Skip navigation

Category Archives: Review

Abigail Trabue, the managing editor of PerformInk KC, has named the MET’s Photograph 51 her Critics’ Pick.  Come see the show while you still can and see what the critics are raving about!  Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sun, Jan 29th at 2pm at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre.  Closing Feb 4th.

Here are a few words from Abigail’s review:

Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre’s production of PHOTOGRAPH 51 is only the second time in my life I’ve left a theater, sat in my car and cried. If you are fortunate enough to be moved to tears by theater than you are fortunate enough to have witnessed something incredible.

[…] a complicated, honest, messy, humorous, and engaging production that fits perfectly into MET’s changeable storefront space. We get staging that is engaging, that flows seamlessly and creatively, that is motivated and clean. You see actors who’ve have formed a strong ensemble, and more than once I found myself marveling at the pace. It’s clear Paisley (who also served at lighting and set designer) understands what this play is about, the kind of hand needed to guide it, and along with Prop Designer Marc Manley and Costumer Shannon Regnier, created a world for the actors and the story of PHOTOGRAPH 51 to live in. […]

There’s a quote in PHOTOGRAPH 51 from THE WINTER’S TALE: “Come, poor babe, I have heard but not believed/The spirits o’ the dead may walk again.” PHOTOGRAPH 51 is the forgotten historical footnote of Rosalind Franklin and, in the hands of Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, is the kind of art we should be creating.

Read the full review here.


The Elephant Man returns to the Barn Player’s stage tomorrow night.  Shake off your Fringe Hangover and check out this profound piece of theatre.  This is a dream role for me and I am so excited to get back to it for the next couple of weeks.  There are some great performances happening and I’d be honored if you joined us.

Tickets are available at the door or here.  Performances run Fri-Sun until Aug 14th.  With a special Industry Night on Monday Aug. 8th.  Sunday shows at at 2pm, all others at 7:30pm.

A blogger/actor/theatre reviewer Christopher Elston, who has some very in-depth personal experience with The Elephant Man, joined us last week.  He had some great things to say about the show: I’m very pleased to say that The Barn Players met my standards and even exceeded them at some points in a very powerful and poignant piece of storytelling.”  

Please read his full review here.  You can also read about his journey discovering and studying The Elephant Man here.  It is a very interesting read.

Below is a snippet of Christopher’s review discussing the challenges of the Elephant Man role:

I consider the role of Merrick to be one of the most difficult and grueling an actor can undertake.  Not only does the actor playing the role need to be unbelievably versatile to handle the complexities of the character, he must also adopt an awkward and demanding body language to communicate the infirmities of Merrick.  With that being said, Coleman Crenshaw does extreme honor to the role.

Crenshaw certainly did his homework as he understands Merrick right down to the ground.  His physicality was tremendous, though he needs to keep that body language in mind at all times.  He made some movements that would either have been impossible for the real Merrick or done only with excruciating difficulty.  That quibble aside, his interpretation of the dialogue blew me away.

Crenshaw’s delivery is so nuanced it almost staggers the imagination.  With incredible ease, he captures Merrick’s innocence, wit, genius, fears, awkwardness, and goodness.  And he does it with a clogged and slobbering speech that still retains flawless diction.  His evolving of Merrick from frightened creature to bold man over the course of the show is a tour de force …

Thank you Christopher for the gracious review!

Wayside Waifs benefits from each ticket sold.  A great local no-kill animal shelter partners perfectly with this pooch focused play about relationships and the complicated, comedic consequences of adding a dog to your life.

KC Examiner review, Bob Evans, writes:

Sylvia is a “fun, comedy romp with a cast of local Kansas City acting favorites.”

“Working at the shelter I see so much good being done to help these animals find loving homes,” [producer and actress Shea] Ketchum said. “I wanted to do something more for the ‘waifs.’ Coming from a theatre background, producing a play that would benefit Wayside Waifs seemed like a fantastic way to fuse my passions together.”


Crenshaw, as Greg, delves into a light-comedic performance with ease. Crenshaw has played a myriad of characters throughout the city. “Sylvia” marks the first time this reviewer has seen him perform this broad of a comedy role. Crenshaw delivers strong performances whatever the character demands. His Greg is funny, comical, and the character that drives the comedy forward.

Full review here.

Tickets and show times here.