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Barry Wurst II

Barry Wurst II
Barry Wurst II is a senior editor & film critic at MAUIWatch. He wrote film reviews for a local Maui publication and taught film classes at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS). Wurst also co-hosted podcasts for Screengeeks.com and has been published in Bright Lights Film Journal and in other film-related websites. He is currently featured in the new MAUIWatch Podcast- The NERDWatch.

Theater Review: Mamma Mia!

Somewhere during the first act of “Mamma Mia!,” which just opened at the Historic Iao Theater, the audience began to lose their minds. Audibly and, in some cases, even physically, the theater goers reacted to the show in a wildly enthusiastic manner, akin to zoo animals freaking out over an elegantly coifed poodle walking past their cages. The scene in …

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Theater Review: Sleuth

Kristi Scott, the managing director of the ProArts Theater, has been asking local theater critics for weeks to keep a lid on the BIG SECRETS of “Sleuth,” the new Jason Strahn-directed thriller.  It’s an understandable and thoughtful request, though there’s more to it than that. Really, the surprises in Strahn’s production are so well executed and expertly timed, it would …

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Theater Review: The Boys Next Door

When I was a child, my parents took me to see an Off-Broadway drama in which everyone in the cast had some form of mental disability. While the performers were all playing characters and had dialogue, their characters had the same disability they had in real life. I don’t remember the name of the play but it stayed with me, …

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Theater Review: Avenue Q

Everything you’ve heard about “Avenue Q” is true. It’s a musical comedy with a puppet cast and presented in a style recognizable to anyone raised on “Sesame Street.” However, unlike the ongoing saga of Bert and Ernie, “Avenue Q” is for adults only, as the puppets (and a handful of human co-stars) are gleefully foul mouthed. Despite the ample profanity …

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Theater Review: Black Comedy/ ‘Dentity Crisis

This is why I go to the theater and love it so much, because of productions like Lisa Teichner’s “Black Comedy/ ‘Dentity Crisis.” There is an adventurous spirit at hand, a willingness to push buttons, send up conventions and experiment with the possibilities of live performance, that immediately endeared me to this work. Allow me to explain just what this …

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Theater Review: The Pirates of Penzance

There is an infectious merriment and a parade of extraordinary musical numbers in Michael Pulliam’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” which just opened at the Historic Iao Theater. In this revival of Gilbert & Sullivan’s 140-year old comic opera, a superb cast brings the classic to life and presents one knockout musical number after another. Kiegan Otterson stars as …

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Theater Review: It’s Only a Play

Frances Taua’s production of “It’s Only A Play” is the best kind of comedy, in that it keeps getting funnier with every scene but has more on its mind than simply generating laughter. Penned by playwright Terrence McNally (whose greatest works include “Master Class,” “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire De Lune” and “Love! Valour! Compassion!”) , this farce, about …

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Theater Review: Elf The Musical

Has it really been three years since we last saw Buddy the Elf? It’s hard to believe that, in the holiday slot filled by “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” over the years at the Historic Iao Theater, Buddy and his show have remained dormant. In fact, seeing how astonishingly energetic star Ricky Jones is in the role for …

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Theater Review: Anything Goes

David Ward’s production of Cole Porter’s classic musical/comedy “Anything Goes” is a rare jewel to encounter in present day. It’s amazing, really, to see talented young teenagers belting out Porter classics in 2018 and committing to the energetic shenanigans. Now playing at Seabury Hall, “Anything Goes” is a breezy throwback and a genuine charmer. The plot offers traces of French …

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Theater Review: Vindication

Lin McEwan’s “Vindication,” which just opened at the ProArts Theatre in Kihei,  is an original drama she wrote and directed. She is also the star, playing Mary Wollstonecraft, in a show made up of scenes from Wollstonecraft’s remarkable life (1759-1797)as an author, boundary-pusher and a woman far ahead of her time. If this reads like the play is a vanity …

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