Review Roundup: An Iliad, On The Town, Henry V, And More

Roundup of reviews for shows from Annex, Seattle Shakespeare, WET and everything else!

  • An Iliad (Seattle Repertory Theatre) – This solo show of stories from The Iliad (co-created by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson) was recognized most for actor Hans Altwies’ strong performance.  “Altwies manages his character’s mercurial turns with grace and ease—he’s an unusually engaged actor who thinks through every word and holds each beat with a firm emotional and physical grip.” from The Stranger’s Brendan Kiley.  From The SunBreak: “Altwies is hard to take your eyes off of, for the full 90 minutes.”  Not as many were enamored with the story; The Seattle Weekly says “A passive, forlorn depressiveness characterizes too much of An Iliad” and “I don’t go to theater to be lectured.”

  • Henry V (Seattle Shakespeare Company) – Critics were not fond of this Mad Men-esque revisioning of Shakespeare’s war story.  Seattle Times bemoans “If only the muses had turned up the heat on this often listless Seattle Shakes production” while Seattle Gay Scene does not fault the actors, saying “It’s not really fair to blame the actors when the direction of this play is so bland and lifeless.”  Broadway Hour Seattle defends the play, saying “(Russ) Banham’s direction, every actor’s skill, and the top-notch design and production team all support the audience’s emotional and active interest, and challenges the individual journey through the tragedy of war and, ultimately, personal life decisions.”
  • On the Town (5th Avenue Theatre)Seattle Gay News sums up the feelings of this classic musical: “Only a handful of shows can survive 60 years of performances and still be of interest to the public. On the Town is one of those shows.”  Broadway Hour Seattle had high praise, calling it “one of the best musicals that the 5th Avenue Theater has given to the theater scene of Seattle. ”  While The Seattle Times enjoyed the song and dance, they did feel “the comedy was stale.”
  • RoboPop! (Washington Ensemble Theatre) – This trippy, short, no-dialogue ensemble-generated show got people talking.  Seattle Weekly asks “who but WET would challenge themselves, or their audience, with something as devilishly dark, low-tech, and delicious as this?”  and The Stranger calls it “ fast, light entertainment.”  The SunBreak was a bit skeptical: “an ADHD hour of pop culture allusions and appropriations and topical signifiers (iPods, war, gay marriage) had tired me out.”
  • True West (Balagan Theatre) – Despite almost being hit with a mis-thrown plate, Seattle Gay Scene still enjoyed parts of this Sam Shephard play, saying “”the considerable strengths of Act II had compensated for the weakness of Act I.”  Seattle Theater Examiner enjoyed it all, calling the show “tight, well acted, impressively staged, and enjoyable.”
  • When I Come to My Senses, I’m Alive! (Annex Theatre) – Scotto Moore’s latest sci-fi adventure is out at The Annex, and one reviewer feels like he had seen this plot before: “(the play is) more like a ScyFy movie: “Buffy 2010: The Cyber Slayer”…and, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”  (Seattle Gay Scene) Meanwhile, Jerry Kraft at SeattleActor gave it 4 stars, calling it “the best kind of science fiction, the kind where speculation about the future feels like something you could wake up to tomorrow morning.”

Also reviews for: The Importance of Being Earnest (Paradise Theatre), and The Seagull (Key City Public).  Check it all out on Seattle Performs!

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