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"'Dear Jane' is a concept in search of a play, a bewildering collection of dramatic bits that pretend to lay bare the soul of playwright Joan Beber while revealing nothing at all...Theatregoers who spend money to watch a play about a woman writing a play about herself may not be amused...'Dear Jane' is more painless that you might expect, because the director, Katrin Hilbe, makes sure that her cast -- every one of them personable and a pro -- maintains a lively pace." Full Review
“Whatever plot there is has to be pieced together from the shards of Julie's life flying by in countless bits and pieces…Unfortunately, very little is particularly dramatic, the characters are too vaguely conceived for audience empathy…and scenes frequently end almost before they've started. This 'now you see it, now you don't' approach creates so few opportunities for emotional development that the production's lack of tension makes its 90 minutes seem twice as long.” Full Review
"'Dear Jane' is beyond confusing...Julie is constantly rewriting, as if to get a better ending. This wouldn’t be so bad if the dialogue weren't so cliché and trite...Who does succeed here are the actors...Katrin Hilbe does a good job in making her actors look good despite this material...'Dear Jane' seems written by somebody with dementia and we are expected to make heads or tails out of fragmented thoughts. In the end, I just needed an aspirin." Full Review
“The first few scenes held promise…There doesn’t seem to hold any reason to these quick succession of scenes, but we are given no time to dawdle on such details…The cast is game to all these quick and rapid-fire scenes...The director does manage to keep it moving and as focused as the text would allow, but doesn’t manage to save it from mangling itself.” Full Review
"There are a lot of talented people doing excellent work on 'Dear Jane'...If only they had a play that was less frustrating than an all-white jigsaw puzzle to work with...I could recommend it...As it is, however, I can’t do that. Nor can I tell you what 'Dear Jane' is about. Which is the problem...Thank goodness the cast was so invested, talented, and magnetic that even though I was floundering, I still felt compelled to watch." Full Review
"Despite trying to cover too much ground at once, this is a well-acted, emotionally charged drama...There are plenty of touching moments of dramatic tension, but perhaps too many to encompass in just one play, to the point where some important moments are sped through to get to the next one...Despite a disorienting beginning and lack of character development, 'Dear Jane' becomes an enthralling play once it gains momentum. Under the direction of Hilbe, it features strong acting." Full Review
"'Dear Jane' is the non-linear, semi-autobiographical story of performance artist Joan Beber. Although the images, art and music of Ms. Beber are fascinating, the story is not captivating. It is too vignette driven to engage the audience fully." Full Review
"'Dear Jane,' a very nice and hardworking play, is tangled in the weeds of the details of its story...The events themselves, jumping from one era to another, and never lasting for more than a minute, don’t coalesce into something substantive. We are left longing, at times overwhelmed, with a lot of details and not much understanding...This play has some serious self-reflection, and where many solo performances that deal with similar content fall short, 'Dear Jane' stands out." Full Review
“Beber’s structure presents a challenge to the audience…Events do not fully develop, and they do not succinctly build upon one another…Any universal message that Beber is trying to convey is undermined by the awkward structure…Hilbe has cast a talented ensemble of actors who must nevertheless play multiple age ranges during different decades, and their efforts are not believable…The talented cast is left without life vests as they try to keep this punctured piece afloat.” Full Review
"Relationships are complicated. Having two twin friends, one who passed away and one named Jane, really put me in the thick of their lives...I must take this time to say how impressed I was with the entire cast. This is not an easy production for these actors. At some point, they all play multiple parts and do it beautifully. This small group of professionals slip in and out of character flawlessly to allow the time lines to merge." Full Review
"Conflict is exactly what is missing from this adequately staged but ultimately flat, confused, and unmoving production...The characters never emerge as anything close to complex individuals, but rather are mere outlines of people...The play is occasionally enlivened by short dance numbers and smatterings of song, but neither that nor the competent acting can overcome the flat characters, stale dialogue, and haphazard structure." Full Review
See it if You’re up for the play-within-a-play device, a mulch held together by lead Jenny Piersol & company, solid direction, light, sound & design.
Don't see it if You're expecting an autobiographical vehicle that has a point or something solid to impart.
See it if If you know the author and if you want to be bored and confused.
Don't see it if you don't know anyone involved in the play and you want a story that is consistant
Also This is probably one of the lowest scores I have ever given to a play.
See it if You know the author personally and find her life story endlessly fascinating.
Don't see it if You avoid people who bore you to death endlessly talking about their troubles..
See it if you're drawn to a protagonist who is awful in just about every way, aware of it, and does nothing to improve herself.
Don't see it if you don't know someone directly involved with the production, and therefore, have no one who will be sad if you're not there.
See it if Although the playwright wrote about the play that “it is about me and my identical twin” it is only about the main character life,told in
Don't see it if if you are not open to experimental theatre
See it if You are not a actor and you like to see a little more about how a rehearsal is. Or you are a play-writer you have an idea all the process.
Don't see it if I don't really know what to say but I guess if you look for action and entertained, this play is not a option.
See it if You like pieces that jump around a lot of flashbacks and indulge one actor. You need a good memory to follow the story.
Don't see it if You like a linear story with a clear plot, conflict and resolution.
See it if You know a cast member and feel it necessary to show them loving support in light of a bad play they are wasting their talents on.
Don't see it if You enjoy interesting, thought-provoking, and dramatic plays that offer a strong narrative.
See it if The writer had good intentions. Some nice attempt at life's regrets. Nice description of family relationships.
Don't see it if Play is disjointed chronologically OK to start with a funeral .a then a pattern is needed. Some wasted talent.