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As we enter the final weekend of Arika Larson’s emotional corkscrew of a play, White Sangria, I thought I’d gather some of the reviews here for you to check out.  Hopefully they give you that final nudge you need to come support great local theatre this weekend.

Robert Trussell, of the KC Star had this to say: Harvey Williams, the play’s director “should be commended for exposing the work of talented playwrights to a receptive audience.  On one level Larson’s play is all about raw, if repressed, emotion. But it also examines these relationships from a somewhat distant, cerebral perspective. Integrating those two strands is a challenge.”

Read more of Trussell’s review “Dark Humor and Head Games Dwell” here.

Steve Wilson of got caught up in the maze as well:

Larson offers up a story of a highly dysfunctional couple that is into mind games, between themselves and the couple that have invited over.  The extremely complicated relationships make it difficult to keep up with the twists from lies to truth to lies. Ben and Marla, make the evening uncomfortable and unbearable for Susan and John, setting upon them with shocking and horrifying revelations.

Read more of Steve’s thoughts here.

The Examiner weighs in with Bob Evans writing that:

The Truth and Lie Game begins as the curtain goes up and the characters reveal the different layers of their personalities. As their “new friends,” Susan and John enter the picture midway through Act I, the games get more intense in the questions between truth or fantasy really muddies the water.

Full review here.


Or if you are just interested in what they had to say about your favorite KC actor check this out:

“Crenshaw provides the most even performance of the night. He becomes his character from the beginning to the final curtain call.” – Steve Wilson

“Things pick up considerably after the arrival of Butler and Crenshaw, both of whom bring a welcome sense of timing and purpose to the stage. As superficial niceties give way to appalled awareness that something very weird is happening, the actors remain focused.” – Robert Trussell

“The nerdy and awkward librarian, John Martin, comes to life via Coleman Crenshaw. Crenshaw takes this opportunity to display his wonderful comedic timing and his mastery of facial reaction. The expressions he produces as Marla teases him sexually are hilarious. He walks the line between shy and excited and makes the audience feel the awkwardness of the situation that surrounds him.” – Bob Evans

Come out and see us Thursday at 7:30pm for only $15 Artist Rates!  We also run Fri-Sat at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm for $25.  For info here.


From KC Stage Online

Excerpts from Bob Evans’ review “Skillet Tag Knocks ’em Dead”.  Skillet Tag runs until Dec 22 at the Living Room.  Produced by Play On! Productions.  For tickets check this out.

For an evening full of laughter and offbeat characters,
line up early and do not hesitate to buy your tickets.
This show is the real deal. Crazy characters, masterful
actors, sharp script, crisp direction, a functional
set, good sound and lighting–all create one of the
zaniest shows to grace the Kansas City stages.

Play writer Pete Bakely set the unconventional team
building exercise in Kansas City. Here, his team from a
local greeting card company meet to engage in his
newest plan to weed out a weak link and sever his or
her relationship with the parent company.  No one knows
for sure whose job may be lost, but several have their
own ideas. Survival of the evening means every-man-for-himself.

And, undeniably, the most cherished and colorful of the
cast of suspects, Greg brings the hilarity from his
entrance onward. Coleman Crenshaw wears the character
well and his physical comedy, gestures, and facial
expressions keep the audiences laughing at him.  But,
beware, by watching only him, one can easily miss the
responses he elicits from the other cast members–which
are priceless. He gives their characters a lot for
action and reaction.  Still, when onstage, Crenshaw
draws the audience focus to him He’s wonderful as the
computer nerd who struggles with social settings and
personal relations.

After the first death, rightfully, the police appear.
And what would any comedy be without dysfunctional law
enforcement personnel? Suffice it to say the tandem of
Burns and Reynalds, played by Tim Alhenius and Devon
Barnes, take police parody to new heights. A non-
concerned Burns mishandles the crime scene, and when
Reynalds appears, her over-spirited reactions only
enhances the evening’s morbid terminations.  Though
smaller parts, each provided integral support to the
plot and help maintain the insanity.

Overall, the show bring laughter and smiles from the
onset through the final blackout. No one knows who dies
next or how murder manifests itself. Each instance
surprises the audience. Murder never brought more
laughs. The cast reacts well to each and every line,
and each character commands the stage with his or her

No secret, Coleman Crenshaw’s character steals the show
in his scenes.  He’s very talented with his physical
comedy and apt delivery. And when things seem to be
resolving toward an end, Devon Barnes brings new and
surprising twists to the story line. Nothing can
distract from the strength of the ensemble cast. They
enjoy the show, their characters, and their lines. The
audience sees the depth of the cast’s talent as the
story unfolds. Their interactions and physical comedy
enhance the evening.

If you have ever had to undergo the dreaded “team-building” process in a workplace, this show is not tobe missed. All the evil thoughts you may have had aboutthe exercise or the person who thought the whole thingup, come full circle when you see this. While you mayhave plotted someone’s demise, Skillet Tag acted outyour fantasies.

Please read Bob Evan’s full review on KC Stage.

Robert Trussell reviews The Living Room’s recent production of Bucket of Blood.

Tongue-in-cheek post-modernism gets a thorough workout in the Living Room production of “A Bucket of Blood,” a show in which the performers on stage appear to having at least as much fun as the audience.

Screenwriter-turned-playwright Mitch Brian serves up an amusing adaptation of a 1959 Roger Corman movie, a horror flick that satirized beatnik culture and the modern art world. Brian translates the essence of the film to the Living Room stage, more or less without commentary, and even assigns himself a small role as an art critic.

The plot revolves around a shy coffeehouse busboy named Walter (Matt Weiss), who puts up with a fair amount of verbal abuse from his employer (Damian Blake). Carla (Kimberely Queen) is friendlier to Walter, who is unabashedly enthralled by Maxwell Brock (Forrest Attaway), a beat poet given to extemporaneous improvisations with the house band.

Read the rest here: