Philip Dorian

Philip Dorian is a critic with Scene on Stage. 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 (20)
60
Scene on Stage

"Those three performers and three others comprise the entire cast, a compression that better served Fiasco’s 2015 reduction of Sondheim’s 'Into the Woods.' That show’s eleven singer/actor/musicians nailed both score and character; this one’s half-dozen illuminate neither. Even directed by the same Noah Brody, the piece is in soft focus...What survives the indifferent production is the Sondheim score." Full Review

90
Scene on Stage

“’Nothing On’ is the play being rehearsed within...‘Noises Off’ by a troupe of inept actors...Two River’s cast is anything but inept; their bungling of the third-rate inner play is a rib-tickling delight, a masterclass in comic timing...The confusion is so well written and performed that we can follow it even when the on-stage characters cannot...The stellar nine-member cast functions as one...Comedy really is hard. This 'Noises Off' pulls it off. It hits its marks and gets its laughs." Full Review

90
Scene on Stage

"Plain history can be academic (read: boring), and inserting identifiable people as principals in pure fiction can be presumptuous, or a copout. 'Bernhardt/Hamlet' straddles the extremes brilliantly...What makes this display so smart – and so funny –is that we’re dealing here with, arguably, the greatest play ever written...McTeer’s tour de force performance lays bare the flaws, foibles and fortunes of the premiere actress of her day...A perfect partnership between playwright and actor." Full Review

85
Scene on Stage

"Profoundly moving...Each character’s past affects the present: what they say and do and how they interact. And all of it is written and acted with unself-conscious naturalism...Under Worsham’s excellent direction, the relationships stay in focus through smooth and rocky; tempers flare, but are never out of control, and the physical staging is artful in itself...McMullen is a playwright to watch, and 'Agnes' is a good place to start." Full Review

85
Scene on Stage

"Acted by a superb 15-member ensemble, directed by New Group's artistic director Scott Elliott and overlong by just a few minutes at three hours, including intermission, 'Good for Otto' is fascinating theatre...As enacted by Harris and Madigan and their 'patients,' the therapy sessions have the ring of authenticity...Under Elliott's direction, the play's separate threads mesh into a cohesive unit, with few wasted or unnecessary exchanges." Full Review

75
Scene on Stage

"Doyle’s vision unfolds over 100 continuous minutes, made possible by judicious editing that retains the play’s witty interlacing of disguises and mistaken identity...This qualifies as bare-bones Shakespeare, but it retains a degree of charm. Played up close and personal to the audience that remains in half-light throughout, it is unpretentious and high-spirited." Full Review

80
Scene on Stage

"How refreshing, now, to see the romantic, magical work played where it is largely set, in an open-air nocturnal park...The comedy, as funny here as you’ll ever see it, is a perfect fit for The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in Central Park...The entire cast in director Lear deBessonet’s delightfully free-wheeling production is terrific, including the hilarious ‘Pyramus & Thisbe’ ensemble, but first-among-equals has to be snazzy Annaleigh Ashford." Full Review

90
Scene on Stage

“Rarely has altruism and compassion been as deeply explored and conveyed, much less in a hundred-minute musical...Music and lyrics mesh seamlessly, as the portrayals switch on a dime from townspeople to passengers and back again…A uniformly excellent cast…The show is in constant motion, with locations evoked by simple shifts in alignment of chairs. You’re never in doubt about where you are, and for the duration of ‘Come from Away’ you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” Full Review

90
Scene on Stage

"Rarely has a slice of history been as entertainingly portrayed as in 'Butler'...It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the dialogue was lifted from an actual recording…Deftly directed by Joseph Discher, the tale unfolds over an engrossing two hours…John G. Williams is a revelation…Richard Strand didn’t invent his plot, but there aren’t any new ones anyway. Making imaginary or real characters so sympathetic, so funny and so relevant, is damn good playwriting no matter the source." Full Review

60
Scene on Stage

"The amusing concept is dependent upon the Sylvia actor’s immersion and believability as a canine – and on keeping the 'love story' this side of weird. Thanks to Ashford’s agility and brightly-clipped manner, the former requirement is met. Her naughty Sylvia is lovable...The latter boundary is fuzzy, due to the now-dated script and Broderick’s juvenile demeanor." Full Review

95
Scene on Stage

“Everything that was funny during its nearly two-year run in the Lyceum Theatre is just as funny...The difference is a subtle pickup in how the audience relates to the characters. For me it became personal, akin to cheering-on a perpetually losing team. But a ton more fun...The new cast is American, and...are as adept at the comedic turns of phrase and physical antics as were their forebears...It remains a master class in comic invention and execution." Full Review

80
Scene on Stage

"Bruce’s voice, which Marmo evokes without resorting to out-and-out imitation...Marmo portrays Lenny’s descent into drug addiction and general disrepair unsparingly; his opening and closing tableaux are devastating...There’s nary a lull, although sprinkling in a few more snippets of Lenny’s really funny early bits would afford a welcome respite from the intensity of the later legal stand-off...The show is recommended for admirers of Lenny Bruce." Full Review

65
Scene on Stage

“While ‘Pamela’s First Musical’ boasts credentials equal to those precursors...The show, if not the production, suffers in comparison; that storied foursome are not at the top of their game...It is entertaining, but not, one suspects, to the extent it must have been to those creators...It’s essentially an extended inside joke..It remains a collegiate enterprise, albeit an accomplished one...A striking production...with eye-catching sets." Full Review

70
Scene on Stage

"The production is stripped down to its essential relationships..A physical prop in the final scene is impactful, but miming the others, like John’s stethoscope and Alma’s mother licking an ice cream cone, can be distracting...Ireland captures the playwright’s intent..Darrow is a laid-back John, Jr., even in the fellow’s reckless stage. It does amplify the ‘opposites attract’ element, but seems to slow the proceedings." Full Review

75
Scene on Stage

"The show really is operatic in form…mostly sung, with limited spoken dialogue. It is hardly austere or Grand in subject matter, but it is close in style to what you find some sixty blocks uptown...Much of the acting is self-conscious, as in so much 'real' opera. The difference is that here it is intentional. Half parody, half homage and wholly outrageous in topic and language, it is also devilishly funny...Not for everyone's taste." Full Review

75
Scene on Stage

“The fast-moving show zips through about a dozen dating experiences – most of them misfires, a few promising, and all amusing. Brody’s plentiful score is serviceable. You don’t leave humming the tunes, but Brody’s lyrics are clever and character-enhancing…Ms. Opel is up to the heavy lifting. There’s precious little subtlety in the script, but the crafty performer keeps the heaviest gags from landing with too much of a thud...Flynn’s spirited direction makes the 90 minutes fly by.” Full Review

85
Scene on Stage

"'The Government Inspector' is a Trumpian spoof in spite of itself...A cast of inspired zanies, including Michael McGrath as the Mayor, play the town poobahs in a broad style that went out of fashion waaaayy back when, but which is more than welcome back for this play’s two hours...You’re unlikely to find another production of 'The Government Inspector' any time soon. This one, for historical and sheer entertainment reasons, is worth inspecting." Full Review

45
Scene on Stage

“If good intentions were reason enough to skew a review to the positive, ‘Ring Twice for Miranda’ would merit a rave. With one line toward the end, playwright Alan Hruska makes his intention clear, affording a retroactive degree of admiration for the somewhat muddled content that had preceded it…Directed as an exercise in existentialism, the acting is pretty much surface all ‘round, a choice dictated by the characters’ unnatural behavior rather than by acting-class lessons.” Full Review

90
Scene on Stage

"Do you like country music? I don’t…unless I’m listening to it, and, boy, did I like 'Songbird.' With original music and lyrics by Lauren Pritchard and a flavorful book by Michael Kimmel, 'Songbird' is as original a musical as they come...With a uniformly excellent ten-member cast, most of whom also play one or more instruments, the twangy singing, snappy stepping and relationship-rich story come together seamlessly...At two hours, including intermission, 'Songbird' is just right." Full Review

65
Scene on Stage

for a previous production "An updated delivery of the well-worn youth-directed mantra 'just be yourself'...The show has a split personality. Act one is a coherent laying out of the plot and characters, propelled nicely by the better half of the musical score...There’s little left to explore by the second, which seems haphazard, both in Stephen Brackett’s direction and cast execution...There is, however, enough rockin’ out in 'Be More Chill' to please its target audience." Full Review