Production Reviews

These reviews are from Dick Frantzreb with the Capital Region Performance Gallery.

Beauty and the Beast Jr. - Director

Lincoln Theatre Company, 2019

"...That is the kind of wry humor I would expect of Director Jason Bortz, whose work as an actor and director I have admired for many years. Bortz, who seems to have been born for the theatre and who is an experienced wrangler of young actors, did a beautiful job of turning loose the members of this cast to take a chance, experiment with being someone else― and probably discover something about themselves in the process: abilities and self-confidence that they didn’t know they had."

My Fair Lady - Henry Higgins

Lincoln Theatre Company, 2019

"The key to the astounding success of this production: the acting. Jason Bortz as Henry Higgins and Landon Wheeler as Eliza Doolittle are together the beating heart of this show. They each displayed excellent singing and great range in their acting. And it was such a pleasure to see these two people work together. When they were interacting, you couldn’t take your eyes off them. They each wrung every bit of comedy (or angst) from their part. I can still recall the masterful scene with snatches of one elocution lesson after another. And I’m sure I speak for my fellow audience members when I say that we felt their triumph in “The Rain in Spain” scene. Then after the ball, the tension between the two was exquisite when Higgins exulted in his success and Eliza fumed at being overlooked.
Now let’s separate them. I’ve seen Jason Bortz perform brilliantly in the past, and now, in his return to the stage after 3 years, he has come back — if anything — better than before. He brings an intensity to his acting that is simply riveting, and his arrogance as Henry Higgins was complete. He inhabited this character, and his nuance in gesture and speech made me feel like I was watching, not an actor, but an artist at work. His scene of subtlely persuading Eliza to agree to elocution lessons would alone have been worth seeing this show again. But there were many such scenes. And strong singing completed his mastery of this role."

Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical - Jekyll/Hyde

Stand out Talent, 2015

"Stand Out Talent's production of this show is one I will never forget, especially the virtuoso performance in the title role by Jason Bortz. ... With all the singing required by the Jekyll and Hyde characters, it is critical that they be played by someone with an excellent voice, and Jason Bortz delivered. His vocal range spanned the extremes from intimate to powerful, with a dramatic intensity that stemmed from his acting ability. ... I've seen Jason Bortz in many other roles in recent years, but never one that seemed so suited for the display of his talent. There is a wonderful intensity about his acting, and this intensity comes through even when he’s speaking softly. To me, he is simply expert at delivering lines, and it was fascinating to watch him work. He has many different voices, and we saw the range of them in this show. As familiar as I've become with his work and his off-stage personality, his first transformation from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde gave me goosebumps — and that was only the first time that happened in the show. He can be a dynamo, explosive and downright fearsome. And yet he plays the tortured soul very well, and his calm intensity can be riveting. ...I doubt you'll see in any other staging of this show a better actor in the title role."

Young Frankenstein - Director

Stand Out Talent, 2013

"his show was all about brains, and no doubt it was the fertile brain of director, Jason Bortz, that helped the actors make the most of the comic potential of the script, adding creative touches that could not have been in the original stage directions. (I’m thinking of the interminable door-locking sounds when Frederick is locked in with the Monster.) There were more wonderful staging ideas that I don’t want to disclose because they will shock you (in a good way) when you see the show. Suffice it to say that one involved brains (again!). Another had to do with what the Monster was capable of. (It was amazing!)"

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Director

Stand Out Talent, 2013

"On opening night, I carefully watched the actors’ faces and body language when they were away from the action, and I saw them living their parts. And it must be said that this production reflects not only the talents of the actors but the professionalism of director, Jason Bortz, who inspired and guided all this well-organized madness. Watching the performance, I found myself thinking the best praise one can offer a dramatic production: 'This feels real.'”

Anything Goes - Moonface Martin

Stand Out Talent, 2012

"Jason Bortz...was absolutely amazing in the role of Moonface Martin – easily the best portrayal I’ve seen and about the best I could imagine. It was fascinating to watch his high-energy performance and impeccable comic timing."

Jason won the "Best Actor" Elly Award for this performance.