Princess Mary Demands Your Attention at Bailiwick Chicago directed by Lili-Anne Brown
The interplay between Fields' Amari and his three amigos
— Nathaniel (TJ Crawford), Bastian (Omer Abbas Salem)
and Christian (David Kaplinsky) — gives "Princess Mary"
its most delightful moments, and Brown's direction nails
the overlapping teasing wordplay and pop culture wink
and-nod references in which the characters are steeped.
The makeover montage before Amari heads out for his
club night is a particular crowd-pleasing highlight.
But Crawford and Salem have a great energy and chemistry as the comic relief friends who fall into hooking up, and the nascent crushing between Fields’s Amari and Kaplinsky’s Christiano is cute and rootable enough.
This production has a wonderful ensemble feel to it. Everyone has good intentions and the cast plays well off each other specifically TJ Crawford and Omer Abbas Salem as Nathaniel and Bastian.
Edge Media Network
The three men who help draw Mari out of his shell, played by TJ Crawford, David Kaplinsky and Omer Abbas Salem, stole every scene they were in and were mesmerizing in their chemistry together. In the second act when they were not on stage for a while, I found myself missing their warmth and humor.
Chicago Stage Standard
As Amari’s friends and support network TJ Crawford, Omer Abbas Salem and David Kaplinsky (as the patient suitor) throw themselves into their roles with sexy abandon, lighting up the stage whenever they are on, whether discussing their debauchery, dancing or providing moral support leavened with humor.
Chicago Theater Review
Of Amari’s three new friends, Omer Abbas Salem makes Bastian a very funny, over-the-top force to be admired and enjoyed.