[Click on selected titles below for production details and photos]
ReQuiem For New 0rleans: A Hip Hop Eulogy
Tales of the Lost Formicans
The Comedy of Errors
REVIEWS AND PROFILES
Charlotte Observer (Hamlet Q1)
Charlotte Observer (The Purple Flower & Other Plays)
Charlotte Observer (ReQuiem For New 0rleans/Twilight Rep)
Charlotte Magazine (The Moon Prince: A Rap Opera)
University City Magazine
Full Reviews (New York)
In The Master's House There Are Many Mansions - New York Times
In The Master's House There Are Many Mansions - OnStage
In The Master's House There Are Many Mansions - theasy.com
ReQuiem For New 0rleans - BACKSTAGE
ReQuiem For New 0rleans - nytheatre.com
simple thoughts - BACKSTAGE
simple thoughts - CurtainUp
Full Reviews (Regional)
Romeo & Juliet - Valley Advocate
Full Reviews (Charlotte)
The Purple Flower & Other Plays - Artsy Charlotte
Urinetown - Creative Loafing
The Tempest - Charlotte Theatre
The Move - Charlotte Observer
In The Master's House There Are Many Mansions
"This was an outlier: an ambitious revival in a festival dominated by new pieces."
--- Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times
" ... one of the most challenging pieces of theatre in FringeNYC 2016. This is a play that needs to be seen." - David Roberts, OnStage
ReQuiem for New0rleans: A Hip Hop Eulogy
"A sensitive dance-theatre work ... Requiem might constitute an important theatrical portrait of a disgraceful chapter in recent American history. Congratulations to the show's zealous cast."—BACKSTAGE
"…what makes this show different … is the performer's level of commitment. This show is full of love, sadness, devastation, and anger. This show is one of awareness and action."—nytheatre.com
"Angelic and earthy singing ... genuinely moving."—danceinsider.com
"A truly lugubrious evening of innovative dance. Although the cornerstone of the concert is imposing requiem music, this benefit has funky, hip-hop ulterior motives - an evening that's downright uplifting."—Creative Loafing
"James Vesce's Simple Thoughts breathes fresh air into Langston Hughes' well-known satirical narratives about Jesse B. Semple, a streetwise observer of black life in the 1940s. This hour-long drama is a solid first step in further dramatic exploration of this literary figure, and whets the appetite for more. The bluesy mood of the Harlem bar and Semple's bold pronouncements crystalize the double-sided consciousness of blacks struggling to live in a white world."
—Jeanette Toomer, BACKSTAGE
"Fringe followers this year have a chance to see a fine dramatization of Hughes' popular Everyman character Jesse B. Semple, known by the shorthand name of "Simple." This fine presentation by the Twilight Repertory Company from Charlotte, North Carolina, has been adapted and directed by James Vesce."
—Brad Bradley, CurtainUp.com
Urinetown: The Musical
"James Vesce deftly cast and directed a mix of more than 30 performers."
—Perry Tannenbaum, Creative Loafing
On Your Toes
"This production is one of the best designed, most lavishly produced musicals ever by a Charlotte-based company." —Perry Tannenbaum, Creative Loafing
" ... no effort has been spared, no detail overlooked in making this On Your Toes one for the ages."—Julie Coppens, Charlotte Observer
"The best advice for watching Vincente Leñero's The Move: Surrender, Dorothy. Don't try to make sense of things. Let your senses do that for you ... For now, we benefit from a whiff of literary sophistication."—JoAnn Grose, Charlotte Observer
Romeo & Juliet
"This vision, half primeval, half apocalyptic, belongs to director James Vesce. The masked ball where the young lovers first meet has an explosive tension expressed in an MTV-dance routine. Vesce's Romeo and Juliet reaches for the same modern, edgy feel, the same closed universe ruled by kids ... and the lethal fight between Mercutio and Tybalt is positively acrobatic."—Chris Rohmann, The Valley Advocate
The Purple Flower
"Marita Bonner's surrealistic allegory The Purple Flower was transposed to a contemporary world by director James Vesce and the cast ... who breathed life into the text with a combination of African and modern dance. The danced images of toil, struggle, survival, and passion combined with the humanity in the voices of the Us's drew the audience into the piece."
—Karima Atiya Robinson, Black Theatre Network News
WEST SIDE STORY HIP HOP!
"It was the best show in town. The Sharks and the Jets never looked so funky. And how about a rap version of Officer Krupke? It was great!"
—Joyce Kulhawik, CBS 4 Boston
"The classic tale of love and death have been slickly updated to modern urban America in West Side Story Hip Hop … modern dance moves and style gave the opening night production a feel of energetic authenticity."
—Jason B. Johnson, Boston Herald
brother to brother
"The original musical from James Vesce with lyrics and poetry by Marlon Carey and choreography by Yandje Dibinga ... was outstanding ... The entertaining ensemble work was as carefully thought out as the individual performances, with street scenes especially interesting to watch as the youngsters meet up with one another at a playground to shoot hoops or flirt. The lively dance sequences were a treat too."
—Kay Bourne, The Boston-Bay State Banner
"Khalid Hill as Dorian, Katheryn Santiago as the Scarecrow, Chrystee Pharris as the Tin Man, and Jay Morong as the Lion in ... a wonderful Wiz."—The South End News
A Tuff Shuffle: Backstage with Louis Armstrong
"It's 90 minutes of non-stop with no intermission from the most renowned soloist in the history of jazz."—Perry Tannenbaum, Creative Loafing
What Limbs May Come
"The Notario Dance Company, directed and choreographed by Brook Notary presented What Limbs May Come, a self-produced program of nine short works seen earlier this month at The Kitchen. In Passingfeatured five dances in gem-colored outfits to a commissioned score by James Vesce. Notary's experience in circus performance has certainly served her to create some interesting theatrical works. The company's youthful enthusiasm and admirable production values may carry its performances ..."—Susan Yung, danceinsider.com
8 Short Works
Ms. Notary and the Notario Dance Company are a refreshing wellspring of creativity that audiences should watch out for in the future."
—Robert Abrams, exploredance.com
"The choreography, of Artistic director Brook Notary, abounded with ingenious effects."—Jack Anderson, The New York Times
The era of high-necked dresses and high-button shoes is nicely evoked by James Vesce's music, both vintage and original."—The Valley Advocate