'You need real balls to do this peculiar musical justice and this gutsy production does just that-Strassen’s expressionistic choreography and direction lyrically uses symbolism to strong emotional effect.'
'Michael Strassen's bold interpretation of the complex work again hints at his mastery of the musical...Strassen's vision holds firm and the artistic integrity of his staging is at times breathtaking, with some close harmony work that is sublime.'
'I re-visited the Union’s extraordinary production of Pacific Overtures last Saturday afternoon, and was overwhelmed once again both by arguably Sondheim’s most audacious musical (which I knew already) but even more so by Michael Strassen’s astonishing production.'
'Pacific Overtures may just be the most audacious and courageous of all the mould-breaking shows Stephen Sondheim has written, and Michael Strassen’s sombre, shattering staging matches its ambition with a lean, stripped-back intensity'... ' Someone in a Tree is an extremely evocative piece of storytelling and is given layered expression here in a feat of directorial ingenuity that matches the song’s own dramatic brilliance'.
'Michael Strassen's staging is absolutely mesmerising. Complimented perfectly by Tim Deiling's sublime lighting design, I found certain moments of the show almost hypnotic. I have never seen anything like Pacific Overtures and am still trying to digest what I witnessed'.
'The Union Theatre’s production has ‘classic’ stamped all over it- now surely the best of London’s three - ENO's show was fine, The Donmar’s even better, Union’s the tops'.
'Strassen's point, perhaps, is that the company, quick-changing roles, is an organic extension of the reciter's function; this is a silk-screen of a drama, not its full embodiment ...It's a piece that especially rewards the intimate, scaled-down approach, and the conviction behind it carries through in Jean Gray's design, Tim Deiling's lighting and Richard Bates' musical direction.'
'...the cast are uniformly superb and are supported by an excellent orchestra under the musical direction of Richard Bates, putting this show amongst the best I have seen this year.'
Presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of New York