Monday, January 26, 2009

Sharing the spotlight with Shrek

After seven days atop the green ogre on's Picks of the Week, we now find ourselves beside the beast (and his Broadway show) on Back Stage's list of current critics' picks.  Though I am generally inclined to enjoy the writing of anyone praising me or my work, I am quite fond of Ronnie Reich's playful and thoughtful exegesis of the play.  Here's our "pull" quote:
This production from Stolen Chair Theatre Company is more than irreverent. It ruthlessly and riotously dispenses with notions of respect for the deceased...But while proclaiming theatre dead, the show's sharp, thoughtful writing, high-impact direction, and skillful performances justify its preservation.
There are only 3 performances left and two of them are just shy of sold-out!!!

(Oh, and I never linked to Aaron Riccio's lovely review over at That Sound's Cool.  Here it is!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Enfant Terrible weighs in

One of Stolen Chair's most favorite people (so much so that we asked him to interview us for a radio profile last year), Mssr Ian W. Hill of Gemini Collision Works just posted his review of Theatre Is Dead. Here's a tease: 
I want to state immediately, [it] was TERRIFIC and you SHOULD SEE IT. It's about death, and it's very very funny, though maybe you need to be able to find the various thoughts about death both very funny and very disturbing (often at the same time) to appreciate it -- I found myself laughing a lot, but also torn and slightly upset by remembrances of human deaths I have witnessed in person or been near to, memories of the funeral home run by my grandparents and the bodies I saw there (which generally gives me a cold, dispassionate eye to mortal remains and cremains), and the increased sense of mortality that has hit me the last few years. A good mix of emotions for a show to give you...
Though he has many other insightful (and valuably critical) things to say about the piece (he has a special perspective as the grandson of a mortician), I especially appreciated the way in which he grappled with a frustrating review we received:
One reviewer somewhat dismissed the show as having been done before, and better, by some famous names (a dicey reason for critically dismissing anything, really; at a certain point you can dismiss anything, including masterpieces, as treading ground covered by earlier masterpieces)
Well, while this production may fall short of Ionesco and Beckett's greatest works, it's a damn good time and there are only 4 performances left.  Tonight (1/24) is almost sold out but there are still some tix available for closing weekend.  Get 'em quickly!

Monday, January 19, 2009

PICK OF THE WEEK and oversold Saturday night

The run is half a performance away from being half over, but this is where the fun really starts. We played to a teeming mass of people on Saturday night, adding seats wherever fire hazards would allow. Good press is rolling in here and here and there is more press (which may be good or bad) coming in next week over here, here, and here. And...Stolen Chair is uber-psyched to be named as's PICK OF THE WEEK for the fourth time in four years. Here is the blurb:
Scene from Theatre Is Dead and So Are You

THEATRE IS DEAD AND SO ARE YOU: This macabre vaudeville about death is not for everybody, but it's a terrific adventurous work by Stolen Chair Theatre Company featuring impressive production values, broad dark comedy, and great performances. PICK OF THE WEEK!

What are you waiting for? Buy your tickets now (and use coupon code BLOG1 for a special discount, valid this weekend only)! I'm pretty darn sure we will be turning people away closing weekend so please be sure to buy your tix in advance...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First rave for Theatre Is Dead...

This just in from one Mr. Martin Denton:
A macabre and weirdly off-kilter cabaret that revels in death: in looking this greatest of taboos in the face and then throwing a custard pie at, stylish, and virtuosic, deconstructing what bothers us about the Final Rest by throwing as many theatrical gimmicks as possible at it.  If the opportunity to see one of indie theater's smartest and most adventurous young companies tangle with the Unknowable tantalizes you, then a visit to the Connolly may well be in order.

And then...go buy tickets here.  Use coupon code BLOG1 for $14 tix.

Oh, and in case you missed it, we launched the new yesterday.  Still in beta but go check it out now and email your comments to aviva [at]  Need more incentive: the production photos from Theatre Is Dead await you there...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wow. Well, that was nice!

First preview of Theatre Is Dead and So Are You last night.  I don't think I've ever heard laughter like that in a theatre before (and I'm not sure I'll ever hear it again so I'm mighty glad I got this chance!).  It got to the point where the piece's big finale (no spoilers, don't worry!),  a 10-min chunk of classical text, was so drenched in audience guffaws that I heard scarcely a word.   

That's nice.  Real nice.  

And now...going into preview #2 we're likely to face an audience that is somewhat more reserved (and I've always found that Saturday audiences tend to be less fired up than Friday crowds.  Is it the day of rest which numbs their funny bones?).  We may have to find out what this show looks like when the energy only appears to be flowing one-way from stage to house (of course, it never is. whoever invented the phrase "smiling loudly" really hit something!).  It's always tempting to try to force an audience to be something it's not.  But as one of my acting teachers once said, "If you think your scene partner needs to make a change so that you can solve a problem, then you don't actually understand your problem."  In a show that is this shamelessly presentational (actors spend a good 1/8 of the show acting in the house), the audience is our scene partner, and we're going to have to find out what we need to change (perhaps ever so slightly) in ourselves to meet them where they are and travel with them to the deeply (and delightfully) wrong places this piece demands.

Supercheap discounts (w/coupon code FIRST2) are still in effect for tonight.  Visit to buy your tickets ASAP!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Theatre dies tonight!

tTheatre Is Dead and So Are You opens tonight.  Use coupon code FIRST2 for $12 tickets.  Free wine will be flowing.  

Buy tix and find out more at

See you there!