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
jump to the good bits
village voiceIssue No. 255 August 10-17, 2000
Off-Off and Running

Ninjas, Trekkies and plane crashes collide in the biggest Fringe Festival Ever

By Robert Simonson and Jason Zinoman

Vagina pundit Eve Ensler has plenty to choose from in this year's titanic Fringe Festival. There's Clowns in the Vagina; Menstruation, Manipulation, Mutilation: Herstory; and--my personal favorite--Eat Me. One hundred eighty shows in all, the annual international behemoth--which always features the best titles of the year--has something for everyone. For the literary set, the options include a play based on the work of David Foster Wallace (Hideous Men) and one based on the writings of Oscar Wilde (Pictures of Oscar). The comedy acts include Fred Anderson--Prop Comic! and The Chainsaw Boys at the Fringe NYC. And sports fans may appreciate Synchronized Swimming--the Dry Version, which is apparently very popular in Switzerland. The rest of you can follow this crib sheet.

Tiny Ninja Theater presents Macbeth

There is no masterpiece so monumental, no theater role so towering that a Fringe artist can't reduce it to the size of an action figure. True to its title, Tiny Ninja Theater's Macbeth will be performed by, yes, 105 miniature plastic ninjas on a stage a bit bigger than a bread box. Only 10 people will be allowed into each show. Director Dov Weinstein will speak the text and manipulate the figures, which he purchased from vending machines across the city. "Most actors in a show this size work for free," he boasted, "but these guys are a quarter a pop." (Present Company Artspace. Wed 16-Aug 27.)

Stage Door

The closest George S. Kaufman got to fringe in his lifetime was the ingenue's dressing room. Yet, here is his and Edna Ferber's 1936 comedy, surely the most unlikely (read: traditional) entry in the festival. And with 27 actors, by far the most populous. "I didn't think the festival would take us," said director Emma Griffin, who's treating the production as a work in progress. "Quite honestly, I wanted to do it as it is. There's no irony in this play. I was interested in that, in whether it could still be done." (Context. Wed 16-Aug 23.)

"I am Star Trek"

The wrath of Kahn can't compare with the wrath from the pen of Rick Vorndran, the Trekkie who authored this no-holds-barred bio of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. The producer is portrayed as an alcoholic, a sexaholic (who committed adultery with, among other cast members, Uhura) and an arrogant shyster who stole most of the show's good ideas. This is particularly ironic, Vorndran explains, because Star Trek is a show about "optimism and people living up to their greatest potential." And you probably thought it was about tight uniforms and hammy performances. Nine actors play 70 parts, which include William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Patrick Stewart. (HS Recital Hall. Wed 16-Aug 26.)

Charlie Victor Romeo

Collective: Unconscious's deservedly popular docudrama takes you into the cockpit of a crashing plane only seconds before contact. Based on black box transcripts of famous disasters, the highly polished show--which won two Drama Desk awards, including Best Sound Design--indulges our seemingly boundless voyeuristic urges without sensationalizing its bloody topic. Weirdly, it's a favorite among pilots. (The Bimbo Rivas Performance Space. Thu 17-Sun 27.)

Youngblood Goes Down

Founded in 1994 by the Ensemble Studio Theatre's artistic director Curt Dempster, Youngblood is New York's premier stable of young writers of one-acts. Last winter's surprisingly mature collection of shorts, Thicker than Water, proves that several of these up-and-comers have a talent for manipulating language and a sneaky, devilish wit. This new collection--the theater's second full-scale production--presents seven new plays with subjects ranging from psychic healers to the Internet savvy of the Prince of Darkness. Look out for Fantasy Island, penned by Amy Fox. The talented playwright was behind Water's finest short, Heights, a well-made psychological drama about a clandestine affair. (Present Company Theatorium. Wed 16-Sat 26.)

Die Ungarische Medea (The Hungarian Medea)

Following in the footsteps of fellow Eastern European leader playwright Vaclav Havel, former president of Hungary Arpad Göncz penned this new German-language adaptation of Euripides's tragedy. Meanwhile, we have to choose between Bush and Gore, who probably don't even write their own speeches. (C/EB-Armando Perez. Wed 16-Aug 21.)

The New York International Fringe Festival runs at various locations in downtown Manhattan from Wed 16-Aug 27. For complete listings, visit

© 2000 Time Out New York

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