Roberts, the creator of “Mike & Molly,” has a quick way with a one-liner, even if he overpopulates the stage, proliferating subplots while missing the opportunity for more musical numbers. No matter. Kober is credible as a star, and Jennifer Pollono steals the show as a waitress who over-shares. Rode hard and put away wet? “Great Ones” offers easygoing respite.
Charlotte Stoudt – LA Times
You can’t win ‘em all — and that applies not only to Sonny Burl, the antihero of this West Coast premiere, but also to Rogue Machine. The company, which received numerous L.A. Weekly Theater Awards nods for a couple productions in 2011, starts this season off with a dud.
Rebecca Haithcoat – LA Weekly
The production gets off on the wrong foot, and though the actors make strong efforts to steer it in the right direction, it never fully recovers.
Katherine Davis – Backstage
Spectators’ reaction to “Where the Great Ones Run” by Mark Roberts, of TV’s “Mike and Molly,” will hinge on how high or low they set their expectations. This tiny (80 minutes), condescension-free peek into the lives of Midwestern dreamers is pleasant but weightless: Horton Foote without the character density; Preston Jones minus a social critique.
Bob Verini – Variety
Though alcoholism, domestic violence, homosexuality, and a rather long bit of full-frontal male nudity would doubtless make this Mark Roberts play rather too daring for, say, Actors Co-op, coming from Rogue Machine, Where The Great Ones Run seems downright sunny, more Horton Foote than Sam Shepard, and if you’re anything like this reviewer you’ll love every minute of Roberts’ only slightly acidic valentine to small-town Indiana life.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA
Unfortunately, “Where the Great Ones Run” by Mark Roberts turns out to be little more than a maudlin family tale of hapless pushovers unafraid to pout directly into the cruel face of fate.
Lyle Zimskind – LAist
So, rather than expect this play to be a fully fleshed out exploration of the whole of the human condition, think of it as a short, bittersweet song meant to evoke and inspire emotion and thought. It is to be whistled and hummed and tossed around the tongue for a later, more private mastication.
Andrea Kittelson – LA Examiner
Even with some heartbreaking scenes, I was laughing aloud for most of the hour and 40 minutes.
Melissa Curtin – Hollywood Star
The Rogue Machine is one of the best theatre companies in Los Angeles, producing some of the finest productions anywhere. Sadly, their latest effort Where the Great Ones Run wandered off their true artistic center and truly left me baffled.
Eve Meadows – Stage and Cinema
Well, I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say is…’Where The Great Ones Run’ directed by Mark L. Taylor, is a funny, touching play about friendship, love, regret and in the end…forgiveness.
Joan Alperin Schwartz – LA Examiner
No way to know how who did what with where and when so at the end of this well-spent, and most enjoyable evening of theatre to remember, I take no chances.
Harvey Sid Fisher – Hollywood Today
Let’s call this one a marvelous Russian-American comedy.
Paul MyrVolds – TheatreNotes
WHERE THE GREAT ONES RUN
Rogue Machine Theatre
5041 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; Ends July 8, 2012
Tickets: $30; (855) 585-5185
Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.