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Critics Picks for December 3, 2013
- Casey Kramer in the role of The Catwoman, By the Bog of Cats at Theatre Banshee
- Thank goodness she's the antithesis of Julie Newmar's prowling in warm leatherette. Casey Kramer plays the crazy-or-is-she villager in this mysterious Irish retelling of Medea. Kramer's Catwoman is prescient but completely feline in personality and action, gnawing on mice and licking her beverage from a saucer. Too, she's blind, and Kramer makes the blindness perfectly realistic, while Catwoman sees the truth around her. In Kramer's long career of beautifully crafted performances, this one's still a highlight.
- ~ Dany Margolies
And from New York...
- Ian McKellen in the roles of Spooner and Estragon, No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot at the Cort Theater
- In repertory performances of these classics by Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett, Ian McKellen is heartbreakingly pathetic and hysterically funny as a pair of elderly men lost in an existential wasteland. As the impoverished poet Spooner in No Man's Land, he moves like a whipped dog around his alcoholic host and two brutish attendants, yet he maintains Spooner's shattered dignity. In Godot, he delivers a desperate, almost vaudevillian turn as the tramp filling the void with half-remembered jokes and songs while waiting for the never-arriving Godot.
- ~ David Sheward
- Paula Cale in the role of Heather and Vonessa Martin in the role of Corryn in Gidion's Knot, Furious Theater Company at Carrie Hamilton Theatre
- A parent-teacher conference in a fifth-grade classroom. Paula Cale's Heather is the teacher at the end of her rope; Vonessa Martin's Corryn is a mom clearly on edge. Their brilliant performances elevated Johnna Adams's taut two-hander into a riveting and unforgettable event. When either actor appears again, or if the production returns somewhere, don't pass up a chance to be present.
- ~ Bob Verini
- Jack Stehlin in the role of Gustav, Creditors at Odyssey Theatre
- Jack Stehlin does a great "commanding." He does a great "creepy." So, when given a chance to do "commanding" and "creepy" in one production, the combination is stellar. And yet his performance as a wronged husband in August Strindberg's not-oft-produced Creditors includes surprising colors. Is his character coldly manipulative, or is he desperately hiding enormous sadness? Stehlin leaves it to his enraptured audiences to guess.
- ~ Dany Margolies