STEPHANIE SCHWARTZ @ the Midtown International Theater Festival
Review: GOD SPELLED BACKWARDS
Written and performed by Marjorie Conn
GOD SPELLED BACKWARDS is a delightful entertainment. Conn tells stories with the help of her (live) dog, Dreidel, two dog puppets and a paper mache greyhound hat. She talks, sings and recites haiku.
Some of the stories and poems are sad, most are adorable and uplifting; all are autobiographical. She rescues handicapped and special needs dogs.
Conn is a skilled storyteller, ventriloquist and charming performer. The animals are cute and she integrates all of them, live and otherwise, into the narrative. They do not upstage her.
Review: OVERLOOKING THE SHADOWS
Written and Directed by Renee McNeil
Performed at the Spring Midtown International Theatre Festival
OVERLOOKING THE THE SHADOWS is a well-written and suspenseful play on the order of a Hitchcock thriller. The program notes state: “a writer gets a visit from a stranger who has secrets of himself and her deceased husband.” And so it is.
The casting was excellent. The actors, Justine H. Hall and Sean Kane worked beautifully together and the mystery held my attention throughout the performance. Just as I thought I had a new insight into the play, there was a new sound which made me reconsider.
In all, the writing, directing and acting provided good, enjoyable theater.
Review: YOU BELONG WITH ME BECAUSE YOU’RE SO VAIN
Written by Heider Tunarosa
Directed by Emily Dalton
At the beginning of the play we learn that Camillo Cortes Baxter, played by Mr. Tunarosa (with a heavy Spanish accent) has composed a hit song with his lyricist and roommate Leny, played by Enrique Hull. He is trying to compose his next hit, seeking inspiration from Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, nicely played by Sonya Higgins and Ty Baumann. They are “imaginary” characters, as is Alfred, his former lover, played nicely by James Clement, although I found his silent presence on the stage at the beginning of the play to be distracting.
The plot evolves when Sam, played by Fecundo Rodriguez, comes to have sex with Leny and later becomes Baxter’s lover and partner. Sam’s opening lines were muffled by the scarf he was wearing at his entrance.
Some of the actors seemed tentative with their lines and actions.