The Dallas Morning News
REVIEW: 'Greendale' will have you
revved up to save the planet
By Lawson Taitte
is an overwhelming experience, musically and theatrically.”
“…The singing actors all have stunning moments, but
the three instrumentalists are the real stars here. Kenny Withrow
of New Bohemians leads from the guitar; Paul Semrad of Course
of Empire plays bass; and Alan Emert of Brave Combo is on drums.
The music drives this show like the rolling river mentioned in
one of the songs.
They're calling this Greendale a rock opera, but it's really a
fresh form of its own. The musicians are on the greatly expanded
Undermain stage the whole time, sometimes stepping forward into
the central spotlight. The actors, too, sit or move around, pantomiming
some clarifying action when they're not singing, breaking into
dance that looks spontaneous but is carefully integrated.
… this bunch will have
you leaving the theater rarin' to go and determined to save the
Turtle Creek News
Review: Neil Young’s Music
By Martha Heimberg
boutique theater on Main Street in Deep Ellum is suddenly huge.
The basement playing space reaches back to the brick walls and
over to the far corners. There’s room for a woman on a bicycle
to ride round the big concrete columns – and room for a
big cast of singers and a stunning trio of musicians to get the
whole place rocking to Neil Young’s pounding rhythms. The
dense, driving sound goes right through the audience and makes
for a terrific night of music and theater.
“Greendale” is a kind
of pop-rock opera, smartly directed together by Katherine Owens
as a rhythmic, wave-on-wave series of events. Owens brings together
Neil Young’s spotty impression of the emotional life of
citizens in a small, close-knit community by virtually eliminating
the space between songs, and clarifying lyrics with actors silently
dancing or playing out the story. It works; somehow you see a
plot emerge from the series of nine songs with no narrative voice
The whole town is affected when young
Jed (handsome, clear-voiced Jonathan Brooks) is led astray by
the devilish drug dealer (a sleazy, omnipresent Newton Pittman),
and ends up shooting the town’s good cop. Sun Green (fetching
Kristen Campbell in blonde braids and tight jeans) is lost and
angry. The policeman’s widow (touching, dark-eyed Stefanie
Tovar) mourns, and the media swoops down on the local community.
Soon the serious painter puts on new glasses provided by the devil,
and sees that he can sell his work if he sells out.
As the title indicates, the destructive
forces at work here are withering the once-green haven. The guitars
are soaring solo, the drums are pounding, and the harmonica is
wailing in sadness “Be the Rain,” is evocative and
powerfully delivered by the whole cast. And you’re left
to decide if all destruction – to lives or to the natural
world – are made of the same web of deception and violence.
An interesting question."
KERA: Arts & Culture
By Jerome Weeks
"As presented by the Undermain
Theatre, Neil Young’s Greendale is a hellacious piece
of rock ‘n’ roll… This baby kicks;
you’re not likely to hear a livelier performance in any