"An alcohol laced comedy...This one-act play has some hilarious moments that the menfolk will absolutely eat up."
"de Rogatis’ portrayal of Roy is superb...his acting chops are on display throughout. He expertly captures Roy’s emotional struggles with his facial expressions and voice. His face goes limp and seems to age. His voice goes low and is haunted as he remembers the carnage of war...He conveys Roy’s moments of pain and joy that are underlined by his desperation to feel better about his life...You sense the bitterness, anger and regret Roy has in him because of what the war has put him through, and what he missed because of it."
"Younger brother Ray, played by Chris Loupos, is what Forrest Gump was to Roy’s Lieutenant Dan - dumb an cheery. An example of his hilarious performance is when he eats a Baby Ruth candy bar and immediately compares it to a turd."
"Greg Pragel’s performance is easy to laugh at..."
"...these fine actors will entertain you and force you to think and feel."
"Earthy, thoughtful and very funny, this is a roaring revival of the notable, one-act play Lone Star."
"Alternating between flavorfully humorous and darkly revealing dialogue, (the playwright) Mr. McLure vibrantly renders his characters’ personalities and motivations."
"A reminiscence about the first time Roy looked up a girl’s skirt has the intense impact of a Shakespearean ode due to Matt de Rogatis’ commanding vocal and physical abilities. Recalling the charisma of the young John Malkovich in True West, and channeling the complexity of the film actor Warren Oates, Mr. de Rogatis vividly conveys the character’s despair and hopelessness with his imposing presence and perfect twang. Pacing restlessly, howling like a coyote and gazing up at the stars are among the striking facets of de Rogatis’ magnetic performance."
"The charmingly low-key Chris Loupos winningly achieves the optimum balance of affability, mental slowness and compassion as Ray. Mr. Loupos’ comic timing and soulfulness makes the character seem like a resident of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show."
"Greg Pragel as Cletis eshews predictable superficiality by marvelously combining obvious geekiness with inner substantiveness. The animated Mr. Pragel manages to be simultaneously amusing and emotionally effective during his periodic outbursts."
"In addition to guiding the cast’s impressive performances, director Pete McElligott’s staging is equally accomplished. There’s a lot of well-orchestrated movement as well as finely choreographed fight sequences, that all add up to an energetically paced and precise presentation."
"This version (of Lone Star) which Pete McElligott, NINE Theatricals and Genesis Repertory have brought to The Spotlight On Festival brings the audience a play that is both a celebration and rebuke of American masculinity."
"Matt de Rogatis’s Roy is reason enough to come see this play. The script hinges on Roy being both relatable and ridiculous, and, even as the part veers towards farce, de Rogatis performs with such humanity you can’t help but love him."
"Meanwhile, Greg Pragel positively steals the show as Cletis, whose helter-skelter blathering puts fire to this whisky-soaked night. My stomach hurt from laughing as Pragel turned to leave the stage."
"McElligott’s Lone Star is a joy. Like any good play, it takes the shape of its lead characters: it’s sweet, and hilarious, and sad, and – ultimately – impossible not to like."
"Immediately before LONE STAR begins, Joe Battista and Jack O’Hara play music contemporary to the time of the play, the late 60s and early 70s. The music is performed with Texas barroom flavor and fervor. And thus the stage is set."
"Chris Loupos does a wonderful job portraying the adoring Ray..."
"Roy is clearly suffering, and that sense of suffering, expressed vividly by Matt de Rogatis, offsets the character’s sometimes overwhelming alpha male macho. He is a big personality, but infinitely relatable."
"James McLure wrote this superb, underrated one act play with three characters in 1979, as America was still in the shadow of Vietnam. Under the smart direction of Pete McElligot the play achieves another life in the age of Trump."
"McLure’s challenging ear for authentic dialogue of that time and of that place is met and mastered by all three performers."
"Cletis, played with hilarity by Greg Pragel, deserves special mention. His character brings levity to an otherwise pretty heavy narrative."
"...invest the time in this wonderful and worthwhile play."
"...this production truly shines in the performances by each of its three cast members."
"The show’s unpretentious and simple design allows – wisely – the characters to carry this sixty-minute piece.
de Rogatis, Loupos and Pragel are charged with bringing images of the scene to life in our minds – something they manage easily."
"The greatest strength of Nine Theatricals’ Lone Star is in its performances, and the control over which all three actors – particularly de Rogatis and Loupos – are able to exert over the portrayals of their characters. From casual joking to intensely physical fury, each character is brought to life in these full, emotionally nimble performances that drive the narrative ever-onward."
"It is the perfect storm of impeccable acting, authentic portrayals, dynamite direction, memorable characters, and a seldom produced play that makes Lone Star by James McLure, the MUST SEE show for May."
"The hour long, one-act play as produced by Nine Theatricals and directed by Pete McElligott, has more life and memorable moments than many of the longer plays I get to see on the New York stage."
"Matt de Rogatis, as Roy, is exceptional as the reminiscing Vietnam vet who anchors the the story with his bravado and pathos. He is a character that that can be lovable at one moment and frightening the next, but Mr. de Rogatis gives a level of realism and authenticity to his performance of Roy that makes this character absolutely unforgettable."
"As brother Ray, Chris Loupos brings the perfect balance needed to make this character bigger than life. In the hands of an inexperienced actor, Ray could easily become a secondary character, a foil for Roy, but Loupos hits it out of the park, at one moment funny, at another surprising, and always real."
"Cletis, played by Greg Pragel, has a much smaller part but is equally outstanding, hysterically funny, and sympathetic as the geeky nerd that gets on Roy’s nerves."
"Lone Star is STELLAR."
"The acting is impeccable."
"Captivating and surreal."
"de Rogatis’s portrayal of an alcoholic post-war victim really hits home as his energy translates well across the stage. His use of facial expressions and body language carry the character convincingly as you continue to feel worse for the mood-swinging Roy every minute."
"Loupos shares a unique chemistry with de Rogatis. (He) makes you believe Ray’s concern for his brother and his attempts to make everything seem alright while holding back the truth."
"Pragel provides a somber comic relief in Cletis, who simply wants to be accepted by the macho Roy."
"Even the southern accents are done to a T (for Texas, that is)."
"Lone Star is a quick, yet large dose of drama with a great cast and script."
"Presented by NINE Theatricals, written by James McLure and directed by Pete McElligott, Lone Star is a rollicking exploration of male identity."
"Matt de Rogatis is a superb actor. One of the best I've ever seen. Anywhere. He was totally in command and immersed in the character of Roy. It was a beautiful moment-to-moment reality, with an excellent sense of timing and humor. He let the play breathe, he was ferocious, desperate and lonely. In short, de Rogatis totally imagined Mr. McLures character as he wrote it, and as a playwright, you cant ask for anything else...An astounding and successful evening...Really well done."
"A sizzling and side splitting production!"
"While confronting a veterans difficulty readjusting to society, the performance of Matt de Rogatis, as Roy, is filled with one-liners that makes the audience roar with laughter."
"To set the mood, Jillian Geurts and Mollie Downes added their own styling to the night covering songs like Jolene, Jackson, Hit the Road Jack and When I’m Gone."
"A brief but intriguing look at the struggles of a Vietnam War veteran in Texas in the 1970s."
"strong acting performances."
"Matt de Rogatis intelligently embodies Roy's pain—that of a man used to power and dominance now reduced to a state of vulnerability and listlessness."
"As so many produced plays center around the lives of wealthy New Yorkers, it is a nice change of pace to see the lives of blue-collar Texans in the 1970s being explored."
"Lone Star is a slight work with deeper meaning...it raises some questions about masculinity and pride."
"Preceding the production is an endearing hour-long opener of live music performed by actors Jillian Geurts and Mollie Downes..."
"A show like LONE STAR is the reason we go to the theater."
"The play enjoys superb direction by Pete McElligott and features a cast of three remarkable actors in full command of their roles."
"Matt de Rogatis masters the challenging part of Roy."
"LONE STAR is a timeless and insightful view of a man who tries to gain a grip on his life while the world around him changes. While it is entertaining, the play also reveals the struggles of people who suffer from PTSD and the effects of war. "
"Lone Star is All-American beer and cigarettes and backyards. A damn funny and effective ode to dirty boys of early 1970s Texas"
"Each performer embodied their character with real aptitude and solid detail work."
"Matt de Rogatis performed with aplomb and a nice fulfilled sense of American charm."
"Greg Pragel played Cletis and his physical detail was phenomenal."