City Paper applauds Martin Giles’ performance in The Kreutzer Sonata

Excerpt from Michelle Pilecki’s Best Surprises in Pittsburgh Theater 2013

Decades of reviewing have confirmed over and over the wisdom of Sturgeon’s Law: “90 percent of everything is crap.” So what keeps crusty critics going back to the theater again and again? It’s the surprises. The bad ones make good party chitchat. The more pleasant reawaken the joy that reminds us why art is essential.

In no particular order, here are my favorite surprises:

A maturing master: Starting with his long-ago “Strindberg on a Shoestring” in a former upholstery-factory-turned-VFW-dancehall, Martin Giles’ passion and affinity for dour Scandinavians has been no secret. Fast-forward to Quantum Theatre (always a mine for surprises) and Giles’ bold direction of Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman (Jan. 31-Feb. 24) with dry wit and, yes, surprising insight. A few months later, Giles’ mercurial actor persona got its best display ever in Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre‘s production of The Kreutzer Sonata (May 30-June 22), a virtual one-man show by playwright Nancy Harris adapting Leo Tolstoy.

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