Review: Tiny Ninja Theater
TheaterMania, 4/9/03
"There's something irresistibly charming about seeing Shakespeare's works performed by miniature plastic figurines."

Article: Small Actors Make Big Splash
Dramatics, 4/03
"As Yoda says, ‘You do or you do not; there is no try.’"

Review: Theatre Pick for Week of March 4, 3/4/03
"You think you've seen every twist on The Bard’s work humanly possible..."

Article: Fringe Hit Tiny Ninja Theater Returns to NYC
Playbill Online, 2/9/03
"Trevor Bigfoot as Mercutio — whose death scene has to be seen to be believed"

Article: Best of Charleston 2003
The Charleston City Paper, 1/03
"Readers Pick for Best Piccolo Spoleto Event"

Review: Shakespeare in a Shoebox
The Washington Post, 1/11/03
"Once you've seen its Romeo & Juliet, you'll want to come to back for figurine versions of Hamlet or Othello or whatever else." — Peter Marks

Review: Action Figure Genius
The Charleston City Paper, 10/02
"Quick, clever, and chock full of surprises, more than one audience member claimed that it even outperformed the hit interpretation of the Scottish play." — Colleen Reilly

Review: Freeze Frame
Creative Loafing Charlotte, 10/2/02
"I heartily recommend being among the lucky few when Weinstein & Co. return to Charlotte or Piccolo Spoleto." — Perry Tannenbaum
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Review: Tiny Version of Macbeth is Giant Entertainment
The Charlotte Observer, 9/22/02
"Fresh, funny, ingenious and original." — JoAnn Grose

Review: Tiny Ninja Theater
Hairline, 8/02
"Four Stars: Tiny Ninja Theater is a fantastic and unorthodox show which represents what many love about the Edinburgh Festival." — Simon Ferguson

Review: Bard Takes a Flyer
Sunday Herald, 8/25/02
"Four Stars: Shakespeare is as equally at home among the ridiculous, of course." — Tim Abrahams

Review: Tiny Ninja Theater presents Macbeth
The Scotsman, 8/19/02
"Must be seen to be believed. " — Paul Rhodes

Review: Macbeth
Three Weeks, 8/17/02
"If a definition of the Fringe is originality and artistic expression, then this 35 minute abbreviated version of Macbeth, with tiny plastic ninjas as a cast, must surely rank as an ultimate example." — Paul Cochrane

Review: Mr. Smiley Face Macbeth
The Guardian, 8/10/02
"Weinstein plays it dead straight and speaks the text rather better than some classically trained actors I have heard." — Lyn Gardner

Review: Mini-Cawdor Steals Hearts
The List, 8/8/02
"a marvel of theatrical innovation" — Catherine Bromley

Review: No Drams Required
Edinburgh Guide, 8/3/02
"This is the only one I’m recommending to all my friends and the only thing I think I’ll make a return trip to!" — Annabel Ingram

Article: Ninja-cized Bard
Charleston Post & Courier, 6/1/02

Article: Tiny Ninja Theater Returns to Charleston
The State, 5/31/02

Review: Action Figure Genius
The Charleston City Paper, 5/29/02

Review: Tiny Ninjas Take On Shakespeare's Giant Roles
Charleston Post & Courier, 5/29/02

Article: Oh Tiny Romeo
The Charleston City Paper, 5/02

Article: What's The Buzz
The Charleston City Paper, 5/02
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Article: Where to Celebrate Valentine's Day Solo
Time Out New York, 2/14/02
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Review: Massaker im Spielzeugland
Taz Bremen, 1/22/02
the babelfish translation

Article: Best of Charleston 2001
The Charleston City Paper, 1/02
"Best Use of Plastic Figurines in a Performance" jump to the good bits

Article: Shakespeare de Plástico
Revista 2K, 6/22/01
the babelfish translation

Piccolo's Prices Too Steep for Local Festival
The State, 6/10/01
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Spoleto Festival at 25
The New York Times, 6/5/01
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Tiny Ninjas Put Twist on the Bard
Charleston Post & Courier, 6/2/01

Tiny Ninjas Project Big Illusion
The Charleston City Paper, 5/29/01

Review: No Small Jokes, Just Small Actors
Charleston Post & Courier, 5/29/01

Article: Immediate Art
The Charleston City Paper, 5/01
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Article: Serious Shakespeare Takes But An Inch
The Charleston City Paper, 5/01

Review: Sightlines: Tom Waits in the Toilet
The Village Voice, 4/27/01

Article: All Is But Toys
Stage Directions, 3/01
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Article: The Bard's New Band of Merry Men Perform Macbeth
American Theater, 12/00

Article: Off-Off color: Toy Story
Time Out New York, 11/9/00
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Review: Street of Blood, Tiny Ninja Theater presents Macbeth
NEXT Magazine, 9/15/00
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Article: Is That a Ninja That I See Before Me?
Playbill Online, 8/30/00

Review: Oh, Forget the Money, Let's Dress Up and Play
The New York Times, 8/26/00
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Fringe Binge
Time Out New York, 8/24/00
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Review: Fringe Benefits
The Village Voice, 8/23/00
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Review: As The Bard Himself Might Put it..., 8/20/00

Review: Tiny Ninja Macbeth, Finally, Little Green Man, 8/18/00
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Article: Off-Off and Running
Time Out New York, 8/10/00
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No small jokes, just small actors

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Post and Courier Reviewer

     "Lean forward and duck" were the instructions given the audience by the producers of the tiniest of the new Piccolo Fringe series at Theatre 99.
     That's what the capacity crowd of 25 adventurous souls did in order to witness the Tiny Ninja Theatre production of "Macbeth."
     Arranging the playgoers in front of a stage the size of a briefcase and passing out "opera glasses" -- miniature plastic binoculars -- director Dov (Bear in Hebrew) Weinstein began speaking a masterfully edited script of Shakespeare's classic tale.
     While Weinstein renders the dialogue, with expert tone and diction, he moves about the stage a series of tiny ninjas -- yes, the tiny plastic ones found in vending machines.
     Macbeth is, as befits the title character, a plastic figure with a large (well, relatively) head sporting a smiley face. Lady Macbeth is likewise, but of course she has flowers in her hair.
     Using to-the-shoulder black gloves, like many puppeteers, Weinstein moves the figures with his artist's hands, but can also mobilize his characters via a system of magnets so that they seem to moving independently.
     This production has all the elements of genuine theater, from costumes (Macbeth dons a wee plaid strip before he goes into battle) to lighting effects (operated by the director's toes) to props (swords, plastic fruit on the banquet table).
     Sound effects -- convincingly provided, you got it, by Weinstein -- range from horses' hooves clopping to an eerie wind blowing.
     Cleverness abounds. When Weinstein booms out the Bard's immortal words, "Stars! Hide your fire," out go the lights. When poor, beleaguered Macbeth cries out, "Is this a dagger I see before me?", here comes a ninja-sized dagger, hanging by a thread off a long stick.
     Group scenes are pre-glued; when they need to disappear, Weinstein simply picks them up and throws them offstage. This makes for easy exeunts, so the show moves along at a brisk pace, lasting a total of 35 minutes.
     Children are most welcome, and can sprawl on the floor inches from the magic Weinstein creates. While the violence inherent in the play is not censored, somehow when thumb-high ninjas are doing it, it does not terrify.
     Weinstein is altogether true to his stated principal which is, of course, "There are no small parts, only small actors."
     Any description, however, is doomed to fail to convey the dramatic validity of this weird and, I trust I can accurately say, unique production. It resembles nothing so much as a kid who entertains himself in his room at night by creating and implementing characters and a story line.
     But Weinstein has developed a presentation that is so fully realized, so artfully conceived, so wonderfully inventive that one cannot help but become a willing participant in the suspension of disbelief.
     The show will be presented at 2 and 10 p.m. today; at noon Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; and at 1 and 3 p.m. Friday.

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