A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
Companies Reviewed#
Centerstage North Theatre2
Georgia Shakespeare1
The New American Shakespeare Tavern1
Neighborhood Playhouse1
Actor's Express1
Stage Door Players1
Belladonna Repertory Company1
The Playwright's Repertory Theatre (Part Of Southeast Playwrights Project)1
Dad's Garage Theatre Company1
Alliance Theatre Company1
Actors Theatre of Atlanta1
Average Rating Given : 3.75000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

Talley's Folly, by Lanford Wilson
A Valentine for Theatre Lovers
Friday, August 22, 2003
I dare even the most hard-hearted cynic not to watch this play and not root for these lovable characters to live happily ever after. Larry Larson's Matt Friedman is a guy any girl would be crazy not to fall in love with. One could quibble with some minor lighting and sound effects, but why bother? This beautiful play is about falling in love and loving someone, warts and all. The performances are first rate and you will leave the theatre 97 minutes later with a huge smile on your face. Does it really get much better than that?

The Lord's Miraculous Store: The Worst In Amarillo History, by Bill Gibson
Only a Shower, Not a Storm.
Monday, August 18, 2003
I was pleasantly surprised by this modest mounting of a new play. Act One is very entertaining even though the characters are mainly Sixties Texas stereotypes; the rich, loud-mouthed car salesman father with big politcal dreams, his paper doll wife with a big heart and even bigger hair, the crusty old grandfather and the spoiled nymphette daughter-in-law. I was sucked into the plot of how a pair of raggedy-looking hippies seeking shelter from a blizzard invade their posh home only to reveal that their only purpose in being there is to blackmail the entire family by threatening to expose all their "dirty little secrets" and ruin their perfect image.

Unfortunately, Act Two was a big disappointment. The story gets bogged down with too many plot twists that are muddy at best. I realized that this was supposed to be sort of a "Twilight Zone" allegory, but the story became so convoluted and contrived that I stopped buying what they were trying to sell. I won't give away the ending, but it's very vague and unsatisfying.

The play is done on a shoestring budget and in rep with two other plays, so don't expect much of a set. It's mostly a few pieces of furniture placed about a bare stage. The actors do their best with the dialogue, which was sometimes overwritten and unnatural.

There are some truly fine performances in the cast, including Jennifer Lee as Trixie Lord, Alex Brooks as T. Texas Lord (even though he's 20 years too young for the role, Brooks still sells this cowardly blowhard), Brad Rudy as the prune-faced "Paw Paw" and Byron Newsome as the soft spoken Sun.

Laine Binder as "Moonbeam" is a fine actress, but I couldn't buy her as her character. I could overlook that her complexion and speech patterns weren't even remotely Native American, but I couldn't get past that this homeless, Earth-child Hippie who supposedly hadn't showered in weeks had perfectly tweezed eybrows and flawlessly applied make-up that made her look like she came straight from the Estee Lauder counter at Macy's. Sorry, but I notice little things like that.

The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, by Tennessee Williams
Worthwhile Production of Underrated Williams
Monday, June 16, 2003
I happen to be a member of an insignifigant minority who believes that The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on the Hot Tin Roof have been near-ruined from being overproduced from everyone from Broadway down to the smallest community theatre. I feel that most productions add nothing earth-shatteringly new to these already classic plays.

However, I was looking forward to seeing this production, a variation on the popular (but not necessarily overdone as The Glass Menagerie) Summer and Smoke. I am glad to report that I was not disappointment. This rarely-done drama held my interest from beginning to end. The center of Eccentricities is, of course, the semi-tragic Alma Winemuller and NP has made a first rate choice in their Alma. Kudos to Lily Yancey as the effected Alma - The Nightingale of the Delta -who is perfectly cast and never reduces the character into an annoying steryotype. Her Alma has a great deal of dignity about her and her scenes with Nevin Miller as the object of her affections are genuine and captivating. You will find yourself rooting for Dr. John to fall as madly in love with Alma as she is with him.

The supporting cast does an admirable job as well. Special mention must be made to Pat Bell as the controlling Mrs. Buchanan. Her borderline incestuous feelings for her brilliant son will send shudders down her spine. It is truly a memorable performance that will remain with you long after the final bows.

Director Barbara Cole does a fine job with capturing just the right amount of emotion in this production. Her actors come off as very real and beleivable who never let the pacing lag for a minute. If I must quibble about one thing, I felt the very spartan set against a black background looked a bit drab and did not quite capture the old-Southern charm of 1918 Gloriuous Hill, Mississippi.

Closer then Ever, by Music by David Shire Lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr.
Charming and Intimate
Friday, August 2, 2002
After not having seen this show in over 8 years, it was pleasant to revisit it once more at Stage Door Players last weekend. The last time I saw this show in 1994, it was on a huge stage and the show lost something in its lack of intimacy, something SDP manages to achieve in its cozier venue. You're supposed to feel like you're eavesdropping on private conversations with each number.

The Maltby/Shire score is still witty and insightful about relationships and life in general...Sort of a predacessor to "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

The four principal singers handle the sometimes complex numbers with agility and style and are complimented by Bob Schultz's energetic staging. Standout numbers include "Miss Byrd", "One of the Good Guys", "Three Friends" and "I'll Get up Tomorrow Morning".

If I have one criticism, it's that this show was obviously written during the 80's with mentionings of Jane Fonda workout videos and "power lunches" somewhat dating the material. Nevertheless, this is still an enjoyable evening at the theatre.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, by William Shakespeare
Fun & Frothy
Friday, July 19, 2002
Can't think of a better way to spend a humid summer evening in Atlanta than enjoying this well-done GSF production of one of the more lightweight entries from the Bard. The story is paper thin, but easy enough to follow even if you aren't a Shakespeare scholar. And who really wants a heavy, deep plot on a steamy summer night, anyway? The set is bright and cheerful. Swell performances by all, although the talented Brad Sherrill as Fenton seemed to be phoning it in on opening night as if playing the young lothario roles hold no challenge for him whatsoever anymore.

GSF got it just right with this one and I don't believe you'll be disappointed. Enjoy!

Carrie White: The Musical*, by Sean Daniels, George Faughnan (adapted), Joel Abbott (Music)
Bloody Good Fun!
Friday, June 28, 2002
Even if you hate the 1976 movie, it's worth going to see this production to watch George Faughnan's inspired, campy-yet-sincere performance in the title role. He'll crack you up from beinning to end. He's simply marvelous!

Can't give it a full five because of some of the uneven performances by the supporting cast. Compared to Faughnan's detailed portrayal, others obviously pale in comparison and come off looking amateurish. The singing voices range from good to very weak, but considering the fun but cheesy songs in the score, you don't really expect first rate voices in this.

Overall, the show's a parody and it's a hoot. Expect to have a great time, but with the exception of Faughnan's Carrie, don't expect great theatre.

Noises Off, by Michael Frayn
Fanstastic Fun!
Friday, February 15, 2002
I've always loved this show and had seen it several times in the last 10 years, but I never laughed harder than I did last night watching CSN's marvelous production. The cast is practically perfect. I could go on about all of them, but together they make one heck of an ensemble. Watching Act II alone is worth the price of admission. A few distracting technical glitches (which I'm sure will be corrected) prevent me from giving this deserving production a five. But overall, it was one of the funniest evenings I ever spent in the theatre. Don't miss this one!

Company, by Stephen Sondheim/George Furth
Much Ado About...Not Much
Monday, November 19, 2001
Have to agree with most of the previous review. I'd never seen a full production of this show before, but knew the score very well. I'd always expected Bobby to be an absolutley dazzling character, even a bit larger than life. It's the only reason to justify why over a dozen people are borderline obsessed with him. However, I was a bit disappointed how this Bobby is portrayed, low-key - very low-key. I, too, kept thinking to myself "He seems like an okay guy, but what's so fascinating about him that these people are losing sleep and risking their marriages over?" Plus, I wasn't sure about which time period is was supposed to be set in. The interesting set is definately late-60's/early 70's. The costumes looks like retro-70's. But the modern magazines in the first scene are a definate giveaway and I don't know if that was intentional or not. I honestly don't think this show works as well in a modern setting. There's nothing odd at all today for a man to remain single after age 35 (or a woman either for that matter), so I don't get why all these couples think there's something wrong with Bobby for not being able to make a committment yet. There's nothing wrong with him, he just hasn't fallen in love yet, leave him alone, people!

The one aspect that does hold up is the bittersweet views on married life. The touching song "Sorry Grateful" is probably the most honest song ever written about real-life marriages. And the rapid fire "Getting Married Today" still packs a comic punch.

The supporting cast is first rate and the staging is very imaginative. But with a lackluster Bobby and an outdated premise, I'd only recommend this show to die-hard Sondheim fans only.

Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille, by Bruce Graham
Sweet and Thought Provoking
Sunday, August 26, 2001
Good performances and a first rate script make this unusual romantic comedy a wonderful night at the theatre.

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
Great Fun!
Friday, June 29, 2001
The best thing I've seen at ASC (Well, in the 2 years I've been in Atlanta). Maurice Ralston and Laura Cole are magical as Beatrice and Benedict. Almost all the leads have their scene stealing moments. Definately worth catching during the Three-pete!

The Merry Wives of Windsor, by William Shakespeare
Pleasant, if not spectacular, night of lesser known Bard work.
Wednesday, May 16, 2001
Matthew Ireland is perfectly cast as Falstaff. He more than excels in reaching the lusty, larger than life bravado this character requires. The rest of the cast is competent, but none of the other principals hit the levels of high comedy and desperation so essential in making a farce fly, especially Pierre Brulatour's Master Ford. The audience does not see the insane jealously brimming in his scenes with Falstaff, which causes them to fall a little flat. Sarah Mitchell is simply marvelous as Mistress quickly. Terry Vallelunga is fun to watch as the spritely Welsh priest, Sir Hugh Evans. The set and costumes are functional, but a bit lackluster; looking more like a good high school production, rather than professional level. Act One drags on a bit, clocking in at almost 90 minutes long, but a brief Act Two more than compensates for that, leaving the audience satisfied, if not enthralled. Overall, a pleasant evening at the theatre. If Bard is your thing, it's defiantely worth checking out for a handful of stellar performances.

Light Up The Sky, by Moss Hart
What a disapointment!
Friday, February 23, 2001
My first time at the Alliance. Knowing the other works of Moss Hart, I wanted to LOVE this play passionately. It sounded like my ideal night at the theatre. The set was jaw-dropping gorgeous! I could have stared at that alone for two hours and have been happy. But then the actors came out for Act One and it all went downhill from there. A flat, lackluster, predictable script that wasn't particulary funny (I only laughed out loud once), actors who mugged, squawked, screamed and overacted shamelessly - without making me care one iota about them, and gawdy, overblown costumes that looked more like rejects from Dynasty. The only characters I cared at all about were the mousy ghostwriter (who's badly dressed like a stereotypical spinster and has almost nothing to do but hang around and gawk at these nasty people) and the young idealist playwright. Amateurish direction with way too much kickline blocking. And what the heck was that gorgeous grand piano doing on stage at all if it was only going to be used as a coat rack all evening! Oh, I could go on and on. I'm giving it a 2 becuase of the set, but even that's not enough to recommend this dud.

Almost, Maine
by John Cariani
Centerstage North Theatre
BattleActs! Comedy Improv Competition
Laughing Matters
Daddy Long Legs
by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (songs)
The Legacy Theatre
Laughing Matters Winter Wonder Laughs
Laughing Matters
Midnight at the Masquerade
by The Murder Mystery Company
The Murder Mystery Company in Atlanta
Stories on the Strand
Atlanta Radio Theatre Company
The Bachelor! A Double Date of Death!
by Marc Farley
Agathas: A Taste of Mystery

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