Here are this week’s Scene Stealers honorees, Congrats to all of you!
Natascia Diaz Performing ‘All That Jizz’ in The Summer Hummer
“One of the highlights of the evening was Natascia Diaz performing a “MadLibs” version of Chicago’s “All That Jazz,” which was renamed “All That Jizz.” The segment began by encouraging audience members to contribute words in categories like “favorite sex toy” and “things you cry out during climax.” There was hardly a straight face in the audience as Diaz delivered what was an unforgettable rendition of the Broadway hit.”-Derek Mong
“As the famed artist Georges Seurat, Claybourne Elder has the difficult job of making a very introspective and methodical character interesting to the audience. Elder delivers an astute performance and he conveys all the inner torments, anguish and obsessions which affect the creative process. Elder has a wonderfully caressing tone to his voice and he displays it to full advantage in his scene-stealing solo “Finishing the Hat.” Elder’s solo becomes a vocal poem of artistic commitment in the face of criticism from conformist art critics, small-minded parochial types and, even, his mistress.”-David Friscic
“All the obsession and intensity of Seurat is shown most powerfully in the two stunning duets with his beloved mistress Dot (Brynn O’Malley), namely, “We Do Not Belong Together” and “Move On.” Elder disarms one with his placid tones only to advance into full-throttle belting as each song develops more emotional complexity. As is often the case with Sondheim, alternately contemplative and more soaring songs are creatively interposed throughout the storyline to show the psychological states of the characters.”-David Friscic
Josh Groban singing a Stephen Sondheim Medley with Wolf Trap Orchestra at Wolf Trap on August 19, 2014
“His best selection of the evening, however, was a new Stephen Sondheim medley, featuring songs from Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Everything just clicked into place—the medley fit his voice perfectly and the performance felt especially intimate.”-Teal Ruland
Corey Hennessey as U.S. Major George Armistead and Moira Horowitz as Mary Pickersgill, singing “Big Ass Flag” in 1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera
“OK, maybe they did get the catchiest song in the show—“Big Ass Flag”—the tune you leave the theater humming (and the one that resumes like an earworm). But they sang the bloody hell out of it. Their performance in the 2013 Capital Fringe hit run stopped the show, and they did so again in this even better revival. The song is based on a quirky fact: In 1814 when the Brits had burned down a tenth of DC and were about to sack Baltimore, U.S. Major George Armistead demanded that a huge stars and stripes fly over his garrison to send a message of invincibility to the enemy. Armistead’s egoistic lyrics are a giggle (“Our boys just can’t lose if our flag is sufficiently huge / Bigger is better is what I say”). He asks local seamstress Mary Pickersgill for “something extra-large in red, white and blue.” She calls him on his hubris (“Do we need such a big ass flag? / What’s the deal with this big ass flag? / Can you fend the British off with a giant piece of cloth?”).
Corey Hennessey as Armistead and Moira Horowitz as Pickersgill have such great pipes and randy chemistry that together they pumped up the pulse of the whole house. Plus their dirty dancing on the “bigger is better” double-entendre was to swoon for.”-John Stoltenberg.
Ron Litman Delivering a 30-Minute Monologue in Shining City at Scena Theatre
“And finally, we get to Ron Litman (John), who plays the first client of this fledgling healer. Ron was amazing. I would watch him read the dictionary, and be happy to do so. His ability to turn a line into a story is what made this play shine for me. And I must applaud his ability to maintain energy and excitement for the entirety of his 30-minute monologue. Yes, there is a 30 minute monologue (Conor McPherson obviously hates actors). And he does it beautifully. Kudos!!”-Cyle Durkee
Frank Mancino (Toby Belch) and Hannah Sweet (Maria) planning Malvonio’s downfall in Twelfth Night at Theatre Prometheus
“Then we have the saviours of the show – Frank Mancino and Hannah Sweet (Toby Belch and Maria, respectively), gave performances that were nuanced, hilarious, emotional, and engaging. They had a mastery of the language (which is incredibly important in Shakespeare that allowed them to bring 400 year old words into the 21st century without anything lost in translation. Watching the two of them plan and execute Malvolio’s (Richard Fiske) downfall (in Act II Scene V) was a sheer delight.”-Cyle Durkee
“The relationship between Toby and Maria goes from scolding and tiptoeing around a melancholy lady of the house to pulling out all the stops–everyone character in the show has a risk to take regarding their social status, and I love that Maria gets to shake off her duty, let her wit fly, and she becomes “one of the boys” for once! Seeing The two of them plot together is great, not only because Shakespeare wrote some hilarious material for them, but because it shows why they make sense as a couple and why–regardless of social status–they get married by the end of the show.”-Hannah Sweet
Brian Mellen as Jesus and Frank Antonio as John the Baptist Singing “All for the Best’ in Godspell at Padadena Playhouse
“Mellen and Antonio stop the show by combining their talents in a syncopated soft-shoe number, “All for the Best,” with patter reminiscent of the comedy teams of the past. Mellen sings in traditional style, then Antonio does a fast-talking piece, then they repeat their parts simultaneously. It’s very impressive and not to be missed! It’s a real Scene Stealer.” Paul Bessel and Barbara Braswell
Robert Pike as Chuck Biggs Explaining His Relationship with Agnes in She Kills Monsters at Rorschach Theatre.
“Meanwhile, Robert Pike is excellent in his portrayal of Chuck Biggs, the quintessential D&D devotee. In a hilarious exchange between Chuck and Miles (Joshua Dick), Agnes’ long time boyfriend , Pike explains that there is no funny business going on between him and Agnes (Maggie Erwin) – he is simply her dungeon master who makes her play “weird games”, and not to worry because she’s getting really into it. As Miles got closer and closer to decking Chuck in the mouth, the audience was in stitches.”-Michael Poandl.
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