Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review Roundup 2.0: LOBBY HERO

by Matthew Reddin, marketing director

It's been two weeks since we opened LOBBY HERO, and we've been thrilled to see such a positive response to the show from our audiences. We've also been fortunate enough to receive a second wave of critical reviews, each praising C. Michael Wright's production of this fantastic Kenneth Lonergan piece.

If you didn't catch our first Review Roundup, featuring press from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Shepherd Express, OnMilwaukee and more, you can find it here. For the rest ... keep on reading! And don't forget to pick up your tickets to LOBBY HERO! We close Dec. 18!

Chris Klopatek and Sara Zientek in
LOBBY HERO. Photos by Paul Ruffolo.
Paul Kosidowski,
Milwaukee Magazine
"Culture Club Review: Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's 'Lobby Hero'"

"Watch Henning project his confidence in the first scene, pacing the room in a crisp blue blazer as if he’s giving a Ted Talk to an audience of one. And watch those confident, studied gestures disappear as he learns more about his troubled brother."

"It’s no surprise that Lobby Hero is one of director C. Michael Wright’s favorite plays–every scene shows his skill in shaping dialogue to reveal the things going on beneath the surface."

"Lonergan lets the action evolve slowly, flavoring the events with smart dialogue that gradually reveals the knotty and very human struggles within each character."

Sara Zientek, Andrew Edwin Voss (C) and
Di'Monte Henning in LOBBY HERO.
Anne Siegel,
"Review: 'Lobby Hero'"

"In Henning’s strong performance, we see William struggle with telling the truth while at the same time fearing that his brother won’t get a fair trial – just because he’s black and too poor to hire a 'good lawyer.'"

"In this delicately woven performance, Zientek both shuns and accepts her femininity."

"Director C. Michael Wright, the company’s producing director, keeps the audience so tightly focused on the progress of the characters’ difficult scenarios that the audience almost feels cheated when the play ends without any resolution. That’s the mark of a good play, and it’s one reason this production is a not-to-be-missed event."

Peggy Sue Dunigan,
"MCT's LOBBY HERO pursues relevant ethical questions through bright comedy"

"Chris Klopatek's rhythm for comic timing fits perfectly into his character Jeff's gift of gab-or making jokes."

"A refreshing change while immensely thought provoking, MCT and Wright once again challenge audiences."

Friday, December 2, 2016

Review Roundup: LOBBY HERO

by Kaitlyn Martin, marketing and development assistant

After a successful opening week, LOBBY HERO has been receiving positive feedback from audiences and critics as we enter our second weekend. We hope you can join us for Kenneth Lonergan's play featuring a strong ensemble cast whose embodiment of the word "hero" evolves with the twists and turns of the play. Don't miss your chance to see it before we close on December 18!

Chris Klopatek (L) and Di'Monte Henning in
LOBBY HERO. Photos by Paul Ruffolo.

Mike Fischer,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Theatre Review: Misfits search for answers in 'Lobby Hero'
Takeaways: 'Lobby Hero'

"With his impish grin and comedic instincts, actor Chris Klopatek has been playing cast clown on stage for as long as I can remember. But what happens to such characters when they must face the music and begin to grow up? And would a now-older Klopatek grow with them, building on hints he’s given over the years of something darker and deeper?"

"Stephen Hudson-Mairet’s set, accented by Madelyn Yee’s props, creates an apartment lobby that looks tired – not because it’s shabby, but because it’s sterile."

"Di’Monte Henning gives us a William whose surface certainties cover a world of doubt, much of it connected to his status as a black man in a white world."

"Conveying characters’ consequent struggle to find their own way, Lonergan’s dialogue rings true to life; it’s fractured and overlaps (handled well, here)."

Russ Bickerstaff,

Sara Zientek (L) and Andrew Edwin Voss
Shepherd Express
Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's 'Lobby Hero'

"In Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s staging, Chris Klopatek maintains a casually organic intensity as Jeff."

"Di’Monte Henning commands considerable gravitas in the role of Jeff’s boss, William, a man preoccupied by a family drama that threatens to compromise his altruistic respect for honesty and integrity."

"Andrew Edwin Voss delivers a dark edge to the mix as a police officer looking for promotion who runs into some drama with Dawn, a probationary police officer played by a charmingly poised Sara Zientek."

"Avoiding the peripheral clutter, director C. Michael Wright allows the power of the drama between four people to weave a crazy web across the stage in a provocative, tightly woven drama about dizzying human convolution of honesty and duty."

Dave Begel,
Chris Klopatek (L) and Sara Zientek

"Under the careful and comprehensive direction of C. Michael Wright, we then see the evolution of each character, moving well clear of who we thought they were when we first met them."

"Helping this play come life is a quartet young actors who have in the past, continue now, and will in the future leave serious marks on the theater world in Milwaukee."

"As Jeff, Klopatek is a marvel of both language and physical movement. His posture, gesture and glance all serve to both support and lead his dialogue, and he suffers agitation much as he enjoys poking fun at the world."

"(Zientek) finds in her character depths of personal development that only an actor in touch with life could do."

"Henning is an actor who is proving to be as versatile as any young actor in the city."

"(Voss) is a bit of a gypsy actor, ranging far and wide for work, but his power and skills are something I wish were a regular feature on stages. This is a man with all the chops, and it's no wonder he's in demand around the country."

Julie McHale,

Di'monte Henning (L) and Andrew Edwin Voss
Waukesha Freeman
'Lobby Hero' adds depth to comedic characters

"(Lonergan's) present work, “Lobby Hero,” is a sterling drama, one with humor, depth, complex characters and a hint of romance."

"This is one of the best scripts I’ve ever encountered, and with a flawless cast and the gifted director, C. Michael Wright, at the helm, you are sure to enjoy your encounter with a 'Lobby Hero.'"