Press

Pump Boys and Dinettes
(The 5th Wall Theatre)

book and lyrics by Bryan Williams

directed by Richard Parisol

“The Fisherman’s Prayer” is a beautifully harmonized number by the Pump Boys in Act 1, which also features a heat-warming ballad, “Mamaw,” sung by Jim/Mervini... While each cast member shines individually, Mervini, Marrs, and Centeio are standouts.

 

- Julinda D. Lewis (RVArt Review)

 

John Mervini is just right as the Pump Boys' ringleader Jim...The cast of "Pump Boys and Dinettes" is composed of incredibly talented quadruple threats. Actors perform their songs and bits while playing musical instruments, with tap shoes, kitchen utensils, and a few cast-iron pans for percussion. Director Richard M. Parison Jr. has a knack for smart casting, and he's built an excellent ensemble with palpable onstage chemistry.

- Claire Boswell (Style Weekly)

It’s goofy. It’s kitschy. It’s filled with gentle platitudes: “Work won’t kill you, but worry will,” says Mervini as “Jim,” the pump boy with the most grease-monkey charisma.

- Tony Farrell (Richmond Times Dispatch)

Even though this show is 36 years old, its catchy songs and spunky spirit still inspire smiles. This uniformly excellent group sounds great... cast members play their instruments with skill and sell every song with wonderful voices. The two slow numbers are the beautiful highlights of the show.

 

- Jerry Williams (Richmond Magazine)

Love Court
(Isle Of Shoals) at The Robert Moss Theater

book and lyrics by Bryan Williams

music by Joe Ferrante

directed by Stephen Ryan

"The emotional heart of LoveCourt is wisely entrusted to John Mervini, whose character is caught in the unforgiving gears of our corporate code of conduct when a complaint is filed against him. He’s not a particularly likable guy (the character, that is), yet he will break your heart when you learn the true depths of his character’s capacity for love. 

Mervini’s performance of “Helpless” sent shivers up and down my spine, as his character’s honestly difficult situation was brought to life by Mervini’s soul-felt acting and masterful musicality. He manages to blend the cold, rough edges of a tortured personality with the tenderest touches of human compassion – all springing from a gushing font of pure, raw yearning. 

The mixture is eviscerating – and once you’ve stitched your innards back inside yourself, you don’t quite seem to fit together the same way again. Mervini has changed you."

 

-Kevin F. Kelleher (kevinfkelleher.com)

Occupation Dragonslayer
(Isle Of Shoals) at The Robert Moss Theater

book and lyrics by Bryan Williams

directed by Stephen Ryan

 

"If Chris is our resident Kris Kringle, then Damon Slade (John Mervini) is like Gremlins’ Mrs. Deagle served with a side of Jordan Belfort. Slade doesn’t believe in magic. He doesn’t necessarily believe in realism, either. And he certainly doesn’t believe in the spirit of Christmas. He believes in “Dollars and Sense” (as his signature song goes) and without him, Dragonslayer would not be the homage to The Twilight Zone that it is." "Should Damon Slade infuriate you, he will ooze his way into your heart with delectably soulless aplomb thanks to John Mervini’s characterization."

 

- Alan Jude Ryland (The Huffington Post)

"A few performers who stood out for this reviewer among an outstanding cast are... John Mervini as Damon Slade...  And Mervini’s Slade is slime personified.  He is having so much fun being so bad you can’t help but love him.  And Mervini’s and Kelly’s song, Bright Lights, Big City, is BOOM! Microphone dropping done, done and more done!"

-Holli Harms (The Front Row Center)

Once Upon a Time in New Jersey

(Prospect Theatre Company) at The Hudson Guild Theater

book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo, music by Stephen Weiner

directed by Cara Reichel

 

"Rocco's two loyal pals, well-played by John Mervini and Noah Zachary, conjure a favorable comparison with the two "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" gangsters in Kiss Me Kate LeFrere may remind some of a young Alix Korey, which is quite a compliment."

 

- Barbara and Scott Siegel (theatermania.com)

A Streetcar Named Desire

(Thunder Bay Theater)

by Tennesse Williams

directed by Mark Butterfuss

 

"Mervini's rough-edged Stanley makes no apologies for his brutish nature. He wears it like a badge."

 

-Diane Speer (The Alpena News)

Brigadoon

(Thunder Bay Theater)

book and lyrics by Alan Loewe, music by Frederick Loewe

directed by Mark Butterfuss

 

"Mervini, along with Nordenbrock, displays his very pleasing voice in "The Heather on the Hill," as well as in probably the best-known song from the show, "Almost Like Being in Love." 

 

-Diane Speer (The Alpena News)

 

"John Mervini, who plays our primary antagonist, is the proudly-sleazy real estate mogul Damon Slade. Mervini commands the stage effortlessly, as though it were his god-given right. He is sheer force of will in a slick suit, and when his eyes sparkle you want to kiss him and strangle him at the same time."

-Kevin F. Kelleher (kevinfkelleher.com)

That Lady From Maxim's

(NYMF) at The Pearl Theatre

book, lyrics, and music by Bryan Williams

directed by Lance Hewett

 

"Another joy to watch was the part of the emasculate Duke, left in John Mervini’s comically capable, sweaty little hands. Never before have I witnessed such baffoonish jackassery performed with such ease of skill. Masterfully cast, Mr. Mervini makes a fiery, funny little hobbit out of the Duke. Indeed so funny was he, that when his character spoke ironically of making ladies giggle for him, a group of ladies in the back of the house actually did."

 

-Kevin F. Kelleher (kevinfkelleher.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Under Milk Wood

(Intimation Theatricals) at The Mint Theater

by Dylan Thomas

directed by Michelle Dean

 

"John Mervini is excellent as Mr. Pugh (a milquetoast who dreams of murdering his harridan of a wife) as well as bringing a quiet dignity to Captain Cat, the blind sea captain."

 

-Duncan Pflaster (offoffbroadway.broadwayworld.com)

 

 

"John Mervini provides the most captivating performance, with a commendable comic intensity and commitment to all three of his roles. “Let me shipwreck in your thighs,” he pleads straight-forwardly as Captain Cat to one of the ladies still alive only in his memory."

 

-Misha Shulman (offoffonline.com

Happy Birthday

(Thunder Bay Theatre)

by Mark Camoletti

directed by Mark Butterfuss

 

"Fun also describes the part of Robert. Mervini takes this role and runs with it, at times appearing suitably confused or astonished and at other times smitten and frisky."

 

-Diane Speer (The Alpena News)

Art Of Murder

(Thunder Bay Theater)

by Joe DiPietro

directed by Mark Butterfuss

 

"John Mervini stars as successful but self-absorbed and psychotic artist Jack Brooks. At various turns, the talented Mervini infuses his intense character with appropriate amounts of condescension, volatility and malevolence."

 

-Diane Speer (The Alpena News)

The Rat Pack Lounge

(Thunder Bay Theatre)

by James Hindman and Ray Roderick

directed by Mark Butterfuss

 

"Though they don't really look like Frank, Dean and Sammy, there are a few physical similarities and they've successfully adopted some of the familiar mannerisms, making it believable for the audience.

 

Plus there's the singing...  they serve up many great numbers that take the audience down memory lane.

Mervini as Sammy is really fun to watch, particularly when he tries to teach Vic to get his groove on and when he does impersonations of about a dozen other Hollywood stars of the day. He and Rodriguez have the strongest voices of the trio."

 

-Diane Speer (The Alpena News)