New York Times Ben brantleyIn Stockholm, the Blades are Drawn from the Start
'A precision-tooled performance by Emily Gardner Hall...
Ms. Hall gives natural life to Kali’s extreme, lacerating ambivalence. This young performer is remarkably smooth in conveying spikiness...
Todd and Kali are dancing fools and their range of movement swings wide. Sometimes they skip about as blithely as Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in “Singin’ in the Rain,” but their natural form would seem to be the apache dance, with its all-out brutality.
[They] make us believe that from the moment they met, everything Todd and Kali have done has been charged with dangerous contradiction.’
Metroland James Yeara
'Emily Gardner Hall as Kali gives a performance that demands to be seen. Stockholm is 70 minutes of jaw-dropping, heart-pounding, eye-popping theatrical electuary; the play is marketed for its erotic beauty, but Stockholm is for adults of reasonably sound mind and psyche. It is not first-date fare, though you may want to suggest it to your ex-spouse.'
BERKSHIRE BRIGHT FOCUS J. Peter Bergman
'In a loft setting, presumably in a modern large city, Todd and Kali play out their mystery play, each the willing prisoner of the other, each capable of great love and great danger. A scene in bed is as dangerous as any scene I have witnessed. A scene on the stairs has sexually graphic elements that would make my hair curl.
Kali is played by Emily Gardner Hall, whose beauty is entrancing as is her use of personal humor. She laughs prettily and that laughter seems to defuse Todd whenever he becomes too serious and too edgy. Her dancing is sexually arousing and leads directly to the violence that follows... her face transforms and her beauty turns malevolent.'
by Jessica Swale
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
directed by Christopher Luscombe
new york times JESSE GREEN
Behind the biggest doors are the institutions with national reputations. At Chicago Shakespeare Theater, nicknamed Chicago Shakes, I saw the American premiere of Jessica Swale’s delightful “Nell Gwynn”, a lavish romp about the Restoration era trollop-turned-actress-turned-royal-consort. The production, at the theater’s recently expanded Navy Pier facility, looks like it cost a fortune in costumes alone.
TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES JEFFERY LYLE SEGAL
Hollis Resnik, herself genuine Chicago acting royalty, steals her scenes…, Emily Gardner Xu Hall plays not one but two of Charles’s other mistress, with equal aplomb.