Sunday, April 26, 2015
KBAQ Radio, Curtain Up Phoenix

Local premieres of two funny but clever double-entre comedies are linked by one of the Valley’s most talented actor/director. Stray Cat Theatre’s artistic director Ron May has staged Jonathan Tollins’ clever “Buyer and Cellar” as a riotous laugh fest for Phoenix Theatre where the director pulls a fine comic performance from Valley actor Toby Yatso.

May also features the craftily devious look at Tom Cruise’s sexuality in “The TomKat Project,” the season closer for his Stray Cat Theatre May usually directs Stray Cat productions but this time associate artistic director, Louis Farber, staged the hysterical slap at the popular actor.


Stray Cat Theatre

Tempe, AZ

With seven actors portraying a host of wacky characters surrounding Tom Cruise and his wife, Katie Holmes, “The Tom Kat Project” looks with a squinted and skewed look at Cruise’s unusual situations and his rhapsodic devotion to Scientology beliefs. Director Farber keeps things flowing swiftly as the revelations and bizarre shenanigans flow furiously.

Seven actors play 54 characters ranging from Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman, and Tom Hanks to Cruise’s baby, Suri. The superb ensemble goes back and forth among the characters with ease as they define each person with clear distinction. Brady Weber plays playwright Brandon Ogborn as a crafty narrator. Chris Mascarelli essays Cruise with awesome stature but also amazing denials of what he does. Brandi Bigley is a loyal and trusting Holmes. Tim Shawver has a field day with Spielberg. Chanel Bragg creates a wacky Winfrey, Kellie Dunlap is a wild Suri, and David Chorley is a bizarre Scientology preacher. “The Tom Kat Project” continues through May 9. For tickets, call the Stray Cat Theatre box office at 480-227-1766 or order tickets online at www.straycattheatre.org.

Grade: A