Rob Lester

Rob Lester is a critic with Cabaret Exchange. 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 (17)
60
Nitelife Exchange

"A serious-minded exploration of honorable art for art’s sake versus selfish, mercenary interests by others. While it’s admirable, its rather heavy-handed approach may make for a more uphill battle in its road to commercial success...It works, at least to a degree, as directed by West Hyler...I found myself not consistently engaged, wanting to get beyond some basics of the plot...The show has some very attractive songs with a suitable Americana feel and heartwarming musical theatre tapestry." Full Review

90
Nitelife Exchange

“Gripping, powerful stuff…Rings true as very moving drama, especially in the final scenes that are often wrenching. This painful payoff is earned via palpable, gutsy emotional currency in the writing, staging, and some excellent, convincing acting…Ryan Warren’s direction is well paced…There’s not a weak link among these cast members…Inventive material that presents teen characters with respect, dignity, and three-dimensionality.” Full Review

80
Nitelife Exchange

"The smart characters are smartly diverse and the casting here is on the money all around...Our ears and minds are richly rewarded with the songs...that charm, have likable energy, are admirably character-driven, and feel, satisfyingly, like extensions of dialogue and story...Mak’s direction and choreography make it all of a piece and, like the 'mathletes' in the play, there’s great teamwork here...The many elements in 'Numbers Nerds' 'add up' to a terrific little musical." Full Review

85
Nitelife Exchange

"A laugh-out-loud irreverent trio…There is a good truckload of wit in the rhymes and jokes and panache in the melodies, thanks to the triple-threat talent of Jeff Ward as composer, lyricist, and bookwriter…This show shows much potential as a true audience-pleaser, and with some tweaks and tightening, and getting fleshed out with sets and more choreography and sparkle, we might have a hit…And certainly, clever songwriter/scriptwriter Jeff Ward will be a name to remember and follow." Full Review

90
Nitelife Exchange

"Brilliantly and lovingly created…As the three performers float, fly, balance, and billow, they twist and turn and turn into the many characters with their bodies and voices, deftly directed with discretion by Olivia Trevino. The affection for the key parts and details of the story and its sensibilities is remarkable and delightful. Like the original tale and the original prince, 'Flight' is pure of heart and pure enchantment." Full Review

80
Nitelife Exchange

for a previous production "Daniel Reitz’s often on-target satire skewers the egos in show business…The actual playwright of 'Pucker' has muchos funny ideas for characters…The show was 100 minutes with no intermission, but did not feel too long, as there was tonal variety and strong performances, with director Paul Schnee remarkably finding a balance between absurdity and believability so it did not become a cartoon, did not get preachy much in its ultimate point, and was not predictable." Full Review

90
Nitelife Exchange

"What a well-oiled machine is this ensemble company…This dance-based performance really has done a lovely, lovely and well-thought-out job bringing to life a published book by Grace Lin…A 'story-theatre' style presentation that combines narration, dialogue, and soundscape, addressing the audience directly and economically conveying the story and its admirable messages about generosity and gratitude and faith is admirable and works beautifully…'A' grades all around!" Full Review

75
Nitelife Exchange

"An intriguing side show show…All the songs are delivered a cappella, making it all the more compelling...The cast rises to the occasion generally quite ably. In the large Flamboyan space, not all words sung by all soloists were always distinguishable...This was a pity, as the words were often worthy and artful…We see, but don’t get to individually know, the individual personalities or problems or even unique physical/performance talents of some of the members of the side show." Full Review

85
Cabaret Exchange

for a previous production "A mix of songs and skits and bits on topical topics, themed to its umbrella subject matter with satire and a knowing smile, 'Real Men' is that real deal... Embracing caveman culture unapologetically, it also mocks it. Billed as 'a musical for guys and the women who put up with them,' it has its frisky, not too risky (or risqué) fun flaunting the habits and attitudes of dudes. It’s lighthearted, glib, undemanding fun." Full Review

80
Nitelife Exchange

"A kid-friendly, rollicking musical...The 70-minute romp is spirited and wacky. It also revels in its kid-targeted gross humor factor...It’s all in good fun, and much fun was had by the quite full crowd...The tirelessly peppy cast, very well-drilled-in-movement/choreography (Michael Whitney) jumped, danced, strutted, trotted, marched, and grinned...Cheery, lively, appropriate yet varied music." Full Review

80
Nitelife Exchange

“A solid, crisp family musical that is very accessible to kids...The large number of people in the story and the desire to bring home the point may lead to more obvious telegraphing and broad-stroke outlines in drawing characters, some of whom fall into 'types,' but shortcuts help young audiences connect the dots…Rick Hip-Flores has written music and lyrics that really capture the moods and attitudes…A peppy and effective musical with lessons to teach.” Full Review

90
Nitelife Exchange

"Endearingly entertaining...A cast of delightful, disciplined, dazzling young actors bringing the message home without being sugar-coated, coy, preachy, or presenting pat answers...A real winner on all counts. It’s brisk, is accessible to a wide range of ages in its personality-rich characters, situations, and songs — not overly simple, not too complex...The happy medium makes for happy, attentive audiences...Alive with energy, diversity, and excitement." Full Review

70
Nitelife Exchange

"An energetic play, although more work on some costumes and other visual elements would have brought more color and excitement...The writing of Leonora Bernstein’s piece is easygoing fare with some comedy. There are some lively instances of pirate talk and a parrot gets some good lines, too…A little more swashbuckling would be good, but this is fine if fairly mild fare. Some of the seven cast members could use more adrenaline and a pacing pick-me-up." Full Review

70
Nitelife Exchange

"In a change-around the likes I have never experienced, everything improved by leaps and bounds after intermission. It was as if magic happened…A sloppy, choppy first half with unrealized potential that seemed like three people sniping at each other, replete with inconsistency, became a psychological thriller that brought us to the edge of those seats my companion and I would have deserted." Full Review

65
Nitelife Exchange

"Although some of the visual elements are lean, the McLean men have come up with some wit…Wisely, they ground the doings in humor…However, there were many instances of too-advanced vocabulary and wordy speeches and the cardinal sin of telling instead of showing, which also can make children confused and tune out…This could use some trimming…There’s some refreshing repartee and splendid ideas…When things clicked, this Christmas in August really rang the jingle bell." Full Review

70
Nitelife Exchange

"Director Michael Heitzler’s best work here comes when a light touch is kept in mind and pursued, but some things feel belabored and slowly paced...While the vignettes were generally pleasing and the cast more than game and peppy, there needed to be more variety in tone and energy...The saving grace and main attraction is the traditionally dressed white-faced, black-suited clown/mime played by the masterful, mischievous, marvelous, mercurial Jack Herholdt." Full Review

85
Nitelife Exchange

"A sly and smart musical…First-time playwright Joseph Huff-Hannon makes an impressive debut…Like the best political satire, the show avoids preaching and makes its case with exaggeration and deliciously silly humor. Sure, it could use some tightening here and there as there are some been there/done that bits that repeat with diminishing returns, but, by and large it’s entertaining and effective…The strong, well-aimed message of 'Machine Gun America' is bullet-proof." Full Review