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The Explorers Club
Austin Playhouse's sublimely silly satire of Victorian pomposity ventures where other comedies fear to tread
"...when crossed, bring discomfort to our social contract. Nell Benjamin's The Explorers Club, now at Austin Playhouse, is a..."

April 22, 2016 Arts Review by Shanon Weaver

Austin Playhouse's Disgraced
Ayad Akhtar's drama delivers a raw, powerful conversation about race without the usual distractions
"...in the New York City apartment of Amir (J. Ben Wolfe), a Pakistani-American attorney, and his wife Emily (Molly..."

Jan. 22, 2016 Arts Review by Shanon Weaver

Austin Playhouse's The Norwegians
C. Denby Swanson's comedy with nice hit men is a blast of cool fun, with a hint of danger just below the ice
"...Tor (Michael Stuart) and Gus (J. Ben Wolfe) are hit men. Nice hit men. Norwegians. Minnesota..."

Oct. 30, 2015 Arts Review by Shanon Weaver

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily
Austin Playhouse's Sherlockian pastry may be light, but Jason Newman's Great Detective is seriously good
"...the Duke of Windsor and some extraordinary jewels: J. Ben Wolfe as Dr. Watson, Andrea Osborn as Lillie Langtry,..."

Dec. 5, 2014 Arts Review by Wayne Alan Brenner

Penfold Theatre's Crime and Punishment
In this stage adaptation of Dostoevsky's novel, a fascinating glimpse into the more twisted corners of the human mind
"...Police Inspector Porfiry (Ben Wolfe) sees Raskolnikov's guilt from a mile away but..."

April 5, 2019 Arts Review by Elizabeth Cobbe

All Over Creation: Identity Crisis
Two concurrent stage productions show what happens when we define ourselves too narrowly
"...Theatre en Bloc's production of Cock, I'm recalling J. Ben Wolfe being similarly restricted within a painted square on..."

Oct. 24, 2014 Arts Column by Robert Faires

Am I White?
One man's twisted sense of racial identity unravels in Adrienne Dawes' brisk and tense new drama
"...violence against those not white, that patch of paint beneath him also comes to represent a box in which..."

Oct. 17, 2014 Arts Review by Robert Faires

The Liar
Austin Playhouse's colorful production gives heightened dimension to an already heightened farce
"...As the title character, Benjamin Summers is hardly recognizable from the kinds of roles..."

March 7, 2014 Arts Review by Adam Roberts

Blood Wedding
The air of rural Spain pours forth from the entire ensemble in this riveting production of Lorca's drama
"...Similarly outstanding work comes from Babs George and J. Ben Wolfe, who portray the Mother (of the Groom) and..."

Nov. 22, 2013 Arts Review by Adam Roberts

The Lion in Winter
Even fading lights couldn't dim the glow of Austin Playhouse's lovely staging
"...broadsword above his head to execute eldest son Richard (Ben Wolfe) in the play's dramatic climax, the generators' gentle..."

Dec. 2, 2011 Arts Review by Jillian Owens

Romeo and Juliet
The trick in staging Romeo and Juliet has ever been keeping the suspense in the second half that the first half never really needs, and the Austin Shakespeare Festival almost manages it
"...intense, and their embraces are real. As Romeo's bud, Benvolio, Ben Wolfe has a role tailored to his strengths;..."

April 30, 2004 Arts Review by Robi Polgar

Jesus Hopped the "A" Train
The artists of Mainline Theater Project have given their all to the characters and story of Stephen Adly Guirgis' Jesus Hopped the "A" Train, but sadly, what they have given their all to is a long-winded, superficial, ultimately unenlightening story of ruined life in the New York City criminal justice system.
"...language that would char the ears of younger audiences). Ben Wolfe offers a single dimension to sadist guard Valdez,..."

Aug. 15, 2003 Arts Review by Robi Polgar

Julius Caesar
Though it shows evidence of higher aspirations, the Austin Shakespeare Festival production of Julius Caesar, directed by Ev Lunning Jr. is a one-dimensional melodrama, lacking the rhetorical firepower and guiding vision that gives this drama its political punch.
"...that most of the cast cannot muster; except for Ben Wolfe's Marc Antony and Charles "Huck" Huckaby's Brutus, the..."

Sept. 29, 2000 Arts Review by Robi Polgar

Theatre en Bloc's Cry It Out
This production tackles the huge challenge of exploring motherhood and class, and can't quite have it all
"...One afternoon, the very wealthy Mitchell (J. Ben Wolfe) intrudes on their coffee break to ask if..."

May 11, 2018 Arts Review by Elizabeth Cobbe

Austin Playhouse's Shakespeare in Love
The Oscar-winning film makes a successful transition to the stage through Don Toner's marvelous production
"...makes for plenty of stolen scenes, though, and J. Ben Wolfe as Ned Alleyn, leader of the Admiral's Men;..."

March 30, 2018 Arts Review by Shanon Weaver

Baskerville at Austin Playhouse
Austin Playhouse's staging of the Sherlock Holmes farce generates enough laughter to fill an empty mall
"...straight men Holmes and Watson (Jason Newman and J. Ben Wolfe, respectively) must wade through in order to debunk..."

Dec. 16, 2016 Arts Review by T. Lynn Mikeska

Exploring the "Other"
Ben Wolfe on the risks of going native in The Explorers Club
"...This is a play written by a woman, Nell Benjamin, with strong feminist undertones, ultimately lampooning the idea of..."

April 20, 2016 Arts Post by Shanon Weaver

Top 10 Theatre Duos & Trios of 2014
Remembering a year in theatre in which performers distinguished themselves in twos and threes
"...2) BENJAMIN SUMMERS & J. BEN WOLFE IN THE LIAR (Austin..."

Jan. 2, 2015 Arts Feature by Adam Roberts

Roaring
Cyndi Williams' study of a subterranean retirement community during a catastrophe has promise but isn't always clear
"...a nursing home in the shape of a spiral beneath the earth. The more critical one's condition becomes, the..."

April 25, 2014 Arts Review by Adam Roberts

Lady Windermere's Fan
Austin Playhouse's take on this Oscar Wilde treat is straightforward and buoyed by terrific performances
"...audience over with his adorably awkward Lord Augustus, and Ben Wolfe is a pleasant surprise as the dandy Cecil..."

March 22, 2013 Arts Review by Jillian Owens

Peer Gynt
An unrelentingly fast tempo flattens out the St. Ed's staging of Ibsen's epic
"...is ubiquitous. The Equity actors involved, Sheila Gordon and Ben Wolfe in multiple roles, stand out from the ensemble..."

Feb. 19, 2010 Arts Review by Barry Pineo

A Flea in Her Ear
This Feydeau farce is like an apple pie: familiar, and it tastes good going down
"...to a passionate, jealous Spaniard in very tight pants (Ben Wolfe). Raymonde enlists Lucienne's help in devising a trap..."

April 10, 2009 Arts Review by Elizabeth Cobbe

It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Six actors play everyone in the holiday favorite, and they become Bedford Falls
"...their own characterizations of the citizens of Bedford Falls. Benjamin Summers fuels his George with a youthful fire, making..."

Dec. 19, 2008 Arts Review by Robert Faires

The Love Sonatas
Much has been invested in mounting Manuel Zarate's five-play cycle, all to answer the basic question: What is love?
"...Rodolfos I watched bore little resemblance to each other. Ben Wolfe's Rodolfo, free to wield his awful power and..."

May 30, 2008 Arts Review by Avimaan Syam

The Shape of Things
Neil LaBute's 'The Shape of Things,' staged by a chick and a dude productions, destroys the kind of cutesy relationships usually reserved for melodramatic chick flicks
"...is stubbornly insincere, and her haughty attitude cuts through Ben Wolfe's Adam, who proves that he cannot only hold..."

March 3, 2006 Arts Review by Patti Hadad

Two Into War
Different Stages' pairing of Naomi Wallace's 'The Retreating World' and Fraser Grace's 'Gifts of War' offers solo portraits of two victims of war, staged with sensitive simplicity
"...touchstone of a book on birds. As played by Ben Wolfe, Ali is an open, charming man, a pigeon-lover..."

Feb. 3, 2006 Arts Review by Barry Pineo

May I Have the Envelope, Please?
The 2004-2005 Austin Critics Table Awards
"...LifeActor, ComedyMichael Stuart, The Drawer Boy Supporting Actor, Comedy Ben Wolfe, The Dog in the MangerSupporting Actress, ComedyAndrea Osborn,..."

June 10, 2005 Arts Feature by Robert Faires

Applause! Applause!
Austin Critics Table nominations, 2004-2005
"...Frank Benge, Pericles, Prince of Tyre..."

May 27, 2005 Arts Feature by Robert Faires

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Austin Shakespeare Festival's second bout with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in four years offers much by way of manic disposition, but not much by way of substance
"...the fluff: Kelsey Kling's Hermia throws a glance at Ben Wolfe's Lysander that speaks to aching feelings never again..."

Oct. 29, 2004 Arts Review by Robi Polgar

Payne Pleasures 2004
Sam Bass Theatre's Forever Plaid took top honors at the 30th anniversary B. Iden Payne Awards
"...Ben Wolfe (Romeo and Juliet)..."

Oct. 8, 2004 Arts Feature by Robert Faires

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