Directing Reviews

“Princess Ida” by Gilbert and Sullivan  (2011 for the Durham Savoyards, Ltd.)

Zest is the byword for this show, and it is thoroughly enjoyable. 

— Kate Dobbs Ariail, Classical Voice of North Carolina

“The Mikado” by Gilbert and Sullivan  (2010 for The Durham Savoyards, Ltd.)

The most musically sure-footed of any Savoyard production I’ve seen to date…..witty, efficient direction…. The undeniable quality of ensemble and the richness of its sound filled the Carolina Theater, and convinced me, from early on, that this show was in good hands.

— Byron Woods, The Independent Weekly

“The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni  (2008 for Deep Dish Theater Company)

I wanted to stand up and cheer….The entire production is stuffed with physical comedy and frothy excess — everything is far enough over the top to assure that we don’t ever sink into expectations of naturalism or reality…. I’m all for deep and edgy theater, but there are many ways to improve the world: Filling rooms with laughter is one of them.

— Kate Dobbs Ariail, Classical Voice of North Carolina

“H.M.S. Pinafore” by Gilbert and Sullivan  (2007 for The Durham Savoyards, Ltd.)

Innovative and resourceful director and choreographer Derrick Ivey turned this classic comic operetta into a three-ring circus of fun. Ivey’s fresh, new approach… breathed new life into this familiar Gilbert and Sullivan piece….. (N)ot only brilliantly re-imagined but royally entertaining.

— Robert McDowell, Classical Voice of North Carolina

“Patience” by Gilbert and Sullivan  (2006 for The Durham Savoyards, Ltd.)

Derrick Ivey adopted a clever course of action: librettist William Gilbert’s spin on British aestheticism would, in Ivey’s vision, be turned around to countenance a similar period in American counter-culture, the Beat generation of the 1950s and ’60s….  This Durham Savoyards’ production of Patience reminded its observers anew that artistic expression is but a magnifying glass used to shed light on the human condition in all its seriousness or — as here — utmost hilarity.

— Carl Halperin, Classical Voice of North Carolina

“The Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert and Sullivan  (2005 for The Durham Savoyards, Ltd.)

Reason to rejoice! The audience, nearly full to capacity, reveled in every moment….

— Carl Halperin, Durham Herald-Sun

“Ruddigore” by Gilbert and Sullivan  (2004 for the Durham Savoyards, Ltd.)

Director Derrick Ivey’s secret to success here involves milking every supernatural element in this melodramatic satire for all they’re worth…. Ivey and musical director Alan Riley Jones… pitch their entertaining supernatural camp all over the place…

— Byron Woods, The Independent Weekly

“The Mikado” by Gilbert and Sullivan  (2003 for the Durham Savoyards, Ltd.)

Refreshing…. Director Derrick Ivey’s approach blows away many of the musty layers that have encrusted “The Mikado” over time.  His beautiful tableaux, pleasing choreography and inventive humor assure a favorable response to this version staged in the Carolina Theater.

— Roy Dicks, Raleigh News & Observer

“Peter Pan” adapted from J.M. Barrie *  (2000 for The ArtsCenter)

Under Derrick Ivey’s direction, “Peter Pan” was a seamless blend of wistfulness, high spirits and high camp.

— V. C. Rogers, The Independent Weekly

“Lady Windermere’s Fan” by Oscar Wilde  (1996 for The ArtsCenter)

An absolutely delightful, deft and delicious production…. The touch is light, the acting is stylish, and the direction is imaginative.

— Harry Hargraves, Raleigh News & Observer

“Chicago — A Musical Vaudeville” by Fosse/Kander/Ebb  (1995 for The ArtsCenter)

This jailhouse rocks! … Tremendous, hilarious, zestful, zany and truly overwhelming…. What a happy time!

— Harry Hargraves,  Raleigh News & Observer

“Frankenstein” adapted from Mary Shelley *  (1993 for The ArtsCenter)

•  Listed among Top Ten Productions for 1993.
This very faithful adaptation by director Derrick Ivey sweeps away all the science fiction and leaves a taut struggle between creator and created….  The suspense and danger built into this production are handled excellently by both cast and  director…. It is chilling, frightening and tremendously enjoyable.

— Alan R. Hall,  Chapel Hill News

“Rough Crossing” by Tom Stoppard  (1992 for The ArtsCenter)

The stylish, altogether nifty production… leaves the audience drained of laughter and breathless…. Ivey has done a superb job of hurling his small cast through a complicated series of catastrophes and he keeps the action going at a brisk pace.

— Bill Morrison,  Raleigh News & Observer

Deathtrap” by Ira Levin  (1991 for The ArtsCenter)

A real hoot, directed with panache by Derrick Ivey…. The action scenes are like something off the movie screen, deftly played and surprisingly realistic. The slaps are real. The director stages the comedy with the same deft touch — the lines tossed about like coins to a mob.

— Bill Morrison,   Raleigh News & Observer

“The Doctor In Spite of Himself” adapted from Moliere *  (1990 for The ArtsCenter)

The rich comic details, the zesty performances and the sheer fun of it all makes this show one of the most entertaining you’ll ever see…. Ivey’s witty production is a marvel…. The comic inventiveness of this production is remarkable.

— Mike Brown , Durham Herald-Sun

* indicates original stage adaptations written and directed by Derrick Ivey

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