Loren Noveck

Loren Noveck is a critic with Exeunt Magazine. 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 (49)
75
Exeunt Magazine

"A surprisingly solid 'Vanya'...Director Morgan Green and the ensemble...find a slightly manic rhythm that brings out the wry comedy...The doubling and the retreading of lines does feel very Chekhovian, I’m not sure it actually illuminates the play in a meaningful way...As a jigsaw puzzle of Chekhov, it’s charming, witty, and even oddly moving. But it feels like 'Minor Character' wants to be more than creditable Chekhov, and it never quite rose to that level for me." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

"The deep irony of 'Noura' is that...Noura still can’t find a place in the world to be free of shame and of secrets, and where other people’s ideas of her don’t shape her identity. Her new life is physically safer than the old, but doesn’t allow her to find a sense of self...Raffo is a luminous performer; we feel every thought that crosses Noura’s mind, and Raffo has the flexibility and complexity to make Noura both abrasive and vulnerable, and her struggle both frustrating and moving." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"I’m not sure the play could possibly succeed at all the things it’s trying to do, and in the end I think it sometimes leans on its structural complexity at the expense of a fully realized emotional landscape...But there’s still so many things to enjoy, ruminate on, appreciate, and startle at. 'Wild Goose Dreams' is worth seeing for its innovative approach to our twenty-first-century identities and its dreamscapes even if it doesn’t catch all the balls it throws into the air." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

“Lewis and Wise burn brightly, matching well in their depictions of two vibrant, intensely physical people who do feel genuinely for each other but are also unable to be fully honest...In its portrayal of the larger world in which Charles and Olivia exist... ‘Fireflies’ feels rote and unevolved, lacking all the nuance of the relationship between them...It’s a credit to Love, Ali, and Wise’s rich performance that ‘Fireflies’ never loses sight of her journey and struggle." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production “'What the Constitution Means to Me,' slightly unwieldy creature that it is, hit me with exquisite timeliness in this historical micro-moment One strength of the show is the way in which it wraps a sophisticated argument...around a nuanced look at exactly the ways in which women grapple with the fear of not being safe in their bodily integrity or protected by the law...The show—like America right now—blends the personal and the political in ways that are as inextricable." Full Review

60
Exeunt Magazine

“Never seems to find firm footing...Characters feel shallowly unpleasant rather than compellingly flawed. And its story never feels fleshed-out...There is something intriguing, if underdeveloped, in the ideas underpinning ‘Fire in Dreamland’...I don’t think the play successfully builds these ideas into a compelling whole, even though many of the production and all of the performances, are wonderful." Full Review

65
Exeunt Magazine

"'Assembled Identity' is a marvelous piece of craft, using all the tools of modern theater in supple and inventive ways...Director/co-creator Kristin Marting integrates found text with original story smoothly, and has done strong work with the actors...But while the ideas underlying the piece are intriguing and important, I often found myself wishing the complexity and richness of the text and the characters lived up to the excellence of the production." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

"Layers deep in literary and historical references both overt and opaque, theatrically inventive, playing with constructs of narrative and storytelling, slipping in and out of time, posing intense philosophical questions about the nature of art and the meaning of life-and...side-splittingly funny...Quick pacing and deft touch with the exposition. Though if you have no preexisting knowledge of the period...You'll get quite a history lesson but may miss some of the layers in the jokes." Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

"Tightly structured by Keller and beautifully directed by Holland...The source of their emotional bond gradually unfolds to become the heart of the play...The first half of the play unfolds almost like a mystery story...Every time you think you have a handle on it, another piece of data emerges and shifts the frame...The whole thing snaps into place. Everything you’ve seen before make perfect sense, and the whole scope of the play becomes both larger and more intimate." Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

“An exceptional piece of theatrical craft, with strong performances across the board and every element of design working in harmony with Paris’s staging...In paying attention to the differences among the characters with autism and their connections with others, rather than their isolation and difference from neuro typical people, ‘Uncommon Sense’ brings welcome complexity to the dialogue, and does so with elegant theatricality.” Full Review

75
Exeunt Magazine

"While this lens of exile adds a genuinely moving layer of consequence to the play and a poignancy to the interactions among the characters, there are times when the theme meshes uneasily with the fundamentally lightweight nature of the underlying story...There’s only so much that Bauman and the ensemble can do to add heft...Strong performances and the strength of the central conceit make the piece well worth watching." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

"The level of precision and craft involved on every level of this production...are mind-boggling...The resolution may feel a bit sentimental and overly pat...But when the closing concert starts, it’s almost impossible to resist the infectious energy of the music itself, and of the mix of enthusiasm and precision in the performances...Thoroughly fun and beautifully executed...You walk out feeling energized, thoroughly entertained, and humming a line of the chorus." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"Masciotti is thorough, unsparing, and precise about the specifics of Dennis’s existence and the one-step-forward-two-steps-back progress he makes...While these details are important, though, they’re hardly unique, and the play can get bogged down in them...The piece is most interesting–more alive, more energetic, more revealing of interesting facets of character–in the moments that don’t deal with Dennis’s issues in such a head-on and literal way." Full Review

65
Exeunt Magazine

"I loved the opening of 'Her Portmanteau'...I think it set up expectations for something less realistic and more imagistic than the plays in fact are...It all takes place on a single evening, which I think is perhaps to its detriment. It’s tackling more than thirty years of occluded, suppressed, and evaded relationships and memories, yet it reaches a hasty (and to me unsatisfying) resolution." Full Review

90
Exeunt Magazine

“An object lesson in the magic of live performance, building a striking theatrical experience out of a slim, unsettling folk tale of a script…Jarcho breathes mood and texture into the play’s archetypal characters and broad narrative strokes. The piece is realized with confidence and control in every detail, anchored by Ben Jalosa Williams’s immersive live sound design and a bravura performance by Pete Simpson in all three leading-male roles.” Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

"Ambitious and overstuffed, bristling with both ideas and narrative experiments...It’s messy and multilayered and constantly surprising—which makes it an enormously exciting, or perhaps especially, when the shifting layers bounce awkwardly off each other...Jacobs-Jenkins’s work is consistently original, weird, and thought-provoking, and it’s a pleasure to see a play where you genuinely don’t know, not only what’s going to happen next, but where the action is going to occur." Full Review

65
Exeunt Magazine

"It’s as a memory play that 'Orange Julius' falters...Barbagallo beautifully captures the mixture of guardedness and openness that Nut strikes with everything he says. Still, the memory monologues sometimes have an air of packaged anecdote rather than emotional journey, feeling repetitive rather than revelatory. Director Dustin Wills seems to be pushing toward a clear stylistic distinction between the three realms that may not be serving the unity of the play." Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

"At first, it seems like 'A Life' is going to be that snapshot of Nate’s life, from chart—birth—to now. The play is really after something both deeper and broader...It sneaks up on you with those questions, cleverly leading you down a sunlit garden path until it suddenly drops you in deep woods, so it never feels ponderous or self-consciously philosophical...It takes you someplace dark, sometimes even bleak, but always filled with compassion for and wonder at the arc of a human existence." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "The playwright has a terrific ear not just for the rhythms of adolescent girls’ speech, but for the way they dart between conversations...The tight structure of the play sneaks up on you. Its constant undercurrents turn out to convey essential nuggets of information that bring real emotional payoffs...Director Lila Neugebauer gives the piece its strong physicality...Neugebauer also gets uniformly strong work out of the ensemble." Full Review

75
Exeunt Magazine

"The whole thing comes together into something weirder and greater than the sum of its parts, mixing rigorous movement theatre with precise, subtle acting choices...It is a little longer than it needs to be and resonates more if you know Chekhov’s original...While there are moments that are baffling and frustrating, every second of the piece is done with commitment and a kinetic sense of the entire ensemble as a living organism. It’s a strange piece, but it’s got some magic to it." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"The music is energetic, high-spirited, and clever, if not incredibly memorable; the most interesting songs to me were the two that were quieter and weirder…But the vocal arrangements are terrific…There’s nothing particularly new here, but it still feels fresh and has plenty of charm; its blend of kitsch, camp, genuine emotion, high spirits and sincerity somehow works, perhaps better than it should." Full Review

75
Exeunt Magazine

"Emotionally powerful and often deeply moving, the piece perhaps succeeds better at its educational, and undoubtedly more important, task. The urgency of these women’s stories, and the common threads that underlie the paths they took to prison shine through...In front of a New York audience, some of the stories don’t quite pack the punch of recognition they might in the UK; the unfamiliar slang, not to mention the fact that all the inmates are white, adds a definite distance. " Full Review

60
Hir
Exeunt Magazine

"The very conventionality of the box Mac has packed them in feels like a provocation, a trigger for the events that are about to occur—and it’s a credit to Mac that despite the currents of rage swirling through the family, the play is still frequently hilarious. At the same time, the absurdity feels spread over a hollow core; once you take away the surface layer of chaos, there’s not much left. The characters seem mostly built of their tics." Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "Director Liesl Tommy does wonderful work with this very strong ensemble and though some of the staging choices seemed a little murky, that’s a small quibble when the acting is this good...There is something exciting about simply seeing a piece whose cast, writer, and director are all women of colour, most of whom have roots in Africa, telling a story that is particular to this time and place, and yet speaks more broadly to the terrible things that continue to happen to women during wartime." Full Review

85
NY Theater Now

"At a few moments they seem to be aiming for a level more transcendent and ethereal than the rest of the piece...I’m not sure I felt that magic in those moments nearly as much as I did watching the sheer craft and craftiness of the rest of the play. It’s a wonderful evocation of the joy of craft, and a loving remembrance of some of the high- and lowlights of past days of downtown theater in New York. That’s mystique enough for me." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

“’Fabulation’ is more successful with its mordant social comedy than with its wispy romantic subplot, but director Lileana Blain-Cruz and a stellar cast find moment after moment that shines...Undine sometimes falters as a character...her gradual opening up to the aspiring fireman she meets in drug counseling doesn’t feel entirely earned...Still, the individual scenes are brilliant little comic snapshots. And the minor characters all spring to life with vividness and indelible performances.” Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

“Despite the amount of science and philosophy crammed into a short play, the tone remains light and bracing, thanks to the quality of...O’Brien’s production, buoyed by a roster of excellent performances...Its characters may sometimes come close to being mere positions in a debate, but the overall shape of the project is nonetheless beautiful." Full Review

45
Exeunt Magazine

“The character Armand is given to play doesn’t make any sense, because Gunderson is withholding everything significant about her and her story almost the entire time; it’s no wonder she sometimes seemed to lose her place. There are all kinds of ways to build suspense, to twist plots and lay clues for an audience to put together later. But there’s a line where impressive sleight of hand tips over into outright betrayal of the audience’s faith—and 'Natural Shocks' crosses it." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

"The show is a broadly spiritual, intimate, and inviting cabaret that nonetheless holds a core of steely anger forged from a historical legacy of violence. Jomama is immensely charming—a commanding physical presence...with a confiding tone in her silky speaking voice and remarkable control in her singing vocal range...Jomama’s very presence is a tonic for embattled spirits and frayed nerves, and it’s a pleasure to spend an evening with her." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

“A depressingly relevant play about the necessity, the impossibility, and the complexity of ethical, unbiased journalism...The overall mood...in both Wing’s excellent translation...and Evans’s stripped-down direction, is a clear-eyed insistence on recognizing and recording...A Brechtian-style alienation effect that feels well suited to the play’s tone...The quietness and restraint of both writing and performances only underscore the horror and the urgency of the subject matter.” Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

"'Manufacturing Mischief' casts a sardonic, skeptical, and often scathing eye on our current political and technological moment. It crams an extraordinary amount of commentary into a brief show–sometimes it whizzes by too fast to catch–but when it works, it’s bracing, thought-provoking, and sometimes hilarious...Reyes’s puppet construction makes the real figures delightfully recognizable...It raises some important ideas, though doesn’t fully explore any of them." Full Review

60
Exeunt Magazine

"The little moments where 'Dance Nation' captures adolescence beautifully are strong and achingly poignant...But the play doesn’t succeed in either striking an emotionally realistic tone or using its stylization to generate insight, and the characters didn’t feel whole to me. And for a play about power and competition, it often feels physically timid; I wish Barron and Evans had found a more compelling way to stage the compelling questions 'Dance Nation' raises." Full Review

55
Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production “‘Pay No Attention’ founders as often as it succeeds...Roles are assigned for the most part by gender...It feels like a missed opportunity not to play more directly with the gender issues highlighted in the stories...The most effective sections were the most straight-up storytelling...Stabs at different styles and techniques–clearly scripted stumbles and verbal slips; movement sequences with over bright, overloud pop music; the occasional song–didn’t connect as well with me.” Full Review

75
Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production “As a piece of psychology, I’m not sure it hangs together. As a piece of writing, there’s not a lot new here, although Cale and Crudup bring plenty of gusto and plenty of brash sexiness to a somewhat familiar story. But as a character study and a piece of acting, it’s enormously fun, with dizzying layers when Crudup is playing Philip being Harry recounting Mark mimicking his sister or mother. Cale and Crudup have nailed the speech patterns of the Schmidt family...A trifle, but an entertaining... Full Review

65
Exeunt Magazine

“While the final scene gives some human and narrative payoff...the road there is long and paved with an awful lot of repetitive, testosterone-fueled bluster...The main arc of the play doesn’t give much more than a snapshot of Papp’s personality...Underneath that main arc, though, move some very interesting questions...Where the battles for real estate and urban vibrancy are being fought, passionately, by the characters, the gender issues seem unrecognized within the play." Full Review

75
Exeunt Magazine

"The dancing itself is for the most part simple...but the intimacy of the McGinn-Cazale Theater and the emotional and physical precision that Barnes and Bass bring to their work make every little detail and movement count...It’s a little bit of a one-trick pony...Still, while it’s not a show with a lot of breadth, it has a surprising emotional impact; it’s rare to see a piece that conveys so much feeling with so few words." Full Review

55
Exeunt Magazine

“I think they’re trying to speak to the universality of theatre, but somehow get sidelined into the generic. Which is a shame because there are plenty of moments imbued with magic…About halfway through I realized it was just a series of pastiches and wasn’t going to offer more than that…I do feel like there was a through-line, or a central conceit, missing. I think perhaps they got a little stuck on the concept of ghosts.” Full Review

65
Exeunt Magazine

"I think it is more effective to see the end before the beginning, given the cycle’s themes of tracing the present back to the past. But I wonder if seeing the plays in chronological order would have cast Abasiama’s actions as revealed in 'Portmanteau' in a more nuanced light...In 'Sojourners', we see her story unfold in context and judge it through our own lenses...The video projections of water in 'Sojourners' really didn’t add meaning for me, but instead seemed very obvious." Full Review

55
Exeunt Magazine

"The tales of their adventures become almost surreal, cartoonishly over-the-top to the point where they feel more like Quentin Tarantino characters than flesh-and-blood women...Lvova brings a brightness and a strength that add emotional urgency to the piece...Smyth and Manteghi both give strong performances...Naylor’s writing has a lush, almost glossy texture that ultimately ends up coming far too close to fetishizing the heroines’ different acts of martyrdom." Full Review

75
Exeunt Magazine

"Lipton, as both writer and performer, still makes an excellent everyman, with nerdy honesty, gently acerbic wit, and sweetly sincere enthusiasm...The band is versatile and the songs well-crafted, drawing on elements of different American musical traditions...But polish has also smoothed off a few of Lipton’s spikier edges and more pointed critiques...The show is charming and genuinely funny but the commentary hits less hard...It’s a hopeful message–and one that feels a little oversimple." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

"The shuttle between light conversation and glimpses of the end of days, and between the surface conversations and darker interior monologues, could be jarring, but instead they balance and offset each other. And while all four performers are strong, Bassett in particular grounds the wilder stretches of this play, bringing pragmatism and dark humor even to the most grotesque of her own imaginings, coupled with a cheery obtuseness in the 'real world' sections of the play." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

“'The Tempest' is about a private individual, but perhaps even more absolute power–the power of the ruler of a tiny island, Prospero (Walter)...This production, set like the rest of the trilogy in a women’s prison, highlights how limited, how constrained, and how ephemeral that power is…The prison conceit doesn’t always prove effective, but it really hits home in 'The Tempest’s closing moments, which prove resonant and unexpectedly touching." Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

"The Milton and Joyce sections are linguistically rich and resonant, and Brown revels in the language, savoring its meter and rhythm, delighting in its imagery and the myths it evokes…The shift of styles here feels right but occasionally a little show-offy…Still, that range is what enables her to strip the last two sections down to the bone…Eve and the failed-actress-turned-prisoner–and Winsome Brown–are beautiful, vulnerable, and terrible all at once, and it’s a powerful combination." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"The play is a slippery thing happening in three different registers. Much of it is perfectly ordinary. But then it slips a gear, and turns into something darker, richer, and stranger: an invocation, an act of not-so-innocent eavesdropping, a ghost story about one’s own youth...It’s genuinely eerie and unexpectedly moving when the pieces snap together. The dogged literalness of the realist surface play is just a thin skin...the shape beneath is unsettling and magically strange." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"There’s a lot stuffed into the play, perhaps too much...This kind of very conventional, very realist play doesn’t generally appeal to me...At the same time, it’s often extremely funny, with the sharp humor that comes from keen character observation. It’s genuinely emotionally affecting. And, it adds something new to a familiar conversation by the simple act of repurposing the formula to showcase the stories of an African immigrant family." Full Review

35
Exeunt Magazine

"Edward Einhorn’s adaptation never succeeds in finding a compelling theatrical approach to the inherently textual pleasures of the novel. Instead, it disgorges big chunks of that prose, almost undigested. It’s a shame, because, visually, the piece is strikingly stylish...But it’s a mood that can’t be sustained. The piece never takes shape as either the story of an investigation or a noirish look into the darker, more opaque sides of human nature." Full Review

80
Exeunt Magazine

"It’s hard for an entirely domestic drama to genuinely shock an audience in 2015...Wallace, director Bill Rauch, and stunning performances pull it off…The play’s second act doesn’t live up to the first; once the relationships are reconfigured, Wallace doesn’t quite know where to go with them...Still, its investigation into the ways in which love can utterly remake us, and our own hearts can confound us, is unsettling, emotionally raw, and finally poignant." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"At its best, 'Dear Elizabeth' is an eloquent tribute to the beauties of the friendship between two difficult, prickly, prodigiously talented and prodigiously damaged people... There are times though when the piece feels handicapped by the restraint inherent in all its components...It feels more like an experiment, though a highly worthy one, than a fully satisfying theatrical experience." Full Review

70
Exeunt Magazine

"I loved all the allusions to theatre history and especially New York theatre history. It’s nice that they tied in all that but still made it feel inclusive if you didn’t know it. It displays a generosity of spirit to not make it too closed: we’re putting on a giant party, and if you gate-crash it, you can still enjoy the drinks. You’ll have a great time." Full Review