UBU THE SH*T (FOUR CLOWNS/CSULB): 100% – SWEET

SWEET This play is a must see though, especially if you’re in the mood for performing arts that breaks the stuffy dramatic mold. “Ubu the Sh*t” creates a casual atmosphere of laughs for a laid back audience. Amy Patton – The 49er SWEET This production is for mature audiences, and may not appeal to all […]

PUTTING IT TOGETHER (CHROMOLUME THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Based on a concept by Sondheim and Julia McKenzie, the result is a clever celebration of the Master-Composer’s most enigmatic works, taking its name from a tune featured in his 1984 hit, “Sunday In The Park With George”. With a score comprised of nearly thirty melodies culled from some of Broadway’s best-loved musicals–including, “Company”, […]

Latest Born Ready Episode: Theater Cover Troupes w/ Peter Nachtrieb and Lisa Steindler of Z Space

The latest podcast episode from the Bad Boys by the Bay known as Born Ready. Here’s the link for the show. And here’s the latest blurb: Welcome to episode 22! Our guests this week are Lisa Steindler and Peter Nachtrieb, the artistic director and playwright in residence, respectively, at Z Space. This week we’re talking […]

A-Burn asks CTG’s Ritchie: “Why do this play in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in 2014?”

What exactly am I talking about? The current production of Joe Orton’s seminal What the Butler Saw currently playing at the Mark Taper Forum. Anthony Byrnes at KCRW wants to know “Why this show and why now?” I have a pretty simple answer for Anthony: It’s a tried and true commodity and a “my bad” gift […]

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW (MARK TAPER): 93% – SWEET

SWEET “What the Butler Saw” represents Orton at his most sophisticatedly silly. It’s a play bursting with references to other plays, including even one of the greatest tragedies ever written, Euripides’ “The Bacchae.” Sad as it is to reflect on what this author might have gone on to accomplish had he not been cut down […]

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (SACRED FOOLS): 33% – BITTER

BITTERSWEET Overall, the show has its plusses and minuses, which can always be the case when any theater company takes on a challenging and very detailed period piece. It comes across in a very traditional way. It is still a good bit of fun, and anytime you get to spend an evening with the words […]

  • Other Recent Articles

  • The Monday Moment

    The Monday Moment

    “This is my first time seeing theatre and I think I’m done.” Don’t let this happen to you. Or me. Please. Happy Monday, LemonHeads!

  • DIRTY: 75% - BITTERSWEET

    DIRTY: 75% – BITTERSWEET

    BITTERSWEET The cast includes Zuleyka Silver as a pulchritudinous porn star wannabe, Sumiko Braun as her younger sister, and Rob Belushi as the porn producer whose dirty dealing triggers a crisis. Director Shannon Cochran plays up the comical opportunities in Hinderaker’s prolix narrative but can’t avert the play’s ultimate slide into preachiness. F. Kathleen Foley […]

  • THE OLD WOMAN (ROYCE HALL): 75% - BITTERSWEET

    THE OLD WOMAN (ROYCE HALL): 75% – BITTERSWEET

    SWEET “The Old Woman” is, in the large scheme of the ever-escalating Wilson World, a road-show roundelay, theater as hit and run. It comes into town and is gone before you know it, leaving you not quite believing your eyes or your senses. Mark Swed – LA Times SWEET Still, the famously measured Wilson can […]

  • Bob's Holiday Office Party - 19th Smash year! at Pico Playhouse

    Bob’s Holiday Office Party – 19th Smash year! at Pico Playhouse

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          Contact: Phil Sokoloff, [email protected] 626.683.9205 or Leigh Fortier, [email protected] or 323.960.7779 PICO PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS BOB’S HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY LOS ANGELES, CA – November 9, 2014 – Pico Playhouse presents Bob’s Holiday Office Party! L.A.’s most “hilariously deranged” (Los Angeles Times) seasonal tradition is back for its 19th year! […]

  • Dog Sees God at Santa Monica Playhouse

    Dog Sees God at Santa Monica Playhouse

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          Contact: Phil Sokoloff, [email protected] 626.683.9205 or Leigh Fortier, [email protected] or 323.960.7779   SANTA MONICA PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS DOG SEES GOD CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD LOS ANGELES, CA – November 9, 2014 – Santa Monica Playhouse presents Dog Sees God Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. This is a benefit produced by Cappricielli, Inc. and the Free […]

  • KINKY BOOTS (PANTAGES THEATRE): 84% - SWEET

    KINKY BOOTS (PANTAGES THEATRE): 84% – SWEET

    SWEET Although I tend to be skeptical about the power of any garment to effect lasting spiritual change, all those stilettos evidently tenderized me to a pulp: I drove home beaming, filled with affection for the characters and all but convinced that wearing thigh-high red leather boots is the manliest thing a guy can do. […]

  • Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays For 5 Theme Parks

    Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays For 5 Theme Parks

    Los Angeles theater is currently lost in a messy argument about how exactly it should divide up its income, an argument I couldn’t dive into even if I wanted and, really, if you spend any amount time on this site then you’ve already heard all about it. What interests me though is how rarely the […]

  • THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (LA JOLLA PLAYHOUSE): 66% - BITTERSWEET

    THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (LA JOLLA PLAYHOUSE): 66% – BITTERSWEET

    BITTER In spite of its focus on physical abnormalities, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a very pretty show. It sounds nice, and it’s pleasing to look at, but that’s about it. It doesn’t offer anything new to the contemporary theatrical landscape, instead relying on borrowing bits and pieces from other, more successful musicals. But […]

  • No Proscenium: What We Talk About When We Talk About Immersive (REVIEWS)

    No Proscenium: What We Talk About When We Talk About Immersive (REVIEWS)

    In this edition of the No Proscenium column: reviews of RETROGRADE and A SILVER LINING and some thoughts on the i-word. It’s been a busy couple of months in the LA immersive theatre underground, and that’s not even counting all the seasonal haunted houses that spring up like so many pumpkin patches. “Immersive” is the […]

  • The Incredibly Ridiculous BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Theater Award Nominations are Now Open for your Patronage...

    The Incredibly Ridiculous BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Theater Award Nominations are Now Open for your Patronage…

    If you feel so inclined, then go here and let the popularity party commence. No disrespect to the nominees of course – not their fault they were nominated – but I find these particular awards to reside somewhere between the Scenies and the Ovations in their degradation of what an award is supposed to be […]

  • I STAND BEFORE YOU NAKED (T.U. STUDIOS): 100% - SWEET

    I STAND BEFORE YOU NAKED (T.U. STUDIOS): 100% – SWEET

    SWEET Some of these stories – such as depictions of anorexia-bulimia, tumultuous pregnancies, abandonment and misogynistic violence – have been explored many times in television, movies and the media. Oates’ effort to get into the heads of these suffering women and allow the audience to feel what they feel is refreshing. It opens the door […]

  • Bringing Theatre into the Digital Age  - by Jeni Incontro

    Bringing Theatre into the Digital Age – by Jeni Incontro

    Another excellent guest contribution, this one is from Jeni Incontro on the as-yet-untapped opportunities of live-streaming live theater. There was an excellent article at the LA Weekly on the subject recently, which you can read here. But Jeni is offering some even bolder stuff here and it’s very well argued, LemonHeads. I have my own questions (of course), […]

  • Four Clowns and CSULB Theatre Arts Reimagine Audience Engagement Thru Social Media in Ubu The Sh*t - by Sara Waugh

    Four Clowns and CSULB Theatre Arts Reimagine Audience Engagement Thru Social Media in Ubu The Sh*t – by Sara Waugh

    Four Clowns and CSULB Theatre Arts Reimagine Audience Engagement Thru Social Media in Ubu The Sh*t By Sara Waugh LA-based touring clown troupe Four Clowns, in collaboration with the CSULB Theatre Arts Department, is taking a chance with their re-envisioned, newly devised version of French Playwright Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, by taking the element of live […]

  • Rogue Machine's John Flynn on the 99 Seat Debate: "Make Theatre Water Cooler Talk"

    Rogue Machine’s John Flynn on the 99 Seat Debate: “Make Theatre Water Cooler Talk”

    John Flynn, Artistic Director of Rogue Machine, asked if he might step up to the Bitter Lemons podium and offer some of his own thoughts on the 99 Seat Debate. We said it would be our privilege. While I may not agree with all of his points (you can see some of my thoughts here), […]

  • COMPLETENESS (VS THEATRE): 90% - SWEET

    COMPLETENESS (VS THEATRE): 90% – SWEET

    SWEET Itamar Moses’s Completeness is chockfull of discourse about protein processes and algorithmic probabilities, and if, like myself, you’re not of a scientific bent, you could drift off amidst the disquisition and the theory. Chances are you won’t, however. As directed by Matt Pfeiffer, VS. Theatre’s current production is so smart and the ensemble so […]

  • The Playwriting Method of Tennessee Williams

    The Playwriting Method of Tennessee Williams

    This from Thomas Powers in the London Review of Books (yes, a critic) on the method of a man who is arguably the greatest American playwright ever: “Properly fortified he faced the page. He seems to have approached every play with what he called ‘my methodless method of work’. He brought so little to that […]

  • Can Homegrown LA Theater Learn from those "Presenting" Houses Around Town?

    Can Homegrown LA Theater Learn from those “Presenting” Houses Around Town?

    Anthony Byrnes thinks so. This, from his somewhat disorienting diatribe this week at KCRW: So what can LA theaters and audiences learn from the rise of the imports and the slow transformation of LA into a ‘presenting town?’ In a nutshell, consistency matters. Counterintuitively, these presenters have been committing to artists in ways that our […]

  • HANDLE WITH CARE: 100% - SWEET

    HANDLE WITH CARE: 100% – SWEET

    SWEET In short: this piece is well performed and directed. Daniel Faigin – Observations Along the Road SWEET Through playwright Jason Odell Williams’ focus on comedy and director Karen Carpenter’s attention to high energy acting, “Handle With Care” is a wonderful piece of theater. Rachel Mathieu and Julia Stier – Neon Tommy SWEET Despite these […]

  • STOP KISS (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 100% - SWEET

    STOP KISS (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 100% – SWEET

    SWEET Don’t let the gay bashing that is the pivotal event of Diana Son’s Stop Kiss scare you away from its exciting Pasadena Playhouse debut. Under Seema Sueko’s nuanced direction and with a pair of star turns by Angela Lin and Sharon Leal, Son’s 1998 off-Broadway hit reveals itself at its heart to be the […]

  • SERIAL KILLER BARBIE (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 93% - SWEET

    SERIAL KILLER BARBIE (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 93% – SWEET

    SWEET In fact, this is a sweet and very funny coming-of-age tale, punctuated with sassy musical numbers and ferocious wit. And, yes, in the end there is a serial killing subplot, when a trio of vicious, villainous high school cheerleaders are dispatched with extreme prejudice. Paul Birchall – Stage Raw SWEET If you’re a fan […]

  • CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL (COEURAGE THEATRE): 100% - SWEET

    CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL (COEURAGE THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

    SWEET Rarely is one able to see a musical that can thrill an audience not in spite of a low budget… but because of it. There can be such an expectation for spectacle when seeing a musical that not all productions are up to the task of innovation—of keeping an audience engaged simply with the […]

  • Latest Born Ready Episode: The Bar is Open at The Theater Bay Area Awards

    Latest Born Ready Episode: The Bar is Open at The Theater Bay Area Awards

    The Bad Boys from the Bay are back. Here’s their latest episode, with blurb below. You can go here to download the podcast. Enjoy! It’s our 20th episode! And for this milestone we decided to invade the TBA Awards armed only with our wits and a bottle of whiskey. Podcasting from backstage in the green room, we […]

  • NEWSFLASH: Theater is Alive and Well in Los Angeles (Evidence Within)

    NEWSFLASH: Theater is Alive and Well in Los Angeles (Evidence Within)

    Some pleasantries from the last couple weeks that you might want to catch, or not… Arguendo: This baby just had a very short run at REDCAT and is now closed. But as usual those folks from Elevator Repair Service have managed to stage the un-stable. While some of the circular agreements in the latter half […]

  • Reading of THE FOURTH ESTATE this Sunday, November 16th, 10am, Atwater Village Theatre

    Reading of THE FOURTH ESTATE this Sunday, November 16th, 10am, Atwater Village Theatre

    A little selfless self promotion on a Monday (hey what’s a blog for if not to…): my play THE FOURTH ESTATE – which has had readings at Rogue Machine and the Road Theatre – continues its evolution with a brand spanking new draft, and this time it’s my company EST/LA hosting the event. A little […]

  • bare: A Rock Musical LA Reunion Concert

    BARE Revival cast of Los Angeles rock musical BARE take stage in concert reunion Tickets are now available for a one-night-only concert reunion with the Los Angeles revival cast of bare: A Rock Musical, to be held Sunday, November 16th Rockwell: Table & Stage, one of LA’s premiere live performance venues. This electrifying evening of […]

  • 25 Years Ago the Berlin Wall Fell

    25 Years Ago the Berlin Wall Fell

    First of all, Happy Veterans Day (it’s tomorrow) to all those who are still here and especially those who aren’t. Like my father, Major General John Henderson Mitchell. I am most grateful for all veterans’ service, as I’m sure most of America is as well. Except for those few morons out there who somehow think that […]

  • Critique of the Week

    Critique of the Week

    Bob Verini blowing the trumpet for the new wave of immersive theater here in LA. Watch out! It’s a-comin’… WICKED LIT 2014 Bob Verini – ArtsInLA Immersive, site-specific theater could end up saving the art form for the immediate future. At the very least, it offers an audience an interactive and one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be […]

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