Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: Ensemble Studio Theatre

Review | Fast Company by Carla Ching | Directed by Robert Ross Parker | Ensemble Studio Theatre / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Fast Company is a fast moving, funny and suspenseful comedy about an Asian-American family of grifters, the Kwan’s, who’ll con anyone — best of all one another — to get what they want.

L-R Moses Villarama, Stephanie Hsu, Christopher Larkin, Mia Katigbak.  Photo: Ensemble Studio Theatre

L-R Moses Villarama, Stephanie Hsu, Christopher Larkin, Mia Katigbak.  Photo: Ensemble Studio Theatre

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Review | Year Of The Rooster by Eric Dufault | Directed by John Giampietro | Ensemble Studio Theatre / Youngblood

… the charismatic rooster …

To put it simply, you have to see Bobby Moreno as Odysseus Rex, the fighting rooster:  it’s as stunning a performance as has ever come along.

The others of the cast, with their highly individualized characters, are equally brilliant — though, no doubt about it, Moreno’s charismatic rooster coming alive on stage has an unforgettable edge.  The play is good enough — you have to love a play that offers this distinct array of characters.

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Review | Isaac’s Eye by Lucas Hnath | Directed by Linsay Firman | Ensemble Studio Theatre | Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Isaac’s Eye takes as starting points what it asserts are a few “truths,” (e.g., Newton stuck a needle into his eye as a scientific experiment, Newton was engaged once but never married) to construct a play about the young Isaac Newton.  The truths are arbitrarily selected and some are suppositions,  even though they’re chalked onto a blackboard that, we’re told, holds genuine truths, which is not playing fair with the audience!  While the first act has some point to it, the second trails off into unsupported, drawn out material that doesn’t add up to any insight or interest. 

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Kristen Bush as Rosalind Franklin and David Gelles as Laboratory Assistant Ray Gosling.  Photo:  Gerry Goodstein

Review | Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler | Directed by Linsay Firman | Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

 X marks … what?

This is an important and fascinating play about the interplay between ideas, evidence and personalities surrounding one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time, the structure of DNA.  Of three scientists central to the discovery, the play focuses on the one who didn’t get the Nobel Prize, Rosalind Franklin;  James Watson and Francis Crick received the Prize in 1962.

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