L.A. Theatre works' national tour of Bram Stokers, DRACULA


STEAL HEAVEN by Herbert Siguenza

 dir. by Todd Salvoey & Herbert Siguenza // San diego Repertory Theatre

            All three cast members are outstanding. Summer Spiro recently seen in Fallen Angels at North Coast Rep. is nothing resembling the socialite Jane Banbury that she so winningly portrayed, but rather the radical war protester trying to give ‘peace a chance’. She is versatile and physical as Trish trying to prove to Hoffman that she needs a second chance.

-Carol Davis, The Examiner

            Summer Spiro, who plays Trish the radical, is a force to be reckoned with. Her talent shines through. The girl can move and dance. She can also sing, and at the end, she delivers a rousing and inspiring rap song.

-Mimi Pollack, San Diego Times

            Trish (Summer Spiro), a disillusioned Iraq War veteran who has just been shot in front of the White House for protesting the misdeeds of the recently elected Paul Ryan/Ted Cruz presidential administration. Spiro is a funny and ferocious dynamo who brings a zippy physicality to the role and a way of winning you over to the pair’s kooky quest.

- James Hebert, Union Tribune San Diego

 

            Summer Spiro is steel and cotton at the same time. She will inspire laughs and pull out tears. The weight of the plot is on her. From a histrionic view, she is ready to handle and deliver showing not only strong portrayal capability, but a solid physical training as well.

- Alejandra Enciso Guzman, Vanguard Culture

            But the tour de force performances come from his two sidekicks: irresistible Summer Spiro, spectacularly athletic, both physically and verbally, as the confrontational lesbian, Trish.

-Pat Launer, Center Stage

            I was hooked from the moment that Trish, portrayed so wonderfully by Summer Spiro, took the stage and gave the audience the first look at who she is, a veteran of the recent wars in the Middle-East, and an activist of the “Occupy” variety, trying to tame a world filled with political and social challenges, trying to adjust a determined status quo. She questions and wonders and fights the system in the early moments and as it goes with too many who buck the system, she ends up at the Pearly Gates. I drove home feeling to my bones the “keep on keeping on” spirit these brilliant actors brought to the stage. 

- Ernie McRay, OB Rag

             Summer Spiro's role as Trish is physically demanding. Early in the show she has to act out her entire life in one quick swoop, midshow has to convey a trip on LSD and near the end has to perform an intricate rap song. While exuding her character’s passionate energy, performing battle moves in boot-camp training and a war-scene re-enactment, and dancing (including the Russian Cossack squat), Spiro covers every square inch of the stage.

-Janise Kleinschmidt, SDHG

            All three actors are perfectly cast. Spiro shows flexibility (those push-ups!) and versatility in acting styles (wait till you get a load of her hip-hop “Give Peace a Chance”). She also comes across as genuine, especially in a moving description of a war experience that scarred her.

- Jean Lowerison, SDGLN


 

FALLEN ANGELS by Noel Coward directed by Rosina Reynolds

 North Coast Rep

          She's cast a delectable duo at the center: The caustic Julia of Joanna Strapp and the distally adorable Jane of Summer Spiro. Spiro, also in her NC Rep debut, portrayed Strapp's partner-in-crime Jane Banbury with style and ease. Spiro's madcap ravings, gravity-defying pratfalls and slapstick maneuverings evoked the spirit of Lucy Ricardo on a really good drug trip: unmistakably insane but always entertaining, and increasingly virtuosic as the evening tripped on.

-Erica Miner, Broadway World

           Spiro’s Jane provides the emotional engine for much of the comedy – she’s impetuous, hysterical and funny, and a fine counterpoint to Julia’s more laid-back attitude.

 - Jean Lowerison, SDGLN

The play’s first act has a long and slow-building drunk scene, which isn’t easy to sustain for actors or their director, but it plays out beautifully. Spiro creates an endearing Jane who’s a mess of high-wire emotions. Her weepy, lipstick-smeared meltdown in the second act is especially fun to watch.

-Pam Kragen, Union Tribune, San Diego

        Both Joanna Strapp and Summer Spiro are a hoot to watch and most definitely surpass the challenges put before them. They play off each other like a well-oiled machine leaving no stone unturned, no mannerism undone and all in full upper crust British accent.

-Carol Davis, The Examiner


DETROIT written by Lisa D'Amour directed by Sam Woodhouse

San Diego Rep

             The energy of the evening was so volatile, loud and meaningless that, for this reviewer, it was a big turnoff. That said that same high energy, vodka on steroid induced performance of Summer Spiro’s Sharon, who carries the last few scenes to places yours truly would never want to visit, is top notch. She simply puts Mary and Ben on notice that “when you’re at zero, anything can happen”. And it does.

-Carol Davis, The Examiner

              Spiro is captivating as the conflicted and sexually uninhibited — albeit at times surprisingly astute — Sharon. Always the first to dance or incite, she’s a delight seething over the snooty neighbor in the pink jogging suit or uncovering the closeted Anglophile in Ben.

-Pat Sherman, La Jolla Light

             Summer Spiro must have come from Central Casting Heaven. Spiro’s every tic, every prance, every flick of the butt, every slip into potty mouth belongs, integral parts of creating a character so strung out in sobriety that there is little hope; and yet, we hope. Again, a heart-breaking and deep performance. 

-Charlene Baldridge, Center Stage 

Pretty Summer Spiro is a total pistol as Sharon—the drug culture’s desperation clearly drives this character, and Spiro’s funny, over-the-top histrionics give that trait a human face.

-Martin Jones Westlin, SD Story


AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare directed by Liz Shipman

Moonlight Amphitheater/ New Village Arts

            Rosalind and her plucky cousin Celia (Summer Rae Spiro, who all but steals this show) sound in their scheming moments like an old episode of Designing Women but NVA’s production (its second of “As You Like It”) is also enlivened by live music performed on stage by the actors. The play’s ballads and shivarees are turned into actual melodies written by the aforementioned – and multi-talented – Summer Spiro. Rosalinds early scenes with Spiro, as two delightful Southern belles, were the production's best.  

-David Coddon, San Diego Arts 

           Rosalind's friend Celia is played and sung by newcomer Summer Rae Spiro, who is petite, pert and a grand, lively presence who speaks trippingly and writes the country and Cajun music for the entire proceedings.

-Charlene Baldridge, Curtain Calls

"Stacy Keach takes a nice turn as the gruff and perceptive philosopher Jaques, who performs some of the most famous lines in theater history--"All the world's a stage . . ." But the scene-stealer in this show may be singer-songwriter Summer Spiro, who contributed and performs a few original tunes for this live production."

            Starring in the production as Celia is Summer Spiro, a talented young actress and singer, who also composed the play's score. Spiro's a charismatic, energetic and believable performer who keeps the audience engaged throughout.

-Pat Launer, North County Times


CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE by Berdolt Brecht directed by Eric Bishop

 Mira Costa Theatre

Summer Spiro's Grusha, (so compelling as the title character in MiraCosta’s Elektra for which Bishop won a Patté Award for directing), is marvelous here, fervent, fiercely determined, buffeted but undaunted by fate, an island of goodness in a sea of malice and dispassion. 

-Pat Launer, S.D Union Tribune 

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BLITHE SPIRIT by Noel Coward directed by Tracy Williams

Mira Costa Theatre

           Summer Spiro's Elvira is a sparkling sex kitten played with comical insouciance (a notable stretch from her prior role as Electra) Her perfectly tuned British accent and playful teasing with Charles makes it hard for the audience to see her as the ghostly, villainous ex-wife determined to kill her beloved. She is a stand out among the cast as she plays the Coward style with fresh and modern agility. Spiro has comic timing, expressions, and acting abilities far beyond her years.

-Ruth Lepper, North County Times 


ELECTRA by Sophocles directed by Eric Bishop

Mira Costa Theatre

Summer Spiro’s Electra is heartbreaking, neither the freedom fighter nor the vengeful neurotic of some productions, but a tortured soul who cannot shake off her grief, who will not concede her need for a bloody reprisal. 

-Pat Launer, North County Times