“db” reviews

In News, Plays, Schedule on January 24, 2017 at 1:47 PM


“A fast-paced roller coaster ride … a fun, action-packed, thoughtful play about what motivates us to do what we do. Who was DB Cooper? We’ll probably never know, but at db, you’ll have a great time speculating.” – Broadway World

Full-throttle thrills … [Smith] delivers a D.B. Cooper tale with the momentum of a highjacking … Buckle in for a gut-level deconstruction that’s riveting, unexpectedly funny and as ambitious as Cooper’s 10,000-foot high-dive from flight 305.” – Oregonian

“A complex yet compelling piece of theater. This heist story [is] deft and diligent – the payoff is great … Do you sometimes wish your theater seat would rumble and quake while the lights flash, briefly transforming the play you’re seeing into an amusement park ride? Then db may be just the play for you.” – Oregon ArtsWatch

An exciting journey … powerful and compelling … it’s something you’ll talk about long after it’s over.” – All Things Performing Arts

Read my introduction to the play from the production.

Playing through Feb. 4 at Coho Theater (Portland), Thu-Sat @ 7:30p, Sun @ 2:00p.

Get tickets here.





FIREMEN wins five LADCC awards

In News, Plays on March 19, 2015 at 4:27 PM

FIREMEN won five Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, including Best Writing, Best Production, Lead Performance (Ian Bamberg), and Featured Performance (Rebecca Grey).

Read all about it here.

FUGUE press

In News, Plays on March 1, 2015 at 10:39 PM


[A] striking innovation … Parallel elements of the three stories are underscored by impressively choreographed simultaneous delivery of words, phrases and, on occasion, orgasms … Playwright Tommy Smith’s drama is elegantly geometric in its construction and viscerally potent in its staging.”

The Los Angeles Times


Fascinating … A fugue, in music, is a melody repeated in complex patterns; in psychiatry, it’s a dissociative state of mind  – playwright Tommy Smith infuses both meanings into his ambitious new play … the movement, the timing and the brilliant staging of sex, suicide and slaughter make [FUGUE] extraordinary.”

LA Weekly


“Smith leavens his dark, brooding meditation on the mystery of creativity with large doses of wit and humor … at times the same lines are spoken simultaneously in all three of the separate stories, then amplified in counterpoint, with one voice following another, as in a fugue. The result is a play about music which becomes a piece of music itself.”

Total Theater


“The beauty of this play is that these Echo actors and director have all agreed to come together and explore not only the words, but the subtle idea that creative individuals, in some cases, have elements of craziness that influence their flights of genius … an excellent production.”



“[A] formally virtuosic new play about three visionary composers from the Western classical music tradition … By overlapping and interlacing three historical narratives in which emotional trauma is resolved in a defining work of radical artistic transformation, Smith draws an uncomfortably fine line between our darkest, most sociopathic compulsions and the violent discontinuities that shape artistic discourse.”

Stage Raw


“[A] mesmerizing meditation on music and madness … one of the most provocative evenings of theater you’re likely to experience for some time to come.”



Harrowing … [FUGUE] may haunt you well after the lights go up … A couple of audience members sharing my row were audibly offended and left at intermission.”



Renaissance Italy, Tsarist Russia and early-20th-century Austria provide the settings for Fugue [but] geography is the least of the complexities on tap in Tommy Smith’s new play … the tripartite narratives move at once, much like the interlocking themes evoked by the play’s title.”

– interview in American Theatre


FUGUE is 94% Sweet on Bitter Lemons.



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