Selected comments left by Nominators in the 2017-2018 Season. Leaving comments is optional; the number of comments is not indicative of overall Nominator scoring. Please report any errors to shane@gregoryawards.org.

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Number of entries: 3301
Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Hedwig going into the audience and completely improvising given who and what was presented to her. Awesome.


 Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Hedwigs wig changes were so well timed and helped the character move through the story.


 Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The despair of Hedwig when she breaks down yet accepts herself and Yitzhak's arrival in drag and singing in he finale.


 Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The first ballad when Hedwig sat on the stairs and poured his heart out. Emotional and beautiful.


 Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The lighting change after Origin of Love. The way the red light flooded the stage immediately following this song brought a palpable feeling of depth, warmth, and an ever so slight hint at danger and heartbreak. Absolutely breathtaking.


 Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The very end look that Hedwig gives before exiting the stage was the absolute best moment of the show. It made me cry.


 Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

They did an encore, like it was a rock n roll show. They'd already spent their energy and they came up with more--it was incredible.


 Defining Moment Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

This play captured my attention from beginning to end and was almost a flawless production. I loved Hedwig's first entrance dressed in the American flag and I also loved that he interacted with the audience.


 Nicholas Japaul Bernard (Hedwig) Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Fantastic as Hedwig. Funny at all the right moments, and left me completely heartbroken in the end.


 Nicholas Japaul Bernard (Hedwig) Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

This and Hamlet is a beast. Anyone who can tackle it like Nicholas deserves all of the praise!


 Other/Final Comments Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

THE PIANIST WAS AMAZING. SO engaged. SO present. He was another part of the show and added SO MUCH to it. I LOVED watching him.)


 Comments (Actors) Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Darrius Willrich on the piano was incredible (the audience LOVED HIM) and was the perfect partner on stage for "Billie Holiday" to interact with and keep her story and performance real.


 Comments (Costume) Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

"Billie Holiday's" dress was beautiful and looked exactly right on stage for her performance.


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

All the elements of this production worked seamlessly together to make us feel as if we were back fifty years in a jazz club in Philly.


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Before Lady Day (Felicia Loud) stepped down off the stage into the cabaret audience, she looked to a man sitting near to her and exclaimed, "Could you help a b**ch down, please?" After the elegance of her singing, poise and command in her stage presence, she undercut herself with a self-deprecating word, but never stopped letting the audience know she was the one in control.


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Dog on the stage


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Heroin Passout Nod


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Immediately upon entering the theater, the audience was transported to a nightclub from a bygone era, with black and white head-shots of previous performers on the walls (and very well lit, I might add, so each one showed individually in the hazy dim light throughout the show), cabaret tables clustered below the stage, and lamp shades hanging down from the ceiling in the whole theater which tied it in with the stage and a similar lamp on the nightclub's front desk. Finished with a beautiful piano and an old-fashioned microphone - it was perfect!


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The closing lighting shift. Brought full circle the struggles with which Billie lived, loved, performed, and died.

Simply staged, beautifully portrayed.


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The first moment Lady Day sang!


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The scene that greets you, the moment you walk in, is of an intimate nightclub, with tight lighting, and an atmosphere thick with cigarette smoke.


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

There was a moment where Billie was sharing a more light hearted memory and the audience was laughing and we were with her. When she finished her story there was a moment of transition from joyful memory to pain present and longing that just kicked me in the guts.


 Felicia Loud (Billie Holiday) Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

A very strong performance - 90 minutes of almost non-stop acting and singing in character, which Felicia did with the appearance of ease.


 Felicia Loud (Billie Holiday) Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

She had such a raw energy and is clearly an expert in her craft. The detail and dedication she put into being Billie Holiday was mesmerizing.


 Felicia Loud (Billie Holiday) Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The first time I heard a Billie Holiday recording I was taken by the deep sound of grief in her music. She sings with a tear in her voice. Ms Loud's performance was flawless in that it captured perfectly Holiday's sound of tears. I thought Ms Loud's performance was flawless.


 Other/Final Comments Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Attending this play felt just like actually being at a performance by Billie Holiday in a small club back in the day.


 Other/Final Comments Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Felicia nailed Billie Holiday, spot on.

It took me a minute to settle into the differences between her voice and her embouchure, but once I closed my eyes, Billie shone through.

Well done, AW, really well done.


 Ann Cornelius (Sylvie) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Loved her passion as an activist, and she could really twirl a tumbleweed! Great commitment and presence onstage.


 Ann Cornelius (Sylvie) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Such a passionate, fierce, funny performance. A delight. I wanted to be her friend!


 Comments (Choreography) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Between the burlesque dances and the lazzi, this show was choreographed beautifully. I also have to mention the little dance in Chauncey's apartment, which was delightfully understated and deepened the world of the play outside the doors of the burlesque house.


 Comments (Costume) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Really gorgeously appropriate. Kudos on the quick changes, they were obviously numerous but absolutely seamless.


 Comments (Costume) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

That checkered suit! Actually everything that Efram wore was spot-on. The stocking were wonderfully seamed, Ned's beige suit was a stand-out. Each piece was nicely conceived and detailed.


 Comments (Direction) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Actors appeared comfortable with one another. Great pacing, nice moments, full and inventive use of the stage.


 Comments (Ensemble) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Incredible ensemble work on every single level.


 Comments (Ensemble) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The cast worked well as a group, listening attentively, giving and taking, and having fun together.


 Comments (Lighting) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Absolute perfection. From the floor to the tables to ceiling and everything in between, this was an amazing design. Brought the audience in, enveloping us in light from the top of our heads to the tips of our feet. A delightful design that was everything it should be. Not a single bulb out. Just wow.


 Comments (Lighting) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Managed to make distinct areas in a relatively small space.


 Comments (Lighting) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Seamless. Brought us between locations with ease, and immersed us fully in the mood of each world.


 Comments (Overall Production) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I was moved deeply, which was unexpected with the fun and gaiety of the beginning. There was a wonderful energy and flash that settled into a powerful message.


 Comments (Scenic) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Wonderful attention to detail. The scrollwork on the floor was spot-on, the bathtub was a delight, and the scene changes appeared to be a breeze thanks to well-thought-out mobility. The cabaret seating was perfect as well.


 Comments (Sound/Music) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The thunder and spurs stood out for me (especially the timing on the spurs!)


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

End of Act 1 when Chauncey goes off-script then directly addresses the vice cop. It's a great shift.


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I loved the lighting effects in the opening scene and the still tableau in the cafe as the story came to life.


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Loved the moment when the lights came up on the monster scene: the mad scientist, the dangling cords, the crazy lights, the spooky sound effects! Delicious!


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Really sincere performances throughout. Drew Highlands saying "this must be what heaven is like"


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The 2AM confrontation between Ned and Chauncey was gripping. Watching Ned's true love battle with Chauncey's self-loathing was moving, intense, and entirely believable.


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The bit where Ned get's dragged into the performance for the first time was this piece at its best


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The break up scene was well shifted from the lighthearted nature of previous scenes. It made it especially heartbreaking in contrast.


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The look on Chauncey's face when the musicians on the radio kept playing and his friends realized no one was going to strike with them. They were so hopeful, and their hopes came crashing down. His expression, exhausted resignation to the laugh-ability of their hope, told us everything we needed to know about him AND them.


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The use of the different spaces on the stage during transitions. Having the Burlesque dancers performing as active transitions was delightful because it kept the audience engaged with every moment of the piece.


 Defining Moment Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When Ned told Chauncey he loved him. Such vulnerability, honesty and power in that moment.


 Diana Cameron McQueen (Joan) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Fun to watch her having fun! Great energy!


 Drew Highlands (Ned) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Great performance. In many ways Ned is the straight man (no pun intended), but Drew was so smart to make this role just as fun in its own earnest, joyful way.


 Drew Highlands (Ned) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Magnetic, focused, and deeply moving. One of the finest performances I've seen this year (and it's mid-November). I can't wait to see this actor again.


 Drew Highlands (Ned) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Scarily good. Always in the moment, beautiful sensitivity, played that arc to the fullest. You're really rooting for him, to the end and beyond. Moments with Chauncey were my favorite, but really, he has a special poignancy that comes through wherever he is.


 Jasmine Jean Sim (Carmen) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

A spunky, delightful actor. Lovely singing voice.


 Jasmine Jean Sim (Carmen) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Beautiful work.


 Jeff Steitzer (Efram) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The embodiment of Efram. You know an actor's good when you forget they're acting. Steitzer was outstanding in every scene, in every moment.


 Other/Final Comments Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Beautiful, thought-provoking, ultimately powerful and timely.


 Richard Gray (Chauncey Miles) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Genius. So real and honest, yet in a role that begs for broad colors and exaggerated comedy. He delivers on both fronts, makes us laugh and breaks our hearts on the turn of a dime.


 Richard Gray (Chauncey Miles) Nance, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Loved the musical numbers. Nice depth and carried the show well.


 Comments (Costume) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Good distinction between the classes. Dora's dress was absolutely delightful. Like a strawberry cupcake! Good highly wearable lived in looking clothes for Minnie, Dido and Grace. The rabbit's outfit was superb and excellently tailored.


 Comments (Direction) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Brandon J. Simmons is entirely, completely, fully a genius and his work consistently demonstrates that. Our theatre community is lucky to have such constant access to his brilliance.


 Comments (Direction) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Excellent direction of a complex narrative


 Comments (Direction) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The decision to go full throttle with the melodrama was so well thought out and executed. Amid all the frivolity and playacting, when I was meant to feel a real emotion, it was so visceral.


 Comments (Ensemble) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Even with some actors playing multiple characters, all the relationships were distinct and fully formed. Everyone was committed.


 Comments (Ensemble) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Flawless casting. The best ensemble work I have yet to see in Seattle theatre. The exact right balance of provocative and soul stirring that left me as an audience member transformed.


 Comments (Lighting) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

This was some of my favorite lighting I have seen all year. The way the lighting drew my attention where it was supposed to go was subtle and effective.


 Comments (Scenic) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

beautiful design well executed


 Comments (Scenic) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Incredibly intriguing use of white accents among an all black set. The rolling cotton fields and cotton explosion at the end, the white rope, the clock amist a black backdrop.


 Comments (Scenic) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

THE EXPLOSION WAS SO GOOD!!!! WOW


 Comments (Sound/Music) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Nice seamless cues that greatly enhanced the plot and special effects.


 Dedra Woods (Minnie) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

She and Jehan worked so well together and that was important. Yet she was her own character and member of this storytelling.


 Dedra Woods (Minnie) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Wonderful fiery embodiment. A joy to witness.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I had so many feelings. I was fully immersed and expecting a satisfying emotional payoff at the climax of the melodrama only to be socked in the gut with the playwright's cries for help that cut through all the layers of abstraction that had been built up during the previous acts. The audience was expecting righteous justice but in a flash it turned into the frightening precursor to another photograph of a slave lynching.

On the flip side, I could watch Dido and Minnie's "Real House Slaves of the Planatation" all day. They were sublime.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Of course, the wall falling down should be it but I think Lamar's first scene was more of a defining moment.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Opening monologue and overhead photograph


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The eerie moments with the rabbit in red light


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The entire Prologue was hilarious


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The flawless and incredible inventive stage combat and fight choreography. The George and M'Closky fight by Lamar Legend and supported by the ensemble was singular.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The moment when M'Closkey killed Paul, and the rain of red sand fell onto Paul's prone body, my heart dropped into my stomach. The moments of tragedy (the undercurrent of tragedy, really) were made more soul-wrenching and powerful by the true comedy running through the show.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The moment where the rabbit first pops out of the set and begins to enter the narrative. LOVED the surrealism


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The projection of lynching victims was so powerful and punched me in the gut emotionally. I had forgotten it occurred and had no idea where the scene was going when the projector came on. The play even tells the audience what it is going to do in the course of that scene (moral reckoning followed by spectacle) and I was still caught off guard.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The sudden explosion of the set was certainly jarring and left me awestruck.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The whole thing.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When Lamar came out on stage in just his underwear.


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When Zoe is outed as the Octaroon


 Defining Moment Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When Zoe turned to the side to intimate that, if there was one thing her race was good at, it was suffering. Like so much in this production, it revealed the powerful, deeper message as well as the risk of numbing it through melodrama.


 Heather Persinger (Dora) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Heather did a wonderful job embodying the comical and grotesque privilege and humor of the character Dora.


 Jazmyne Waters (Grace) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Wonderful swings from rage to apathy.


 Jehan Osanyin (Dido) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

OK- I just want to know her- her character, her ...she was real when she was "performing" for the white folk and real when she was being...real. Grounded and honest performance.


 Jehan Osanyin (Dido) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

What a wonderful performance! The switch between who Dido is to white people and who she is to people of color was profound. Hilarious I loved her slave auction walk and some deeply surprising comical moments that made me laugh out loud.


 Jessi Little (Zoe) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Her wound and pride were evident. Wonderful moment to moment work.


 Jessi Little (Zoe) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Some deeply beautiful, poignant and powerful moments on stage. Beautiful, powerful and vulnerable in her monologues.


 Jose Abaoag (Assistant/Pete/Paul) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

It could so easily go over into farce, but within every moment there was truth and the poignant suffering of the heart of every character underneath. An incredible physical performance.


 Jose Abaoag (Assistant/Pete/Paul) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Jose is one of the most sneakily versatile actors working in Seattle.


 Lamar Legend (BJJ/George/M'Closky) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Exceptional movement skills and complete embodiment. It is a privilege to watch Lamar perform.


 Lamar Legend (BJJ/George/M'Closky) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Great performance including physical and vocal characterizations with comments on the characters he was playing as he played them- so layered!


 Mike Dooly (Playwright/Wahnotee/Lafouche) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

A powerful weeping scene over Wahnotee's body.


 Mike Dooly (Playwright/Wahnotee/Lafouche) Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

He played his roles without comment- I believed his "Indian" as well as his other characters. Nuanced and powerful


 Other/Final Comments Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Brer Rabbit is a much less acknowledged, though central figure in this play. Both Brandons did amazing work with this character.


 Other/Final Comments Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I have to admit, at first, with all the social justice issues we face and tackle every day, I wasn't sure what to make of this play. Is it's creation and presentation ok?

But the more I thought about it, the more I respect, appreciate and found myself praising it. It addresses complex, controversial topics in a way that conveyed that they understood the weight of the topic and weren't presenting it in a light hearted manner. The ensemble and designers (and all other crew) presented a super strong, creative, engaging, captivating, meaningful experience, and I am grateful for having gotten to participate.


 Other/Final Comments Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

This play was honest. It was brutal in its honesty and I loved it. Clearly not for everyone, but it still has me thinking.


 Other/Final Comments Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

This show is what I hope for and dream of when I go to see live theatre.


 Other/Final Comments Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

THIS SHOW WAS SO SO SO SO GOOD. OH MY GOD!!!!!


 Chris Quilici (D & D's Brother) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Chris' sweet awkwardness was touching to watch!


 Chris Quilici (D & D's Brother) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Strong authentic performance throughout. Very unexpected, but wonderfully.


 Comments (Costume) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Modern styling. I have never seen a show where modern costume design was SO important in a play. It was just so important to the plot twist. Plus, the difference between Dirty Girl and Debbie was shocking.


 Comments (Direction) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

There was a lot going on, especially with emotional weight on the characters. They held their own and a busy stage or excess props would have ruined it. The play was minimalist but impactful. The actors had the right pacing for the right moments. The speech was quick for a sense of urgency and slow to when thoughts should linger just a bit longer. Often the absence of dialogue was more important than the actual dialogue. You could see the angst on the actors' faces.


 Comments (Ensemble) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Fabulous job. They really flowed off of one another really well, especially the actresses playing M and L.


 Comments (Lighting) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Well done.


 Comments (Scenic) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Minimalist. Only had what was needed. The show didn't require much scenery as the actors carried the weight of the play. It also allowed the single feather to stand out even more.


 Comments (Sound/Music) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Nice additions. The rat sounds were creepy.


 Corinne Magin (M) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Strong performance. She felt very authentic in her role. She was so committed.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Chris Quilici's performance was stand out - his death scene in particular was a highlight of the show.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Chris Quilici's ridiculously charismatic performance made it near impossible to root against him, setting up a beautiful conflict within me as I watched the play: It's delightfully naughty to root for the anti-heroines, but how can I possibly root against this lovable guy?

Huge kudos, as well, to Director Sara Porkalob for helping all of her (young) actors produce such strong, solid, professional performances.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Dirty Girl, for the win. Tomorrow and tomorrow monologue.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

D's random awkward dance move was my favorite thing of the play. So hilarious! I died. I'm still dead.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I loved the opening. Everyone standing on stage, watching the acceptance letter fall. Beautiful lighting.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I really enjoyed the overall use of space. The shadows and angles that were played with almost became its own character.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I think the defining moment of the play was when M decided to give D the cookie and kiss him. She was so on the fence about actually trying to kill him, then she pushed the decision on to him. She couldn't decide whether to support his dream for college or support her sister's dream. M was leaving up to D to decide the fate. Everything went crazy after that. Very unexpected twists and turns. I liked so much of the latter part of the play, but that decision was the tipping point.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The amazing vocal 'choreography' between the sisters in the opening.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The first time M hears, "Wake up!"


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The flow of speech from the sisters was captivating!


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The many echoes of The Scottish play with Dirty Girl's "Hail", and the twins' "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow..." exchange, for example.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When L pulled the red backpack out of her yellow one. At that point you realize the one you thought was the 'sweet' sister was more conniving than the other.


 Defining Moment Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When the first black feather slowly drops out of the sky in front of M.


 Erin Bednarz (Dirty Girl/Preppy Girl) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Few lines, but I loved her. She reminded me of so much of classmates high school as Dirty Girl.


 Erin Bednarz (Dirty Girl/Preppy Girl) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Really enjoyed how well she told her attitude and disposition without saying a word.


 Jonathan Keyes (BF) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The "normal" one as a character. Someone I could connect with. His easy-going performance was a nice contrast to everything happening around him.


 Maile Wong (L) Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Absolutely loved her ability to flip between sweet, friendly, flirtatious to enraged, devious twin in an instant. Would love to see more of her. She clearly has a lot of range.


 Other/Final Comments Peerless  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

This was tough, honest, and thought provoking. While difficult to hear/think about, the actors made such honest, choices, that every moment sparked.


 Abhijeet Rane (Afzal) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

- Many of the things Afzal says and believes would be unpalatable and misunderstood by Western audiences, however, Abhijeet brings this fully fleshed out character to life. He imbues him with so much warmth and good humor while making his background and love for his daughters so apparent that instead of villainizing him, the audience deeply sympathizes with his intent even while disagreeing with him.


 Abhijeet Rane (Afzal) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Abhijeet danced a line between a confidant businessman and a devoted father trying to do right by his daughters with grace. He used humor in equal parts with a hard edge to be a protector. The description Afzal gives to Eli of what what he believes Zarina needs in a man was beautifully delivered. It came across as what Afzal has tried to be for his daughters and explains why he as acted the way he has. Thank you Abhijeet.


 Abhijeet Rane (Afzal) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Absolutely one of the best performances I have seen this year - he was realistic, hilarious, and turned a character, that in less steady hands, could have been a cartoonish villain - but instead imbued him with warm humanity and understanding...a difficult feat deftly handed by Abjijeet.


 Abhijeet Rane (Afzal) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Mr. Rane was wonderful as the worried, manipulative, deeply caring father Afzal. He was funny, but grounded. He was deeply passionate and committed to his faith, but never overzealous or insincere.


 Alaji (Mahwish) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Haley Alaji was charming and funny as Zarina's slightly lost little sister.


 Alaji (Mahwish) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

stunning emotional depth and power


 Andre Nelson (Eli) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Andre Nelson was charming as Eli. He brought deep sincerity to a multi-dimensional character. He was proud and passionate about his faith, but also humble and seemed genuinely open to what his new family had to say. It was fun to watch him work opposite both Mr. Rane and Ms. Jolly.


 Andre Nelson (Eli) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

His growth over the show was very convincing, and I believed Eli's transition from being unsure of Zarina's novel to fully supporting her.


 Andre Nelson (Eli) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

honest, heartfelt, beautiful work


 Comments (Actors) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The characters' relationships to each other were very clearly defined. They seemed to share the comfort, familiarity, and vulnerability of a family. But the occasionally stagnate dialogue got in their way.


 Comments (Costume) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The understated modern clothing was just packed with symbolism about the show. It was interesting to see Afzal trade in a western button up for a more traditional shirt at the end as he clung to his faith. It was interesting to see Zarina move from jeans into a dress as she moved into the more traditional role of motherhood. The touches were subtle, but they really underlined the character journey. And the costume change for Zarina getting ready for her date was a favorite moment.


 Comments (Direction) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

? The scene transitions encapsulate the inventiveness of this production and the direction; the elements worked together seamlessly. Due to the seating being in the round, the audience watched the set changes take place, and the actors assisted while fully in character, making it truly feel like the scenes we were only a snippet of these characters' lives that extended beyond what was onstage. The transition music flowed into the proceeding scene and became part of that background, and the dim lighting directed our attention; there was one point where I looked over and was shocked that a bench had appeared seemingly out of nowhere while I was engrossed in watching a character throw away coffee cups on the other end of the stage. My favorite scene transition is when Mawish comes onstage and assists Zarina in getting dressed for her date. Instead of Zarina changing offstage, the sisters are fully in character, and even though neither said a word, I could almost hear Wish teasing Zarina as she got ready.


 Comments (Ensemble) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The best part of this show, to me, was the ensemble. Their chemistry together was palpable and I believed that they were actually a family. So much of the show rests on the relationships between the characters, and the cast performed admirably, playing off each other throughout. I really felt the trust and connection between them as the show progressed.


 Comments (Lighting) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The most striking lighting moment happened when Zarina sits at her desk, writing her potentially blasphemous novel about the prophet and her father comes on stage, rolls out a mat, and prays. A patterned light like the grated window of a mosque shines on him, putting them worlds apart even though they are next to each other onstage. The lighting also clearly delineated different areas of the stage that were meant to be different locations, from the bright yellow of outside daytime lighting, to the softer blue of the family kitchen at night.


 Comments (Overall Production) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

This production was one of those cases where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The script itself was already rich and beautiful, but the all the design elements and performances all seamlessly worked together to bring the words to life and elevate it to an exquisitely human plane.


 Comments (Scenic) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The set was simple, but provided a strong sense of place. My favorite detail about the set where the family pictures on the kitchen shelves, sitting alongside books from philosophers that Zarina rattles off in the beginning of the show.


 Comments (Scenic) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

While simple, the set of a kitchen island worked very effectively. It centered the play on the family home and made a very natural space for the in the round staging.


 Comments (Sound/Music) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

One of my favorite moments of the show was actually the music as the lights went down for act 2. The warring sounds of older and newer music really embodied so much of what the show was about. And the show did a great job with many of the smaller sound cues like phone vibrations that actually sounded like they came from the phone.


 Comments (Sound/Music) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

- The sound design also strongly contributed to the show's sense of place, from the Arabic music playing before the show and during intermission to the birds chirping that immediately signified that we were in a park. When the music leading in from intermission started thundering, literally, I knew we were in for an intense second act. The cues were also impeccably timed, from the buzzing of texts to the phone to the restaurant music subtly swelling and silencing right during the most tense part of Zarina and Eli's date. I was especially impressed by the shattering glass sound when a picture frame was thrown in the kitchen sink and the proceeding shifting of glass when the frame was dusted off and picked up again. The sound and the timing were so convincing, I had to peek in the sink after the show to confirm that it was actually a sound effect and not the real thing.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

It was subtle, but watching the scene change where Mahwish helped Zarina get ready for her date really embodied the joy of seeing South Asian actors get to play not stereotypes, but fully realized modern characters. Their interaction was fun and playful and reminded me of my sister. The scene change helped build their relationship, which is so delightful and rare.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The conversation between Afzal and Eli


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The end of Act 1 was the defining clash between Afzal and Zarina. As Zarina breaks through her writer's block and begins to write about the Prophet Mohammed, Afzal begin's to pray. The juxtaposition of beliefs was amplified by a thundering bass and lightning-like lighting. The storm was building and I knew Act 2 would was going to be exciting.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The final moments of the play were beautifully done between the daughter and the father - well staged, well acted.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The idea of a woman wanting to be dominated and a man being expected to do so, rather than to be in a partnership.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The moment when Zarina takes her husband by the hand and says "Eli, lets go." Heartbreaking in it's simply stated declaration of intention, but also letting the complex inner life radiate in what is unsaid.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

There were two for me. One when Zarina, played by Monika Jolly starts writing on the napkin, breaking her writer's block and two when Eli, played by Andre Nelson, defends his wife, Zarina, to her father.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When all four characters were on stage and the husband stood up for his wife while the father chose to disown his daughter. It was very powerful. And the "kitchen" setting in the round was stunning.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When Zarina tells her father, "Of course, I love you." before turning and walking away with Eli, my heart broke for everyone on that stage. To me, that is the moment where the big themes come to a head: faith, family, and gender. It is a testament to the show, the direction, and the actors, that I did not take sides, but instead, deeply sympathized with each of the characters in the moment and felt the pain of their separation.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

When Zarina yelled "you covered me up! You erased me!" To her father was incredibly powerful and moving.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Zarina saying "I love you so much" and then walking away from her father after he tells her that if she loved him than she would get rid of the book she wrote.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Zarina's confrontation with her family was pointed and painful.


 Defining Moment Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Zarina's gradual blossoming during the first date scene was extremely well managed. Monica Jolly paced things perfectly and her change of heart was perfectly calibrated and entirely believable.


 Monika Jolly (Zarina) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

incredible passion, nuance, depth and breadth. mesmerizing performance


 Monika Jolly (Zarina) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Monika had such a quiet grace and confidence to her as Zarina, and effortlessly commanded the stage. She knew the character so well that I forgot I was watching a play and believed that she truly was Zarina.


 Monika Jolly (Zarina) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Monika Jolly as Zarina was subtle, charming, sharp, and sincere. She was smart and direct without being too hard. She was warm with her family without being a pushover. I really felt for her at the end when she tried to own up to and make up for the things she had done, while still holding firm to what she believed.


 Monika Jolly (Zarina) Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

Monika was a force of inner dialogue on display. What Zarina didn't say had as much weight as what she did. It gave a richness to the character that was wonderful to experience. Thank you Monika.


 Other/Final Comments Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

I had read The Who and The What, but I was still incredibly moved by the second act of the piece. The cast was particularly strong and kept me riveted.


 Other/Final Comments Who and the What, The  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

It was a treat to witness such an authentic, three-dimensional portrait of a Muslim American family that wasn't explicitly dealing with race or current politics, but rather the unique and simultaneously familiar tensions surrounding discovering your identity, grappling with faith, and dealing with your family. It has been a long time since I related so deeply to a story I've seen onstage, but even as an Asian American, I saw myself and my family so clearly reflected. The tension between Eastern and Western cultures was so honestly portrayed, not necessarily to make a commentary on either, but to simply see how the characters grappled with that tension in their own ways.


 Other/Final Comments Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

The band was so impressive—playing AND singing AND acting!


 Defining Moment Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

“Strange Fruit”.


 Other/Final Comments Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill  - ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery

One of the most brilliant one acts I’ve ever seen.


 End of Season Comments Hedwig and the Angry Inch  - ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery

The cast of Hedwig gave an astonishing encore—I think they were more surprised than anyone else!


 End of Season Comments Hir  - ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery

Hir...I was so very disturbed by the entire thing - but it was incredibly raw and well-done theater that I'm still thinking about...


 Favorite Acting Performances Hir  - ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery

Gretchen Krich's performance in "Hir" was flawless.


 Favorite Production Elements Octoroon, An  - ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery

An Octoroon staging


 Theatre of the Year Comments Various  - ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery

ArtsWest always seems to have great shows no matter what they put on.


 Theatre of the Year Comments Various  - ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery

ArtsWest really stepped up this year and had a season that was important, thought-provoking, and necessary.


 Comments (Overall Production) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

It was so nice to see a family-friendly production, offered for free! Many families with children were in attendance, and it was an enjoyable atmosphere to relax, have a picnic, and enjoy budget-friendly art together.


 Comments (Scenic) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Bright and colorful, the set really transported you to the world of Charlie Brown.


 Comments (Scenic) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Great use of setting for entrances & exits.


 Comments (Scenic) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Multiple staggered entrances lent versatility to staging, used to good effect by Snoopy. Set painting perfectly recreated Shultz's simple breezy style.


 Comments (Scenic) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

The set very effectively conveyed the world of the show; the colors were cheery and the paint style almost looked like a child had done it, with trees and clouds that were not quite colored in all the way. Fitting, given that the characters were all children themselves.
The staggered panels of the backdrop were also very clever, allowing multiple locations for actors to make their entrances and exits, which enabled a smoother flow of the vignette style scenes of the show. It also brought to mind the comic strip panels of the source material.


 Comments (Sound/Music) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

I was thoroughly impressed by the sound quality and mix, given that it was an outdoor production! I could clearly hear the actors, and their signing blended well with the live orchestra.


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Snoopy and The Red Baron, the song that opens Act Two, was one of the most memorable in the show - engagingly performed by Karin Terry.


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Snoopy's first song was a breath of fresh air. The moment Karin Terry started singing, everyone sat up a little straighter and was captivated not only by her clear voice, but also by how well she embodied her character and effortlessly commanded the stage. For me, the defining moment here was when she glanced side to side with a mischievous grin on her face; it was a relatively subtle movement, but conveyed everything we needed to know about her character.


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Snoopy's solo dance number — a showstopper!


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Snoopy's solo in the second act. Karin Terry was the highlight of the show!


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Terrific ensemble. Brandon Haddix was a delight in the title role, but Karin Terry stole the show with her second act number "Suppertime!"


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

The "Chasing Rabbits" scene where Sally (Kaelyn Barnes) and Snoopy (Karin Terry) running around with Snoopy dressed as shirlock holmes. This embodied the best moments of the show (all brought to us by those 2)


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

The bus scene was ADORABLE!


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

The cast came out into the audience during intermission to ask for donations and many of the young children in the audience were so excited to see them up close. Clearly the work they are doing for their community is important and they are able to reach a lot of people who would otherwise be unable to see theater due to the prohibitive cost.


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

The kickline was very engaging! Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and it was perfectly synced. Nicely done!


 Defining Moment You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

The scene of Snoopy's dream sequence was particularly well done. I enjoyed the flow of it.


 Hannah Knapp-Jenkins (Lucy Van Pelt) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

A wonderfully expressive face, great physicality


 Hannah Knapp-Jenkins (Lucy Van Pelt) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Great physical choices - child walk & hand gestures.


 Kaelyn Barnes (Sally Brown) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Impressive belt in "My New Philosophy", her forceful strong choices built an engaging character


 Kaelyn Barnes (Sally Brown) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

Lovely singing voice and very likable as Sally.


 Karin Terry (Snoopy) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown  - Aurora Theatre Company

A playful performance, full of simple joy and boundless energy