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Hullaboo And The End of Everything (A)

Andrew Wade has written a special show with Hullaboo And The End of Everything. It is a beautiful piece that Wade and fellow cast mate, Bonnie Duff do a great job bringing to life. Their attack on the piece draws the audience in, getting them invested in the lives of Hullaboo (Andrew Wade) and Mikaila (Bonnie Duff) from the start. Wade does a great job of laying out the relationship between the two characters and there are some lovely moments in this opening section of the show displaying Wade and Duff’s chemistry too. Once this core relationship has been established, the show truly hits its stride and it is brilliant. Both Duff and Wade are fully committed to their characters, and it allows them to be free. Wade has some really fun moments with the audience too. There is so much creativity in this show from how they use props to the puppets (designed by Shelby Lyn Lowe). Hullaboo And The End of Everything hits the audience right in the feels. There is joy, some sadness, and odds are it will bring some people back to their childhood.


Amor de Cosmos (A)

Amor de Cosmos is a marathon of a show and Anton Gillis-Adelman is quite simply sensational in it. Gillis-Adelman plays numerous characters, sometimes in quick succession, and each character is fully fleshed out and specific. Director Cody Porter helps Gillis-Adelman’s transitions in between characters through blocking and costume pieces. These subtle moves, coupled with Gillis-Adelman’s attention to detail, really helps the audience know what character is speaking at any given moment. The script is also incredibly sharp; Richard Kelly Kemick has filled it to the brim with snappy dialogue…in iambic pentameter no less. Amor de Cosmos is also a musical, the songs aren’t ground-breaking but they’re darn good showcasing Gillis-Adelman’s incredible voice and Lindsey Walker playing a mean piano. There are very few down moments in Amor de Cosmos, and Gillis-Adelman’s powerhouse performance holds the audience’s attention through all 90 minutes of it.


Juxtapose (B+)

Christina Digiuseppe has choreographed a thought-provoking show. Juxtapose is full of beautiful imagery and skilled dancing. There are times over the course of the piece where the ensemble seems like they should be in sync and are just off. These moments are a small distraction, however, because when the dancers are all moving in perfect synchronization, it is mesmerizing. Digiuseppe’s choreography effectively brings to mind the name of the piece, Juxtapose, over the course of the 60 minutes. She does a tremendous job of creating conflict and juxtaposition amongst the dancers. At times, the dancing combined with the sound design brings the audience into a trance, as they are sucked into the story. This is when Juxtapose is at its best.


A Woman Is… (B)

In A Woman Is… Kiki Moritsugo explores her past, her relationship with her mother, and her present. Moritsugo has had an interesting life to say the least and her mother was a unique individual. These two things lead to an engaging show, as Moritsugo leads the audience through her life, segueing from memory to memory using song and dance. Moritsugo is talented and captivating; her singing is lovely and her dancing (choreographed by Lyn Pilch) adds some pizazz to every song (played by Athena So). Danielle Dreseden and Moritsugo have penned an engaging script, filled with funny and tragic stories. Moritsugo truly connects to the audience as she offers herself to them, not trying to sway their opinion, but rather just drawing them in as she presents her life’s journey. Francisco Torres and Emily Morrison Weeks’ direction isn’t overhanded and this simplicity allows us to focus on Moritsugo and her story, a journey that is worth a listen.


Sophie (B)

When the audience is first introduced to Sophie (played by Valeria Bravo), she is a bundle of joy whisking about stage, tidying up for dinner later that evening. Despite her bustling, Bravo is able to bring a specificity to Sophie’s movements reminiscent of a Stepford wife, poised and elegant. Bravo’s performance is engaging, although at times it can feel one note. Sabrina Merks’ blocking does a great job of keeping Bravo active, which helps the show progress and contributes to the frantic energy of that begins to build in the piece. Merks also uses music, played by Bryn Blackwood, to create catalysts for action – a telephone ringing, a reporter (the audience) asking a question or a chord to set the mood for a certain section. It helps to give Bravo opposition and something to keep her moving. Alondra Vega-Zaldivar’s script is sharp and does a good job of building the tension. The operatic pieces are beautiful, and Bravo is at her most grounded while singing, though the pieces do all sound similar. Sophie provides the audience with some lovely moments and great music, all lead by an engaging performance from Valera Bravo.


The Bridge (C+)

The Bridge is a challenging play. It deals with a great deal of mature topics; self-harm, addiction, suicide, and depression among them. Pesch Nepoose has written a brutally honest show that doesn’t pull any punches. However, The Bridge struggles with its pace. Nepoose flies through the show, breezing through Kara’s intense moments, never truly grounding herself in the piece. Due to this the audience rarely gets the chance to connect with Kara’s struggles and pain. Nepoose gives each additional character the audience meets a specific physicality and voice, yet these characters tend to feel more one note than fully fleshed out people. There are a few moments during the 60 minutes of The Bridge where Nepoose connects with her breath and the audience. In these instances, the show truly comes alive and the stakes land. Ed Roy’s blocking helps to keep Kara trapped, heightening the fact that she is rooted to this bridge until she can decide on how to move forward with her life. The Bridge presents an important story; however, it doesn’t have the impact it could due to how quickly it moves through the story.