Sorkin’s A Few Good Men, directed by Todd Starkey, opens up to
one of our only moments watching Greg Stiffler give us a reason to care about
the tragedy the play is built around, by making him a vulnerable guy. A man is dead and Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson
(played by Lamar Leonard) and Pfc. Louden Downey (played by Jordan Baumiller)
stand accused of murder. Moises
Estrada’s lighting and sound design built atmosphere as Eva Grove’s costume
coordination lent an air of authenticity to these characters,
PUFFS! Spoiler alert— not everyone’s favorite house…but
when a hat speaks, you listen! Let’s be clear here, there will be much foolish
wand waving and silly incantations in Artistic Synergy of Baltimore’s production
of PUFFS or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic
and Magic. Fresh from Off-Broadway, and playing a limited four-show engagement,
PUFFS is the ridiculously absurd parody play that will banish all your
boggarts back into their closets with a healthy dose of laughter.
To begin this review, a synopsis feels almost unnecessary because it would be difficult to find people who are not familiar with this timeless piece of comedy by Neil Simon. The Odd Couple had its original debut in 1965 on Broadway, and with its success, spurred a film in 1968, and then a TV series from 1970 – 1975. Since then it’s seen many adaptations and revivals (even a cartoon version in the 70’s!).
Here’s a picture of a neighborhood, there’s the corner where they all stood. The neighborhood is Rosedale, in the basement of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church to be exact, and the corner? That’s Artistic Synergy, a staple of a community theatre in that corner of Baltimore. Presenting Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller as their spring musical, the company puts forth an enthusiastic effort that is well met with strong vocal talent to the less than cohesive musical revue.
There is life outside your apartment, I know it’s hard to conceive. But there is life outside your apartment! And you’re only gonna see it if you leave! There is cool shit to do, but it can’t come to you, and who knows, dude, you might even score— tickets to Phoenix Festival Theater Company’s production of Avenue Q if you’re lucky! For a limited two-weekend engagement, the zany Off-Broadway musical sensation is eking out a home on Thomas Run Road and is providing barrels full of laughter for everyone in attendance.