Tag: Mark Ulrich

Review: The Audience (TimeLine Theatre)

Janet Ulrich Brooks and Audrey Edwards star as Queen Elizabeth and Young Elizabeth             
         

  

The Audience

Written by Peter Morgan
TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington (map)
thru Nov 12 Dec 3  |  tix: $40-$54  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

August 28, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Winter (Rivendell Theatre)

Barbara E. Robertson and Steve Haggard star as Annis and Evan in Winter, Rivendell Theatre           
      
   

Winter

Written by Julie Jensen
Rivendell Theatre 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru Feb 18  |  tix: $38  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

January 23, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Douglass (the american vicarious)

De'Lon Grant and Carrie Lee Patterson in Douglass, the american vicarious          
      
   
Douglass
 

Written by Thomas Klingenstein
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru Aug 14  |  tix: $25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Assassination Theater (Museum of Broadcast Communications)

Martin Yurek stars in "Assassination Theater" by Hillel Levin, directed by Kevin Christopher Fox. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)           
       
Assassination Theater 

Written by Hillel Levin
at MBC, 360 N. State (map)
thru Jan 31 | tix: $39-$49 | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   

August 20, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: A View from the Bridge (Teatro Vista)

Ayssette Muñoz and Tommy Rivera-Vega star in Teatro Vista's "A View from the Bridge" by Arthur Miller, directed by Ricardo Gutierrez. (photo credit: Joel Maisonet)        
      
A View from the Bridge

Written by Arthur Miller  
Directed by Ricardo Gutierrez
VG Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln (map)
thru May 18  |  tickets: $25-$30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

April 30, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: American Wee-Pie (Rivendell Theatre)

Jane Baxter Miller stars in Rivendell Theatre's "American Wee-Pie" by Lisa Dillman, directed by Megan Carney. (photo credit: Joe Mazza)        
       
American Wee-Pie 

Written by Lisa Dillman
Directed by Megan Carney
at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru Feb 16  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

January 19, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Falling: A Wake (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble)

Jane Baxter Miller (Elsie) and Mark Ulrich (Harold) - Rivendell Theatre, Falling A Wake       
      
Falling: A Wake 

Written by Gary Kirkham  
Directed by Victoria Deiorio
at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru April 14  |  tickets: $28.50   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

March 17, 2012 | 1 Comment More

REVIEW: Mary’s Wedding (Rivendell Theatre)

Even Rivendell can’t save this wedding from mediocrity

 picture by Mark Campbell

Rivendell Theatre presents:

Mary’s Wedding

 

by Stephen Massicotte
directed by
Mark Ulrich 
thru February 20th (ticket info)

review by Paige Listerud

What can be said about a simple and elegant production of a mediocre play? It is like trying to praise the beauty of an exquisitely hand-carved chair that, nevertheless, shows one leg significantly shorter than all the rest. A clunky, fundamental flaw overrides whatever other virtues one could acknowledge about graceful line or sleek finish. So it is with Rivendell’s production of Mary’s Wedding, a one-act dream play about two young Canadians striving to maintain their love affair during the First World War.

photographer: Mark Campbell Stephen Massicotte received Canadian playwriting and literary awards for Mary’s Wedding, recognition that, no doubt, has won its career of productions throughout Canada, the US, and the UK. However, in spite of a sure-handed facility with dramatic structure that blends one character’s storyline with the other—no small talent, to be sure—the play is encumbered by basic shallowness.

First and foremost, the romance between Mary (Cassandra Bissell) and Charles (Shane Kenyon) is the most generic sort. She has recently arrived from England, upper-crustiness intact, and he is a common, horseback-riding, farm boy “colonist”—these stereotypes in the play are as entrenched as anything along the Western Front. What draws these two together remains one of its most underdeveloped features. Sadly, while Bissell and Kenyon’s interactions show freshness and innocence, there is not enough chemistry between them to make up for the text’s deficiencies. Be prepared for tepid barn scenes, “startling” horseback rides, boring tea parties, and a disapproving, upper-crusty mother.

The audience must slog through 30 minutes of that before finally getting on to the war. Once there, creaky exposition comes across more like cliff notes to Canada’s participation in the Great War than any young man’s authentic first person experience. Trenches, lice, poison gas—even “my first kill”—gets ticked off like a laundry list. Throw in Gordan Muriel Flowerdew and the Battle of Moreuil Wood and you’ve got something that will easily serve as a Canadian after-school-special.

Photographer: Mark Campbell Photographer: Mark Campbell
Photographer: Mark Campbell Photographer: Mark Campbell

These are terrible things to say in the face of a cast and crew striving for a balanced, lean, heartfelt, and poetic production. By that, I mean true poetry—not the faux poeticism of repetitions in the text that lose their power to resonate and can, in fact, become as irritating as nails on a blackboard. Mark Ulrich’s directorial choices are, for the most part, clean, spare, and agile, eliciting the play’s dreamlike structure. Shane Kenyon is adeptly profound at portraying Charles’ encroaching war-weariness, while Cassandra Bissell brings the play’s emotional impact home during its final moments. The trouble is in waiting for the play to get there, enduring all its speed bumps along the way.

As a theater company, Rivendell Theatre has moved far beyond works like these. It shows a cohesion and professionalism that has lifted it to a higher level of excellence for small theaters in this city. It can take pride in its achievements and elevate its vision of what it can accomplish in future productions. And it can leave less fulfilling works behind—perhaps even in the dustbin of history.

Rating: ★★½

Scene from Mary’s Wedding on YouTube

January 23, 2010 | 6 Comments More