Wednesday, August 14, 2019

reviews - SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS - Stray Cat Theatre

Alex Kass, Brianne Massa, Jesse James Kamps, Katie McFadzen, Jodie Weiss, and Louis Farber
photo by John Groseclose

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through August 24.

"You might think of the phrase "silence is golden" while watching Bess Wohl's 2015 play Small Mouth Sounds, which is set at a meditation retreat where the participants are asked to remain silent in order to ponder their lives and think deep thoughts. However, your thoughts on the play itself will probably be either ones of fascination or frustration, or, like me, an ever-changing combination of both. Stray Cat Theatre is presenting the Phoenix premiere of this interesting work in a sleek and gorgeously designed, well-cast production... On one hand, Small Mouth Sounds is an interesting theatrical exercise with an abundance of charm that allows the audience to see how strangers who are asked not to speak find ways to communicate with each other and, in doing so, allows us to better understand how first impressions are often wrong and sometimes actions truly speak louder than words. ...On the other hand, it's a play with virtually no plot and minimal character development that doesn't truly allow us to fully understand who these people are or the point that Wohl is trying to make, if there even is a point. ...Fortunately, director Michael Peck has a cast who are gifted in creating characters with minimal dialogue. They work well in using facial expressions, gestures, and body language to portray their thoughts, though some of the comedy and visual humor is slightly forced at times....Some may come away from seeing Small Mouth Sounds having had moments of contemplation and reflection, while others may find it a mostly tedious affair with minimal character development and view it as an interesting concept that never truly comes to fruition. I thought it was clear which group I'm in, but that group seems to keep changing the more I think about the play." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...It is a masterful stroke of artistic vision that Ms. Wohl has fulfilled in creating a play of real depth, insight, and emotional impact. Guided by the steady and sensitive hand of Michael Peck, the actors honor the playwright's intention by executing their roles with remarkable acuity and creating one hundred minutes of penetrating and revelatory theatre...." Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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