Press Reviews:

FIRE IN THE HEAD -- A-1 Collaborators

(photo courtesy of Dan Cordle)

Colin Lacey "The Irish Voice"

It's not really the story that makes "Fire in the Head" a must-see production;  it's Karl Kenzler's amazing hurricane of a performance -- like a less-annoying Robin Williams working a script by Flann O'Brien -- that makes the play such a side-splittingly funny success.  He is spectacularly talented.  "Fire in the Head" is a one-person show, but you leave the theatre with a clear memory of at least six distinct characters, most of whom engage in furiously-paced dialogue with each other...  An expert physical comedian, when switching characters he seems to change appearance almost completely, and inhabits the persona of a sixteen year old girl as convincingly as he does that of a man nearer his own age.  Perhaps taking a cue from Harold Lloyd and other early slapstick comedians, he compensates for an almost bare set by using his body to help the audience imagine the setting, and also to provoke huge amounts of laughter.   "Fire in the Head" is not your typical theatre experience;  it's a richly amusing, expertly conceived mixed-media event.  Drama and comedy are accompanied by singing, dance and puppetry, and Kenzler uses everything at hand to boost his story and bring Co. Armagh and the horrors of the Irish famine to life. 

Joseph Hurley "The Irish Echo"

Karl Kenzler, whose overall appearance and demeanor may remind you a little of mime star Bill Irwin... plays piano enthusiastically when the urge seizes him and sings in a pleasant, if untrained voice...  His frenetic show, alternately exhausting and charming, lasts just a few minutes over an hour and incorporates theatrical forms from hand-puppetry... to an appealingly roughhewn spinoff of an Indonesian shadow play... In the end, "Fire in the Head" wins out much in the manner of an insistent puppy, determined to please at any cost, including virtual self-destruction, if that's what it takes.


(photo courtesy of Jonathan Bank)

Bruce Weber "New York Times"

Mr. Kenzler is deft with the raffish swagger of Hugh Verreker;  he brings a needed irreverence both to the Dennison drawing room and to the play...  Together (with Ms. Schuttler) the two conduct an appealing courtship whose rise and fall feels very modern indeed.

David Finkel ""

As the matinee idol-ish Hugh Verreker, Karl Kenzler could charm birds off of trees and does something along those lines with the smitten Margery.  Hugh though has a tainted past that is eventually revealed and causes complications...  Through all of the sturm and drang, the playwright derives plenty of laughs from the visitors, who are a Dickensian lot -- even Chaucerian, in the broadly subtle strokes Hankin supplies...  The players are up to the challenge, each and every one of them etching nifty portraits.  If a best has to be declared among them, it's Kenzler, who has the most delicate balance to strike.  Tall and glinting of eye, he's the ideal would-be husband and unexpected idealist.

Matthew Murray ""

As the charmingly seductive Hugh Verreker, Karl Kenzler leaves his mark.

Richmond Shepard "Performing Arts Insider"

The final scene between Harmony Schuttler and Karl Kenzler is one of the most touching theatrical moments I've seen.

RADIUM GIRLS -- Playwrights' Theater of New Jersey

Stuart Duncan "Princeton Packet"

Particularly impressive is Karl Kenzler, who plays not only Grace's boyfriend, Tom, desperate to marry his young sweetheart, but also a reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger.  (He) pops in and out of roles and personalities with dextrous ease.

Robert L. Daniels "Variety"

Karl Kenzler is fine as Grace's ardent suitor.

SWEET CHARITY -- Barrington Stage Company

Jeffrey Borak, "The Berkshire Eagle"

Karl Kenzler finds ways of turning the otherwise thankless role of Oscar into a subtly defined character who is self-effacing, emboldened by love and surprisingly aware of his shortcomings -- no small achievement in a musical that is anything but subtle or nuanced.

Michael Eck, "Albany Times Union"

Karl Kenzler's Oscar is an affable but eccentric fellow, and the actor makes his transition from Romeo to reject believable and funny.

Steve Vineberg "The Boston Phoenix"

The delightful Karl Kenzler, as Charity's nervous insurance-company lothario, is a cross between Dick Van Dyke and Eddie Bracken.

HAMLET -- Classic Stage Company

(photo courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Edward Karam ""

Karl Kenzler's Laertes gives an early indication of how excellent he is from the farewell scene.  (He) is a warm, protective brother, groping comically for the right words as he warns Ophelia to preserve her "chaste treasure" from Hamlet.

Matthew Trumbull ""

Karl Kenzler is dynamic as Polonius' son, Laertes.

(photo courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Andy Propst "Backstage"

Karl Kenzler brings an athletic intensity to his portrayal of Ophelia's brother, Laertes.

Michael Feingold "The Village Voice"

Tall men with resonant voices have the temptation to substitute generalized shouting for acting in verse.  Karl Kenzler's dashing, hotheaded Laertes doesn't succumb to it.

ROMEO & JULIET -- The Guthrie Theater

Missy Reichl "Minneapolis Star-Tribune"

Karl Kenzler's Mercutio steals the show.

(photo courtesy of Michal Daniel)

Dylan Hicks "City Pages"

If you feel you've been overexposed to these boundlessly soulful lovers... you might ask yourself:  Have I ever seen "Romeo & Juliet" played on or around five hundred pieces of scaffolding or with a queer, leather-suited, scooter riding Mercutio (Karl Kenzler in a loopy oversized performance)?

(photo courtesy of Michal Daniel)

Michelle Pett ""

Karl Kenzler's Mercutio, reeling from euphoria to self-loathing, is begging for his own self-destruction.

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