Delighted that at least one of the papers in town has the courage to review this show! (PCS loss is apparently Dance Naked Productions' gain!) Agreed that it was running too long - which is why I cut two scenes from the first act. The strength and weakness of this format - (the show is entirely original, and all written by the cast) is that people get very attached to what they have written. It's so hard to let stuff go! But as the producer, it's my job to make sure the show is entertaining. First act now runs an hour and ten. And no one is forced to cuddle!
Great review, great show!
"I chose to interpret this as a sign that the standing ovation has lost any meaning whatsoever; a more charitable interpretation would be that the Sunday crowd found much to enjoy in this show that I simply did not." A less charitable interpretation would be that Alison Hallett is completely out-of-touch and doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground regarding theater. Perhaps she would be better off posing such drivel on a personal blog, rather than purporting to be an actual theater reviewer.
I saw this show with my 11-y-o granddaughter. She loved it so much that we attended a second performance. I thought the show was hilarious as did she. Acting was professional. Choreography was flawless. Singing and music were tight and well-blended. Perhaps the production improved after Ms. Hallett's abysmal review. Otherwise, I must disagree with Ms. Hallett in the strongest terms and would wonder what other factors skewed her perception.
You can always tell when a theater reviewer is someone who couldn't make it as an actor/actress themselves. Case in point, Alison Hallett. A person of such embittered contempt for Portland theater, who has never had a good thing to say about most local theater. She should be replaced by someone who doesn't have such a large chip on their shoulder and has at least some working knowledge of theater.
As for the production, I have seen it more than once during its run, and audiences have enjoyed the show greatly. I've heard nothing but how fun the show is and good things about the whole cast, murmured through the lobby and elevators.
I would think that the Mercury would hire someone who actually knows something about theater to be a theater reviewer. If Ms. Hallett was the best applicant for the job, I'd hate to have seen the worst.
Since Portland most certainly does not, by any stretch of the imagination, have a single burlesque hall or performing ensemble, I'm guessing that you're judging this on the standard of long-depressing strip clubs. Stumptown produced a remarkably strong and humorous version of Stoker's classic tale. The Merc is notorious for displaying open contempt for shows that take talent, discipline and professional standards, so a bash in this publication is actually a rousing ovation for those who appreciate performance art. I hope that in the future the Merc might actually send a reviewer to a show, instead of someone desperately trying to be part of a dying underground.
found the review
Is this a review? What is its position?
"The double-casting illuminates a central theme: that identity is constructed, and when it is suppressed or colonized, things get screwed up." ...?
The rest of this five-paragraph article appears to be a synopsis of the significant moments in the performance.
Caryl Chuchill's "Cloud 9" is a monument of the West's dramatic canon whose themes depict social contradictions which continue to plague this society. Seems like a missed opportunity to critique the performance of such an important text.
So Good. Saw it last night. They topped Road House which is hard to do. The Nyiiii Nyiiiii voice renditions of motorcycles was guy rippingly funny.
Amazing photograph by portland treasure, Andy Batt.
To review this production without mentioning the talents of the cast and orchestra is unforgivable. The music was gorgeous; the acting was powerful. Gretchen Rumbaugh, who played Mrs. Lovett, was especially electrifying and Matthew Alan Smith's Judge Turpin took creepy to new heights.
Coming into the show not knowing anything about the Director's vision, I did not find any forced references to the state of America today. I took it for granted that the show was taking place in old London since the cast did such a great job with their accents and the set only enhanced that picture.
I agree that on the surface, Aloysius Gigl wasn't as menacing a Sweeney as say, Johnny Depp, but that just gives his insanity a different flavor. When he snaps, he does it in a giddy, dangerous, I-have-nothing-left-to-lose way which is why the song "A Little Priest," is so much pun fun!
Sweeney Todd does not feature gross rich people taking advantage of poor people. Almost everyone is gross in Sweeney Todd.
I hope the reviewer harping on a political theme that may or may not have been present does not discourage anyone from seeing the show. It is well-executed Sondheim and that is always worth the ticket price.
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A correction to this story. PCS did produce Posner's adaptation of "The Chosen" by Potok, but the other piece adapted by Posner and done at PCS was "Sometimes a Great Notion," which most people know, and certainly Oregonians do, was written by Ken Kesey, not Chaim Potok.
This show was utterly fantastic. So great to see my fellow felines finding meaningful work with living wages in this tough economy.
Agreed. Dakota had a lot more stage presence than pinky.
When I went, the cat drummer was just destroying! The cat guitar player, however, was sleeping.
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