Iron Crow Theatre stages Sarah Kane's disturbing, engrossing '4.48 Psychosis' by Tim Smith - Baltimore Sun

Iron Crow Theatre seizes upon in a darkly evocative production directed by Ryan Clark at Theatre Project. Kane's non-linear play is a kind of manic prose poem about people in various stages of mental illness; warnings and pleas seem to haunt every line. All of this requires a well-matched ensemble, which Iron Crow has assembled: Katie Keddell, Ché Lyons, and Nick Horan...The three actors, clad in hospital-evoking white, delve into the material with considerable intensity and nuance. Their naturalness helps make each fear and revelation in the text, each grasp for answers, ring true."


Director Argo Thompson has recruited some impressive acting talent for the show, particularly Liz Jahren as Cass, a manic runaway housewife, and Ché Lyons as Lois, her alcoholic sidekick, both seeking escape and encountering idiots in Niagara Falls.

Lyon's apathetic stance and dazed and drunken grin matched the naturalistic delivery of her lines, creating a sad but appealing character.

Wonder of the World, Actors Theatre, by David Kashimba, Directed by Argo Thompson

Internet Magazine of Stage and Theatre Reviews for The San Francisco Bay Area

Actors Theatre of Santa Rosa really takes a leap off the deep end with their production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Wonder of the World. It is definitely not for everyone, but what really seemed to make this play work for most were the comic expressions on the actor’s faces, particularly those played by Che Lyons, Gene Abravaya and Nicolette O’Connor. Though the words in this play may offend the actors’ expressions mend with healing laughter.

'Wonder of the World’ by David Templeton

Two minutes after meeting the heartbroken, hard-drinking Lois (Ché Lyons), Cass brightly suggests, "Hey! Do you want to be my sidekick?" The surprised Lois responds, "You have got to learn how to segue!"

Anchored by the elastic performances of Liz Jahren and Ché Lyons, this very funny play, with its nutty blend of hope and cynicism, is indeed a wonder to behold. You should definitely put this one on your list.


THE SHOW: Seven Guitars, part of the August Wilson Project, a collaboration of San Diego Black Ensemble Theatre and Cygnet Theatre. This is one-tenth of Wilson’s magnum opus: a cycle that chronicles, decade by decade, the 20th century experience of African Americans. There’s just one more performances of the reading on Monday, Oct. 30. If you’re a serious theater-lover, you shouldn’t miss any of this series. 

THE PLAYERS: Rhys Green, artistic director of Black Ensemble Theatre, has assembled an outstanding cast, and they bring all the fire, energy, music and sexuality that the text demands. Anthony Drummond is brashly seductive and irresistible as the dreamer Floyd, and Yolanda Franklin, getting dramatically stronger all the time, is lovely and coy as ever-hopeful Vera, who still believes in the possibility of change. Ida Rhem plays hearty, earthy, no-nonsense Louise with gusto, and her singing is superb (she’ll play the title role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the Project’s December reading). Floyd’s two musical sidemen are portrayed by the formidable, credible Grandison Phelps III as the quick-tempered harmonica player, Canewell, and Walter Murray as the laid-back drummer, Red, who can identify a rooster’s birthplace by his crow.  Ché Lyons brings the sultry, sexy edge of Louise’s niece, Ruby, to life. Mark Christopher Lawrence has the toughest job, the role of Hedley, a sort of idiot savant who’s turned his back on the white world, and has big plans (to be “a Big Man”). Lawrence attacks the part with ferocity. Don Loper serves well as narrator. The evocation of time and place is palpable, like being immersed in the blues. You don’t need props or scenery. Just lose yourself in the music, the rhythm and the language.

Gibson Girl by Kristen Greenidge, Moxie Theatre Company, Diversionary Theater, Directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg – Total San Diego

There's nothing mysterious about the cast: they're outstanding. We meet teenage twins, Win (Ché Lyons) and Valerie (Kaja Amado), in a school's girl's bathroom, complete with stalls. The twins have zero in common. One is peppy, full of life, rebellious, and not much of a student. The other is studious and  very quiet. And, one is very light-skinned, the other very black. Twins? The contrast between Lyons and Amado is absolutely perfect for the story. They play off of each other like real-life sisters - a delight to watch.

THEATER REVIEW 'Four Queens – No Trump' plays a winning hand by Michael L. Greenwald The San Diego Union-Tribune

'Four Queens – No Trump' by Ted Lange, Common Ground Theatre,   New World Stage Theatre, Directed by Dr. Floyd Gaffney

Ché Lyons, as EDNA,  is convincingly resolute and enjoys the play's most moving speech as she recounts caring for her invalid grandmother, the victim of a 1922 racist attack in small-town Texas.