FOR "DOUBT" BY JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY
NEWTOWN BEE Elizabeth Young
DOUBT is a stunner...
SKTC and Third Eye Productions have joined forces to produce and perform John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt at Newtown Meeting House and quite simply: it is a stunner. The play, under the direction of Don Striano, in his debut effort, drives home a message of unattainable certainty in an atmosphere of doubt and the pervasive damage that can cause… Mr Striano has obtained strong performances from his cast. Ms Katcher is convincing as the rigid, precise and morally strung out Sr Aloysius. She reveals a strong undercurrent of backstory which makes the audience ponder the life experience which has made her so vengeful. In Father Flynn, Mr Kearney revels and excels in the pulpit. He sermonizes with conviction and power. His voice has a cadence and clarity which would make any congregation sit up and listen. Molly Garbe’s Sr James is lovely. She is angelic and yet complicit, to a point. Ms Garbe portrays a complexity of emotions with ease. The intense performance of Denise Michelle Johnson as the mother of a potential victim is riveting. Mrs Muller represents the reality of the world around the insular school. She knows what her son needs and what she is willing to sacrifice or overlook to get it for him. She is fierce. The limited set and lighting capabilities of the venue works well to enhance and focus the action of the players. It is concise, direct and ultimately disturbing. This is a brilliant play and this production serves it well.
FOR "ROUNDING THIRD" BY RICHARD DRESSER
REPUBLICAN AMERICAN & HERSAM ACORN PAPERS Joanne Greco Rochman, Theater Critic March, 2013
It's two for two for Stray Kats Theatre
Where can you attend an Equity theater production for $20 or $30? How about the Alexandria Room of the Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, where you'll find an ambitious theater group celebrating its second hit of the season with its second show, "Rounding Third." Written by Richard Dresser, the play stars two talented actors from New York, Steve L. Barron and JP Sarro, who kickoff March with a home-run. Barron plays Michael, a corporate man new to baseball who is serving as assistant coach. He shows up at Little League practice wearing a shirt and tie. This doesn't bode well for long-time coach Don, played by Sarro, who is in a sports shirt with a baseball cap and looking pretty shoddy compared to his assistant. Don assumes that Michael is a big shot. Both men have their sons on the team. Don's son is an outstanding player and Michael's son has never gotten a play right. Parents who have ever gone through the glory or agony of watching their children compete for anything will appreciate this play. There is some adult language, so this is not right for Little Leaguers, but older teens, parents and baseball fans will love it.
DANBURY NEWS TIMES David Begelman, Theater Critic March 6, 2013
'Rounding Third' wows them in Newtown
There are several things about playwright Richard Dresser's comedies that distinguish them. First, he has a predilection for two-character plays. He also often borrows from his own life experiences in coming up with central themes in his dramas. Third, you sense that the characters in his works, while bursting with funny lines or well-timed quips, radiate ideas that are somehow larger than them. Lastly, with performers who leave little doubt about their acting proficiency, his comedies provide theater experiences that can leave a lasting impression. Among these is the Stray Kats Theatre Company's current production of "Rounding Third," in Newtown... The role (Michael) was enacted well by Barron, who provided a beautifully nuanced contrast to Sarro's (Don) burly Little League martinet.... Kate Katcher, founder of the theater and director of the play, has once again staged a vehicle that seems virtually tailor-made for her small stage at Edmond Town Hall. The previous show, "Small World," was also a delightful comedy about an encounter between a problematic twosome: Igor Stravinsky and Walt Disney.
THE NEWTOWN BEE Julie Stern, Theater Critic, March 2013
If there is one local show that you really ought to go see- because it is beautifully written, perfectly acted, and hilariously funny- (what we all could use right now) it’s Richard Dresser’s two man play about Little League baseball, Rounding Third, staged right on Main Street in the Alexandria Room by the Stray Kats Theatre Company. Most of us who have children retain memories of organized youth sports, and the long-suffering fathers (and mothers) who turn out as volunteer coaches. I can fondly recall one placid dad sending a five-year-old soccer player out to replace the left fullback: “Left, Kevin, left! Raise your left hand, Kevin. No, raise your other left hand…” And then there was the irascible coach on one of the basketball teams my son played against in fifth grade, who used to bang his head against the gym wall to convey his frustration with their poor defense. Rounding Third charts the thorny relationship between two such volunteers.... As performed by Equity professionals Steven L Barron as Michael, and JP Sarro as Don, Rounding Third is totally absorbing as well as delightfully entertaining... And the expression on Sarro’s face throughout the interminable wait to see if the inept right-fielder will actually catch a fly ball- is worth the price of admission all by itself.
Baseball has always been a metaphor for life, with its moments of drama, its frustrations, its hopes of glory, and above all the lessons it teaches about fellowship and the joy of being part of a team. This month, as Spring Training once again signals the end of winter and the eventual rebirth of the year, this show is all the more enjoyable.
FOR "SMALL WORLD" BY FRED STROPPEL
REPUBLICAN AMERICAN & HERSAM ACORN PAPERS Joanne Greco Rochman, Theater Critic January, 2013
'Small World' a big hit for Stray Kats
There's nothing "Mickey Mouse" about this inaugural work at the Stray Kats Theatre Company in Newtown... Director Kate Katcher has selected the perfect work for the theater's first full production. This play, which appeals equally to the symphony aficionado as well as cartoon lovers, is a winner with a long and happy future. Katcher's signature is apparent throughout the strongly unified production. It is as classic as it is distinctly clean and uncluttered. She also managed to cast two actors who are simply perfect for the roles they play... Bryce portrays Disney with such honesty that he captures the animator's creative gift through modesty and frankness. One could easily believe that he/she is watching Walt Disney here. Robert Resnikoff steps into the role of Igor Stravinsky with a fiery nature and blatant superiority complex… The actor has captured the soul of the character. ..This is the first full blown production for this non-profit, Equity theater. If this is an indication of what is to come, then do bring it on. Kudos to all who worked in and on this production.
DANBURY NEWS TIMES David Begelman, Theater Critic January, 2013
'Small World: A Fantasia' scores with big visions
If you thought that a comedy about a fancied meeting between two world-famous artists couldn't pack a wallop for audiences, guess again. That's just what Frederick Stroppel's delightful riff on a meeting between Walt Disney and Igor Stravinsky does -- and in spades... "Small World" is graced by the performances of its two leads: Scott Bryce (Walt Disney) and Robert Resnikoff (Igor Stravinsky). Both are experienced troupers whose interactions on stage lend believability to a well-crafted script. Under the capable direction of Kate Katcher, Stroppel's comedy will have you laughing -- when you're not left thinking about more than merely a tiff between two geniuses.
THE NEWTOWN BEE Julie Stern, Theater Critic, January 2013
THE NEWTOWN BEE Julie Stern, Theater Critic Friday, January 20, 2012
Butcher's Cabin, the Latest Example of Why One Should Keeo Track of Stray Kats Theatre Company
The Stray Kats Theatre Company, which began last year with a series of staged play readings in Edmond Town Hall's Alexandria Room, provided a rare treat to the full house last Saturday night: Kent R. Brown of Fairfield — who has over the years been playwright in residence and professor of theater at various colleges and universities, including Fairfield U. and the University of Arkansas, garnering numerous prizes for his work — unveiled his latest play, performed by a top-notch cast. When it was over, and everyone had drunk coffee and nibbled on pastries from Andrea's Pastry Shop, Mr Brown hosted a session in which the audience could provide feedback as to what they liked, and what they wanted clarified. He listened graciously, explained his reasoning, and in some cases thanked the speaker and promised to make revisions, so that in the end, the crowd had not only seen a riveting performance of a serious play, but had the feeling of actual participation in the process... The company of famous Broadway and Hollywood actor Keir Dullea, ably backed by Kim Maresca, Emilie Roberts, Katie Sparer and Michael Wright, did a wonderful job. Stray Kats is definitely a terrific addition to the Newtown cultural scene.