WHAT THE REVIEWERS ARE SAYING? (part 1)

Powerful struggle of life against death … So let’s face it, the success of this production depends on the dramatic skills of the person portraying Vivian. That actress must have the ability to touch our hearts and excite our minds simultaneously. She has to make us believe that Vivian’s entire life was ennobled by the research of esoteric poetry even as she is dying before our eyes. From the minute the cold, penetrating spotlight hits the bare feet of the bald cancer patient hooked up to the intravenous machine, Susie McCarthy commands the stage and every person in the audience.

– Shirle Gottlieb, from her review in the Long Beach Press-Telegram published May 28, 2004

Ralphie, played by Nate Wozniak, is blind in a daydream as his dad, junior theatre major Tim Werth, and   mom, freshman theatre major Annie Booth, wheep to him. A Christmas Story opens tonight at the University Center for the Arts and will run Thursday through Sunday until December 15.

Powerful Wit … The Palos Verdes Players 2nd Stage bids its current location adieu with the powerful production of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “W;t.” … “W;t” is skillfully directed by Margaret Schugt, who is aided by a phenomenal script and a talented cast. Schugt’s production is commanding and intense, skillfully maneuvering between the simple and the complicated with realism, humanity and delicacy. Primarily set in a cancer unit, “W;t” follows the life and excruciating death of Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., brilliantly portrayed by Susie McCarthy. … Once again, the Players 2nd Stage makes good on its commitment to diverse material, staging small plays that engage active audiences, participating in edgy themes or complex ideas; plays that prompt thoughtful analysis and promote discussion on the way home. “W;t” does a wonderful job of engaging its audience members and taking them along to thoughtfully analyze and experience the life and death of Dr. Vivian Bearing.

– Brenda Arrieta, from her article in Beach Reporter published June 4, 2004

Donne deal: Poet’s work at heart of Pulitzer Prize-winning play … Margaret Schugt is … a perfect fit for the Palos Verdes Players’ 2nd Stage, a small theater that dares to push buttons to provoke thought, as demonstrated by the recently staged “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and “Burn This,” not exactly your average community theater fare. … Some are surprised that the Palos Verdes Players was able to secure the rights to the play. “My guess is that it hadn’t been done in Los Angeles for a long time,” Schugt said. “And I understand why some may be scared to do it. I’ve never seen a play that is so intellectually challenging and emotionally immediate at the same time.

– Kari Sayers, from her article in Rave! published May 28, 2004

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