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Brandon Walker: Outstanding Lead Performance for
"Danny and the Deep Blue Sea"



Scroll down to read what critics and audiences have been saying about Shanley's haunting tale about "The Beauty and The Beast in The Bronx."

Original Run: July 27 - August 12, 2012
Extended Off Broadway: August 21-26, 2012
The Seeing Place @ ATA's Sargent Theater

Directed by Ariel Francoeur
Starring Erin Cronican* and Brandon Walker*

The Seeing Place Theater, known for intensely intimate ensemble work, tackles John Patrick Shanley's brutal and romantic story of "Beauty and the Beast in the Bronx."

A man and a woman, both lonely outcasts, meet in a bar - in desperate need of a change. He is violent and possibly homicidal, she is tormented and possibly suicidal; each is transformed by the love of the other. The New York Times suggested the play would be more appropriately titled, "The Beast and the Beast". If so, this is the story of two beasts fighting to accept beauty into their lives.

(Photos by Natasha Straley and Scott Fetterman. Click image for production photos.)


Peter Filichia, Kritzerland - "The finest performances I saw this month came from Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker, two young actors in two one-acters: Pinter’s The Lover and Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, courtesy of their theater company The Seeing Place. I was so impressed at their naturalness; these kids weren’t acting but had just happened to become the characters, that’s all. I look forward to seeing more at The Seeing Place."

Will Kenton, Cultural Capitol - "A truly innovative theater company takes chances and goes the extra mile to entertain you. The Seeing Place Theater goes the extra mile by playing to the strengths of its members...Erin Cronican takes a star turn as a woman whose love might be able to save Danny, but isn’t enough to save herself. Her performance of Roberta was the most genuine and touching performance I have seen this year."

Ron Covar, Best of Off-Broadway - "The casting of Walker and Cronican is truly inspired. Brandon Walker, in a role originated by John Turturro, embodies Danny in every way. He is funny yet he could also move you to tears at the same time. Erin Cronican holds her own as she matches Walker's pitch-perfect portrayal of Danny. Their chemistry is so perfect that John Patrick Shanley must have been truly proud and delighted to see this endearing pair bring real flesh and blood to Danny and Roberta... With this play, The Seeing Place has conquered its own Scylla and Charybdis as it has succeeded in planting the seed towards earning the distinction that it truly deserves. And the people who have seen this remarkable production certainly believe that The Seeing Place has finally arrived."

Chris McKittrick, Daily Actor - "This is the third Seeing Place production that I’ve been invited to review this season and perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay them is that I make sure I have been there every time...Walker’s Danny is a street tough who only seems to know how to hurt, while Cronican’s Roberta flirts with him by taunting him, teetering close to the edge of his patience and tolerance for that kind of behavior...What The Seeing Place puts on stage is constantly worth seeing. While these two productions are much smaller in scope than their previous productions I’ve reviewed, both prove that The Seeing Place is one of the theater companies worth noticing if you haven’t already."

Richard Cameron, The Examiner - "TOP PICK FOR THEATER IN NY. The conversations between shows may just be the magic The Seeing Place Theater wanted to brand. Having shows in repertory allows theatre lovers to talk about what they just saw and anticipate the following play, both creating conversation about the art that have just witnessed or what they are about to experience. With the ticket price at $12. a play, a special price of $20. for both plays, The Seeing Place has created affordable theatre and a new brand of live theatre that could stick around NYC for years to come."

Scott Mitchell, Reviews Off Broadway - "As presented by The Seeing Place Theater, it is a vibrant and emotional story exploring venerability and redemption... It is a moving and great show. Director Ariel Francoeur and her actors have created an intense experience - full of surprise, apprehension and unexpected tenderness... The show has been extended this week, see it if you can."

Jennifer Szulman, ReviewFix - "Erin Cronican as bitter single mother Roberta and Brandon Walker as total recluse Danny meet in a bar and discover they are more similar than they originally thought. The way these two actors portray the sullenness of these characters is phenomenal. Everything from Cronican and Walker’s body language, to their clothing, to their...believable New York City accent is completely on point...[It] had many other positive attributes such as the crummy looking bedroom Roberta lives in...For such a small set, all the stage pieces are perfectly suited for the plot and story...Great technical production."

Erin McGuff, Woman Around Town - "Restraint is what thrills an audience most because only restraint can breed true’s why we come to the theatre. We need to see ourselves on stage – restrained for as long as possible, until finally, we have to break through...Both Cronican and Walker are capable performers with a penchant for the tongue-in-cheek, and each possesses enough confidence to inspire a commanding stage presence. Two able actors, they handle the rich dialogue of Pinter and Shanley with a good deal of awareness and expertise (Cronican’s speeches as Roberta in Danny are especially astute)...The restraint in Pinter and Shanley’s characters comes from their failure: these are people who have tried to be bold, failed in some way, and now, afraid and vulnerable, keep themselves and their failure locked tightly in cages, all the while craving to break free."

Patron review, Theatermania - "I have seen many performances, in Australia, UK and US of "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea" but in this one the actors found the lot; love, pathos, anger, fear, hopefulness, hopelessness, joy, happiness! And the comedy! They found the comedy and, in this play, that takes guts. - Stella Pulo, The Actors Studio"

Patron Review, Theatermania - "Deeply felt characterisations in "Danny...", where both Cronican and Walker get into the skin of their portraits, to allow the universal humanity of their surface flawed characters to be perceived, and empathy arises, where once judgement may have shrouded the ache beneath. There are a number of touching moments, as one sees the promise of redemption break through the dawn of the new day, to leave the dark night of their souls as prelude to the hope we all trust awaits us still. Congrats on these fine thespians in bringing this to life/light, whilst retaining the requisite darkness their journey has necessitated. Having already seen a number of fine productions of this pleasantly priced troupe, I look forward to further forays in their realms theatric."

Patron review, Theatermania - "Bravo Once Again! Every time I see a Seeing Place production, I am amazed at what they do. Brandon Walker and Erin Cronican set the stage on fire as they portray various tormented souls in two very different worlds. Both plays allow us to see how wonderfully versatile and committed these actors are. It can be easy to make their characters unlikeable by how rough and carnal Roberta and Danny are. Yet like true geniuses they go deeper (no pun intended) and show the vulnerability and profound needs of their roles. We end up rooting for their love rather than merely observing two messed up people trying to live. It's very human and very real. It is Voyeurism. Simplified. Simply stunning and yet another great piece of theater."

Patron review, Theatermania - "The Seeing Place keeps the art of live theatre accessible to ANYONE. This is a chance to visit a new classic, for less than the price of a movie ticket. The moving power of this "Danny" stayed with me through to the next morning. The acting is terrific, and The Seeing Place's dedication to excellent storytelling shines through. Why would you not go?!!"

Patron review, Theatermania - "Do not miss your last chance to see The Seeing Place Theater's latest production of Danny and The Deep Blue Sea. It is some of the best theater I have ever seen! The chemistry between actors, Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker is absolutely amazing. They will both break your heart and help mend it back together, all within the span of 75 minutes. The acting is so good you actually forget you're watching a play, and feel more like a voyeuristic fly on the wall in the lives of these two damaged souls. Please do not miss this opportunity to see some amazing theater. I do not normally write reviews, but I was so moved by the production that I had to help spread the word. Now get off your butt and go see this show!"

Patron review, Theatermania - "This was a truly beautiful production. The performances from both of the actors were so bravely and intimately shared. There was no shying away from the heavy stuff here- just two specifically and deeply explored human beings fluidly existing onstage. It was really something special."

Patron review, Theatermania - "“Danny…” is one of those rare Off Broadway gems that come along all too seldom. Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker have elevated John Patrick Shanley’s play into an exquisitely moving theater experience. Their performances are multi layered, brave and inspiring. As an audience member you find yourself holding your breath – so wanting to be hopeful and see these two very struggling characters fight their way to a hopeful conclusion. That it arrives at such a believable ending is a tribute to the acting and directing craft that went into this piece. And where else can you get all this for a (seriously) low price!"

Patron review, Theatermania - "What I love about The Seeing Place is their devotion to raw, grounded reality. They are true to life and explore the nuances and isms of characters. What I want to see in my theatre is the ugly truth, and with Danny and The Deep Blue Sea, Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker do just that. They've boldly gotten their claws on these characters and the pasts that haunt them and make their audiences watch. For the sake of theatre, keep it up please!"

Patron review, Theatermania - "Great script, great directing, great acting. This is a company I will be making time to see again."

This show was originally presented in true repertory with a companion piece, Pinter's The Lover, performed by the same actors and same creative team - back to back on the same day. Click here to read more about that production...

Cast of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea:

Danny - Brandon Walker*
Roberta - Erin Cronican*

Creative Team:

Director - Ariel Francoeur
Producers - Erin Cronican* & Brandon Walker*
Stage Management (original run)- Preesa Adeline Bullington
Stage Management (Off-Broadway extension)- Norah Scheinman
Set Design - Michael Minahan
Costume Design - Preesa Adeline Bullington
Lighting Design - Sara Gosses
Sound Design - Sean Demers*
Social Media/PR Manager - Kathryn Schmitt
Fight Choreography - Teddy Lytle

* = Member of AEA







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