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A Rave for HANDLE WITH CARE
Arizona Daily Star

Invisible Theatre has accomplished the seemingly impossible:
Found a talented Hebrew-speaking actress in Tucson.
Noga Panai spent the bulk of her time as Ayelet in IT’s current offering, “Handle With Care,” speaking Hebrew. It was a demand of the role that that be her first, and almost only, language. Really, now, how many actors can you point to here that could step into that role? And step into it well?
While no one else on the stage understood her character (except her grandmother in the few scenes they had), and most of the audience wasn’t sure what she was saying, Panai made Ayelet, a young Israeli who has reluctantly accompanied her grandmother on a trip to the to states, full and recognizable.
This Jason Odell Williams play about fate and a search for love and meaning is slight, and excessively contrived.
But this cast of four, directed with a tender touch by Susan Claassen, made us believe…
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Thank you Chuck Graham for this rave review!!!


This year give the holidays an ecumenical lift by taking in an Invisible Theater performance of “Handle With Care,” a sweetly charming Jewish Christmas story about finding love in a provincial Virginia motel the night of Dec. 24, as a gentle snow falls outside on the window sill.
All the magic of the seasons – both Christian and Jewish – are sprinkled throughout the play by Jason Odell Williams. Lots of good humor and some tips on Jewish religious traditions fill the animated dialogue being tossed about by Ayelet (Israeli actress Noga Panai), Josh and Edna, played by local talents Luke S. Howell and Lois Lederman.
On hand to be the Southern boy who only knows what he's learned in Sunday School is Terrence (Jesse Boone), the hapless DHL driver who had his delivery truck stolen with the body of Ayelet's grandmother inside. Terrence is also best buddies with Josh, whose mother is Jewish and father is Catholic.
In flashb…

Arizona Daily Wildcat :: 'A Kid Like Jake' breaks gender stereotypes

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Arizona Daily Wildcat :: 'A Kid Like Jake' breaks gender stereotypes



'A Kid Like Jake' breaks gender stereotypes
By Ivana Goldtooth | Published 09/04/14 11:51am
It might be hard figuring out what’s so special about the title character in “A Kid Like Jake,” especially since the audience never gets to meet him. The Invisible Theatre attempts to resolve this ambiguity by premiering Daniel Pearle’s play at the start of its 44th season. The story involves a 4-year-old boy named Jake who is just starting his first year of preschool in New York City. Before he can begin, however, his parents must find a private school they think is best for him. The play opens with Alex, Jake’s mother, sitting in the living room, mulling over an essay draft she will submit in a private school application. The essay prompt is to share what makes her child special. Alex realizes that everything about her son is special. He’s bright, inquisitive, loves fairy tales and has an interest in playing d…

Invisible Theatre launches art season with a winner

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Invisible Theatre launches art season with a winner



By Kathy Allen 0
Review What: The Invisible Theatre’s production of “A Kid Like Jake.” Playwright: Daniel Pearle. Director: Kevin Black. When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 14. There will be an additional performance at 3 p.m. Sept. 13. Where: Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. Cost: $30. Discounts available. Reservations/information: invisibletheatre.com or 882-9721. Running time: 90 minutes, with no intermission.
Arizona Daily Star Here’s a prediction: This will be a good season for theater. At least it will be if The Invisible Theatre’s “A Kid Like Jake,” which launched the 2014-15 season, is any indication. The Daniel Pearle play, which opened Wednesday, is provocative, poignant and heartbreaking. Smoothly directed by Kevin Black, it is also quite funny, (thankfully) devoid of sentimentality, and propelled by a killer cast. Read the entire review here: Invisible Theatre launches art seas…

'A Kid Like Jake' poignant, poses hard choices

'A Kid Like Jake' poignant, poses hard choices




BY KATHY ALLEN
Arizona Star

Parents trying to do what's best for an imaginative child is at heart of play. Read the entire review here: 'A Kid Like Jake' poignant, poses hard choices

Richard Skipper Celebrates...: Susan Claassen: Celebrating Edith Head!

Richard Skipper Celebrates...: Susan Claassen: Celebrating Edith Head!: SUSAN CLAASSEN, managing artistic director of the Invisible Theatre, was named Best Actress by Phoenix New Times for her performance in A ...

Olive and One-Liners | Review | Tucson Weekly

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Oliveand One-Liners 

by 


Charles Busch's Olive and the Bitter Herbs is a playful little comedy, notable only for its zippy one-liners and its lead character. But what a character she is. And who better to play her than Susan Claassen, IT's artistic director, who has shepherded this company through most of its history.


... Olive is a tasty dish. The cast totally invests itself in the season finale's silliness, no matter how disjointed the story. And Claassen, well, she spreads the wisecracking, acerbic, misanthrope with a heart of—well, at least with a heart—across that tiny stage "like buttah."


Read the entire review here: Olive and One-Liners | Review | Tucson Weekly




David Alexander Johnston, Eric Anson, Susan Claassen, Susan Kovitz and Jack Neubeck in Olive and the Bitter Herbs.

Review: Invisible Theatre's "Olive and the Bitter Herbs"

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Review: Invisible Theatre's "Olive and the Bitter Herbs"



By Kathleen Allen Arizona Daily Star




Oy vey. There is a mighty unpleasant woman on stage at Invisible Theatre. And funny. And annoying. And funnier still. That would be Olive, given a very funny turn by Susan Claassen in IT’s production of Charles Busch’s hodgepodge comedy, “Olive and the Bitter Herbs.” Olive is the washed-up and very grumpy actress who lives alone in her New York apartment and does everything she can to run everyone she can off. Here’s a rundown of the play, the production, and all that jazz. Read the entire review here: Review: Invisible Theatre's "Olive and the Bitter Herbs" Olive (Susan Claassen), the original star of the "Gimme The Sausage" commercial sees an image in the mirror within the mirror that sets off a chain of mad-cap events! -- Credit: Tim Fuller

NEW YORK HUMOR IN"OLIVE AND THE BITTER HERBS"

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By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com
photo by Tim Fuller This Passover Seder becomes a time of truce for (from left) David Alexander Johnston, Eric Anson, Susan Claassen, Susan Kovitz and Jack Neubeck. Watching a culture clash take place in a haunted mirror during a seasonal Jewish holiday doesn’t happen often, but here it is at Invisible Theatre in a Charles Busch-wacky production of “Olive and the Bitter Herbs.” James Blair is at the controls as director, with IT’s managing artistic director Susan Claassen flaunting her love for the eccentric in the title role of Olive Fisher Although that title could well be the name of a popular vegetarian rock band, it is actually Busch’s way of framing Olive as eternally bitter about everything. From the gay couple who live next door in her rent-controlled East 30s Manhattan co-op, to the noisy roomer upstairs (who’s dead now, thank goodness), Olive is unhappy. Not just unhappy, but unhappy-unhappy, expressing herself in the most creatively insulting dial…

IT serves up Pesach comedy, ‘Olive and the Bitter Herbs’

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IT serves up Pesach comedy, ‘Olive and the Bitter Herbs’ « AZ Jewish Post



Actress Olive Fisher, known for her “Gimme the Sausage” commercial, is a classic New York curmudgeon at war with the world in general and her next door neighbors in particular. Her closed-off life is shaken by the appearance of a ghost in her mirror, but that’s the least of her problems. Can a Passover Seder bring about a temporary truce? Artistic Director Susan Claassen stars in Invisible Theatre’s production of “Olive and the Bitter Herbs” by Charles Busch, which runs April 15-27. For tickets, call 882-9721 or go towww.invisibletheatre.com.





The cast of ‘Olive and the Bitter Herbs,’ (L-R): David Alexander Johnston, Eric Anson, Susan Claassen, Susan Kovitz and Jack Neubeck (Tim Fuller)

Invisible Theatre' 'Olive and the Bitter Herbs': It's a howler, we assume

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Invisible Theatre' 'Olive and the Bitter Herbs': It's a howler, we assume




Invisible Theatre's 'Olive and the Bitter Herbs': It's a howler, we assumeBy Kathy Allen, Arizona Daily Star
... Speaking of laughs, Susan Claassen, Invisible Theatre’s managing artistic director, knows how to wring them out of every word. So it’s natural that she portray that old grouch, Olive. DirectorJames Blair has assembled a supporting cast with the chops to back Claassen up: Eric Anson,David Alexander JohnstonSusan Kovitz and Jack Neubeck.
Read the entire preview here: Invisible Theatre' 'Olive and the Bitter Herbs': It's a howler, we assume
Susan Claassen as Olive sees an image that sets off a chain of events in Invisible Theatre’s “Olive and the Bitter Herbs.”