Show reviews by James Proescholdt

We Live Like This

More, please
by James Proescholdt
Rating: 5 kitties
First off, this was great. The modern dance was powerful and engaging; the tap dancing energizing and seemingly effortless. Especially good were the male pas de deux and the big number with 10 female tap dancers (and one awesome kid), as well as the perfect music selections. The male trio and the modern/tap call-and-answer could each have been fleshed out a bit more, but were still quite good. You'll leave this show feeling happy.

The Nosdrahcir Sisters

Unexpectedly touching
by James Proescholdt
Rating: 4 kitties
What starts off as a series of goofy sketches of physical humor and quirky personalities actually develops into a heartwarming show about people's interconnectedness. Both funny and poignant, but be warned: it leaves you with the desire to go grocery shopping dressed as a pirate.

The Gypsy and the General

Inventiveness trumps half-baked plot
by James Proescholdt
Rating: 4 kitties
The plot is half-baked and the show ends pretty abruptly, but the sheer inventiveness of the rest of the production makes up for it. The songs are enjoyable, the staging (and prop work) amazing and the performances fun. The cast has strong singing voices, good dance numbers and an engaging connection to the audience.

Shakespeare's Land of the Dead

Less zombie than you'd think
by James Proescholdt
Rating: 4 kitties
As mentioned, the more knowledge you have of Shakespeare (famous lines from plays, his chronology, the mythology surrounding his authorship), the more you'll enjoy this show. This essentially functions as a satirical meta (and self-referencing) take on Shakespeare, with some zombie stuff thrown in, but not as much as I would've liked. Which is not to say the play isn't meticulously crafted--the lines, jokes and references fly with abandon and were obviously carefully planned out--but I felt it was a bit of false advertising.

Otherwise, it was well performed, written (slow start, but soon picked up) and quite enjoyable. The momentum picked up considerably at the end when famous Shakespearean lines were quoted out of context fast and furious all while the action, such as it was, reached its climax.

Boom

Amazing performer; so-so script
by James Proescholdt
Rating: 3 kitties
It takes an amazing performer to so seamlessly shift from one character to the next, and Andrew Connor fits the bill as he brings 10 characters to life on stage, all with distinct mannerisms and personalities. (Standouts include the bomb-obsessed little girl and the old woman who suddenly declares to her husband, "You're an asshole.")

The script, however, felt lacking. It started a little slowly and took a while before the plot became clear. I would've liked him to explore more about bombs that do more than just explode, and the ending seemed a little abrupt. There was an uneven balance between the serious and sudden bits of humor as well. There is some good satire embedded here, but some re-tooling might be necessary to help it reach the audience better.

Connor functions amazingly as a one-man show, and I'd love to see him something like "I Am My Own Wife" or "Fully Committed." His commitment to this material made it work.

Accidental Dialogue

Preachy, self-indulgant
by James Proescholdt
Rating: 1 kitty
This show perfectly embodies why so many people hate seeing dance shows: the hippy-dippy meditation; the preachy, rote take on the "work is killing your soul" theme; the spoken word music (think of this repeated 20 times in a row: "I've got no time for feelings; I'm going to get myself a gun"); contorted, silently screaming faces aplenty; and NO ACTUAL DANCING, just yogic posing and slow creeping across the floor again and again, ad nauseum. I can respect the physicality it takes to hold such poses, but in no way did they create any sort of meaningful message.