Ron Fassler (critic)

Ron Fassler (critic) is a critic with Theater Pizzazz. 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 (23)
Theater Pizzazz

"The memory play is a fairly common staple of American drama .... Ian Eaton’s 'Superhero,' which follows this standard trope and which opened off-Broadway at the Sheen Center—and presented by Houses on the Moon Theater Company—last night, is based on his own story of growing up with immigrant parents in Harlem’s Manhattanville Projects. It makes for a mixed evening of theater since, on the one hand, Eaton has a story to tell that has the makings of something interesting and exciting. On the o... Full Review

Help
Chelsea
Theater Pizzazz

"If a play is plotless and devoid of characters, is it a play? It’s a question you might ponder while watching Claudia Rankine’s 'Help'...By not following any sort of linear plot, the challenge is to bring substance to those voices filtered throughout the storytelling...And yet, even with the distancing this involves, there is still plenty of intelligent and provocative dialogue, aided by a first-rate staging from director Taibl Magar." Full Review

Shhhhh
Chelsea
Theater Pizzazz

"That Shhhh is a strange play isn’t really open to debate. I think it works, which is certainly debatable. Bumping into a longtime friend and fellow critic on the way out of the theatre, I was somewhat taken aback that he felt the opposite about its merits, and yet I fully understand how it might not have been for him. But if an evening of outside-the-box theatre dealing with multiple aspects of sexuality and sensuality, is something you crave, then you’ll be most interested in what Clare Bar... Full Review

God Shows Up
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"Filichia uses this dramatic situation as a way to get in sharply observed comedic digs at the hypocrisy of these religious swindlers. And though that is pretty much akin to shooting fish in a barrel, the lines come fast and furious, resulting in an impressive ratio of precise aim to targets hit...Throughout this bare-bones production, well directed by Christopher Scott, Filichia’s points are made succinctly and entertainingly." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“This is one very talented group of people. Their performances are all precise, honest and smart. Under Neugebauer’s direction, it is evident that a flawless ensemble is at work...Only one problem: there is no play here...You spend ninety minutes trying to figure out when what you are watching will catch fire...Then, when it ends, you're left...Not only puzzled, but slightly infuriated...Drama equals conflict...Sadly, ‘Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie’ is devoid of such things.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"It is to Corman’s credit, and to her director Kristin Hanggi, that they have crafted an evening that is pitched at exactly the right level of revealing personal drama (and trauma), that still leaves room for one’s own feelings...Though this unique play takes us to some very dark places, it is a journey. And though I use the word 'happily' with caution, it is one of empathy and compassion—and well worth seeing." Full Review

The Light
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

“Smart and riveting...An insightful and provocative look at a young couple’s relationship...Webb has a distinct ear for realistic dialogue, and is damn near expert at taking each of her two character’s smart and passionate positions in equal measure...Directed at a perfect pace by Logan Vaughn, by the time the play’s full time is up, and we are at its finish, we feel as wrung out and raked over the same coals as the characters—which is exactly how theatre is meant to make you feel." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"None of it is terribly convincing, and the songs, though some lovely, and one or two clever enough, never successfully lift the show out of the doldrums...Lerner’s underlying cynicism makes most of the characters not very appealing to spend an evening with. That only extends so far as the writing, as the actors—with a mere thirty hours of rehearsal—were happily engaging to watch." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“In this stage version, using original songs, as well as traditional Christmas music from around the world, Thomas’s beautiful prose is augmented in a delightful and charming fashion...You cannot escape the warmth of an evening that embodies the spirit of Christmas any better. In its simplicity, marked by expert singing and musical arrangements, the full cast of three men and three women is superb.” Full Review

Daniel's Husband
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"A funny, if somewhat benign domestic comedy, and it’s pretty entertaining. But when...the subject of gay marriage comes up, the comedy takes a back seat...I’m not sure the play entirely recovers from the shift in tone, going as it does from light comedy to heavy drama...The honesty and sincerity in McKeever’s writing add a definite plus to the events of his play. Even if it would benefit from a bit more heft behind its ambitions...you may very well find 'Daniel’s Husband' worth the trip." Full Review

Devil of Choice
West Village
Theater Pizzazz

"This world premiere play about an adulterous triangle between a man, his wife and his mistress, is one we have seen many times before, and often better executed...The direction by Shira-Lee Shalit, is at best unobtrusive and, at worst, lackluster. The performances did not start out strongly at the beginning, but all three actors grew on me as the evening progressed...'Devil of Choice' is an uncomplicated play about a complicated three-way relationship." Full Review

Later Life
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"Attempts to connect with the two fully-rounded people on stage are constantly thwarted by the comings and goings of a bunch of stereotypes. Through no fault of Markell and Craig (who do nice work), their brief passages on stage don’t afford them the chance to develop fully-drawn characterizations...If in the long run, 'Later Life' proves problematic, it still provides a number of 'keen' qualities that make it worth a visit." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"With its origins in Greek epic poetry, the clever new musical Penelope: Or How the Odyssey Was Really Written, is using the advertising slogan: “Greece is the Word.” Funny, but there’s also truth in advertising in that statement. What book and lyric writer Peter Kellogg and composer Stephen Weiner have joyfully concocted is an anachronistic take on the fabled tale of Penelope and Odysseus, boasting a pastiche score that spans decades of popular music." Full Review

Tambo & Bones
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"The actors do as well as they can under the limited constraints the playwright has saddled them with. Taylor Reynolds’ direction is crisp and swift, not lingering too long on specific moments, perhaps fearful of things withering and dying under close scrutiny. Within what appears to be a limited budget, the sets (Stephanie Osin Cohen), lighting (Amith Chandrashaker), and costumes (Dominque Fawn Hill) are respectable." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"'How to Load a Musket' is well worth seeing. It is about passion, finding a foothold in an oft-confusing world, camaraderie, mercy and grace. It's about life. The cast is first-rate, showcasing the play's poignance and relevance." Full Review

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Soho/Tribeca
Theater Pizzazz

"Grinstead portrays Jekyll and Hyde, which leaves Stromberg to portray ever other man and woman in the cast. It is entirely to her credit, that it is always crystal clear as to which character she is playing, but she brings unique comedy chops as well as genuine pathos, whenever either is required...An exciting and fiendishly clever way to spend eighty minutes, if you are inclined to seeing a new take on this oft-told tale." Full Review

Perp
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"It works well for a play mostly contained to tight quarters...This is the plot point the play spins on, and I must confess, felt was too naïve and simplistic to play credibly...Under Lee Brock’s direction, the actors all acquit themselves well. They are believable, even if at times the writing is not. 'Perp' feels like a play still searching for itself, and given an evocative start such as this one, might help propel it to better fortune in its next incarnation." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"I most definitely enjoyed ‘Surely Goodness & Mercy’, but I wished that it had fleshed out its plotting and characters a bit more to make for a more nourishing meal of an evening...I do feel the play is worth seeing, especially acted as well as it is. Nicely staged and directed by Jessi D. Hill...It is to the credit of the two young actors that they accomplish what they do, considering they are rarely believable twelve year-olds. ” Full Review

Switzerland
Midtown E
Theater Pizzazz

“Anyone with a love for a rousing game of cat and mouse will find themselves well at home...’Switzerland’ brought to mind the classic mystery-comedy ‘Deathtrap’...Perhaps the time is right once again for another in this always welcome genre; one that includes cracking good humor, knowing sophistication, and twists and turns you don’t see coming.” Full Review

Carmelina
Midtown E
Theater Pizzazz

"It was my pleasure to see this charming show in a well-staged, sweetly performed and beautifully sung production...I was hooked. Burton Lane was one of the great melodists that ever wrote for the theatre (or film), and his score for 'Carmelina' is no exception...If you’ve never experienced a 'mufti,' then you can do no better than to luxuriate in Burton Lane’s outstanding melodies in 'Carmelina,' sung by a talented eight-person cast." Full Review

The Tricky Part
Midtown W
Theater Pizzazz

"What Moran has achieved with his play, is that it is indeed a play, and not a monologue or something that could as easily be read, and not necessarily performed. Smartly directed by Seth Barrish, what they bring to the piece with humility and humanity is undeniable...There wasn’t a moment in the play where Moran did not have my full and total attention." Full Review

On Beckett
Chelsea
Theater Pizzazz

“A dazzling feat...Without talking to us, or pulling anybody out of their seat, he makes the audience very much a part of the action, which is one of the most satisfying things any theatre experience can provide...Irwin’s expressivity in both body and voice expose graceful movements of immaculately-timed specificity. All that, along with the personal nature of Irwin’s insights, won my heart and moved me by the end of this wonderful evening." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "The actors do not disappoint, especially in the performance by Jason O’Connell in the leading role...He is enough to see the show all on its own. As for the play itself, even if Vonnegut’s writing, once cutting edge is now somewhat duller, his absurdist take on the human condition has not dated at all. And if the plotting is clunky (which frankly, it always was), Vonnegut more than makes up for it up by his witty and thought-provoking dialogue, which will forever be linked as his trademark." Full Review