Moss Island and The Earlville Opera House present Putting It Together –
Words and Music by Stephen Sondheim. July 24-26, 2015 at the historic Earlville Opera House.
Players of Utica’s final production of the season is a pretty big swing… featuring solid, very funny ensemble acting, clever use of space and wittily minimalist set, sound and lighting.
Some of the best moments in my theater career have happened at high school productions. In fact, a disproportionate number of those were courtesy of teenagers. I love the “aha” surprises, when a performer finds a spark and burns up the stage, bringing the audience to its feet. Now, imagine a show composed of nothing but those moments, and you’ll have an idea of what I worked on Saturday night…
I‘ve been a vocal critic of Syracuse Stage’s Producing Artistic Director Timothy Bond over the past few years. […]
Directors considering any play must decide what to emphasize. What are we trying to convey to the audience? If I’d been wrestling with Chapter Two, I’d want to tell a good love story, and nail as many of the jokes as possible. North Country Director Brian Ure apparently had different priorities. Damned if I know what they were.
Victoria Girmonde is radiant and daffy (in that order) as Mz. Grim…. She speaks in a weird breathy singsong that drops at the end of every phrase – it’s a parody of the sexed-up dragon lady…intoxicated with pleasure in her own attractiveness.
What lifts the National Players production is the performers… These are great actors. The part of Atticus, in particular, was well played by Jacob Mundell – dignified yet vital, unshadowed by Gregory Peck’s immortal movie performance.
Maybe the acting was terrible on purpose? Maybe it was a sitcom parody of the “American Republican family?” … (Do characters keep their heads up their asses if there’s no audience to yawn? Apparently they do.)
God of Carnage, as presented by Players of Utica, is a production with more substance to it than it lets on. The relative brevity and smaller cast do not detract from the potency of the piece. On the contrary, it is a tidy package that is full of laughs and real, awkward moments to which we can relate more than we might care to admit.
I was in the middle of a monologue when my lines disappeared, erased from my brain like a computer disc by a magnet. Time stretched and indecision congealed; in that moment I couldn’t have told you the name of the play, let alone what I was supposed to say next.