Photos: Curt Henderson
Jim Ruocco, From the Desk of Jim R.:
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Nancy Sasso Janis, Naugatuck Patch:
“Weston Chandler Long was a standout in the roles of Princeton and Rod. The handsome Mr. Long... easily handled the puppeteering requirements of the two leading roles, often voicing the other character while waiting the lines of the puppet on his hand... and gracefully danced the significant choreography. Add to this his wonderful singing voice and impressive acting skills and the result was a performance to remember.”
Zander Opper, Talkin’ Broadway:
“Weston Chandler Long makes for a great Princeton (and he also does well playing the character of Rod) and it is a treat to see the craft involved in performing both as an actor and as a puppeteer. He especially shines in "What Do You Do with a B. A. in English?" and, as Rod, in "Fantasies Come True." It is noted in the program that Long has performed with John Tartaglia, who originated these two roles, and that experience has certainly paid off handsomely.”
Geary Danihy, Connecticut Critics Circle:
“The multi-talented Long continuously delivers, no more so than, as Rod, he desperately tries to deny his homosexuality in “My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada.” It’s a wonderful moment, with Long whirling and leaping about the stage as he attempts to sell his friends on the existence of this fictitious friend named Alberta…from Vancouver, no less.”
James V. Ruocco, From the Desk of Jim R.:
"The performances are pure gold, with a dash or two of every color of the rainbow. The charismatic and boyish Weston Chandler Long, who looks as if he could be the long lost cousin or younger brother of 'A Clockwork Orange's' Jonno Davies is perfect for the dual roles of the unworldly Princeton and the repressed, thoroughly confused Rod as well. The different voices, mannerisms and vocal delivery of each character he portrays is absolutely brilliant, as is his body language when manipulating each of the puppets. Musically, his vocals are polished, engaging and completely endearing. So if anyone is doing 'Les Miserables' or 'Next to Normal,' Long would be the ideal Marius or Gabe."
Joseph Harrison, BroadwayWorld:
“The cast, as a whole, is very talented... Weston Chandler Long, doing double duty as Princeton and Rod has a background in puppetry, having trained with the Sesame Workshop. He has a real infectious energy about him throughout the evening and flips between the young Princeton to the conflicted and neurotic (and closeted) Rod with ease.”
Bonnie Goldberg, West Hartford News:
“Weston Chandler Long stars spectacularly as Princeton, a recent college graduate, with big dreams and a small wallet.”
Karen Isaacs, Two on the Aisle
"Weston Chandler Long, Peej Mele and Ashley Brooke are the three cast members who manipulate and voice the puppets; each plays at least two roles. They are all so skillful that you believe the puppets are actually talking and emoting. Yet if you look at the performers, you see that they are truly acting with their faces and gestures matching what the puppets are saying. All three of these young performers deserve to get their Equity cards (membership)."
Donald Brown, New Haven Review:
"The expressive aspects of the simultaneous presence of actor and puppet are particularly effective in Long’s body language for Princeton, and as the more uptight—and closeted—Rod... [He and Ashley Brooke] do a lot, with their movements and their singing voices, to keep this revival fun, romantic, and endearing."
Tim Leininger, Journal Enquirer
“Long, who has worked with Sesame Street and The Muppets is the most adept. He understands the minutiae of moving the puppets. Since there is little that can be conveyed through the puppets eyes or mouth, he uses body motions and head movements to convey the characters’ feelings. He also is the best at making sure that the puppet’s mouth moves with every syllable uttered as opposed to maybe moving the mouth once or twice per word.”
Stephen Collins, Live Theatre UK:
"[Weston] Long is a natural charmer and has an easy and sincere rapport with the smallest in his audience – he talks to them, not down to them. They respond by adoring him... Long’s infectious openness ensures that his audience keeps onside."
Bebe Fischer, OffOffOnline:
"[Weston] Long must also be praised for his vocal skills in giving each character an individual identity."
Jeff Myhre, NY Theatre Guide:
"The cast members (Jake Bezel, Ariel Lauryn, Kayla Prestel, and Weston Long) are disarmingly friendly with Mr. Rogers smiles (that is a compliment, not a complaint) and gentle voices (even when playing different characters)."
Photo: Carol Rosegg