Tag: Brian Berman

Review: Paper City Phoenix (Tympanic Theatre)

Andrew Bailes, Meredith Ernst, and Stevie Chaddock in Paper City Phoenix, Tympanic           
 

          
Paper City Phoenix

Written by Walt McGough
Alley Stage, 4147 N. Broadway (map)
thru May 8  |  tix: $20  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

April 21, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Brewed (The Ruckus & Tympanic Theatre)

Erin Myers and Charlotte Mae Ellison star in The Ruckus' and Tympanic Theatre's "Brewed" by Scott T. Barsotti, directed by Anna C. Bahow. (photo credit: Gerard Van Halsema)        
       
Brewed 

Written by Scott T. Barsotti
Directed by Anna C. Bahow  
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru March 24  |  tickets: $17   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review 
     

March 13, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Ruby Wilder (Tympanic Theatre)

Paige Sawin (Ruby Wilder) and Alex Kyger (Harper) star in Tympanic Theatre's "Ruby Wilder" by Brooke Allen, directed by James D. Palmer. (photo credit: Kim Schechter)        
       
Ruby Wilder 

Written by Brooke Allen  
Directed by James D. Palmer
at Teatro Luna Studio, 3914 N. Clark (map)
thru Oct 28  |  tickets: $15   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

October 13, 2012 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Muerte Del Maestro (Tympanic Theatre)

   
  

Psychological thriller needs a little more thought

  
  

Tympanic Theatre - Muerte Del Maestro

   
Tympanic Theatre presents
   
Muerte Del Maestro
  
Written by Joshua Mikel
Directed by
Adam Webster
at
the side project, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
through Dec 22   |  tickets: $  |  more info

Reviewed by Keith Ecker 

I’ve got nothing against bad language. I curse constantly, and I’m a fan of David Mamet, who is known for his strings of profanity. What I’m not a fan of is ineffective bad language, language that basically serves as a lazy placeholder for other dialogue that would better suit the situation.

Unfortunately, Joshua Mikel‘s Muerte Del Maestro, produced by Tympanic Theatre, is like a parody of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Gratuitous foul language saturates the dialogue between protagonist Arturo (Chris Acevedo) and best friend/antagonist Kay Kay (Paul E. Martinez) to the point that we are removed from the action of the play. Sure, young men trade playful barbs all the time. But for the love of God, intersperse the four-letter words with some actual conversation.

To the play’s credit, as the action picks up and the psychological thriller begins to unfold, the ample profanity subsides, giving way to more reserved language that Muerte del maestro posterbetter conveys the characters’ emotions and the propels the plot. In fact, it is the play’s second half that earns it the 2.5 rating.

Muerte Del Maestro is about two young bullfighting fans who live in a small town in Spain. When their beloved bullfighter, La Muerte Negra, dies in the middle of a fight, the town hosts an open-call bullfighting championship to find the next great bullfighter. Both Kay Kay and Arturo think they have the skills. However, as the competition nears, Kay Kay’s mental state begins to crack. When he discovers Arturo has been carrying on a secret relationship with his sister, Pumpkin (Carla Alegre), he completely snaps.

None of the acting is remarkable, though Martinez shows some talent playing Kay Kay at his craziest. The most engaging performance is by puppeteers Ellen Girvin and Charlotte Mae Jusino who control a giant paper mache bull and a collection of shadow puppets.

The space is incredibly small and can feel incredibly cramped. Sometimes this works to the play’s benefit. When the large paper mache bull first makes his appearance, he seems massive in these tight quarters. However, it also works to the play’s disadvantage. The amount of unnecessary yelling at the top of the play is headache inducing, the loudness reverberating against the theater’s walls. Once again, like the ample profanities, this too serves to pull the audience out of the play.

Although the script is weak in its current form, it does have potential. The makings of an intriguing psychological thriller are here, and the pacing of Kay Kay’s descent into madness doesn’t feel jarring or forced. Still, I couldn’t help but to wonder why Arturo and Kay Kay were ever friends to begin with. With a few more rewrites, Mikel could have a very good piece of theatre on his hands.

Muerte Del Maestro is a brash play with a lot of attitude but little direction. With some well-directed strong actors and some significant changes to the script, this could be a very good drama. However, in its current form, it’s one step above tolerable.

     
      
Rating: ★★½
   

Cast and Creative Team

     


Chris Acevedo* / Arturo


Carla Alegre / Pumpkin


Paul E. Martinez* / Kay Kay

     


Megan Tabaque / Muerte Negra


Ellen Girvin / Bull


Charlotte Jusino / Bull

     

Joshua Mikel / Playwright

Adam Webster - side project theatre

Adam Webster / Director

 

Production Team:

Stage Manager: Joy Martin; Dramaturg: Aaron C. Thomas; Set Design: Dustin Pettegrew; Light Design: Brian Berman; Costume Design: Crystal Jovae Mazur; Sound Design: Stephen Ptacek; Puppet Design: Lizi Breit; Photos: Sergio Soltero

        
        
December 4, 2010 | 0 Comments More