NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND (ZOMBIE JOE’S UNDERGROUND): 88% – SWEET

Julie Bermel, Leif La Duke, Chelsea Rose in “Notes from Underground” at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group. Credit: Zombie Joe.

SWEET
exaggerated faces and take chances that would make a Meisner teacher question his calling. Does this creative abandon and lack of established boundaries work for the dark and brutally countercultural “Notes From Underground”? Like gangbusters.
Travis Michael Holder – Backstage

SWEET
This kind of thing makes for difficult reading, and extremely difficult performing. Blomgren solves that conundrum with a blend of fearlessness and a comic timing. It helps he manages to remain in character with such power, and retains that quality all good actors need–interest. One can hardly take one’s eyes off of the man.
David MacDowell Blue – Night-Tinted Glasses

SWEET
“Dostoevsky’s Notes From Undergound” at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood is a wildly maddening, passionate and energetic interpretation with a modern twist – it’s one ‘hellava’ play to watch!
Lorenzo Marchessi – NoHoArtsDistrict

BITTER
With this fifty minute stage version, however (give or take some minutes depending on how quickly the actors speed through the text), the audience is dealt affectation for affectation’s sake, irreverence without relevance, and above all, Josh T. Ryan’s visionless direction, which, since it doesn’t seem to know where it’s going, takes incongruous stabs at how to get there.
Jesse David Corti – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
Despite the little stage at Zombie Joe’s, director Josh T. Ryan and the cast do an excellent job at using the room they have within and around the audience, making the audience feel as though they’ve been transported to each and every setting.
Mary Lansing – LifeInLA

SWEET
Even transposed from 19th-century St. Petersburg to the urban wilderness of modern-day Los Angeles, Dostoevsky’s hilariously unforgiving novella about the extremes of self-consciousness proves an excruciating roller-coaster plunge into hairpin-turned self-abasement.
Bill Raden – LA Weekly

SWEET
Whatever draws you to see Notes From Underground you will find something here to satisfy your deepest darkest desires.
Spencer Cotter – The_Detective

SWEET
Likewise if Zombie Joe’s Underground by its slick, manic, and very funny rendering of “Notes“ is how someone is lured into reading Dostoevsky, so be it. Does it degrade a classic of world literature into a glitzy caricature of itself? Yeah, I guess. But it also scrubs the cobwebs of academia off a work usually remembered in connection with the tedium of some High School lecture to display it as something fresh and surprisingly vibrant. Besides, it’s only fifty-frigging-minutes! That’s not time enough to go clambering up onto your high horse.
Ernest Kearney – Working Author

NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND
Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group
4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
Fridays @ 8:30pm; Jan. 11–March 1, 2013
Tickets: (818) 202-4120

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LemonMeter 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.

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  1. CreepyStageAndCinema says:

    Stage & Cinema provides their own creepy review. Obviously by reading this young actors other reviews, he has a sincere issue of self grandiosity coupled with vicious ridicule, which brings to mind the old adage, “those who can’t… criticize.” So odd that the rest of the reviewers, who have been reviewing since this boys been in diapers, seem to get it.

  2. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    Well, that, or he just didn’t like the production.

  3. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    Oh, and at least the critic, Jesse David Corti, has the balls to put his own name on his critique and not hide behind such juvenile pseudonyms like “”CreepyStageAndCinema” and an email like “douchebs@hotmail.com”.

    It’s cowardly comments like this that inch me ever closer to completely banning those who don’t have the guts to put their name with their opinions. I know it’s not possible to completely verify identities on the internet, but some situations are so blatant it wouldn’t be hard to red flag them.

  4. Josh T. Ryan says:

    I just read these reviews and comments. I appreciate all reviewers for coming out to any shows I am involved with. Totally honored that people come out when ever they do. So thank you kindly for the reviews and I aggree with Colin – if you don’t sign your name it’s pretty weak! Theatre can be interpreted many ways and I respect the right to write what we feel and say what we feel- partnering with Zombie Joe for over 22 years in creatig art has been a blast, I’m always amazed that anyone even comes out to review our work, thank you, thank you, thank you- sincerley-
    Josh T. Ryan, Director/Actor

  5. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    Thanks for taking the high road, Josh. It’s difficult for some. Look forward to catching your show.

  6. Jason Rohrer Jason Rohrer says:

    Josh, I’m glad you said that. I’m pretty sure I know who wrote that first comment above – this genius has sent multiple snide, gossipy messages to S&C, pretending to be from different people although they’re all generated from the same email address. Aside from its basic illiteracy, the gesture lacks the intelligence even to be practical.

  7. Leif La Duke says:

    I also agree with Colin and second Josh that I’m always happy when someone comes out to see a show I’m in and writes a review about the production. I firmly believe that everyone has the freedom to their opinion whether it be positive or negative. I would rather have someone hate some work I have done and put their name next to it then a ton of people praising it who I have no idea who they are and who are not willing to stand behind their word. I encourage all to see our play and then form their own opinion. Long live theater, the audiences, and those who come to review shows.
    Thank you,
    Leif La Duke

  8. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    Indeed. Thanks for adding your voice to the mix, Leif.