Reviews for Different Stages Performances

Review: A Doll's House by Different Stages

Review: A Doll's House by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on July 02, 2019

Hendrik Ibsen, that canny old plot spinner, packs a lot into his story, and Catherine Williams brings protagonist Nora Helmer vividly alive.

 

Attending The Doll's House by Ibsen by Austin's Different Stages, I couldn't help but think of the American music hall ballad She's Only A Bird in a Gilded Cage, a sentimental portrait of a woman who married for money, not for love. Ann Marie Gordon's set in the Trinity Street Players' black box theatre subtly suggests just such a cage.

 

At the center of this famously intimate space ...

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Review: The Book Club Play by Different Stages

Review: The Book Club Play by Different Stages

by Amanda Paz
Published on April 10, 2019

The spectacular chemistry evident among the five actors in THE BOOK CLUB PLAY brought the characters to life. Standouts were Kelsey Mazak and Makayla Perez.

Secrets and gossip are part of having friends. There may come a time too much is revealed and no one can take it anymore.

 

In The Book Club Play Karen Zacarias introduces five characters who come together to form a book club. The revelation of their different personalities keeps the club continually interesting. Ana the club leader is a control freak trying to hide it, and Robert is a washed-up college quarterback who doesn’t ...

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Review: The Magic Fire by Different Stages

Review: The Magic Fire by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 19, 2019

The script of THE MAGIC FIRE is a gem, rich of character and powerfully evocative, presented as a memory play by the narrator Lise, unashamedly an avatar of the playwright herself.

Norman Blumensaadt's Different Stages, active in Austin since 1981, isn't a repertory company in the strict sense. It's a creation of Norman's initiative and vast knowledge of mostly twentieth-century theatre literature of the U.S. and U.K., homeless and itinerant, beloved of a small but appreciative clan of actors and theatre goers. Different Stages offers its aficionados evenings of theatre they're unlikely to get elsewhere. Their current production, Lilian ...

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Review: When We Are Married by Different Stages

Review: When We Are Married by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 06, 2018

Because it's a well-made play, propriety is restored. And that's too bad, for the sharp truth-telling of comedy is covered over by a return to an only slightly altered status quo.

Different Stages' announcement of When We Are Married set up a bothersome tugging on my memory. Hadn't they done this piece before? An English comedy - on the theme of marriage - set in the very early 20th century - by J.B. Priestly? I've climbed aboard artistic director Norman Blumensaadt's literary-artistic time machine so often -- 32 times to date -- that I couldn't be sure. So of course I went checking.

 

And in ...

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Review: A Member of the Wedding by Different Stages

Review: A Member of the Wedding by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 29, 2017

There’s a lot of motion in the Adams kitchen as Frankie speculates, pouts, plays and proclaims, but the movement of A MEMBER OF THE WEDDING is gradual, deliberate and short. It's a three-act, three-person play with a twelve-person cast.

This is a land with which we’re familiar: the small-town South of the first half of the twentieth century, where life was predictable, stratified and oh so boring for smart children. That was before television, mass culture, globalization and the Internet struck their intrusive noses under the tent. Truman Capote captured that world; so did Flannery O’Connor; likewise with Carson McCullers. William Faulkner did, too, though he dived far deeper and built a world beyond ...

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Review: Mrs. Mannerly by Different Stages

Review: Mrs. Mannerly by Different Stages

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 04, 2017

Jennifer Underwood and Suzanne Balling combine to produce theatre to transform the Santa Cruz Center not only into Steubenville, Ohio, in the 1960s but also into a magic lantern of memory.

Jennifer Underwood and Suzanne Balling have worked together on stage before, perhaps most memorably in the 2009 Different Stages production of Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon which brought Balling a B. Iden Payne award as supporting actor in a comedy. That production, like the current staging of Mrs. Mannerly by Jeffrey Hatcher, was directed by Karen Jambon. Both works are lightly ironic comedies; both show these two very familiar and much applauded Austin actresses to ...

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