press

at Soho Repertory Theatre

“With the help of a uniformly appealing cast, the play makes for perfect popular entertainment, complete with the underlying message of not letting perceived physical limitations define who you are. It's a savvy mixture of laughs and seriousness, and director Matt Lenz has mined both with dexterity...In the end, The Irish Curse is a very human and even humane play. You will find yourself rooting for these esteem-building sessions to succeed.”

          Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press

 

“A funny, charming play…The Vagina Monologues for guys...the cast steers clear of cheap sentimentality as the characters reveal tales of shame and inadequacy. Director Matt Lenz maintains a nimble pace.” 

          Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

 

“Casella's sharply drawn characters are performed by a credible and appealing ensemble, under the astute direction of Matt Lenz.”

          David A. Rosenberg, Backstage

 

“Matt Lenz's direction is completely undetectable, which I mean as high praise: there's a natural feel to the proceedings that is rare to find in the theatre.”

          Martin Denton, nytheatre.com

 

 

IDAHO! WINNER: BEST DIRECTOR & BEST MUSICAL at New York Musical Theatre Festival 2008!

 

“If you're a fan of Golden Age musicals, you'll love Idaho!  [It] has the potential to be a crowd-pleasing Broadway smash...a big musical with go-for-broke direction by Matt Lenz."

          David Gordon, nytheatre.com

 

“Under the direction of Matt Lenz, the production achieves intensity and folksy casualness at the same time.”

          Dierdre Donovan, CurtainUp

Idaho! at Forestburgh Playhouse, NY

with Austin Miller, Paul Vogt, Susie Mosher, Jessica Hershberg, Will Taylor

 

"Director Matt Lenz brings together a talented cast who breathes lusty life into this already well-written script. He keeps the show's tempo delightfully upbeat and moving along.  There is never a dull moment.”

          Bill Maloney, Sullivan Country Democrat

You can’t resist the upbeat charms of Hairspray at the Papermill Playhouse…Energetically recreated by Matt Lenz, this fast paced, crowd-pleaser packs every ounce of its original whrilwind appeal.”

          Michael Sommers, The New York Times

 

“Has there ever been as triumphant a season opener in the 73-year history of the Paper Mill Playhouse?  Sunday’s opening of Hairspray was the best time an audience has ever had in Millburn in September. Hairspray enjoyed a 6½-year run on Broadway — but those who are kicking themselves for missing it can now say goodbye to their grief. Those who want to relive the deliriously wonderful experience have a Broadway-caliber production waiting for them. Director Matt Lenz precisely replicated the original direction by Jack O’Brien."

          Peter Filicia, Star-Ledger

 

 

"This is a solid, soaring production. The direction by Matt Lenz is faithful in certain iconic moments but original and full of details. His opening of the show is particularly impressive.”

          Jeff Davis, BroadwayWorld.com

 

“Director Matt Lenz moves the nearly 3 dozen performers fluidly through the tale’s swirl of settings, even without a turntable to ease the task, as in so many other stagings…small, personal moments make this epic musical sing…in the intimacy of Zach's Topfer Theatre we're close enough to catch the small gestures between these figures and the searching looks in their eyes.”

          Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle

Kevin Kline Award nomination

“A five star hit.  Directed by Matt Lenz, the engaging spirit and sense of energy is nothing short of miraculous.  Aida must be the best show of the MUNY’s season.”

          Harry Hamm, KMOX

 

"Matt Lenz pushes the big ensemble to the forefront making sure the audience sees not merely a chorus but a nation. This Aida makes a stylish addition to the MUNY’s repertoire.”

          Judith Newmark, St Louis Post-Dispatch

with Chuck Cooper, Montego Glover, Deborah Gibson, Darren Ritchie
 
“With smart writing, appealing songs and touching performances this under-the-radar piece could prove to be a popular product for small and mid-sized stages. The show is buoyed by solid heartfelt perfs under Matt Lenz’s sensitive helming.”
          Frank Rizzo, Variety
 
“Pure Heaven! What a joy to find an exciting new musical on our doorstep. Guided unerringly by director Matt Lenz.”
          Irene Backalenick, Connecticut Post

"The performers are as well matched as the members of a first-class string quartet…and director Matt Lenz orchestrates their performances like a maestro. This God of Carnage is a brisk exhilarating ride.”

          Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle

 

 

 

“Zach Theatre’s production captured every second of my attention…a moving experience I found hard to shake off after I left the theatre. Part of the magic lies in the direction of Matt Lenz…[which] demonstrates a wonderful sense of balance…emphasizing the hairpin turns of emotions…taking time for sincerity and coaxing out the humor. Lenz creates a believable, engrossing show. Nothing is wasted – not a word, not a gesture, not a moment of this 3 hour show.” 

          Molly Brenner, Austin Chronicle

GOD OF CARNAGE

LOVE! VALOR! COMPASSION!

As Jack O’Brien’s Associate Director for the Broadway production of Catch Me If You Can, Matt Lenz re-created/re-conceived the Terrence McNally/Shaiman/Wittman musical for the 42-week US national tour in 2012-2013.