Pelfrey has fashioned a bracingly cerebral and nerve-rattling piece. Though the play needs to bring its complex narrative and heady themes into focus more quickly and lucidly, the project pays off as an intellectually stimulating ride.
Les Spindle – Backstage
The task is for the audience to figure out which is which, who is who and whether or not to care. With all the doubling going on, program references are a must. Director Damaso Rodriguez has his hands full. Skill levels are uneven and dialogue like “It’s cool, man. Seriously, I’m good.” speaks for itself.
Michael Sheehan – OnStageLosAngeles
There is a lot of humor throughout this show and it is never, not for a nano second ever dull.
Ron Irwin – LA Examiner
It would be tempting to place all the blame on director Dámaso Rodriguez for the cluttered, overblown and sententious chaos that is playwright Matt Pelfrey’s inchoate meditation on the act of heroism in the age of mechanical reproduction. But Pelfrey’s pedestrian and attenuated tale of a wimpy, comic book-obsessed high school outcast (Nick Cernoch) accidentally thrust into self-destructive media celebrity packs neither the poetic punch of a riveting stage narrative nor the insight needed to nail down its intended examination of the hero as a social construct.
Bill Raden – LA Weekly
Despite the obvious care in staging, Pelfrey and Rodriguez fail to see they’re trying to have it both ways, no less guilty than the Geraldos and Oprahs they twit in wanting no good deed to go unridiculed.
Bob Verini – Variety
No Good Deed initially seems to struggle to find its niche, but by Act Two, Pelfrey’s play fully redeems itself through quirky humor and full-circle connections that validate the rest of the work.
Mialka Bonadonna Morano – LAist
In the end I was impressed with the level of storytelling, acting, and the seamless integration of all the working parts.
Malachi Mojica – Socal
This explosive saga leaps right off the stage with the help of some dazzling graphic projections and intricate special effects – a special treat for comic book aficionados!
Sid Fish – Hollywood Weekly Magazine
Though it veers too ambiguously into the realm of (possibly drug induced) fantasy in its second act, under Dámaso Rodriguez’s electric direction, NOgoodDEED is as cinematically thrilling a piece of live theater as you’re likely to experience this or any year.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA
Fortunately, though, all the elements (and the script) come together in the second act. The precisely choreographed fight sequences by Brian Danner (who also performs) provide a further saving grace. The diligence of the acting company, helmed by Rodriguez who seems to have time to concentrate on relationships in the second act, can be felt in Nick Cernoch’s no-holds-barred teen hero, for instance. And there are enthusiastic performances from Johanna McKay, Robert Pescovitz, and Katie Marie Davies, to single out only a few in the large cast.
Leigh Kennicott – Stagehappenings
It’s not that we, as an audience cannot sympathize with anti-heroes such as these, but as presented in this incarnation, this muddled, unfocused play is too self-consciously trying to get somewhere rather than letting things simply happen via the dramatic arc.
Obed Medina – EdgeLosAngeles
Appropriately, the play is silly and over-exaggerated as some graphic novels, as well as mainstream media (which has practically become a form of entertainment itself) can be. Unlike mainstream news, however, “No Good Deed” is clever, and provides substance to its story.
Julie Nguyen – Experience LA
While the story is expansive, the performance is based in emotional realism and gives the audience a visceral, emotional, and darkly comic experience.
Robert Machray – Blog Critics
NOgoodDEED is, in some ways, a depressing and accusatory play about how we destroy what we idolize. But what makes it a crazy fun piece of theatre is that it takes place in a surreal world where comic book superheroes come to life, and the world of live actors on stage is interwoven with the world of graphic novels on upstage screens. So when the second act starts talking about time travel, cosmic energy, and white kryptonite, you’re willing to go along for the ride.
Sharon Perlmutter – Talkin’ Broadway
Although well intentioned, “No Good Deed” is an overzealous train wreck of a play.
Patrick Meissner – Campus Circle
This “live-on-stage graphic novel adventure” is only intermittently lively and virtually never novel nor adventurous, marking perhaps the first signal disappointment in the Furious Theatre’s hitherto unbroken record of artistic success.
Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter
NO GOOD DEED
Presented by Furious Theatre Company
At [Inside] the Ford
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood
Jan. 21–Feb. 26; Schedule varies
Tickets: (323) 461-3673
Filed Under: LemonMeter
About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.