Paul Birchall is a critic with Stage Raw. 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.
If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.
"Calderon’s staging possesses a thoughtfully constructed sense of unease that undeniably provokes urgency. Although the narrative often seems a little slight, the tension is beautifully rendered...The drama’s dialogue is intimate and strangely organic, with patter that is full of profanity and brittle edge...It’s the character work that ultimately carries the piece: The repartee between Zayas’s surprisingly subtle Iffy and Calderon’s brutish Willie is particularly compelling." Full Review
for a previous production "The crisply rendered and steadfastly unabashed atmosphere of ambiguity...Demands close attention – but it doesn’t necessarily depend on you absolutely understanding what is going on...Tompa brings a taut intellectual ferocity to the piece...Stanescu’s storytelling is intentionally disjointed...Performances are compelling, if inscrutable by design...A fascinatingly complex and not entirely comprehensible drama that actually leaves some vivid impressions for a long time after." Full Review
for a previous production "The material is intrinsically powerful, and Satie’s wonderfully intimate and heartfelt performance creates the sense that we’re actually in the presence of the women whose lives she’s describing...One might wish that the play better connected its stories to the burgeoning anti-Semitism of the present -- but as a collection of character portraits, the piece is both moving and engaging." Full Review
"Assadourian’s self-written solo show is a perfect example of a comic piece that allows one to see aspects of life which your typical audience member will hopefully never have to face outside the theater. On the other hand, Assadourian’s dexterously twisty performance as the 18 characters in 'The Bullpen' is so cunning and appealing that you might care to commit a crime of your own so that you too can create a delightfully social experience like this one." Full Review
"Simply dreadful – a tone deaf, unrelentingly shrill piece of immature agitprop which is the type of work that, I suppose, all 22-year-old aspiring writers must get out of themselves at some point…The ideologically empty show was essentially undone by the clumsy reliance on the audience participatory elements…There was a sloppiness to the elements that suggested a lack of forethought, making the piece almost enraging – and not at the themes, but at the weak stagecraft." Full Review
for a previous production "Piper’s performance is as much a stand up piece as it is a bona fide play…However, it’s hard to blame her – one thing Piper knows is comedy…The play is like being present for a classic comedy act, and if you take the show in that spirit, it’s delightful...What elevates the show above being a merely reflexive comedy routine is the awareness that Piper’s comic spirit arises from an inner existential sadness…Piper herself cuts an extremely likable portrait on stage." Full Review
for a previous production "Playwright-poet Dael Orlandersmith presents a evocative performance that’s both a gripping autobiography and also a searing description of the pain and suffering that can either destroy or give rise to transcendent art. Here’s a play that works on the level of description of personal pain and loss, while also hinting at the occasional irrationality of our own feelings and reactions...packs a surprising emotional wallop, and powerfully describes the process of transforming fury into art." Full Review
for a previous production "Sylvia Milo’s luscious depiction of the life of Wolfgang Mozart’s lesser known sister Nannerl eschews the dreaded bio-adaptation problem – and it does so with class and evocative energy. In Isaac Byrne’s elegantly minimalist production, the life of Mozart’s older sister is recounted with graceful sophistication." Full Review