Tuesday, May 4, 2021

review - ORSON WELLES - Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Keath Hall
photo courtesy Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

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 May 22

"...This intimate 80-minute dive into the life and times of Welles, set in his later years as he looks back and reflects on his past, follows the brilliant highs and spectacular lows of Welles' life. The play is the first production at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre's beautiful new venue in Scottsdale, and it stars Keath Hall in an exceptional and commanding performance as Welles...the success of Hall's performance goes beyond an uncanny impersonation. He draws the audience in to Welles' plight and makes them care for him and the many unfortunate circumstances he suffered, which is incredibly impressive considering how pompous, conceited, and hot-heated a man Welles was and how he's depicted exactly that way in Druxman's script...."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...a pleasant 80 minutes featuring Keath Hall's expert performance of an unambitious script....Writer Michael Druxman...has crafted what is essentially a posthumous Orson Welles TED talk. While we get a ton of information curated and cleaned, there's no "Maybe I should've..." moments that push artistry and necessary insightful analysis into this kind of story. There are no revelations, there's sparse self-reflection, and, while an accurate portrayal of Welles must include a fair amount of bravado, there's only so much "Aren't I awesome?" I can take without some counter-point to bring him down a peg. ... Keath Hall has the swagger to play the role. His portrayal is immersive. He doesn't use celebrity impression gimmicks. He keeps the story chugging. The script he's performing just doesn't give him an opportunity to flex his oft-proven acting muscles. He's never challenged to cogitate or ruminate on Welles' life, actions, relationships, regrets..... "  - Tim Shawver, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

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