast was a joy to watch. I highly recommend you see it. It is one of the best shows I have seen this season.” Full Review

Preview ianmte1
85
Applause! Applause!

“When Erica was in 9th grade, she fell in love with a stapler. Later, she got into bigger things - like a gazebo, and now, a Dairy Queen sign. She also speaks to lamps, stuffed bunnies, and can openers. The challenge for the audience is to decide whether Erica is mentally ill. Perhaps we should be tolerant and supportive of her sexuality. This is a thought-provoking play with an extraordinary cast. If you can handle the subject matter, I highly recommend it as the must-see show of the season.” Full Review

Preview two by tabori
60
Applause! Applause!

"Can decomposing dead Jews find peace in a Jewish cemetery 50 years after Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany? Jubilee! Perhaps they are doomed to remember what they'd rather forget. The play is worth seeing if, for nothing else, than to see the scene of a woman drowning in a telephone booth in the middle of a parade. 'Jubilee' is not written in a chronological manner and many of the characters play multiple roles. It is hard to follow but it will give you much to think about." Full Review

Preview ragtime comp
85
Applause! Applause!

“The basis of the story involves three groups - Blacks from Harlem, Middle-Class Whites from New Rochelle, and Jewish Immigrants from the Lower East Side. They live separately but the early 20th Century has brought in with it a new music, which appears destined to upset the old order. Political turmoil, labor unrest, and the boiling over of the melting pot seem to foreshadow conflicts that may be inevitable. This production features 37 actors and excellent choreography. I highly recommend it.” Full Review

Preview cabaretsecret
85
Applause! Applause!

"This production of 'Cabaret' is an unmitigated success. The set and the costumes are magnificent. The short distance between the actors and the audience creates an atmosphere of intimacy, as does the inspired placement of the musicians in every corner of the theater. Every actor in this production more than holds their own and makes a significant contribution to the show's success. Seeing this musical is an experience you will not soon forget. It's a winner!" Full Review

Preview boundtorise1
15
Applause! Applause!

"This play is an anti-American and anti-capitalist diatribe that perverts the 'rags to respectability' message in Horatio Alger's stories to reinforce its radical, anarchist political message that only violence against the US Government and the rich can provide any hope for the economically disadvantaged. It is utterly devoid of content or value (with the exception of the performance of Jonathan Emerson, who plays Ragged Dick). This is three hours of your life you will never get back." Full Review

Preview 1474324861
40
Applause! Applause!

“Despite the story being short on substance, serious topics such as homelessness, addiction, sex, depression, suicide, stealing, and attempted murder, are addressed. There are few adult references that might make this musical interesting to anyone over the age of 13. The first act is tediously long and, despite it being a Christmas Show, there is no reference to Jesus Christ. On the plus side, there are some big production numbers, colorful costumes, fine acting, and impressive choreography.” Full Review

Preview 39 comp 200x300
75
Applause! Applause!

“This is a parody of the 1935 film made by Alfred Hitchcock, which was based on the 1915 novel written by John Buchan. This 4-actor version contains 33 scenes. All the actors are extremely talented but the play may not be everyone's cup of tea. There are times when the plot is absolutely ridiculous and others scenes that are brilliant. If you’ve seen the play and liked it, you will not be disappointed. If you haven't seen it, this is a perfect opportunity to see it for a very reasonable price.” Full Review

Preview that golden girl show
60
Applause! Applause!

"The insults and banter are not fresh. There is a lack of innovative writing and/or parody. The set is extremely impressive and the actors behind the puppets have mastered the speaking style, hand gestures and body movements of characters they play. The puppets are stunningly crafted. However, if the weak plot and lame jokes in this show were what was portrayed in the original series, it wouldn't have lasted seven minutes, let alone seven seasons." Full Review

Preview fiorello mps
75
Applause! Applause!

"There are marvelous songs and excellent performances in this production that make it worth seeing. The period costumes, choreography and sets will impress you. Some of the bad accents will make you cringe. However, it is not every day, every year, or even every decade that you get to catch a full-scale production of 'Fiorello!' So I highly recommend you take this opportunity to see it. Sure, it's far from perfect but you will still have a very good time and be glad you went." Full Review

Preview 92be9b70e1fe m j poster 800x1200  copy
95
Applause! Applause!

"This original folk musical is the unsurpassed breakout hit of the Fringe Festival. It is very clever, extremely entertaining, and absolutely delightful! It tells the story of Mary & Joseph in a fresh and funny way. This smart, intelligent musical has a bright future ahead of it. It is a new look at an old story featuring an outstanding non-traditional cast of four. It features an excellent score and even more poignant lyrics. The show is a hit. See it wherever and whenever you can! " Full Review

Preview rsz puckerupandblow16 4353
90
Applause! Applause!

for a previous production "An extremely well-written, thought-provoking play that is absolutely hilarious at times…Asa James handled all his scenes with aplomb and was the anchor who held this play together. Daniel Reitz is a playwright you should keep your eye on. He shows extraordinary promise and is willing to tackle subjects others wouldn't think of touching. I highly recommend 'Pucker Up & Blow.' It takes you on a journey to the mountaintop and then shows you what is on the other side." Full Review

Preview rsz thefuckingproblem16 4538
85
Applause! Applause!

"The play is thought-provoking and intense…'The Fucking Problem' is compelling and demands your complete attention…I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Fucking Problem' and I encourage you to see it. Both actors do a fine job portraying their characters and I hope to see both of them in other roles in the months and years ahead. Nate Dobson and Emily Lucia Alexander, as playwrights and performers, are destined for success and recognition in the New York City theater community." Full Review

Preview rsz 1inferno web
95
Applause! Applause!

for a previous production “I was struck at how different each of her characters was: accents, mouthing, eye movements, and gestures - she was consistent and never broke character, breathing life into her on-screen creations, making her conversations with them seen real and live; her timing was superb...The entire structure of the show was beyond amazing, integrating many facets of her multiple talents...Don't miss 'Inferno A-Go-Go.' Full Review

Preview i ll say she is white
85
Applause! Applause!

"'I'll Say She Is' is the most successful project The Marx Brothers ever did on stage and has been given a new life thanks to the efforts of Noah Diamond and to the talents of an extraordinary group of performers. Sure the book could use a little more tweaking and the transitions between scenes made a bit smoother but none of that matters. The spirit of the original revue has been revived and Marx Brothers fans the world over will now have the opportunity to see this lost musical." Full Review

Preview bachae
80
Applause! Applause!

"PJ Adzima, who played King Pentheus, is the bright light and shining star of this production...Andrew Bryce was also excellent as the gender-bending Dionysus...We leave having learned how a nation can be destroyed when its citizens embrace myth, mysticism, and superstition...If the themes I have mentioned interest you, I encourage you to see 'The Bacchae.' The show has a cast of 16 and features a number of superior performances that are well worth the price of admission." Full Review

Preview teaparty
70
Applause! Applause!

"What Rich Orloff, the playwright, does not understand is that all people of all ideological perspectives develop their opinions on the issues based on their own individual principles, values, and priorities, whether or not they have thought them through...While the playwright's smug, leftist, superior attitude may annoy you throughout the play, the actual interviews will provide you with a variety of perspectives held by Tea Party leaders. 'Chatting' is informative and insightful!" Full Review

Preview it runs in the family comp 2  1
80
Applause! Applause!

"As long as you don't think too hard about the decisions of the characters or question the premises of the plot, 'It Runs In The Family' will take you on a joy ride full of hearty laughs, twists and turns, ins and outs, and ups and downs. With its excellent ensemble cast, I guarantee you will have a jolly good time." Full Review

Preview neighborhood
25
Applause! Applause!

"All the actors did a fine job in their respective roles, but there were too many actors and characters to keep track of so the audience never had an opportunity to identify with any of them...Then there were plenty of unexplained story lines...The underlying point of this play is too simplistic. There is no direct link between playing violent video games and engaging in violent behavior in the real world." Full Review

Preview hihitler
50
Applause! Applause!

for a previous production “Lucie Pohl is a very animated and expressive actress full of charisma and energy. However, her stories don't captivate the attention of the audience nor do they contain real life lessons. She fails to properly develop the idiosyncrasies and personalities of her characters. I left the show not having been emotionally moved, not really knowing much about the people in her life, and most devastatingly, not really having laughed all that much, which was quite disappointing.” Full Review

Preview 50ish
80
Applause! Applause!

"If you are 50ish or older, or know someone who is, you are going to appreciate this upbeat, hilarious, audience participation musical that will make you laugh and cry at the tragic reality of getting old. Happy 50ish features a remarkably attractive and well-lit set. The sound system is top notch. Mark Vogel as Mike and Lynn Shore as Bob are wonderful actors and singers with great synergy. All the musical numbers are very enjoyable. I guarantee you will leave the show in a good mood." Full Review

Preview rsz briefhistory
80
Applause! Applause!

"Takes you on a journey through time, with the help of video, sound effects, and props, and along the way will tell you a bit about how beer was discovered, how it is made, and who throughout history have tried to limit its production and distribution...The history timeline could use some tweaking if you are still sober enough to care...This show is great fun! It is a time-travelling booze cruise in a black box theater." Full Review

Preview evita
85
Applause! Applause!

"I strongly recommend you catch this outstanding production of 'Evita' at The Gallery Players. You will get the full experience of this inspirational, thought-provoking musical about power, social injustice, personal ambition, corruption, ego and 'the art of the possible.' The large company of actors are all superbly talented...Eva Peron is certainly a competent actress and singer who tried the best she could, but I wasn't captivated or emotionally moved by her performance." Full Review