METAMORPHOSES by Mary Zimmerman
directed by T.J. Walsh*
Theatre Three, Dallas, Texas*Outstanding Direction Award - DFW Theatre Critics CircleT.J. Walsh's direction and staging is bewitching, exhilarating, and marvelous all at once.
Nothing is left out of this director's vision; everything is staged with soothing flow, like the waters within the pool that is built right smack in the middle of the stage. Walsh uses the water and stage like a kid at a candy store. Symbolism and subtext ebbs constantly from his direction. To create movement of time, Mt. Olympus, Hades, and earth he has the blocking flow peacefully from the emotions of the actors. The use of the pool and water is nothing short of pure brilliance.
These two elements are used to under score emotion, to crate scenery, even to change an old woman into a young girl! Water symbolizes creation, cleansing, and the womb, which Walsh used to satisfying results. He uses subtle staging or movement to deliver so much character subtext or emotion within his direction. The pace never slacks or seems soporific. The actors devour the piece like a seven course meal, with the director wisely knowing when to really savor the moments, scenes, and emotions which come forth from Zimmerman's writing and her characters. On a side note, a special round of applause for Walsh casting roles non-traditionally. Walsh's direction here is pure perfection. John Garcia, thecolumnonline.com
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"Director T.J. Walsh has chosen a young cast that catches the play's every mood swing, from whimsical to majestic, from tragic back to satirical.
By the time Eros walks onstage toward the end -- nude except for a fluffy pair of wings - for his rendezvous with Pscyhe, you are aught up in one of the most magical experiences in contemporary American theatre." Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News
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"The director, T.J. Walsh, employs his design elements wisely
, from Tristan Decker's emotive lighting to the efficient set by Jack Alder. (Actors occasionally squeegee the set dry, during which Walsh inserts some clever stage business.) He imbues the storytelling with the style of a ballet -- elegant but visceral
." Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice
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"The staging, directed by T.J. Walsh, doesn't disappoint.
All in the ensemble have moments. One character says that "almost none of these stories have completely happy endings." There is, however, much depth, heart and even comedy. [This production] reclaims the seemingly lost theatrical art of storytelling.
" Mark Lowry, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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"Yes, for its 45th season, themed around "the great storytellers," T3 seems to have discovered the fountain of youth with Metamorphoses, a fresh, sexy, lyrical production directed by T.J. Walsh
and featuring a cast of talented eye candy drawn from a much younger pool than this theater typically dips into. There are new faces (and other body parts) on view. Word already has gotten out that this is a hot ticket. Metamorphoses is the best show of the summer so far, certainly the best work this theater has done in years.
" Elaine Liner, Dallas Observer