Monday, September 24, 2012

Update: My Off Broadway Debut!

It was a wonderful, wonderful summer. The most exciting news is that my shows “The Lover” and “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” got rave reviews from critics. It was a thrilling experience, and probably the most ambitious thing I’d ever done. At 7pm we would open “The Lover” which is a fast paced, 55 minute Harold Pinter dark comedy (complete with British accents). And after a quick intermission where we’d greet our guests, at 8:30pm we’d be back on stage - this time in Bronx accents for “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” by John Patrick Shanley. The idea was to give our audiences a taste of what a repertory company is all about - seeing the same actors tackle different material using the same creative process. We definitely achieved our goal of building an audience hungry for our next season.

More incredibly, audience response practically begged for more so we decided to extend “Danny…” for one more week. And since our agreement with Actors’ Equity limited us to 16 performances, Equity bumped up us up to an Off-Broadway Contract specifically designed for extensions (called the One-Time Transition Agreement.)

This means that August 21 marked my Off-Broadway Debut. Woohoo!!!

Here are some of the things that critics had to say about my/our work:

Will Kenton, Cultural Capitol - "Erin Cronican takes a star turn as a woman whose love might be able to save Danny, but isn’t enough to save herself. Her performance of Roberta was the most genuine and touching performance I have seen this year."

Peter Filichia, Filichia on Friday - “The finest performances I saw this month came from Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker, two young actors in two one-acters: Pinter’s “The Lover “and Shanley’s “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” courtesy of their theater company The Seeing Place. I was so impressed at their naturalness; these kids weren’t acting but had just happened to become the characters, that’s all. I look forward to seeing more at The Seeing Place.”

Ron Covar, Best of Off-Broadway - "The casting of Walker and Cronican is truly inspired. Erin Cronican holds her own as she matches Walker's pitch-perfect portrayal of Danny. Their chemistry is so perfect that John Patrick Shanley must have been truly proud and delighted to see this endearing pair bring real flesh and blood to Danny and Roberta... With this play, The Seeing Place has succeeded in planting the seed towards earning the distinction that it truly deserves. And the people who have seen this remarkable production certainly believe that The Seeing Place has finally arrived."

Chris McKittrick, Daily Actor - "This is the third Seeing Place production that I’ve been invited to review this season and perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay them is that I make sure I have been there every time...What The Seeing Place puts on stage is constantly worth seeing. While these two productions are much smaller in scope than their previous productions I’ve reviewed, both prove that The Seeing Place is one of the theater companies worth noticing if you haven’t already."

Scott Mitchell, Reviews Off Broadway - "As presented by The Seeing Place Theater, it is a vibrant and emotional story exploring venerability and redemption... It is a moving and great show. Director Ariel Francoeur and her actors have created an intense experience - full of surprise, apprehension and unexpected tenderness... The show has been extended this week, see it if you can."

Richard Cameron, The Examiner - "TOP PICK FOR THEATER IN NY. The conversations between shows may just be the magic The Seeing Place Theater wanted to brand. Having shows in repertory allows theatre lovers to talk about what they just saw and anticipate the following play, both creating conversation about the art that have just witnessed or what they are about to experience. With the ticket price at $12. a play, a special price of $20 for both plays, The Seeing Place has created affordable theatre and a new brand of live theatre that could stick around NYC for years to come."

Jennifer Szulsman, ReviewFix - "The way these two actors portray the sullenness of these characters is phenomenal. Everything from Cronican and Walker’s body language, to their clothing, to their...believable New York City accents is completely on point…”

Erin McGuff, Woman Around Town - "Both Cronican and Walker are capable performers with a penchant for the tongue-in-cheek, and each possesses enough confidence to inspire a commanding stage presence. Two able actors, they handle the rich dialogue of Pinter and Shanley with a good deal of awareness and expertise (Cronican’s speeches as Roberta in “Danny “are especially astute)...

And here are some audience responses via Theatermania…

Patron review, Theatermania - "I have seen many performances, in Australia, UK and US of "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea" but in this one the actors found the lot; love, pathos, anger, fear, hopefulness, hopelessness, joy, happiness! And the comedy! They found the comedy and, in this play, that takes guts. - Stella Pulo, The Actors Studio"

Patron review, Theatermania - "Brandon Walker and Erin Cronican set the stage on fire as they portray various tormented souls in two very different worlds. Both plays allow us to see how wonderfully versatile and committed these actors are. It can be easy to make their characters unlikeable by how rough and carnal Roberta and Danny are. Yet like true geniuses they go deeper (no pun intended) and show the vulnerability and profound needs of their roles. We end up rooting for their love rather than merely observing two messed up people trying to live. It's very human and very real. It is Voyeurism. Simplified. Simply stunning and yet another great piece of theater."

Patron review, Theatermania - "Do not miss your last chance to see The Seeing Place Theater's latest production of “Danny and The Deep Blue Sea.” It is some of the best theater I have ever seen! The chemistry between actors, Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker is absolutely amazing. They will both break your heart and help mend it back together, all within the span of 75 minutes. The acting is so good you actually forget you're watching a play, and feel more like a voyeuristic fly on the wall in the lives of these two damaged souls. Please do not miss this opportunity to see some amazing theater. I do not normally write reviews, but I was so moved by the production that I had to help spread the word. Now get off your butt and go see this show!"

Patron review, Theatermania - "This was a truly beautiful production. The performances from both of the actors were so bravely and intimately shared. There was no shying away from the heavy stuff here- just two specifically and deeply explored human beings fluidly existing onstage. It was really something special."

Patron review, Theatermania - "Danny…” is one of those rare Off Broadway gems that come along all too seldom. Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker have elevated John Patrick Shanley’s play into an exquisitely moving theater experience. Their performances are multi layered, brave and inspiring. As an audience member you find yourself holding your breath – so wanting to be hopeful and see these two very struggling characters fight their way to a hopeful conclusion. That it arrives at such a believable ending is a tribute to the acting and directing craft that went into this piece. And where else can you get all this for a (seriously) low price!"

Patron review, Theatermania - "What I love about The Seeing Place is their devotion to raw, grounded reality. They are true to life and explore the nuances and isms of characters. What I want to see in my theatre is the ugly truth, and with Danny and The Deep Blue Sea, Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker do just that. They've boldly gotten their claws on these characters and the pasts that haunt them and make their audiences watch. For the sake of theatre, keep it up please!"

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In other news, I’ll be performing “Smile On My Face: The Songs of Richie Eisenberg” three more times this fall. Details will be available on my website when the dates are set. I’m also performing in a staged reading of a new play at Urban Stages on September 25, directed by Peter Napolitano.

My musical theater collective, ACTOR-OWN, is still going strong. Most recently, we've done private readings of the musicals, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Rosabella), CABARET (Sally Bowles), THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (Clara) and LEGALLY BLONDE (Elle Woods.) ACTOR-OWN certainly allows me to stretch my skills and develop strong connections to characters I'm destined to play. Visit my Demos page to hear vocal clips, along with some other live tracks. I also have more clips from film, TV and cabaret.

As always, you can check out my acting blog: The Erin Cronicals, for stories and adventures about my time as an actor here in New York City. You can also check out my coaching blog: Bite-Size Business for Actors, which has a bunch of tips & hints about how to go about building an acting career. Finally, you can check out the other blogs where I'm a contributing writer: The Seeing Place: Our Craft, Our Process (which is about the art of acting) and PLAYBILLS VS PAYING BILLS, which is more business-driven.

For more information, you can check out my website.

Keep on rockin'!
Erin   :)

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Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit

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