Mar 03

Character-Building: EQUALLY DIVIDED

Photo by Meghan Moore. Pictured: Jill Tanner, Felicity La Fortune, Will Lyman and Anthony Newfield.

Photo by Meghan Moore. Pictured: Jill Tanner, Felicity La Fortune, Will Lyman and Anthony Newfield.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
by Ronald Harwood
Directed by Charles Towers

February 13th – March 9th, 2014
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) Professional baseball player Ichiro Suzuki once got into hot water for saying that when his team is losing year after year he focuses instead on playing for his own individual accomplishments.  To some, it showed selfishness, but to me it showed professionalism. Continue reading

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Dec 17

Enduring Marriage: HALF N’ HALF N’ HALF

Carol Halstead, Zoë Winters, Andrew Pastides and Jim Ortlieb. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Carol Halstead, Zoë Winters, Andrew Pastides and Jim Ortlieb. Photo by Meghan Moore.

by John Kolvenbach
directed by Kyle Fabel

Merrimack Repertory Theatre
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
November 29th – December 23rd, 2012
Merrimack Repertory Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) It is frustrating to see a craftsman like playwright John Kolvenbach run rings around pedestrian writers.  His play Half n’ Half n’ Half shows that he understands how a play functions on a deep level and that he could write in any genre he chooses, from The Seagull to Lend Me a Tenor.  Kolvenbach toys with the audience in several genres with this comedy, while demonstrating his near-mastery of them all.  This is more than an exercise in play writing, however.  Throughout this script of multiple plays, Kolvenbach is able to document how a lifetime romantic commitment often drives us to need to be committed. Continue reading

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Jan 16

Laugh-Out-Loud Ridiculousness: LEND ME A TENOR

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Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig, Ciitizen’s Bank Performing Arts Series,The Palace Theatre,  1/13/12-1/28/12,  http://www.palacetheatre.org/event-calendar.aspx?event=442&dt=1/13/2012&category=ALL.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Manchester, NH)  They usually don’t hand out acting awards for comedies, and that is a crying shame.  Is it really harder for an actor to emote than pratfall down the stairs a dozen times a show?  Is biting dialogue really harder to memorize than fifty quick entrances and exits?  A farce may be light on character development, but it is a full-court press of physicality and split-second acting.

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