William Elsman excels as Salieri….Tall and sinewy, he is a charismatic figure on stage, totally at ease with the excesses of arrogance and self-flagellation that Shaffer's melodrama demands.…Drew Hirshfield is a hyper-kinetic Mozart, leaping about, giggling incessantly, tossing off references to private body parts and generally behaving so outrageously that it raises doubts about whether he's in command of his sanity.”
Charles Brousse – Marin Independent Journal
“The set design of Bruce Lackovic introduces the performance. The stage doors appear as aged sheet music, brown and torn at the edges. A grayish-white replica of an 18th century piano stands at the right of the stage, completed by props designer Joel Els. The large sheet music vibrates to the introductory music…. If you attend MSC’s “The Winter’s Tale,” you can witness the chameleon-like adaptability of actors that are in both productions. George Maguire, who plays a redneck type of Shepard in TWT, plays a regal and upright Emperor Joseph II. Jerry Hoffman also plays a more serious role, Johann Kilian von Strack. Scott Coopwood, who played the confident Polixenes in TWT, plays a lighter role, Count Orsini-Rosenberg, in Amadeus. The three actors give each role a distinct personality….Hirshfield gives his role the hysterical laugh as actor Tom Hulce did in the film adaptation in 1984. He carries the childlike wonder of the musician legend. Underneath Mozart’s mocking humor, Hirshfield carries his serious undertones….I admired the detailed costume design of Patricia Polen….Polen’s craft deserves a nomination for best costume design in local awards.”
Maria Vrobel - Listen and Be Heard
“A Brilliant Production of Amadeus
Marin Shakespeare Company is presenting its Shakespeare Under the Stars with a staggering production of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus ….Marin Shakespeare Company has a cast of fine actors, beautiful costumes and a convincing story to tell. Peter Shaffer's words are beautiful and clever with a lot of in-jokes that persons who love Mozart's music will enjoy.…Director James Dunn has made this exquisite production less melodramatic by making Salieri, who is outraged at the unfairness of God for making Mozart more gifted than himself, a more human and heartbreaking character….William Elsman…plays the jealous court composer Salieri. He offers a polished, droll Salieri eager for our sympathy. The actor holds the attention of the audience, especially in the touching finale to the soliloquy of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro." He also handles well the alternating between the old and middle-aged Salieri. David [sic] Hirshfield…is dazzling as Mozart. He portrays the character as a child prodigy who never grew up. He is astonishing with his puerile behavior and rash tongue that wreaks mayhem with his career and marriage. It is one of the most riveting performances I have seen this year.
Elise Youssef…handles the many emotional changes of Mozart's wife Constanze marvelously. Alexandra Matthew…gives a captivating performance as Salieri's pupil, Katherina Cavalieri. George Maguire…is perfect as the imperturbable Joseph II. He makes the emperor tremendously elegant and entirely human. Mark Robinson…and Rafael Untalan…as the delectably gossipy "Venticelli" (the "little winds" who spy for Salieri) act with much savor and are very loving in their speech and movements….James Dunn's direction is a masterpiece of stagecraft. Costumes by Patricia Polen are elegant and eye catching. Billie Cox's sound design is excellent, with snippets of scores by the great Mozart. Bruce Lackovic's set background is a Mozart score that opens up onto the court of Emperor Joseph.”
Richard Connema - Talkin' Broadway