Richard Connema

Reviews

TOP TEN ACTORS IN REGIONAL DRAMA, COMEDY + TOP TEN ACTORS IN REGIONAL MUSICALS + SHN TOURING COMPANIES

 

THE TOP TEN ACTORS IN REGIONAL DRAMA & COMEDY (In order of their productions)

 

BRIAN MARTIN —-He gave an outstanding performance in Custom Made’s production of Sarah Rulh’s Late: A Cowboy Song” . He showed great depth, sympathy and understanding in the role.

 

GABRIEL MARIN—MIRANDOLINA! MISTRESS OF A TUSCAN INN—Gabe was outstanding as the Cavaliere de Ripafratta, an avowed woman-who would seem to be no suitor at all . Also GABRIEL MANIN was also dynamic as the ego centric-man-child but he did give the character a certain sympathy

 

CARL LUMBLY—LET THERE BE LOVE—AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATRE— Carl was brilliant as the obstinate Caribbean old man. He offered a fine mixture of grumbling belligerence, snarky humor and unspoken feeling .Also CARL LUMBLY—BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY—AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER—Carl once again gave a powerful performance as Carl who skillfully was cantankerous one moment and then a pussycat the next.

 

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DON BONOHUE—ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS—BERKELEY REP—Don was a master clown. His riotous monologues to his audience about his bedeviling hunger and glowing slip-ups were so much funnier with his British accent.

 

SEAN SAN JOSE—THE GOLDEN STATE—PORT ONE: DELANO—MAGIC THEATRE— He gave a dynamic performance as Elias. He rarely lessened the character’s anxious and jumpy movements.

 

RON CAMPBELL—DON QUIXOTE—MARIN SHAKESPEARE—-He gave an outstanding performance as Don Quixote. He is simply amazing as the age Quixano and his limbs are seemingly made of rubber and he moved with unbelievable dexterity.

 

DANNY SCHEIE AND LIAM VINCENT—THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP—CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE COMPANY– There were gave zany off the wall performances Also DANNY SCHEIE—MONSTER-BUILDER—AURORA THEATRE—He was outstanding as the egoist Gregor and he played it to the hilt. He smiles and preens about the stage, his vibrant voice ringing out thru the small intimate theatre

 

 

AIDAN O’REILLY—RICHARD III—MARIN THEATRE—I have seen many performers play this role including the greats. He was magnificent in the role. As soon as he entered the stage with those famous lines “Now is the winter of our discontent” you know you were going to see great acting.

 

ROB AUGUST—A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE—ROLE PLAYERS ENSEMBLE—Rod was Stanley Kowalski, what a performance. He did not channel Marlon Brando. He gave a raw and powerful performance with a mixture of New Orleans slang and his projection was amazing.

 

P.A.COOLEY—THE NANCE—NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER— He was outstanding as the Nance Chauncey. He was pitch perfect as the sad clown and his original way of saying something droll and rejecting it with a grimace was fantastic.

 

THERE WERE MANY EXCELLENT ACTORS BUT THERE WERE TOO NUMERIOUS TO MENTION.

 

THE TOP TEN ACTORS IN REGIONAL  MUSICALS

 

D’ARCY DROLLINGER—SHIT AND CHAMPAGNE—OASIS—he is probably one of the best drags artist in this city and he rocked as Champagne White in this adventure

 

 

SAMUEL FAUSTINE—CANDIDE—LAMPLIGHTERS—I had seen this production oh so many times in London and New York and this was best actors to play the role of Candide.   He played the role sometimes in a comic vein and then morphed beautifully into a more serious mood,  He also had a powerful voice.

 

RYAN DRUMMOND—NICK AND NORA—42ND STREET MOON—Ryan was a worthy successor to William Powell. He had charming vocal cords in his numbers.

JOHAN BROSCOW—MAX UNDERSTOOD—THE PAUL DRESHER ENSAMBLE—He gave a superb performance as a young autistic Max.

 

JOEY MCDANIEL—THE ADDAMS FAMILY—PALO ALTO PLAYERS—Joey was a hoot playing Uncle Fester.  He was just as good as Jackie Coogan who played the uncle in the TV series.

 

KEITH PINTO –WHERE’S CHARLEY—42ND STREET MOON—Keith made the role his own playing Charley aun’t.   He was a hoot.

 

JOHNNY MOREN0—-ADAM’S FAMILY—SAN JOSE STAGE   He was outstanding at Gomez. In fact he was Gomez.

 

KEITH PINTO—COMPANY—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE— After seeing this play dozen times in New York, Los Angeles and London Keith  was one of the best “Bobby’s” I have even seen.

 

JEFFREY BRIAN ADAMS—DOGFLIGHT—SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE—He was excellent as Eddie.  He skillfully played the role of a boy who is not yet a man. He was brash but deeply vulnerable.

 

JASON GRAAE—SCROOGE IN LOVE—42nd Street Moon—Jason was dazzling as Scrooge.  He gave the role a more mellow characterization and he had excellent vocal cords on his songs by Larry Grossman and Kellen Blair.

THERE WERE OTHER FINE SINGERS AND ACTORS BUT THEY WERE TOO NUMEROUS TO MENTION

 

THE TOP TEN TOURING SHOWS

BLITHE SPIRIT—Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati as she vibrates across the stage gives a tour de force of comic acting.

 

BOOK OF MORMAN—SHN– THE BOOK OF MORMON—SHN—I finally saw this touring production.  Yes it was highly entertaining

 

NEWSIES—A dazzling production featuring incredible choreography and breathtaking by a group of young talented singer-dancers.

 

ANNIE—SHN—once again there was a touring company of the musical.  Kids were great in this production

 

MATILDA THE MUSICAL—SHN—This was one of the most joyful, charming and dynamic musicals I have seen all year.

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA—SHN—This re-interpreation was not to my liking.  I prefer the original concept.

 

ONCE—SHN—It did my Irish heart good to hear this beautiful heartfelt musical.

 

IF/THEN—SHN—Lively musical.  Idina Menzel rocked but I I thought Anthony Rapp and James Snyder were excellent.

 

A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER—SHN—a wonderful musical based of “Kind Hearts and Coronets” with Steven Lutvak’s bright and effervescent music that reminded me of Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

 

A CHRISTMAS STORY—SHN—A very charming musical which reminded me of growing up in Ohio

 

 

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