Every week our A Team members and other arts community members are hard at work reviewing local theatre and deciding which ones will head up our weekly top ten list. So what are these reviews? Which shows are shining bright every week? Well now these lists are coming straight to you! Feel free to read more of the reviews and see the rest of the Top Ten List here
#1 One World Theatre
I told myself I would not rave about Paula Cole’s return, but I’d be dishonest not to say how IMPRESSED I was with my first viewing. I have collected and loved her underrated recordings, and I missed the Lilith Fair shows that built her fan base, so I didn’t want to miss this tour’s arrival after several years of self-imposed hiatus from her career. It was worth the wait. Well, intentional intensity in the intimacy of Austin’s “One World Theatre” can’t fail to give one some goosebump moments ! The directness of Paula’s asides, and her note-perfect vocals kept this listener rapt – from sexy whispers through full-throated wails, all within the same phrase – time and time again. I don’t know many women who could take a Joni Mitchell tribute like “Case of You” and genuinely make it their own, either… Strong material really benefits from versatile side-players, and neither ‘Ben’ disappointed.
– 5 Stars from Ken McKenzie-Grant ( On Paula Cole’s Performance.)
Setting out to see the Different Stages production of The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder, I had misgivings. I’ve seen the story before and really liked it. At the time, the Eighties, it seemed really relevant. So, for me, I gritted my teeth and set off to see it at the Vortex. My thought was, even if the production was poor, I could perhaps relive some of the relevance of the Eighties. Well, let me tell, you, Norman Blumensaadt knew better than I. As I was slowly drawn into the story by character break and the audio/visuals above, I found that perhaps, The Skin of Our teeth is more relevant today than in prior times. — 4.5 Stars from John Medberry
#3- Laughter on the 23rd Floor: The City Theatre
The City Theatre keeps proving that it can consistently put on good productions with its latest- Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.” Set in an NBC writer’s studio in the McCarthy era, “Laughter” explores the changing social and cultural landscape, when the American people’s taste for comedy was changing, and how the crazy writers are caught in the middle. The acting is solid, particularly from Carol Wyman and Ira Stone. Whether you’ve seen a Neil Simon play or not, “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” is sure to be a fun experience– 5 Stars from Jay Y.
Agatha Christie’s popular murder mystery is receiving a thoroughly entertaining re-telling at Austin Playhouse. One by one, the play gives up pieces to an elaborate puzzle, one that links each character’s life to grizzly murders past, present and future, leaving the audience to guess, “who dunnit”? The cast creates an array of colorful suspects, complete with motive, opportunity, and high comic potential. David Gallagher’s lovable loon, Marijane Vandivier’s snooty old biddy, Laura Walberg’s masculine bachelorette and Aaron Clay’s slimy Italian could walk gleefully off the stage and onto a Clue game board. Jessica Colley-Mitchell’s handsome rendition of an English country home also can’t go without mention. All together, a delightful evening!– 4 Stars from Ryan
#5 Sick: Capital T Theatre
While the play is pretty straighforward, the cast was really amazing- especially Stephen Mercantel as young Davey. A round of applause to the director for assembling such a fine cast. Both hilarious and haunting. Highly recommended– 5 Stars from Newbie