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Frank Rizzo

Frank Rizzo is a critic with Variety. 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 (25)
Preview 299518
40
Variety

"It’s a wheel-spinner of a play that sets out to address issues of culture, class and the price of ambition, but ends up being as contrived as a telenovela...Saracho seems confined here by the structure of a two-character one-act, especially on subjects she clearly knows well...There might have been something to emotionally engage us in director Jerry Ruiz’s production if Lucia wasn’t written and portrayed as so charmless, irritatingly garrulous and obviously artificial." Full Review

Preview in transit
75
Variety

"A charming a cappella musical of metropolitan life that’s rapturously harmonious...What gives 'In Transit' its new swipe is what’s not there—the orchestra—and what is—glorious, pitch-perfect voices, set to Deke Sharon’s rich and expressive arrangements...The book is by-the-numbers, with the audience’s minds moving ahead of the plot faster than a scurrying subway rodent. All the performers bring a high degree of likability to otherwise plaintive roles...It’s a surprisingly moving experience." Full Review

Preview tbt white
75
Variety

"Some may find the show little more than a multi-character, well-written Ted Talk, and its rhythms and anecdotes too predictable...But Kail creates a graceful, fluid, low-key dynamic that has those letter-writers inhabiting Sugar’s everyday world. The stories they tell, the anguish they feel and the questions they ask are quiet cries for help, and Sugar is there for them because she is one of them...In this shared experience, love and forgiveness is all — and sometimes, just that is enough." Full Review

Preview last black man white
75
Variety

"Handsomely staged, evocative revival...Your response to the work might parallel how you feel about a free-form jazz session, one filled with meditative riffs and theatrical flourishes...The charismatic presence of the acting company and the hypnotic precision of Blain-Cruz’ direction help in the beguilement, but it can still be a challenge for the talented company to create an emotional bond longer than lasts longer than an impulse." Full Review

Preview rtc holidayinn cast
85
Variety

"Greenberg and Hodge have significantly rethought, reshaped and revitalized the script, giving the show more heart, a slightly modern sensibility and a joyful spirit. Engaging performances, dynamic dancing and a lively orchestra make it the feel-good show of the fall...The lead performers are smashing, especially Pinkham...Bleu is a spark plug of energy, and his hoofing in 'You’re Easy to Dance With' and 'Let’s Say It With Firecrackers' are two of the musical’s dance delights." Full Review

Preview tuckfall180
70
Variety

"Like the children’s book, the script fudges some narrative questions and complications and grapples ever-so-lightly with the complexities of infinite life. But the narrative, at least, is always buoyed by its tuneful folk-rooted score by Miller and Tysen...Director Nicholaw, here shows a more lyrical side, climaxing in a story-of-life dance number that packs an emotional wallop. At the show’s end, you’ll want to hug your family." Full Review

Preview the royaleshowpage.jpeg  284x50000 q85 subsampling 2
90
Variety

"Sometimes the most powerful fights are the ones we have in our own minds — a fact vividly depicted in 'The Royale,' a riveting play by Marco Ramirez…A spare and intimate story of internal struggles, propelled by the dynamic, imaginative direction of Rachel Chavkin and performed by a terrific quintet of actors…It’s a struggle made all the more dramatic by a coup de theatre that has the boxer realizing this battle is as personal as it gets." Full Review

Preview birbiglia thank god
90
Variety

"It’s a common belief that analyzing what’s funny is not particularly funny. Mike Birbiglia proves the exception to the rule in his new solo show. The show places him among the top tier of smart-funny comedians whose humor comes from a sly, subversive and introspective place." Full Review

Preview waitress
70
Variety

for a previous production "This feminist fairy tale of a show, in which singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles makes an impressive legit bow as a composer, is quite delicious at times, it still needs more work before it’s a recipe for success...Mueller’s performance transcends the show’s imperfections...Director Diane Paulus fills the production with clever touches...'Waitress' could be a kind of comfort-food musical. But at this point it still needs more filling." Full Review

Preview rsz familiar
45
Variety

for a previous production "It’s the cross-genre conflicts that trip up the production as it careens from sitcom to melodrama to political tragedy to human comedy...Each of these characters has enough backstory for a play of his or her own, but the multiple narratives only get stacked up, never coalescing into a thematic whole. And when a deep family secret is revealed, triggering questions of home and identity, you feel you’re in an entirely different play. The performances are all over the map, too." Full Review

Preview rtc holidayinn cast
80
Variety

for a previous production "Far superior to the single-holiday-themed stage version of 'White Christmas,' 'Holiday Inn' is better conceived and crafted, although a bit of retooling is required for the show to step up from 'pleasant' to 'must-see'...The script grounds the work around the theme of the authenticity of 'real' country life versus the artificiality of showbiz—but it also doesn’t take itself too seriously...With a complete finish to this fixer-upper, 'Holiday Inn' has the potential for full-calendar bookings." Full Review

Preview the visit
75
CTNow

for a previous production "It's not just lean, it's anorexic. Other than the two leading characters, everyone seems like a cartoon cutout. I respect economical writing and understand the use of archetypes but it seems out of balance with the human and romantic aspects it clearly wants to make...but the musical has much to be admired, several terrific numbers and a fine ensemble." Full Review

Preview forever art for tc2
90
Hartford Courant

for a previous production "It's the ghost of Beula, her manipulative, abusive, alcoholic mother that is at the dark heart of this searing and unflinching work. Calling it a performance almost diminishes Orlandersmith's artistry as it's as honest and revelatory expression of personal storytelling as you're likely to see outside of a therapist's office. Though the redemptive ending seems underwritten and pat, you'll likely not see anything as gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and furious on stage this year." Full Review

Preview img 0010
90
Yen
Variety

“A powerfully acted and impressively staged production…The effects of abandonment and isolation mixed with a longing for human connection are brought to stark, vivid life under Trip Cullman’s unsparing direction…Hedges once again shows heartbreaking depth in his sense of stillness, shame and repressed feelings as the brother who aches for the human touch. The young actor evokes a world of hurt in his hopeless gaze and strangled speech.” Full Review

Preview final thewolves poster copy
95
Variety

"An exhilarating play…Directed with naturalistic virtuosity by Lila Neugebauer…DeLappe’s brilliance is that she reveals her players as they gossip, taunt, comfort and conspire not as archetypes, but as young women on the cusp of becoming their own self-defined characters, with the possibility to change, challenge and grow…In this heady rush of adolescent energy, ideas and emotion, the ensemble work is astonishing." Full Review

Preview dps white
65
Variety

"Doyle’s clever, simple-truths staging beguiles audiences much in the same way English teacher John Keating, portrayed here by Sudeikis in a remarkable performance, leaves a mark on his impressionistic students...Despite the colorful personalities this ensemble of young performers bring to their roles, the characters are fundamentally written as adjectives...Schulman doesn’t take the opportunity to expand his screenplay, deepen the characters, or explore the complexities of his story." Full Review

Preview notes from the field white
85
Variety

"Smith’s scope is greater than a look inside classrooms. Here she finds connections to a failed justice system, police violence and even to the civil rights movement of the ’60s. All this—and a bravura performance—make for a stunning production...The broader connections take time to build in strength—and sometimes the storytelling strays—but Smith lays out a compelling case for the bigger picture...The solo stories are staged with efficiency and grace by director Leonard Foglia." Full Review

Preview ana key art vertical   show score
85
Variety

for a previous production "Making a story of a little girl lost more than child’s play is a challenge largely fulfilled in Hartford Stage’s stunningly staged, emotionally rich and expertly crafted premiere. But its occasional drifts into 'Beauty and the Beast' territory underscore the fact that there’s still some work to do if creatives want the show to enrapture adults as well as kiddies...But the missteps are minor as this show about identity tries, and largely succeeds, to find itself — and a happily-ever-after of ... Full Review

Preview hotmd show page artwork
80
Variety

"If he wasn’t played with such honeyed charm and awe-shucks sincerity by Timothy Olyphant, this show, clocking in at 2 hours and 45 minutes, would be one long, achy-breaky night. But Olyphant’s return to the stage is a stunner, striking just the right notes of guilelessness, obliviousness and narcissism...The play is entertaining and engaging, performed by a top-rate ensemble and directed with finesse by Neil Pepe, but its long reach for political and social resonance is a stretch." Full Review

Preview 8131c66a4609bda5bc44d3146e84e715
80
Variety

for a previous production "While there are several pleasant ballads and some fun uptempo songs, the score lacks killer numbers for these mean streets...The performances are solid overall. Cordero makes an appealing hood, though he lacks the fearsome menace lurking just beneath the cool that Palminteri evoked in the film...It all makes for an entertaining, if restrained, coming-of-age tale — but it could use a few more killer numbers to make a lasting impression." Full Review

Preview fiddlerlogo
75
Variety

"Some may take exception to some of Sher’s tinkering with the template of the beloved title, but few will find fault in Burstein’s gentle, lovable man of faith…Other touches seem unfinished, unclear or labored…Registering strongest among the new perspectives are the new movements and dances…Most of the cast breathes natural air into the production — sometimes with idiosyncratic touches that pop, and a few that fall flat…But in the end it’s Burstein who carries the show." Full Review

Preview rsz familiar
55
Hartford Courant

for a previous production "The play is an intriguing but ultimately disappointing work in a tonally confused production from a clearly talented writer with plenty of fresh-perspective stories to tell...The old world/new world conflicts of immigrant families and subsequent generations have been standard fare for drama over the ages. Gurira's take is both familiar and unique but she hasn't yet found the right tone and approach to tell this relatable-yet-different story." Full Review

Preview tuckfall180
80
Variety

for a previous production "Tapping into live-forever fantasies of theater’s two core audiences (young people and baby boomers), this handsomely produced tuner, premiering at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater, shows commercial potential; it’s rich in warmth and spunk, but needs a dash more vinegar to cut through the waters of sentimentality if it wants that evergreen life, too." Full Review

Preview neverlandnew180
65
Variety

for a previous production "The new play that J.M. Barrie is struggling to write — which would eventually become “Peter Pan” doesn’t come alive until he finds his villain in Captain Hook. The same can be said for the sometimes wan but sometimes wonderful new musical that is premiering at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. Until that moment, the family-friendly tuner, is well-sung, occasionally charming and nicely staged — but bland. “Finding Neverland” still needs to find itself." Full Review

Preview the visit
80
Variety

for a previous production "A revamped and much-shortened version that proves often entertaining but only occasionally captivating. This elegiac production’s commercial potential is iffy, but the plot’s morality conundrum is surefire and theater faithful will certainly want to revisit, if only to see Rivera in a juicy starring role." Full Review