The North Door
"...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..."
"...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 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..."
"...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..."
"..."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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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...."
"...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..."
"...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..."
"...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..."