PLEASE NOTE EVEN IF THE INITIALS ARE THE SAME, THEY ARE DIFFERENT AUTHORS - JUST WITH THE SAME INITIALS...
"Saw Small Mouth Sounds at Stray Cat Theatre last night. Umm, I didn’t realize how powerful no taking during a show could be where the action was concerned. I’ve never been more engaged than just watching such a solid ensemble of talent use their bodies and facial expressions to tell the bulk of the story. I’m always in awe, but this one especially.: - VC
"We saw this last night- it is lovely and complex, with such beautiful and nuanced performances. Go see it!" - HRH
"It is GLORIOUS! So so good. Will be etched in my memory as one of the pieces that truly moved me in The Valley. I was literally speechless and needed tissues after all was said and done. Go. See. This. Show.
Seriously. I’m not kidding." ACG
"Enjoyed it very much!" - RM
"Such a great play!! Really enjoyed it!!!" - HF
"Was a really cool show! Funny as ever using only body movements well done!!!" - ZM
"This is an excellent piece of theatre!" - KA
"So well acted and directed!" - PS
"Bravo to everyone involved...Last night's show was awesome. Not an easy feat to pull off a play with such minimal dialogue, but you did it gracefully." - KB
"Everyone should see and listen to Small Mouth Sounds at Stray Cat more than once. Without spoiling the impact of the piece and ambience and focus of the actors singularly and together, and the directing, set, costumes, lighting, sound, the Stray Cat presentation captivates you as soon as you walk in until the end. Actors are all phenomenal. Congrats Stray Cat and all involved!. Go see! Go see again!" - DL
"Ron May 's Stray Cat Theatre in Tempe began its new 2019/20 season with a play that entertains while watching, then haunts for the days that follow as your mind constantly recaps everything you've seen. With an approx. running time of 95 minutes, no intermission, 6 strangers attend a silent out-of-town retreat. Nice work from director Michael Peck. A terrific cast of 7 (Alan Khoutakoun is the effective dis-embodied announcer who does most of the talking) inject a genuine sense of vitality into their often humorous and (mostly silent) well-defined roles. Congrats to Katie McFadzen, Jodie Weiss, Brianna Massa in her first SCT production, Alex Kass, Jesse James Kamps, and especially to Louis Farber who with his comic miming talent, facial expressions, and body movement now deserves the illustrious title of being Stray Cat's Monsieur Hulot in a ball cap and name tag." - DA
"Saw the latest from Stray Cat Theatre tonight, "Small Mouth Sounds." The usual SCT excellence was in full effect, and i loved the show. Well acted, well produced, well staged. Locals, check it out." - MM
"You'd be surprised by all the possibilities that are created by taking away an element such as dialogue. SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS is a must see! I was able to catch it on opening night, and by the time the show was finished, I couldn't believe that I had been observing these characters for over an hour and a half mostly in silence. The cast is phenomenal, and the design elements from sound to lights to set, costumes and more were incorporated so well." - NP
"SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS is my kind of theatre. The minimal amount of actual dialogue makes you really treasure the words being used because you may miss a piece to this silent puzzle. The performances were beautiful and just a great time." - MT
"Go see this fab play at the Tempe Center for the Arts! On until August 24th. It's so good! Katie McFadzen and Louis Farber and Jodie Weiss and the others are wonderful." - JDB
"We are sometimes compelled to take a step back from our everyday lives to take stock of our present circumstances. These moments nearly always occur when we're unhappy.
Such is the case for the characters of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS, all of whom have elected to attend a five-day retreat in the woods. The teacher they've come to learn from (voiced over in full ASMR glory by the always-fascinating Alan Khoutakoun) shares offbeat fables, non-sequiturs about modern life, and above all, encourages the attendees to remain silent for the duration of the retreat.
The resulting performances are intimate, funny, moving, and thought provoking. Alex Kass portrays a yoga instructor whose smiles, meditative poses, and bows of thanks belie a more complex interior. Jodie Weiss and Katie McFadzen play a couple whose shared life has been rocked by recent change. Brianne Massa's character struggles with punctuality and boundaries, while her roommate (played by Jesse James Kamps) seeks to give and receive simple acts of kindness. Finally, Louis Farber shines as a man whose recent upheavals have left him with lots of questions.
Michael Peck has deftly brought nuanced and layered moments to life through his sensitive direction. The talented cast demonstrates with humility and skill that much can be said, even without the use of words." - ET
"There’s a great Allison Krauss love song called “When You Say Nothing At All” and I know it’s trite, but I think of it a lot when I watch our production of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS. You know the adage: actions speak louder than words? Watching skilled actors embody characters who are silent 97% of the time yet who are so loud in their stories is really a gift. I find myself leaning in a lot to watch faces and reactions. The smallest actions are huge. And over it, this disembodied voice whose silky timbre is giving almost the only vocal story? Silence IS deafening.
I know that I talk about how Stray Cat seasons are like menus. I always feel our opener is this amuse bouche of the highest order – and this show? Theater gastronomy. The flavors are complex and I think if you had the same bite over and over, you’d get something different from it every time. And the tastes stay with you, in the best of ways. So please – come by and see what’s on our table. We run through the rest of the weekend and into next. You know the other adage, right? You never want to have to say, “Oh, I wish I had seen that.” - BU
"Took in "Small Mouth Sounds" by Beth Wohl at @straycattheatre tonight. I am thankful to see this play produced here in Phoenix - risky choice for so many reasons and a fascinating, frustrating, beautiful piece. Dream cast. Worth sharing space to take it in." - BF
"This show was really good. Even though this play had minimal speaking parts there was more dialogue than several other plays I have seen. The individual stories play out very well and you can really 'hear' the actors as the story comes together. This play is definitely a thinker and we talked about the story and the message it gave us for the rest of the night, We will see this one more time before it closes." - CY
"It’s a beautiful, enigmatic show and this is a lovely and expressive production." - SSJ
"We saw another memorable production at Stray Cat Theatre this afternoon--"Small Mouth Sounds." This play says more without words than many plays do with lot of words. Michael Peck directed so beautifully that everyone seemed very natural as they connected without words. The set worked well and looked lovely. Here what Stray Cat’s website said about the play: :In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward humor, this strange and compassionate new play constructed almost entirely out of silence with relatively little actual dialogue asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us." - BO
"Let me tell you, it is a show that challenges you to listen and think about yourself and it is wonderfully performed by so many talented people. You have the chance to see it today at 2PM or next weekend, so don’t miss out!!" - SP
"When I saw that Stray Cat Theatre was doing a play about 6 people at a silent retreat, I knew it was going to be something special. In fact, I knew it was going to be so special, I actually considered auditioning for a hot minute. And specifically for the role of the Teacher, the retreat facilitator who is the 7th character in the play, but only appears as a voice. I didn't, though. And I'm glad I didn't. For a lot of reasons. But certainly not least because Alan Khoutakoun is perfect! He brings a genuine softness to the role I'd never have been able to manage, and it is just beautiful.
Aside: While reading the program, I realized that I've either seen or been involved with every show Michael Peck has directed at Stray Cat Theatre. I don't know what that means, but I find it interesting. It's like a glimpse at the Venn diagram describing the preferred themes and interests of one Mr. Peck, Stray Cat artistic director Ron May, and myself.
Stray Cat is committed to "[a]ggresively seeking out and showcasing the most vital contemporary material." It says so right on their website. But it's not just talk. That's why I knew this play was going to be good. And I was right. Louis Farber's mid-show monologue as Ned is worth the price of admission alone, both the writing and the delivery.
Speaking of the writing, let's take a moment to heap some praise on the playwright herself, Bess Wohl. Theatre *as* yoga? It almost feels like that was the experience. And like so many experiential things, I can do my best to describe it to you, but you really just have to experience it for yourself. So go treat yourself to an insanely beautiful, side-splittingly funny, gut-wrenchingly painful, all-too-human experience like only live theatre can provide. Go." - VK
"My annual Fall Arts Preview coverage isn't for a couple of weeks, but for me, the 2019-20 theater season began last night with "Small Mouth Sounds" at Stray Cat Theatre. For those who stayed away from "The Flick," "John" or "The Antipodes," be warned that Bess Wohl's play is, well, Annie Baker-esque -- that is, hyper-naturalistic, almost anti-literary, certainly not inside the box of any "well made" narrative.
It's the kind of thing I really dig: unapologetically intellectual in its aesthetic, but reaching toward breathing human moments that express the unexpressible contradictions and confusions of consciousness (and un-).
Also, if you just groove to the acting thing, Katie McFadzen and Jodie Weiss are incredible together, and Louis Farber is a snort of cocaine every time he is onstage in, like, anything." - KL
"Just saw this at Stray Cat. Another excellent play!! Get off ur butts and go see this." - DF
"I love going to the theater and walking away full of thought and inspiration! That's the way I felt after I saw Straycats..."Small mouth sounds" last night at TCA! What a great show, great cast and thoughtful script." - LR
"Loved it so on opening night that i'm seeing it again on Saturday." - AS
"Stray Cat Theatre's SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS made me make big mouth sounds. You should see it." - JG
"I just got home from attending opening night of Stray Cat Theatre's "small mouth sounds" and I am speechless [pun intended]. Powerfully moving and unsettling, it will take a bit of processing. Definitely GO AND SEE IT!" - LS