Jack Heller

Directing Reviews


________________________________________________________________________

CHINESE COFFEE -- Jan 2011

"Director Jack Heller's brisk stageing is most noteworthy as a vehicle for actors...fans of detailed acting may find "Chinese Coffee"a strong brew indeed." -- David C. Nichols LA TIMES

""Director Jack Heller's staging crackles with ferocious energy,elevating the potentially clunky dialogue...The acting is robust and movingly organic." -- Paul Birchall LA WEEKLY


________________________________________________________________________

CRYING ROCKS -- Laurelgrove Theatre, Studio City, CA

"engaging and utterly convincing" -- Ed Kaufman, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"THIS WAS THE BEST PLAY I HAVE SEEN IN YEARS" -- Dean Edwards, NOHO>LA

"fierce portrayals that ring laughter out of tragedy" -- Jana J. Monji, LA TIMES

"COMMITTED AND POWERFUL ACTING" -- Terry Morgan, LA WEEKLY

"nobody gets out unscathed" -- Edmond Newton, NEW TIMES

"VOLATILE....OUTRAGEOUSLY FUNNY" -- Julio Martinez, DAILY NEWS

"a major cultural booster shot right in the withered arm of the Los Angeles theater scene" -- ENTERTAINMENT TODAY

________________________________________________________________________

THE LONG STAY CUT SHORT features gripping stagings of two little-known, heartbreaking Tennessee Williams one-acts. Heller's Direction elegantly graws into stark relief the frantic and desperate delusions of Williams' two very different heroines. Each struggle with her own obsolescence and loneliness, one by surrendering herself with open arms to the cold and bitter world, and one by recoiling from it entirely. It's a nice contrast, and one that illuminates unique complexities in the playwright's repertoire of tragic women. -- LA WEEKLY

________________________________________________________________________

THE DEAD BOY - Laurelgrove Theatre, Studio City, CA

"Theater elegance... Wrenching and riveting" "Has a great deal to say about obsession, fear and varying forms of homophobia" -- Back Stage West

BEST BET! "Provocative Material" -- LA TIMES

"Powerful look at one priest's fall from grace" -- Daily News

"Opens up the corridors of power and the horrors embedded in the heart... Exquisitely directed, acted to perfection" -- Beverly Press

"Deftly woven drama" -- Curtain Up

""Tense, thought-provokig and imaginative" -- Entertainment Today

Hard-hitting... Superb... Poignant and richly layered..." -- Frontiers

"Darkly intense... Breathtaking, memorable performances" -- Tolucan

________________________________________________________________________

WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?

"...Evident throughout this production was a finely discerning and guiding director's hand. That hand belongs to gifted Jack Heller. Obviously, his actors had standards set for them and indeed demanded of them and Heller wrung from them all that he required. It is difficult not to mention the movie version of the play, so I will to Heller's cast's additional credit. For, in many respects, such as the artist unity and sustained control of characterization, this production improved upon the film. Heller allows no distractions from the play's intensity. And, the characters are characters, not personalities pretending to be characters..." - Thomas Walters

"...Director Jack Heller has assembled a highly competent cast, and he has staged a tight, fast moving show that seldom falters and never takes the cheap and easy way out." - William Hardy

"...Virginia Woolf should be placed in any repertory cycle. The Village production - presented by a new management - has given us an utterly convincing, even profoundly disturbing version of the play. It's the best work ever to appear on that stage. It ranks with the most vital theatre presented in Raleigh in the last two years." - Bill Morrison

________________________________________________________________________

LUV

"...Under its new management, the Country Dinner Playhouse has brought in the most throughly professional production to ever hit the dinner theaters in this area. Sheila MacRae starring in 'Luv'. Not on ly is this a solid production with strong performances by Miss MacRae and company, the play itself brings a new dimension to dinner theatres here which generally have been characterized by light and paltry stuff." - Bruce Jones

"...The fact that Heller not only directed the farcial trivia but participated with Barbara Bel Geddes and Allan Arkin in the original New York company some time ago lent a historic charge to the performances and spread an honest authenticity over the basic concept. A play with only three roles of equal importance is frequently avoided by the experienced directors. Personal animosity is always a possible factor. But Heller's skillful handling of the three (including himslef) is a gem of the directing art and deserves the applause that erupted throughout its two acts." - Paul Yawitz

"...It was the most exciting and downright funny productions of 'Luv' of the many previously seen by this reviewer." - Bethia Caffery

________________________________________________________________________

THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT

"...Pussycat is one of those rare, fine comedies that combine laughter and insite.. part of both that laughter and insight comes from the performances of the two-person cast, Dawn Wells and Jack Heller, and from Jack Heller's direction of the Play...one of the best comedies Plaza Dinner Theater has presented." - Ron White

"...A third star is Heller's direction, which keeps the production moving: Frantically when need be..and tender when it should be..." - KTBC-TV

"...Moments of direct and honest human contact are pleasantly refreshing to find in a contemporary comedy...For Jack Heller in his own quiet way demands an equal amount of our attention and laughter. His obviously carefully selected performance is totally winning and even more remarkable because he has directed himself and Miss Wells with equal skill and objectivity." - J. Oliver Scott
________________________________________________________________________

A MEASURE OF CRUELTY (U.S. Debut)

"...Jack Heller directs with a sure hand..." - Variety

________________________________________________________________________

LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS

"Acting, Directing in 'Red Hot Lovers' flawless..." - Chris Stoehr

"...The Last of the Red Hot Lovers is good entertainment performed by the two talented actors. The result is a newar perfect blend and quite the best thing Drury Land North has done to date..." - Charles A White