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The Austin Arts Hall of Fame Class of 2018
Actor/director Norman Blumensaadt, dance artists Kathy Dunn Hamrick and Anuradha Naimpally, and philanthropists Jeanne and Michael Klein join the ranks of cultural heroes
Arts Story  May 24, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...The Austin Critics Table will induct them into the Hall of Fame during its annual awards ceremony – the most informal one in town – Monday, June 4, 7pm, at Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research. Here is a brief introduction to these cultural heroes. Norman Blumensaadt..."

Crafting the Song
Austin theatre actor Robert Fisher has the heart of a rock & roller, the work ethic of a medieval craftsman, and the style of a Bob Fosse. Either he's in the wrong business or he is, as playwright Kirk Lynn calls him, "a wonder."
Arts Story  March 16, 2001, by C. Denby Swanson
"...Fisher has worked with a variety of directors now: Norman Blumensaadt on Arcadia, David Jones on Travels With My Aunt, Lowell Bartholomee on the FronteraFest Best of the Fest piece Hill of Beans. He likes having fun..."

The Cripple of Inishmaan
The company of Different Stages' production of Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan bring the script to life, but to in the eyes of reviewer Rob Curran, they work too hard to get a chance to enjoy it.
Arts Review  December 1, 2000, by Rob Curran
"...The imagery that McDonagh borrowed from the Irish language requires no accent to give it color. Director Norman Blumensaadt should not have to expend time and energy coaching strong Connemara accents..."

If It's Summer, It Must Be Shakespeare
Summer is the time for Shakespeare, so naturally here are a couple of the Bard's plays being staged in the Austin area -- Julius Caesar from the Austin Shakespeare Festival and Two Gentlemen of Verona from Different Stages -- and directors Paul Norton and Norman Blumensaadt to explain how they came to produce them this season.
Arts Story  June 27, 2003, by Barry Pineo
"...Women talk things through. The more I see how the actresses work together, the more they convince me that somehow making a political statement may have subconsciously been in my mind.Different Stages' Two Gentlemen of Verona Norman Blumensaadt has been producing plays in Austin for 23 years and is, at present, Austin's longest-active artistic director of a theatre company..."

Forgotten Radical
Thornton's plays are Wilder than you might remember
Arts Story  November 20, 2009, by Robert Faires
"..."The Skin of Our Teeth and Our Town are astonishing plays," says Different Stages Artistic Director Norman Blumensaadt. They premiered in a time when most dramatic productions aspired to a kind of kitchen-sink naturalism that would distract audiences from the artificiality of the art form, yet here were plays that leapfrogged centuries or the divide between life and death, with characters openly addressing the audience and acknowledging that they were in a play..."

Garden District
Despite some flaws, Different Stages mounts two Tennessee Williams' dramas in riveting and entertaining fashion
Arts Review  January 18, 2008, by Barry Pineo
"...To my knowledge, no play titled Garden District actually exists. Rather, Garden District is the title of this evening of two Tennessee Williams plays, produced by Different Stages and directed by Artistic Director Norman Blumensaadt..."

On the Right Path
Playwright Tom White reflects on his latest work, The Misses Overbeck, and on the 30 years of playwriting that preceded it
Arts Story  May 21, 2004, by Barry Pineo
"...That was in 1994. Then I just went on and wrote the next play, and nothing really happened until Norman [Blumensaadt, artistic director for Different Stages and director of The Misses Overbeck] – I don't know, he must have a big stack of my plays somewhere, and he pulled it out one day..."

Uncle Vanya: Finding Humor in Wasted Lives
Skipper Chong Warson examines Different Stages' new take on Uncle Vanya.
Arts Review  December 3, 1999, by Skipper Chong Warson
"...His production revels in Chekhov's delicate (often flat) humor and is helped enormously by a skilled cast bringing to fruition the director's retranslation. They are confident enough to make a meal of the play's comic subtleties, particularly Norman Blumensaadt as Vanya and Beaumont Paul as Dr..."

When the Rain Stops Falling
Strong writing and a robust cast make Different Stages' production stay with you
Arts Review  July 9, 2015, by Adam Roberts
"...And pour it does in Andrew Bovell's When the Rain Stops Falling, a tightly written drama in which the trope of rain and its ability to shape geography is salient throughout. In light of Central Texas' recent torrents, Different Stages' production felt a bit like proof of the adage that art imitates life – particularly after the somewhat eerie coincidence was pointed out by director Norman Blumensaadt during his curtain speech..."

A Number
Half the fun of Different Stages' absorbing production is talking about it later
Arts Review  May 8, 2009, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...The play presents two men onstage. Salter (Norman Blumensaadt) is trying to reassure his son (Marc Balester) that he really is his son, not just some replacement replica..."

'What I Want Right Now': Title Match
Titling a play can sometimes be a tenuous proposition, as was the case with Tom White's most recent work
Arts Story  June 27, 2008, by Barry Pineo
"...But titling a play can sometimes be a tenuous proposition, as was the case with Tom White's most recent play, currently receiving its world-premiere production from Different Stages at the Vortex. "The name has gone through many combinations," says Norman Blumensaadt, Different Stages' artistic director as well as the director of the current production..."

The Hollow
Although Different Stages' production of Agatha Christie's mystery The Hollow demands all one's focus and concentration, its stylish design, strong acting, and surprises make it worth it in the end
Arts Review  July 7, 2006, by Barry Pineo
"...Different Stages' production of Agatha Christie's murder mystery The Hollow has much to offer, but be warned that it requires you, as a viewer, to work harder than you might otherwise because the actors speak so quickly. It's as if they or director Norman Blumensaadt are worried that the audience is going to be impatient with the typical Christie wit, the characters' somewhat complicated relationships, or the detail inherent in any enjoyable mystery..."

The Misses Overbeck
Different Stages' production of The Misses Overbeck generates an affectionate quality that personalizes the particular objects surrounding all of us
Arts Review  June 4, 2004, by Heather Barfield Cole
"...Prolific Austin director Norman Blumensaadt and Texas playwright Tom White have resurrected and tightened White's 1992 play, which combines realism in style with an unconventional form and structure, much as the Overbecks themselves do. The production utilizes the practical power of visual examples with slide projections of Overbeck pieces and a live camera feed used as a storytelling device..."

An Ideal Husband
Different Stages' production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband is not just community theatre at its finest; it's just plain good theatre: entertaining, impressive, astounding, and delightful.
Arts Review  November 28, 2003, by Barry Pineo
"...I see play after play with similarly thin stories in which the actors seem to think that every word they speak is equally important. Of course, this simply is not the case, and director Norman Blumensaadt obviously has communicated to his actors exactly what is and is not important here, for every one of them pushes the tempo right through the witty, sophisticated dialogue, taking time only with moments that have real import..."

The Devil's Disciple
Director Norman Blumensaadt's rendering of The Devil's Disciple for Different Stages may be uneven in the quality of the performances, but the actors deliver Shaw's text clearly, and there's more than a little something to be said for that.
Arts Review  April 13, 2001, by Barry Pineo
"...If I could say only one thing about director Norman Blumensaadt's rendering of The Devil's Disciple for Different Stages, it would be that he allows us in on Shaw's joke. Using vertical wooden beams, bentwood chairs -- wood everything -- and a neat fireplace that warmly burned, Blumensaadt parades the Revolutionaries and Redcoats of Shaw's imagination on and off the Vortex stage..."

Merton of the Movies: Gone Soft
In 1922, George Kaufman and Marc Connelly's Merton of the Movies was a pointed satire of Hollywood, but 80 years have softened the play's sharpness, so the Different Stages revival is little more than nice.
Arts Review  June 30, 2000, by Robi Polgar
"...Director Norman Blumensaadt's vision for this Different Stages production sets the play in its period, the early Twenties, when, no doubt, audiences felt a sharp tweak at their assumptions, even as they howled at the play's humor. From today's vantage point, looking at characters now almost 80 years past, there is no feeling of that sharp tweak; too much of the play's topical humor has faded, rooted as it is in the shenanigans of 1920s movie life..."

Good People
In wrestling valiantly with David Lindsay-Abaire's tough play, the artists of Different Stages prove themselves good people
Arts Review  May 3, 2013, by Adam Roberts
"...Having now attended several Different Stages productions, I've developed a fondness for the company. Perhaps this has to do with something that Artistic Director Norman Blumensaadt once said to me: "All theatre should be of its community." I have carried this simple yet vital commentary on what it means to be a "community theatre" to each Different Stages production I've experienced, and every time I've felt the ghost of Norman's wise words palpably played out...."

Different Stages’ Yankee Tavern
This production of Steven Dietz’s play offers a deep dive into what we choose to believe and a stimulating evening of theatre
Arts Review  April 5, 2018, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...Regardless of where you are emotionally with the subject, it's executed well in the script and in performance. Director Norman Blumensaadt has assembled a good cast for the Different Stages production..."

Different Stages' John Gabriel Borkman
The pleasure of this production of Ibsen's drama comes in the complex exchanges among the deeply committed actors
Arts Review  July 7, 2016, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...Their well-paced delivery shows a depth of understanding of a story full of complex exchanges. Norman Blumensaadt's direction of the action, though strong in the execution of the dialogue, is at times static and misses opportunities to emphasize the theatrical..."

Actors' Inequity
The Cost of Art IV: The artists onstage in Austin aren't just not paid what they're worth, many aren't paid at all
Arts Story  January 22, 2015, by Katherine Catmull
"...It may mean starting small. Norman Blumensaadt of Different Stages has just begun paying actors for the first time in his company's 30-plus-year history..."

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