IN THE PRESS

[More Reviews Coming Soon!]

Big Fish named one of

"The 10 best Pittsburgh theater experiences of 2017"

by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette!

"The region's first professional production conjured a giant, a mermaid, a witch

and a heart-tugging father-son story, with Billy Hartung the powerhouse patriarch of a fine cast,

under the direction of Spencer Whale."

A new and moving reinvention of Big Fish...has been staged on a more human scale. Without sacrificing the imaginative, magical elements, the musical magnifies the stakes for a family dominated by a father’s need to find adventure far from home...The first act has magical encounters and a cannon shot that carries Edward to his love in a cleverly staged flight...The second act may require tissues — plural…There is a lot going on, but under the direction of Spencer Whale, all of the gears fit effectively into place." -Sharon Eberson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Front Porch Theatricals' Big Fish is artistically beautiful...[T]he show captivates the eye, piques the mind, and submerges the heart...This would not have been possible without this ideal cast or without the superb direction of Spencer Whale." -Dylan Shaffer, Broadway World

“Under Spencer Whale’s confident direction, the Front Porch Theatricals production of the musical imaginatively realizes the hero’s journey...Whale’s pared-down version of the show...generates its magic through resourceful theatrical solutions [that allow] us to use our imaginations to summon the fantasy into existence. We’re thus drawn more deeply not only into Edward’s imaginative world, but also into the emotional conflict at the center of the story.” -Wendy Arons, The Pittsburgh Tatler

"A gorgeous, touching show with lots of heart…I'm gushing, I don't know if I can say enough about it…I know they didn't choose [Whale] because of his name, because he's a very talented director, however, I loved it." -Lonnie the Theatre Lady, 'Burgh Vivant

“Front Porch’s latest pulses with the heartbeat of the form, and is an easy recommendation to most any kind of audience...The show is directed by Spencer Whale, who seems keen on imbuing the slice of life portions of the musical with as much character as its colorful fantasies." -Mark Skalski, Pittsburgh in the Round

“Not once was my attention anywhere else...With Spencer Whale’s unbelievably focused and achingly controlled direction, Silk and Silberblatt burst onto the stage and for an hour-and-a-half burn their way through this play with a style and intelligence that I’m sure has left scars. My hat is lifted to some brilliant, brilliant work." -Ted Hoover, Pittsburgh City Paper

“You can’t help but fall in love with LUNGS from the start...I’d go again just to see the two actors work.” -Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Thoughtful and thought provoking...a showcase for two talented actors and a fine director.” -Lonnie the Theatre Lady, ‘Burgh Vivant

 

"...[D]irector Spencer Whale does a beautiful job of choreographing the action to tell the story with precision and lucidity...This kind of spare storytelling is a gift to talented actors, and Silberblatt and Silk are superb beyond description as the man and woman." -Wendy Arons, The Pittsburgh Tatler

“Director Spencer Whale shows great skill in blocking, moving the characters over the stage, giving the dialogue a kinetic boost, keeping the dynamics fresh and invigorating throughout the 100-minute run time.” -David Zuchowski, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe

“What makes it work so perfectly is Spencer Whale’s creative vision and direction...If you haven’t seen Starcatcher yet, this production is the one to see. If you have seen Starcatcher before, by all means this production is worth a visit.” -George Hoover, Pittsburgh in the Round

“Director Spencer Whale juggles a jolly multicasted 11 men and one lone actual female…” -Michele Pilecki, Pittsburgh City Paper

“Director Spencer Whale does some fun things with the bare bones stage, using actors to set the scenes with bits of rope and twine.” -Michael Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant

“Spencer Whale and the Department of the Performing and Media Arts have constructed a nearly flawless reimagining of the classically maligned play.”

“Whale’s skills as director are on full display here as the actors transition fluidly from what seems initially to be a tragic tale in classic style and quickly becomes a ludicrous massacre.”

“While the plot of Titus runs a million miles a minute — managing to present at least a dozen deaths and other atrocities in rapid succession — this production managed even more dynamism: every actor was acting 100 percent of the time and there were always at least four different places to look to be entertained.”

-Kaitlyn Tiffany, Cornell Daily Sun