Reviews for Theatre en Bloc Performances

Review: Dance Nation by Theatre en Bloc

Review: Dance Nation by Theatre en Bloc

by David Glen Robinson
Published on August 31, 2019

DANCE NATION is cruel to its subject matter, with a subtheme so strong the work could play as a new Halloween horror show. Many won't "get it" but they'll be entertained by wild and risqué humor. It's not a "woke" play.

 

Dance Nation plays in the same league as Heathers, Pitch Perfect, and Bring It On. The show competes well with them, offering a new set of jokes and gags about teens and sub-teens with team performance circuit dementia, and about their obsessive moms living through their offspring. The complex play, however, is not a one-trick pony, neigh!, but multifaceted and multilayered, with relatively unresolved subplots. Surprises and shocking scenes abound throughout. About two-thirds of ...

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Review: Severe Weather Warning, A Wild Comedy by Theatre en Bloc

Review: Severe Weather Warning, A Wild Comedy by Theatre en Bloc

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 30, 2019

With the heart-to-heart exchanges, partying, group dynamics and discoveries, Elizabeth Doss's SEVERE WEATHER WARNING entertains but at the same time examines the dilemmas in this society of being a grown but not yet middle-aged woman.

 

Elizabeth Doss's Severe Weather Warning uses the trope of friends meeting for an annual reunion to plant us at a decisive date in the friendships of these four women, a decade and a half after they attended school together. It's a familiar plot device -- used, for example, by Hope, Jones and Wooten in their 2008 The Dixie Swim Club, a community theatre favorite, or in the 1978 Same Time, Next Year by ...

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Review: Until The Flood by Theatre en Bloc

Review: Until The Flood by Theatre en Bloc

by Michael Meigs
Published on November 12, 2018

There's no artful conclusion or lesson in UNTIL THE FLOOD, unless it's the appeal simply to listen and understand the depth of feeling, the constraints, and the rigidities that underlie the insoluble problems of race, class, territory and perception.

We lost the first weekend of Until The Flood by Dael Orlandersmith (Donna Brown) due to illness, so this sensitive re-creation by Florinda Bryant was only briefly on view at the Vortex in Austin. Two weekends seemed insufficient, for this was an event that required thought to digest and would have benefited from more word of mouth.

 

The Saint Louis Repertory commissioned the playwright to create a work connected with the August 19, 2014 shooting ...

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Review: Cry It Out by Theatre en Bloc

Review: Cry It Out by Theatre en Bloc

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on May 05, 2018

Theatre en Bloc consistently illustrates a ‘don’t back down’ ethos in all their productions, and CRY IT OUT is another great example of this. For those who like theatre that inspires conversation as well as entertains: this production is for you.

“We're connected, as women. It's like a spiderweb. If one part of that web vibrates, if there's trouble, we all know it, but most of the time we're just too scared, or selfish, or insecure to help. But if we don't help each other, who will?”

-Sarah Addison Allen

 

When one is trying to capture the spirit of a play in a review it is convenient to look ...

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Review #3 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

Review #3 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

by Michael Meigs
Published on March 30, 2018

In this play those who cling to the gun either murder without apology or face death by the gun, as in the endless horror of waiting in the final scene.

 

People all around us were laughing, as if somehow they were watching a completely different performance from the one being presented to us.

 

But it wasn’t, of course. Already during the first act of The Secretary at the Rollins Theatre last Saturday night I was wondering how our perceptions were differing from the people that Theatre en Bloc was successfully entertaining.

 

At the intermission Karen looked at me, misery in her eyes ...

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Review #2 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

Review #2 of 3: THE SECRETARY by Theatre en Bloc

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on March 27, 2018

Some supernatural things may be happening -- which is less important than the fact that at least half of the characters believe down to their immortal souls that they are.

 

                    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Dick

 

The Secretary is a multi-thematic play about the inter-relations of people working together, a local business’s communal responsibility, abusive marriages, crime and most significantly gun control.  While there are many hot button topics bandied about, the play is thoroughly enjoyable thanks to a constant ...

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