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“There may be no more well-intentioned play in town than 'Phoenix Rising'; the author's concern for her young characters is palpable, and the problems she names - abuse, mental illness, and homophobia, among others - are very real. But her characters are thinly conceived case histories and the dialogue is a string of pop-spirituality clichés." Full Review
"I would not make light of the accomplishment here. At the end of the 90-minute production you do feel you have met deeply damaged people, genuinely scarred women, completely undone by what’s been done to them…I am not sure what 'Phoenix Rising' is but I fear it is not yet a play. It has power and life but it has the feel of a therapist’s session gone wild." Full Review
“One of those plays that has good intentions yet manages to hammer in too many concepts and ideas that hurt the overall production...To Gosheff’s credit, she tries to do something different...It just sadly didn’t work the way you would have hoped...Through no fault of their own, the girls were sadly cartoons. Between the era costumes and the caricature dialogue, it was hard to ground the reality within the overblown bubble.” Full Review
"The stories are heart-wrenching and told with tremendous passion and commitment by a sensational ensemble…Written and directed by the exceptionally talented Laura Gosheff, each story is told through gorgeous poetry and expressive choreography…Though I found the storytelling in some of the episodes confusing and difficult to follow, the play is always visually and aurally engaging. The conclusion is quite heartwarming and uplifting." Full Review
"It is an ambitious work written in verse and incorporating dance and vocal music...While well-intentioned, the work is pretentious, overlong, repetitious, one-note and without nuance...Goddess Mother/Grace is played with sensitivity by Kristen Vaughan, who is, however, frequently inaudible. All the young women are well played...This is an earnest effort and there is an audience for it. It’s a niche piece that may well thrive in academia." Full Review
"Gosheff has taken this cast and given them powerful stories...The theatre is about choices, and I think Gosheff has chosen to over-egg the pudding here...The cast and technical crew, though, ensure that the wobble is mild...This play is ambitious, and it is actually about something important. It isn’t perfect, and the ambition is not quite fulfilled. But it’s more than worthy of attention." Full Review
"Writer/director Gosheff has witnessed hundreds of women who have endured, despite maintaining silence in the face of adversity; she also draws from her own experiences as a 'survivor' of sexual assault. The stories of these girls are powerful because they ring authentic, though they are also told with humor and compassion." Full Review
"'Phoenix Rising' is a chance to delve into the female psyche...Laura Gosheff, writer and director, created a sincere and visceral show that exposes the struggles of choosing love in the face of fear, self doubt, and shame...But before you think it is all tears, there is plenty of humor as the girls spark back snappy comebacks at each other and tempers flare. A show like this one can be tedious without emotional bravery and full commitment but luckily the actors did not falter." Full Review
“The resultant drama is a strange cross of ‘The Breakfast Club,’ ‘Altered States’ and a rape counseling meeting. But, if it sounds odd, it was rarely dull, and most of the crowd watching it was plainly uplifted and moved. Moreover, Gosheff adds to the power and energy of her tale of these five young women confronting adulthood through her staging...Hence, the show's ninety minutes move by relatively briskly. And, although the cast is relatively inexperienced, it is not untalented.” Full Review
"A whimsical and provocative production that demonstrates the deepest of fears, often overlooked, within the souls of different struggling females and their ride to perseverance. The play is led by Gosheff’s fierce cast…The sequence of storytelling for each of the girls was unique and thrilling…Audience members will leave 'Phoenix' with heightened awareness of oneself as well as a deeper compassion for the phoenixes that struggle to rise in us all. This play is pure gold." Full Review
See it if You are curious about new theatre. Have a strong passion for real society concerns. Want to laugh and cry at the same time
Don't see it if The play is very real so bring tissues for the harder moments!
See it if You are ready to open your mind and dive into something different. Perfect for drama lovers and character analysis enthusiasts.
Don't see it if You shy away from rape related stories/turmoils and aren't fond of things that are different from what's already out there.
See it if you are looking for a show that will make you think and understand other peoples' circumstances in a new and intelligent light.
Don't see it if you aren't prepared to step outside your comfort zone and acknowledge topics that can be challenging and though-provoking.
See it if you want a glimpse into the struggles and pain that so many women carry with them every day of their lives.
Don't see it if you are not ready to critically think about the deep subject matter of the show.
See it if You enjoy great acting and storytelling. These young women portray the roles of girls are risk with such honesty and truth.
Don't see it if you forgot tissue or aren't ready to be taken on an incredible journey.
See it if You're interested in stories about abuse on women at any age, teen drama. Story is important, but I couldn't get into the play.
Don't see it if You're not patient, not into new agey concepts, don't like HS drama, not in the mood for a heavy topic. 2nd 1/2 of play is better.