Tony Frankel is a critic with Stage and Cinema. 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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for a previous production "Switches between comedic farce and serious scenes just as slickly as Jekyll becomes Hyde...This never-lagging, 80-minute version pares down the Gothic novella...As director, Stromberg’s flourishes are often fabulous, but the formidable creators could use an outside eye to help shape the show and keep the entertaining shenanigans less one-note. Still, for the spectacular performances, clever production, and a timeless message...'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is just what the doctor ordered." Full Review
for a previous production "The unwieldy narrative, archetypal characters, and charming but mostly forgettable and derivative music cloud the view of this 'Bright Star.' Still, there’s freshness and appeal in the storytelling, and the director is at the top of his game...Once the fractured narrative becomes easier to follow in the second act, musical comedy heaven is upon us, and the tidy ending will leave you teary-eyed with a spring in your heart. For first-time musical writers, this is nothing short of a miracle." Full Review
for a previous production "Some will be entertained and leave it at that. For those craving an in-depth and insightful look at an entertainer who appeared on stage alongside the greatest acts of the twentieth century, you won’t get it here. Heartfelt, slick, calculated, breezy, and optimistic to the point of sugary, the show is a chronological survey with multi-media...His spirit is the real thing. But the show itself feels like snake oil, the effect of which will depend on the person swallowing it." Full Review
for a previous production "Manages to capture the experience of his family’s perilous escape with such heartrending power that we are amazed at what lengths some people will go to for freedom and, most importantly, how Americans take our freedom for granted. It is masterful storytelling... My concern is that Alvarez’ fascinating show may get lost in the morass of one-person plays – this story needs to be seen by huge audiences." Full Review
for a previous production "This whimsical world is populated by a consistently outstanding cast...Director Pam MacKinnon has created a rich tapestry composed of wonderful characters and inventive staging…The film’s episodic nature doesn’t translate well...Not one of these oddball characters has a strong through-line. As such, our central heroine lacks a much-needed dramatic arc and the musical lacks a thrust…And while so much of the score sounds lovely, most of the songs aren’t particularly memorable." Full Review
for a previous production "Including the original production, this is my fourth time witnessing this 2006 musical phenomenon, and I still find it to be a problematic piece. Yet director Michael Arden and his amalgamated cast of 25 deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing actors have taken this limitation and turned it into the most heartfelt and spectacular production in memory. It is also one of the best offerings from Deaf West in its 24-year history." Full Review
for a previous production "As for 'The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois,' the set-up, extraordinary characters, and interesting situation end up inconsequential and unbelievable...It’s really a very small play stretched out to 85 very long minutes...Crispin Whittel’s direction is deliberate, but he called forth some lovely nuances from his game cast, who were all at the mercy of repetitive information, one-note dialogue, elliptical conversations, and extraordinarily unsympathetic characters." Full Review
"No one is trying to impress. No one is trying to be funny. No one is trying to showcase themselves. It is organized chaos where thoughts and ideas are hurled at you in rapid succession. Like a drug, the show will leave you either breathless, numb, energized, inspired or a combination thereof." Full Review