Social Media Buzz for THE WHALE (updated 3.3.14)

Sunday, March 2, 2014
facebook, emails, goldstar


"One of the best shows I've seen in forever. Freaking beautiful." - DD

"I'm still thinking about The Whale this morning. I can't even articulate how moving and true and real it was. I'm sitting here typing about it and starting to cry. I'm so glad I didn't miss it. Well done, Stray Cat Theatre, and to Damon Dering: You broke my heart." - ES

"The Whale. Stray Cat Theatre. Not fucking around. Had to leave the theatre in a hurry so I could sit in my car to violently weep and shake without attracting attention from the concerned citizens of Tempe. Thanks a lot, assholes. Gah." - SW

"This was one of the finest shows I have seen in many years. It had me mesmerized from beginning to end. The acting was superb, especially the brilliant performance of the lead actor." - goldstar review

"I saw the Whale Thursday night. Thank you for continuing to make cathartic, intellectually stimulating theatre. Stray Cat continues to be the best ticket in town." - WI

"I had the honor of seeing Stray Cat Theater's production of "The Whale" tonight! Damon Dering, Michelle Chin, and Amazing Cast left me in awe! Watching this production made me fall in love with theater all over again! Amazing, Amazing Show!" - WR

"Stray Cat Theatre = The Whale = BRILLIANT! Im Still Crying." - LS

"Ladies and gentlemen, The Whale...OMG." - EB

"That was such good theatre! I was so a laugh-while-you-choke-back-the-tears kind of way. I had to process it before I could even talk about it. I'll be chewing on this one for a while." - SW

"You have until March 1 to see Stray Cat Theatre's The Whale. Powerful, passionate and incredibly moving." - JR

"I have to say, The Whale blew me away. Ron May and cast and crew, you really outdid yourself. Congrats guys and thanks for making a difference in my week!" - RE

"It was amazing to sit in a house (that was 50% theater people) with tears running down our faces, at the conclusion of this powerful performance. Thank you Ron May for bringing this work to the Valley, it is one I will long remember. Damon, Johanna Carlisle and the rest of the cast make us really care about these characters. ADDED SHOW ON SUNDAY AT 2PM!!! Go see it if you can! All tickets on Sunday are $12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - DT

"The Whale at Stray Cat...a transforming experience. The 5 actors were completely committed...and Damon Dering - astounding, just mesmerizing. Thank you , Ron May, for bringing us this profoundly enjoyable play. If it's not sold out for this last weekend, it certainly should be. Go. See. It." - PS

"Tonight I got to see a truly brilliant performance by Damon Dering in "The Whale". The entire cast was so amazing, Johanna Carlisle, Austin Kiehle, Anne Marie Falvey, and Michelle Chin. Under Ron May's brilliant direction this group of incredible actors took me on a journey from laughter to tears. Thank you all!!! If don't see this show you will have missed some of the finest theater in Phoenix!!" - KC

"Stray Cat Theatre's production of The Whale is BRILLIANT!!! Ron May, you are amazing!!! This cast is SO GOOD!!! Props to Damon Dering, Michelle Chin, Johanna Carlisle, Austin Kiehle, and Anne Marie Falvey!!! Go see this production before it closes!!! And if you go, also make sure to hug Brooke Unverferth, because she gives amazing hugs!!!" - AV

"The play was wonderfully acted and the audience appreciated the actors and the writing. This little theater company is a good find." - MR

"The play was poignant and moving. I'm hearing impaired and so had a difficult time hearing all the dialog but that did not impair my perception of the story. I saw Damon Dering as never before. Great acting by supporting cast especially newcomer Austin Kiehle." - ML

"Remarkable...a combination of a very challenging play, fine direction and memorable performances...unique in that we discover new details (exposition) as we move through the events...character relationships are intensely surprising and real! Congrats to former student Damon Dering who has done so well at Nearly Naked and now (as then) a fine actor. Thanks to the whole team!" - goldstar review

"Nice theater space in the University area with lots of dining options. Good amount of parking spaces. Box office was an ease and liked that refreshments, though limited, were sold at a very reasonable price. Nice theater with good viewing from all seats Play was thoughtful, different subject matter. Set was done well and with actors. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience: the play itself as well as the theater." - goldstar review


"Nice, intimate theater. Great set. Comfortable temperature. The acting was absolutely amazing--very involving from the first moment to the last. Fascinating play with an interesting viewpoint. I took my son to the play for his 21st birthday and we both loved it. (By the way I've paid a lot more to see plays I didn't enjoy half as much!)" - JMK

"Congratulations on a powerful and dynamic show!" - DR

"I saw The Whale at Stray Cat Theatre and was simply blown away! The cast was remarkable and was expertly anchored by the best performance I've ever seen Damon Dering give. Everything about it was theater magic." - SM

"...absolutely amazing!! Get your butt to Tempe to see this wonderfully heartbreaking show." - ME

"Wow. The Whale is an amazing production with phenomenal performances. So much fun to see Michelle Chin playing a hate-filled teen, and Damon Dering as a meek, apologetic, victim-type...very moving. Johanna Carlisle as the defensive ex-wife...just amazing all the way around. Ron May, Amanda Keegan - truly outstanding work. Just wow!" - SSJ

"Spent a great afternoon watching a beautiful story. Sincere thanks to all who were involved." - SL

"This play is excellent. 20 minutes in, I knew it was getting a standing ovation. Now I am going to cry a little more before going to bed." - LM

Congratulations to the cast, director and crew of The Whale. My husband and I were so moved by the play last night. It's a triumph for Stray Cat. - sh

"Congratulations to everyone who worked on The Whale. Amazing work tonight. Really powerful." - CP

"A-FUCKING-MAZING! Best thing I've seen in a long time!" - AN

"I would like to strongly recommend that everyone see Damon Dering in "The Whale" at Stray Cat Theatre. Reviewers are saying that this is the best play of the season and I agree. The play looks boldly at life issues including spirituality, church, making a difference in life, orientation, etc. etc. The acting is real and raw. Laugh and cry at the best play that you can see in Arizona this season." - RW

"I went and saw this Sunday and admit that even though I got a feel for what was coming in the end I let out an audible gasp when it was over. It was like a highly emotional train ride came to a stop and I was finally allowed to get off. It was really very powerful and moving. Thankfully it took a little while to get the house lights back up. This show is exactly why I like theatre." - JW

"No matter how many times I watch The Whale, I cry. Every. Time. If you miss this show, you miss everything. Go see it. Seriously." - BR

"Absolutely incredible." - CC

"Excellent acting. Very well done and emotionally touching." - AL

"Such a rich, devastating play, matched by flawless performances. By far, this is the best production I've seen from Stray Cat yet." - HC

"Great show! Going back to see it again. Outstanding dramatic performances." - goldstar review

"...seriously, if you are in Phoenix and don't see The Whale, you are missing out! This is not a fun, happy play, but a heartbreaking, devastating show that is a must see!" - HRH

"We were in awe over the wonderful, wonderful performances by Damon Dering, and the rest of the amazing cast you assembled together. Y'all tore our hearts to pieces! I was in tears by the end!!...Shows like these are what make theatre so beautiful, and 'The Whale' is the best show I've ever had the pleasure of seeing live. Break legs on the rest of the run!!!!" - MSL

"Just saw The Whale. Jesus. Christ." - BB

"Just saw THE WHALE at stray cat and I honestly don't have words for how beautiful and deeply moving it was. It is one of the best pieces of theater I've seen in a very long while. Please see it." - CW

"Stupendous. Excellent piece of theater, truly." - TLM


"I need everyone to know that if you don't see The Whale at Stray Cat Theatre, you will be missing one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Not in Phoenix. In life. Please see it. It would be worth coming from out of state. I am devastated. Congrats to all involved." - SW

"You. Must. See. The.'s simply one of the strongest pieces I've ever seen performed, and I've seen a LOT of theatre..." - JG

"THE WHALE at Stray Cat Theatre is electrifying, moving, heartwrenching, and will leave you speechless. Everyone was ABSOLUTE purrfection...some of their best work to DATE!!! Kudos to the cast, crew, designers, director for an OUTSTANDING production. Take a friend, take a date, take your mom, take yourself!!! You won't regret it." - MT

"It's beautiful." - JR

"I have never seen such raw and honest performances. Bravo..." - BU

"The Whale at Stray Cat Theatre will mercilessly punch you in the gut in the best way! Really powerful stuff." - TS

"I keep thinking: "Emotional Heroin" Now THAT is why I love theatre. You sure deliver the goods! Powerful stuff! Great job to you and all." - ML

"Holy shit!! That was an amazing uncomfortable MOTHERFUCKER. This show is Amazing! I wish i was able to place all the feelings into words. You Bitches are going to WEEP WEEP I say, with wonder, with amazement and you're not going to want to watch it all but you will be compelled!! The story!! The talent and execution is beyond words you won't know if you want to Punch or Hug Ron May, Damon Dering and Johanna Carlisle!" - DC

"Damon Dering was devastatingly good...don't miss this one!" - BF

"I am still emotionally discombobulated after that tragically beautiful production. Massive kudos to EVERYONE involved. You have an outstanding show here. Thank you." - CF

"I truly wanted to thank you for f-ing breaking my heart last night on Valentine's Day. A beautiful production and so moving. So many emotions and so truly played not forced so I felt them all and them some. I woke up this morning with the final scene burning in my brain..." - SW

"All I can say is WOW...The Whale at Stray Cat is awesome - if you miss this show you are missing out on a beautiful production." - SL

"I was lucky enough to be able to be in the audience for The Whale at Stray Cat Theatre tonight. Amazing script and absolutely incredible acting. I enjoyed every single minute of it." - JK

"Stray Cat does some fab work to start. Add some intense writing and a solid cast..? Well, fuck. Just go already." - RH

"The Whale" at Stray Cat Theatre is a must see!! Damon Dering puts out one of the finest and truest performances I have ever seen. Anne Marie Falvey, Johanna Carlisle and Michelle Chin are all amazing to watch as they always are. Then add the new kid, Austin Kiehle to the mix and you have one of the most powerful casts performing this incredibly powerful play. Ron May's direction is spot on. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you think. Buy your tickets now!" - DW

"Thank you so much for sharing "The Whale" with me last night. I had to get out of there pretty quickly after to go and feel all of my feelings privately (there were more of them present than I'm used to). Please know you're doing wonderful, powerful, and important work. I love Stray Cat! And Ron May! Have a wonderful run of this wonderful piece." - KH

If you have a heart rather than a solid chunk of ice in your chest, do yourself a favor and go see The Whale at Stray Cat Theatre. Such an incredible script and production with a truly superb cast. The set design alone tells an incredibly moving story. Go!" - JD

"Phoenix metro humans: I had the great pleasure of seeing THE WHALE at Stray Cat Theatre last night and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Moving, unsettlingly honest, funny, and expertly executed -- support (great) local theatre!" - RR

"I am just getting home from seeing, "The Whale" at Stray Cat Theatre. People, go see this shit!!!! It was one of the most honest, beautiful productions I have ever seen. Phenomenal acting performances from the entire cast. We don't get performances like these often in this town. Real. Thank you to everyone at Stray Cat for doing what you do." - CH

"Fucking brilliant. You must see The Whale at Stray Cat. Must being an understatement." - AC

"If you see any play this year, GO AND SEE 'The Whale' at Stray Cat Theatre over the next few weeks. It is so visceral and yet devastating, it will make you think not only about your life, but of the ones you love as well. Bravo Damon Dering!!!" - SB

"The Whale at Stray Cat Theatre is breathtaking. It literally took my breath away. Damon Dering gives everything he is to Charlie and it is raw, wrenching and beautiful. And he is surrounded by beauty: Anne Marie Falvey, Michelle Chin, Johanna Carlisle and Austin Kiehle. I haven't stopped thinking about it. Please see it." - AH

"Go see Stray Cat's show The Whale!...It's heartbreaking and intense and amazing." - TO

"... just saw a terrific production at Stray Cat Theater. Beautifully directed by Ron May with an outstanding cast, including Damon Dering. Dering is the founder and artistic director of Nearly Naked Theatre. Powerful and very moving! Don't miss it!" - BO

"So anyone in the Phoenix're gonna want to check out The Whale at Stray Cat Theatre. Wow. Brilliantly executed. Needed a drink after that amazing show! Speechless!" - DH

"EVERYONE must see 'The Whale' at Stray Cat. It is an EXPERIENCE, not just a PERFORMANCE. Expertly shared by Ron May and his amazing cast, including the incredible Damon Dering, Johanna Carlisle,and Michelle Chin. Thank you, thank you." - JW

"Exciting, honest, stark, real theatre." - WP

"Thank you Ron and Cast for the honesty and humanity of The Whale. Powerful performances all." - SK

"The Whale" is powerful and provocative. Damon Dering gives an unforgettable performance that I'll remember for a long time. Don't miss this production." - PL

"I had the divine pleasure of seeing Stray Cats' The Whale last night. 'Seeing' is not quite the right verbology...Blown away is more apropos. If you are anywhere near Phoenix SEE THIS SHOW!!! Damon Dering's vulnerability, raw honesty, understanding of humanity tore me apart and put me together in a completely unexpected way. Johanna Carlisle is a powerhouse of energy & emotion from the moment she bursts on stage. And the way Ron May effortlessly cultivates this world and navigates all the people in it (and the audience through their journey) is stunning. Thank you to everyone involved." - HH

"I saw The Whale on Sunday. Beautiful, poignant and inescapable. It will follow me around for days. Bravo to actors, unity, set design and concept. I will tell everyone." - DL

"Stray Cat has increasingly become the most interesting theatre in town!" - DA

"I went with two friends to the Feb 16 Sunday matinee show. This is such a friendly, relaxed theatre experience, and there were several local actors in the audience. Damon Dering was perfect the lead as a human whale who is so sweet, so loving, and so sad. I was very moved by the story and the excellent acting; the reality on many levels, the brilliant weaving together of many themes. Highly recommended." - goldstar review

"Stray Cat does some fabulous works. The Whale is one of them. So much talent on stage in this complex drama with twists and turns. Thank you for the works you bring to life." - RS

"What a riveting and jolting evening of theatre and that's the best kind. I was thrilled to be in the first of many audiences to experience this stunning work. Damon was amazing!" - RS