PJ Grisar

PJ Grisar is a critic with Stage Buddy. 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 (13)
80
Stage Buddy

"The play proves as timeless as ever...While Stoppard shines as a technician in plotting what may be his most intricate work, his near erudite-to-a-fault script is far from bulletproof in the hands of lesser performers. Thankfully, once they warm up a bit, the company have golden ears for Stoppardian wordplay and rhythms...Draper and Jarvis are electric together as the feuding scholars...If you've seen it before, you might be surprised what you find yourself learning in another sitting." Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

"Its treatment of the source material is duly deferential and just different enough...True to Minchin’s stand-up background, his lyrics are clever and often Sondheimian in their rhyme scheme. Only one tune feels gratuitous and out-of-place...The book by original screenwriter Danny Rubin wisely doesn’t interfere much with the baroque construction of the film, but is punched up and updated unobtrusively...'Groundhog Day’s' a bright spot." Full Review

85
Stage Buddy

"Ives' laissez-faire reworking of the 17th-century play, only amended with some new scenes and subplots, is a theatrical confection...Under the crisp direction of Michael Kahn, the players bound about the stage, admirably agile...Ives' translation is extremely accomplished in its meter and rhyme, and is littered not only with modern references to Sterno, Chanel perfume and contact lenses, but dramaturgical Easter eggs." Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

"Patrick Burns is a raconteur to be reckoned with…It sounds like a hanky-wringer, but Burns isn't out for sympathy...When broaching darker material, the show never delves deep into self-pity, nor does it read as too saintly of a bootstraps narrative…The evening, briskly directed by Richard Israel, is dynamic and rich in incident and though it's a bit flabby with false-endings, Burns' charm and steady storytelling make the work near-ready for prime time." Full Review

90
Stage Buddy

"Majok's dialogue is rich with dialect and a mystifying, but wholly naturalistic lyricism...Under Daniella Topol's nuanced direction, the ensemble turns in vulnerable performances...It all rings true, right down to Bruce Springsteen playing from an offstage car and a requisite mention of disco fries." Full Review

75
Stage Buddy

"It’s hard to imagine a play better suited to the demography of the Bats, the Flea’s resident actors, or the space in which they play and lounge and bang to Michelle Tattenbaum’s lived-in staging...Pared down to perfection, this pressure cooker is a prudent pick for colleges looking for something edgy on a budget, and it’s not a bad start to the Flea’s fall season either." Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

"This staging has no real frills. There is no furniture and there are no props, just an oppressively minimalistic thrumming of compositions keep us in Luke's head, even when the strident shotgun pumps do a bit too much. The less is more tack works...We are given a much better vantage into what makes the titular man tick." Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

"A political satire with the feel of a parable...This world premiere production transplants the text into a modern-feeling ethos. Gaukroger (an affecting and funny turn by Steven Dykes), his apprentice, Pool (the excellent Matt Ball), and a unit of soldiers take up residence in a cathedral...The resonances here are sprawling and work as well for the Thatcherite regime originally in its crosshairs as it does for today's zealous administrations both in Barker's native England and in the States.” Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

"The casting seems a gimmick, but, thematically, historically and meta-textually the choice is a canny one...The cast are all remarkable...Directed expertly by Lila Neugebauer...The result is a rare play that uses theater, both its history and its practical reality, to make theater. Though it risks becoming a 'theater in-joke,' I contend 'Everybody' may be all things to all people, but I can't imagine anybody not enjoying themselves and thinking a lot about it after they've been ushered off." Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

"This production of 'Hamlet,' running unabridged, and at over four hours with two intermissions, is a very good case study in how even Shakespeare's writings benefit from the usual judicious edits. But beyond the run time, the production stands on solid legs...Steeped in the Meisner technique, the cast, under the direction of DeSotelle, react to one another with vitality and, when they lock eyes on the audience doing their soliloquies, they bring an immediacy to the centuries-old verse." Full Review

75
Stage Buddy

"At its most compelling, 'Antlia's' concern is with mortality and what happens, at a certain age, when death becomes a normal part of life...When the themes turn cosmic, though, 'Antlia' loses its way a bit...Under the crisp direction of Ken Russ Schmoll, the play has the usual lived-in dialogue and lyrical tangents that color most of Washburn's work...There's so much good here, but maybe too much. By wrap it seems like it could have gone with one less metaphor or one less body." Full Review

90
Stage Buddy

"Intermissionless and endlessly engaging, 'Tonight With Donny Stixx' may be an evening spent with a disturbed individual, but the sympathy it elicits for its subject is a credit to the talents involved. It's a night well spent." Full Review

95
Stage Buddy

"Running for 35 years, it's plain to see why the Marathon has such great legs: if variety is the spice of life, EST's given us a spice rack that seasons to taste. Quality and curation is the theme...If this first series is any indication of Marathon nights to come, it's worth the 3-Series Pass offered by EST. It's a piquant potpourri that'll keep everyone satisfied and, rare these days, wowed." Full Review