"A brave, almost foolhardy undertaking, presenting the backstage drama during the making of 'Casablanca,' and daring its audience to compare its cast members to the actors in what many believe to be the finest Hollywood movie of all time...As Bogart, Roger Casey captures the actor’s tics but not his undercurrents; Catherine Gowl’s Bergman...invites greater sympathy. The most impressive performers here are the most naturalistic...'CasablancaBox' is a noble effort." Full Review
"As a visual object, 'CasablancaBox' has moments of beauty...Reid Farrington is a past master at projection work, and as always, it's precise and glowing. But he's less deft with the non-pixelated performers. Sara Farrington has frequently written them scenes that seem nearly impossible to play...For the most part, the live elements swing among tonalities and genres—many of which are too broadly delivered—and the performers fade beside the film fragments around them." Full Review
"Technically polished, and textually messy...One wishes that all of this material had been given more shape and direction. As it is, the staging is often disconcertingly frantic...Also, allowing for dramatic license, the script is loaded with pointless errors that will ring false to any film fan...They undermine one's confidence that the artists have done their research...'CasablancaBox' dishes up rich material and makes less than a full meal out of it." Full Review
“It’s head-spinningly difficult to imagine pulling off and yet they succeeded with only minor snafus…Where the show falters is in tone and purpose...It fails when bluntly offering up some of the backstories…When the script veers off from the reality of on-set mayhem, it falters even more…When they show everyone working together to make ‘Casablanca,’ the piece works...Pare down the extraneous and this intriguingly complex production could be...a work of art in its own right.” Full Review
“Multiple thematic threads appear…but the chief goal is to tell the well-documented backstage stories associated with the movie. As placed in the script, however, many seem clumsy and over-obvious; what works best is when we see how the film was written by its four writers on the fly, with multiple endings being tried…Lots of trivia about the making of the film is stuffed into the plot but so is surprisingly inaccurate information…Cavils aside, 'CasablancaBox' is compellingly creative.” Full Review
"The craftsmanship that has gone into this multimedia production is pretty astounding all around...I only wish the creators had put as much energy and time into the greater worldview of this piece as they did in the visual concept. The video work and the choreography are spot-on perfect, and the execution, although shaky and messy at a few moments here and there, is also pretty exacting...What was needed was a better narrative as to why we should be interested in the behind-the-scenes story." Full Review
"A pretentious travesty is perpetrated on the beloved classic movie 'Casablanca' by this this tiresome performance art deconstruction...The large cast for the most part offers exaggerated, fast-paced characterizations that, due to the piece’s stylized agenda, don’t really register as full-fledged performances...Technically the show is highly accomplished...Unfortunately, the Farringtons have opted for high-tech trendiness and the result is hollow and uninvolving." Full Review
“An enjoyable, funny, sincere, and tightly managed chaos that brings the classic film to life and captures the heart of a cinematic classic...The performers strike a solid balance between the historical and the imaginary…The show is an emotional and thematic roller coaster...A fun and rich experience that packs a tremendous amount of complexity into ninety minutes and pays tribute to the chaos of art making in the best possible way—by living it.” Full Review
"'CasblancaBox' is a riveting, immersive theatrical collage about the making of the classic film...There was a lot of drama happening off the set as well, which this masterful production shows…The production moves at high speed through many scenes of the film, showing us the disillusionment of some cast members…Hats off to the Farringtons for realizing this breakneck journey through the creation of 'Casablanca.'" Full Review
"The play constructs a lively cross-section of early-1940s filmmaking to explore what that movie meant to its creators and an American public less than a year into World War II, as well as the darker undercurrents of American life it helped to crystallize and obscure. The play nearly bursts from trying to say and do so much, but is held together by its nimble staging conceit...'CasablancaBox' is more interested in peering into people’s lives than diving deep. " Full Review
"'CasablancaBox' is a brisk 90 minutes of entertainment first and foremost, a breakneck-paced behind-the-scenes comedy...catnip even for the most casual cinephile...As much a dance between the actors as between the stage performers and the precisely timed multimedia, 'CasablancaBox' is no vanilla tribute to the safest member of the American movie canon. Rather, it embodies its subject through design and theme, cramming together as much energy and detail as its running time permits." Full Review
See it if This is must-see fun for any Casablanca fan; difficult to describe what I saw, but I know I liked it!
Don't see it if If you haven't seen, or aren't a fan of, Casablanca, you may have trouble following or appreciating this work, so do your homework first.
See it if you are up for a light-hearted romp through the chaos behind this film, or don't know much about its history & want to learn.
Don't see it if you are a stickler for historical accuracy. This is imaginative & informative fiction loosely based on facts, but not beholden to them.
See it if So it sees nothing beyond the making of the film Casablanca ha? It thinks Casablanca's a great film and pays this tribute to it ha?
Don't see it if The interplay of the original film clip and reenactment on the stage is more like a gimmick and becomes dull and unimaginative quickly
See it if Regardless of your familiarity with the film "Casablanca", you want to see an ambitious staging of the filming of a movie.
Don't see it if You might not be interested in war, refugees and other unfortunately contemporary concerns.
See it if The projection work is stellar and the acting leads were amazing. Great concepts.
Don't see it if It just doesn't merit a show. The story is trite and ultimately not a story worth telling onstage.
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