SHOWING : March 19, 2015 - March 28, 2015
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Nine short plays ... and a thing called love.
OnStage Atlanta presents 9 new original short plays to help your springtime bloom.
"Safe at Home" by Michael Weems () directed by Elisabeth Cooper
"Epiphany" by David MacGregor (Howell, MI) directed by William Thurmond
"The Lilac Ticket" by C.J. Ehrlich (Chappaqua, NY) directed by Barry West
"You Haven't Changed a Bit" by Donna Hoke (East Amherst, NY) directed by Abra Thurmond
"Faux 911" by Cynthia Faith Arsenault (Rocks Village, MA) directed by Richard Diaz
"A Mother and Child Disunion" by G.M. Lupo (Atlanta, GA) directed by Nat Martin
"Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" by Bara Swain (New York, NY) directed by Craig McConnell
"Dead Giveaway" by Daniel Guyton (Fayetteville, GA) directed by Scott Rousseau
"Love is A Many, Many Splendored Thing" by Dre Camacho (Atlanta, GA) directed by Matthew Carter Jones
Performances (in rep with "Little Shop of Horrors"):
Thursday, March 19th - 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 21th - 3:00 PM
Sunday, March 22nd - 7:00 PM
Thursday, March 26th - 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 28th - 3:00 PM
Tickets $13 in advance, $16 at the door
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Monday, April 27, 2015 ||
The nine ten-minute plays making up Onstage Atlanta’s "Spring Shorts" are definitely a grab bag, with none particularly associated with the season of spring. (One, in fact, takes place on Valentine’s Day.) There’s no particular flow, so it leaves one with a scattershot impression.|
First up is Michael Weem’s "Safe at Home," which plays like an after-school special, with a mother (Abra Thurmond) letting her teen daughter (Maggie Schneider) know that she is supportive, no matter what her daughter’s sexuality is. Ms. Schneider gives a very natural, fluid performance under Elisabeth Cooper’s direction, and Ms. Thurmond rocks her softball catcher outfit, It starts the evening off on a pleasant note.
Second is Cynthia Faith Arsenault’s "Faux 911," in which Ella (Nicole Ojeda-Johns) and Brad (Chase McElroy) meet for a first date in a restaurant, which leads to an immediate retry to remedy bad first impressions. Richard Diaz has directed the action to point up the differences between the two, and Ms. Ojeda-Johns’ mesmerizing performance almost gets the play to work. It’s cute.
"Epiphany," by David MacGregor, comes in third position, and it’s one of the strongest offerings. A husband (Tom Gillespie) and wife (Frankie L. Earle) discuss the fact that they just don’t care very much about things. It’s cleverly written, and William Thurmond’s direction gives a very naturalistic feel to the breakfast table conversation. This was my favorite piece in the first act.
Fourth comes "A Mother and Child Disunion" by G.M. Lupo, in which an Agnes Scott student (Maggie Schneider) prepares her über-feminist sculptor mother (Amy Johnson) to meet her artist boyfriend (Dre Camacho). It all works out better than expected. Director Nat Martin gets another fine performance out of Ms. Schneider, but Ms. Johnson faces out to the audience too often for my taste. It’s another blandly nice play.
The first act ends with Bara Swain’s "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt," directed by S. Craig McConnell, which relies upon the audience’s knowledge of a couple of TV shows to get the full impact of the night terror speeches by an engaged couple (Sarah Mason and Charlie Miller in the second weekend of the production). The director couldn’t make the material accessible to those unfamiliar with the particular shows.
The second act has a strong start with Donna Hoke’s "You Haven’t Changed a Bit." Director Abra Thurmond has gotten nice performances from Bobbie Elzey and Nat Martin as two people meeting at a 70th high school reunion. The end of the play is telegraphed pretty early on, but the actors make their conversation compelling. The chemistry needed to make the play truly work isn’t quite there, however.
Next comes Daniel Guyton’s "Dead Giveaway," directed by Cathe Hall Payne. On Valentine’s Day, Olivia (Elisabeth Cooper) is presented with funeral arrangements as a gift by husband Lloyd (Charlie Miller). Their light-hearted discussion about their mortality leads to the hypothetical romantic future of each possible surviving spouse. It’s pleasant and cute.
"The Lilac Ticket," authored by C.J. Ehrlich and directed by Barry West, was my favorite of the second act plays. This is a very New York Jewish play about an elderly man (Barry West) and his wife (Bobbie Elzey) getting a check-up for him after a driving near-mishap. The story is intriguing, involving a case of near-infidelity, and the performance of Ms. Elzey rings perfectly true from beginning to end. It’s a performance to remember.
The last play, written by, directed by, and starring Dre Camacho, consists of paeans to the virility of Mr. Camacho’s character (Jerrol), who is loved by multiple generations of a family (explaining the repeated word in the title "Love is a Many, Many Splendored Thing"). It’s silly fluff, acting primarily as a cute way to get the entire cast onstage for the curtain call. The direction is pretty slapdash, with Maggie Schneider giving a would-be over-the-top performance far below her capabilities. It also leaves the stage a mess. Ending the show with a vanity production may be some sort of "in" joke, but it left me feeling that the evening had been thrown together without much thought.
The production is performed in front of the black curtain used for non-Mushnik scenes in the concurrently running "Little Shop of Horrors," with occasional use of the front stoop and door. Minimal furniture is brought onstage for the various playlets, letting the plays flow nicely. Tom Gillespie’s lighting design and S. Craig McConnell’s sound coordination both enhance the production. "Spring Shorts" is not memorable, by and large, but it provides a showcase for Atlanta directors and actors (plus some Atlanta playwrights). [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
| || Major Mix-Up!! Please Correct!! by dguyton21|
| The reviewer Playgoer has confused two of the plays. DEAD GIVEAWAY by Daniel Guyton is the play about the husband giving his wife a funeral arrangement on Valentines Day. It was directed by Cathe Hall Payne, and starred Charlie Miller and Elisabeth Cooper on the second weekend.|
Bara Swains BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT is the play about night terrors in which an engaged couple recites television show quotes. The play was directed by S. Craig McConnell, and starred Charlie Miller and Sarah Mason.
Please correct the review, if possible. This is unfair to the people involved.
Most egregiously, the reviewer states that -Director Cathe Hall Payne couldnt make the material accessible to those unfamiliar with the particular shows.- Except that the reviewer is describing the play about night terrors, which was not directed by Cathe Hall Payne, but was instead directed by S. Craig McConnell. Ms. Payne directed the play about the funeral arrangements, which the reviewer seemed to like.
The review should read -The first act ends with Bara Swains BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT directed by S. Craig McConnell. It relies upon the audiences knowledge of a couple of TV shows to get the full impact of the night terror speeches by an engaged couple, Sarah Mason and Charlie Miller. Director S. Craig McConnell couldnt make the material accessible to those unfamiliar with the particular shows.-
And then later, -Daniel Guytons DEAD GIVEAWAY. On Valentines Day, Denise, played by Elisabeth Cooper, is presented with funeral arrangements as a gift by husband Robert, played by Charlie Miller. Their light-hearted discussion about their mortality leads to the hypothetical romantic future of each possible surviving spouse. Its pleasant and cute.-
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
| || Thank you! by dguyton21|
| Thank you for this correction. If I knew how to remove my request for correction, I would. I am very satisfied now with the changes, thank you.|
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