Here you will find theatre reviews from the 2009 Summer and Fall Seasons at the Blackfriars Playhouse.
"Picture, if you will, a 17th century playwright who has all the joie de vivre of a Mel Brooks and the mind-numbing inadequacies of an Ed Wood. Dismissively sweeping his hand, he banishes most dramatic elements, including plot, characterization, words, emotions, clarity and credibility, with a single throw-away phrase - 'and all that.' He then barrels ahead, flawed in his thinking but never for a moment in doubt of his own abilities."
"Don't let the title fool you. As prosaic as it sounds, Henry IV, Part I, is one of Shakespeare's most imaginative and sophisticated plays. In the hands of the American Shakespeare Center and Director Ralph Alan Cohen, it gets off to a commanding start, builds quickly and then fires on every cylinder," Culbertson writes.
"Throw in some derriere-kicking musical interludes, and you're probably as close to experiencing the excitement of a 16th century night at the theater as you can get."
Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus is not for everybody. But if you're the kind of theatregoer who can appreciate a great bloody mess done with gusto, then you won't want to miss the ASC's current production, Culbertson writes.
"Well directed and well acted," writes Culbertson. "But there is just no way to get around the fact that this play features 14 killings (nine of which occur onstage), six severed members (hands, heads and one tongue), one rape, one live burial, insanity and cannibalism."
"Not unlike Mel Gibson on steroids."
"Do I like this play? Very 'Much Ado,'" writes Culbertson.
"The only negative thing I can say about this play — which is the third version that I've seen at the Blackfriars Playhouse — is that, inevitably, it comes to an end."
In this production of Shakespeare's endearing comedy about Falstaff, "the fat knight in love," on-target casting helps make it a winner, writes Culbertson.
"James Keegan, an ASC veteran and one of the most accomplished performers to grace the Blackfriars stage, breathes boozy good life into the affable yet roguish knight, giving us an unforgettable performance in a production loaded with memorable moments."
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