Brookside Repertory Theatre

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Check the Box
Reviews from the San Francisco Fringe Festival Run


Reviewer: Connie Galambos
Rating: 4 Stars
Witty and moving! The actors developed their characters amazing well considering the shortness of the separate plays...the writers gave them intriguing characters with which to work.

Reviewer: Jerry Curtiss
Rating: 5 Stars
This production reminded me of an off-Broadway show I saw years ago in New York. It was fabulous and an unexpected pleasure. The actors were very, very good and I enjoyed each of the five vignettes, in particular, The Good Daughter. The entire audience gasped at the end, it was such a surprise. A wonderful job by all involved.

Reviewer: Goreski
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a very nice set of short one-acts... well worth gong to see. Not all of the pieces are all that strong, but I think you'll be rewarded if you see this... I found it fun, and the acting is basically good, and some of the actors are really very good here. Highly recomended. All the pieces are well written, well performed.

Reviewer: Dona Payne
Rating: 5 Stars
I was amazed how interested I became in 10 minutes. I have to say "The Good Daughter" was my favorite. I was impressed how much was said about aging and the emotions of those who support the aging without being preachy and WITH a clever twist. It was so great to see new plays and new outlooks. The acting was great and the price was so right.

Reviewer: Mary Rodriquez
Rating: No rating
This was awesome! I went with a friend who knows one of the actors. I really just wanted to have an espresso and call it a night, but I got dragged along. I was surprised when Check the Box was really good!

They were all great, but my favorite was The Good Daughter by Robin Bradford. It was amazing. My only suggestion is that it could be longer. Maybe this could be made into a full-on play? It seems like it's got a lot of potential.

I could really identify with Pam Gutman's play about the Eurasian, because I come from a mixed family and I've run into some of the same issues she did growing up.

The actors all played various parts and it added to the fun to see them go from one play to the next. They were versatile and believable in all the roles. In short, I can recommend Check The Box to anyone who wants a great experience at the Fringe. Or at the theater, period.

Reviewer: W. R. Hamilton
Rating: 5 Stars
This play far exceeded my expectations. It took me by surprise, from the direction, which successfully linked five separate pieces -- to the actors, who were just superb.

Robin Bradford's "The Good Daughter," is a standout in this group of five excellent mini-plays. It's a roller coaster ride which had me up and down several times within a few moments. Quite unexpected and very well written. The actors were terrific.

"Harley and Handel," by Maureen Bogues, was very entertaining and wonderfully acted. I enjoyed Edna Hall's "Twinship Kinship," as well as the work of Pamela Gutman and Mae Meidav. In all, this is a MUST SEE for all Fringe goers. Just great! THANK YOU.

Reviewer: Pat Craig - Contra Costa Times
Rating: No rating
...CHECK THE BOX: MERGING VOICES. ...wonderfully entertaining ... If you enjoy sharp writing and plays that demand rapt attention and concentration, don't miss "Check the Box: Merging Voices," a set of short pieces presented by ... Brookside Repertory Theatre. ... the group seems to be concentrating on performing original sketches and plays that take a different angle on contemporary life -- from love among the nerds to dealing with elderly parents to growing up Eurasian in a blond family or gay with a mom in denial. These brief dramedies are wonderfully well-written...

Brookside Repertory's opener: "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Computer," by Mae Ziglin Meidav, is a sly comedy about a mixer at a convention of engineers, and places notions of love, romance and sex in a technical context, with a language of initials and slang only a systems pro could love. And, while you may not understand a word these people are saying, you will quickly see that they are not talking about making connections with a high-speed modem. ... "The Good Daughter" by Robin Bradford, was a well-performed meeting between a young woman and an elderly woman in a nursing home. The sketch is not only nicely written by offers a lesson in the fact seeing is not always believing ... (Pat Craig, theater critic, Contra Costa Times, Sept. 8, 2003).

Reviewer: Ray Hodgins
Rating: 3 Stars
Meidav’s "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Computer" full of computerese/sex talk really smart writing. Hall's "Twinship Kinship" had a charming vaudeville touch to it & entertaining wordplay. I like its silliness. Bradford's "Good Daughter," was great. 4 stars for that one. Nice surprise payoff. It made me think about my own mother & her current elder care situation. Gutman's "Borders," etc. Amazing package of 30-year bio in 10 minutes time. Then Bogues' "Harley & Handel" was both funny & poignant: mother & son, a cigar box, cookies & a pending trip to a concert. Solid direction & clever transition from one play to the next. Zipped right along. Excellent acting -- especially Sondra Putnam, in the computer sex talk piece and Pat Parker as the mother of the "good" daughter. It was my first time Fringe show and now I'm looking around for more to see before this years production ends.

Reviewer: Patricia Koob
Rating: 5 Stars
Who would dream that so much could be said in a 10-minute play? All five in this collection were gems, beautifully written, acted, directed, and staged. I can't wait to see more plays by the five fabulous female playwrights!

Reviewer: Vince Vitale
Rating: 4 Stars
What could you expect from five performances in one hour? Quite a bit, actually. Three are more vignettes than plays, with interesting takes on networking without a sexual undertone, the life of twins, and navigating ethnic prejudice when you’re born multi-ethnic. The other two are mini-plays. “Harley and Handel” by Maureen Bogues is a touching story of family dynamics, when someone is not allowed into the life of the other because of the sense of not being safe, and the potential for healing. “The Good Daughter” by Robin Bradford stands out as a gem, almost Twilight Zone. How this mother/daughter emotional baggage plays out I won’t reveal, for belying the plot. I can easily recommend seeing “Check the Box” just to see “The Good Daughter.”


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