RSSArchive for January, 2011

The Monday Moment

The Monday Moment

My son, Max, two years old, Fire Fighter in Training. Priceless.

A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND a “Gothic comedy” by Tennessee Williams

A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND a “Gothic comedy” by Tennessee Williams

Theatre celebrates the centennial of Williams’ birth with the West Coast premiere of his final play LOS ANGELES, CA – January 26, 2011 – The Ovation award-winning Fountain Theatre (“Best Season, 2010”) celebrates the centennial of Tennessee Williams’ birth (March 26, 1911) with the West Coast premiere of his final play, by special permission of […]

L.A. Theatre Works presents BECKY SHAW

L.A. Theatre Works presents BECKY SHAW

Four-time Academy Award-nominee Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl), Matt Lescher (Brothers & Sisters), & Emily Bergl (reprising the role she played Off Broadway) star in LATW’s production of this Pulitzer Prize finalist and smash Off-Broadway hit comedy. When Suzanna decides to set her best friend Max up on a blind date with her husband’s mysterious […]

BALLROOM WITH A TWIST: 100% - SWEET

BALLROOM WITH A TWIST: 100% – SWEET

SWEET His fluidly staged, marvelously high-caliber entertainment (with a couple of also-ran American Idol singers, Gina Glocksen and David Hernandez, thrown into the mix) moves seamlessly from fast numbers to slow ballads, from dance to song and back again. Athletic bodies draped with Randall Designs’ gorgeous costumes cavort through Van Amstel’s well-orchestrated spectacle, which also […]

MLLE. GOD: 77% - SWEET

MLLE. GOD: 77% – SWEET

BITTER There is certainly an argument for looking at the plays again and putting a contemporary spin on them. That is exactly what playwright Nicholas Kazan has attempted. And he has failed miserably. Noble intentions are to be praised, but there is simply no excuse for inadequacy. The writing is discursive and fatally dry. He […]

FREE: 40% - BITTER

FREE: 40% – BITTER

BITTERSWEET Ultimately rescued by several comedic performances, the play is slow getting started, in part because Free’s bellyaching persona is so simplistically crafted at the top, and also because it’s never clear what has triggered his crisis. Directed by Wendy Worthington, the production eventually comes alive around Dagney Kerr’s sidesplitting portrayal of Althea, an obsessive […]

ROOM SERVICE (OPEN FIST): 100% - SWEET

ROOM SERVICE (OPEN FIST): 100% – SWEET

SWEET With that opening volley, Open Fist Theatre Company’s superb revival of “Room Service,” the 1937 John Murray-Allen Boretz manic backstage farce, is off and running in all its vintage screwball glory. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET This three-act contraption gets going in Act 2 after co-directors Bjørn Johnson and Ron Orbach ease the […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION Tony Frankel – Stagehappenings REVIEWER ATTENDS AN ACTING CLASS (A Teacher leads an acting class for reviewers.) Teacher. OK, Tony, imagine you’re writing a review. It has been three days since you have seen Circle Mirror Transformation at South Coast Rep. What do you feel? Tony. Nothing. Teacher. Oh, come on. You […]

The Potable Quotable

The Potable Quotable

Tony. No, NO! I can do this. (Long silence.) Silence…that’s it! There are many moments of silence in the play, like where the five actors lie on their backs calling out numbers sequentially – one to ten – without overlapping each other. If they do overlap, then they have to go back to the number […]

EMILY'S SONG: 40% - BITTER

EMILY’S SONG: 40% – BITTER

BITTERSWEET The pop star heroine of the new musical “Emily’s Song” has a problem. It’s not the fact that her mother died in childbirth, her father disappeared and now has amnesia, or her lousy taste in guys. Her real challenge is being trapped in a soapy, 100-scene screenplay that writer-director Chet Holmes has shoehorned onto […]

ADDING MACHINE: A MUSICAL: 67% - SWEET

ADDING MACHINE: A MUSICAL: 67% – SWEET

BITTER Musically the heart of the show, Christine Horn brings rich, earnest warmth to Daisy, particularly in the love song “I’d Rather Watch You.” A vocally stirring performance coupled with the song’s popular idiom make this number a potential show-stopper – yet Sossi’s drab direction impedes Horn from fully, physically commanding the stage. Hindered by […]

Uranium Madhouse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Theater Artists Committed To The Madhouse Uranium Madhouse is ready to irradiate the Southern California theater scene. Theater director and acting teacher Andrew Utter announces the formation of his new Los Angeles theater company, Uranium Madhouse, inviting discerning theatergoers to “come in and melt down.” Utter will act as Artistic Director and […]

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (PRODUCTION COMPANY): 100% - SWEET

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (PRODUCTION COMPANY): 100% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET The chief virtue of director T.L. Kolman’s by-the-book production (amid designer August Viverito’s lamentably clumsy clapboard-facade set pieces) is in allowing the company’s versatile stock players to strut their stuff in the play’s numerous supporting roles: Ferrell Marshall as the story’s wryly astute narrator, Maudie Atkinson; a nuanced Jim Hanna as Maycomb’s perspicacious Sheriff […]

LOVING REPEATING: A MUSICAL OF GERTRUDE STEIN: 70% - SWEET

LOVING REPEATING: A MUSICAL OF GERTRUDE STEIN: 70% – SWEET

SWEET The ensemble for Loving Repeating is superb. With a piece so entrenched in the abstract, it is critical for every performer to have a thorough understanding the artistic concept for the production. Keeping that governing concept in mind is the only way to make the variations in style and tone required in the piece, […]

And Yet Another Response to Steven Leigh Morris' New Year Theatre Quiz

And Yet Another Response to Steven Leigh Morris’ New Year Theatre Quiz

The hits keep on coming.  Latest response here.  Steven’s responses to the responses in bold. STAGE RAW NEW YEAR THEATER QUIZ Respondent: Thurgood McCallister, UCLA theater student, former track-and-field-star, former adult film actor. Both careers were temporarily curtailed in January at pre-season track-and-field trials held at West Los Angeles College. Having cleared the third high […]

West Coast Premiere of Todd Susman’s “Locked and Loaded” an irreverent dramedy about life, death and transcendence

A no-words-barred, ribald burlesque of mortality

Happy Birthday, Max!

Happy Birthday, Max!

Today is my son, Maxwell Henderson Mitchell’s, second birthday. When all else sucks in the world, he smiles and calls me “Daddy” and all the bullshit melts away. Thanks, Max. Happy Birthday, little man. Love, Daddy

Auditions for L.A. Choralettes

L.A. Choralettes is holding open auditions for female singers (late 30’s to late 50’s) for their small performance chorale. This group sings uptempo, positive standards and contemporary songs with a jazz feel in 3-part harmony.  Some songs are with accompaniment, some are a capella. You must have a strong singing voice, be able to sightread […]

The Thursday Thought

The Thursday Thought

The Amazing Randi has been debunking magic and all forms of mystical superstition for decades.  Check out this Astrology experiment.

Casting BEHIND THE TEETH reading

Fully-staged reading of the new work BEHIND THE TEETH  by Sean Christopher Lewis, directed by Richard Tatum at the Blank Theater in Hollywood as part of their Livingroom Reading Series.  Rehearses 2/8 – 2/10 in the evening, 2/12 in the afternoon (15 hours total) and a four-hour tech on Sunday, 2/13. Performace on Monday, February […]

The 2010 LadSissies - er - LADCC Award Nominations Are Out

The 2010 LadSissies – er – LADCC Award Nominations Are Out

2010 LADCC Nominations Production • Four Places, Rogue Machine • King Lear, The Antaeus Company • Opus, The Fountain Theatre • The Ballad Of Emmett Till, The Fountain Theatre • The Twentieth-Century Way, The Theatre@Boston Court • Wit, Actors Co-op • Yellow, JD3atrical Productions McCulloh Award for Revival (shows between 1920 and 1980) • Awake […]

Dennis Baker and LASA Bring the New Play Arena to LA

Dennis Baker and LASA Bring the New Play Arena to LA

It’s a big tent,” says David Dower, Associate Artistic Director at Arena Stage, in his first annual report of the American Voices New Play Institute (AVNPI ). ”We’re hoping that you will engage us wherever you can.” It’s difficult to find a platform not in use by Arena Stage to start a dialogue. There’s the […]

99 IMPOSSIBLE THINGS: 50% - BITTERSWEET

99 IMPOSSIBLE THINGS: 50% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET However, writer / director Chelsea Sutton has penned a script rich in imagery. At times the prettiness of the language does point to itself. But, by and large, Sutton has managed to give voice to the poet within each character and directs these lyrical passages into truly touching and authentic moments within the play. […]

Are the Arts Good for the Economy?

Are the Arts Good for the Economy?

According to Christopher Knight over at the LA Times in his article “A job killing plan for arts and culture?’ the answer is a resounding “Yes”. The initial impetus for the article was a response to the Republican Party’s overt strategy to completely eliminate national and statewide Arts funding.  See the story here from his […]

1.24.11: Things I Saw Today in Los Angeles

1.24.11: Things I Saw Today in Los Angeles

A man driving down a one way street yelling at the other cars for going the wrong way. A man in a dark car parked in a lot studying for an audition before going in to see a play. The Scientology “History of Psychiatry: Industry of Death Museum” on Sunset Boulevard. A large man walking […]

CIRQUE BERZERK (CLUB NOKIA): 100% - SWEET

CIRQUE BERZERK (CLUB NOKIA): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Add a little Tim Burton-esque goth to a cirque-de-soleil style circus troupe and you get Cirque Berzerk, now playing in downtown Los Angeles’ Club Nokia. Not the same top notch flawlessness as the Soleil troupe, but Berzerk definitely still has talent. Kate West – LA Examiner SWEET Afterward the audience was buzzing with “did […]

The Monday Moment

The Monday Moment

I’m not even sure what the hell this is but it’s pretty funny and just reminded me how anything can be transformed into art.  Or at least entertainment. Sorta.

Hollywood Fringe Festival Gears Up for 2011

Hollywood Fringe Festival Gears Up for 2011

Registration for the second annual Hollywood Fringe Festival is about to open on February 1st and will remain open through April 1, 2011. The three-step process can be completed on the Festival’s website at www.hollywoodfringe.org. Last year’s inaugural festival filled over 17,000 seats in 30 different venues throughout central Hollywood, and this year’s festival will feature an exciting new […]

SYLVIA (SIERRE MADRE PLAYHOUSE): 75% - SWEET

SYLVIA (SIERRE MADRE PLAYHOUSE): 75% – SWEET

SWEET You’ll howl with laughter as you fall in love with Sylvia. You’ll fall in love with “Sylvia,” the emotional and heart-felt comedy at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, and you’ll fall in love with Sylvia, the female lead in the play. Laurel Belgreen – Socal.com BITTER Unfortunately, this production uses the crutches of forced performances […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

SMUDGE Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA How to review a show whose point you missed entirely? That’s the dilemma currently faced by this reviewer in writing about Rachel Axler’s Smudge, the latest offering by Burbank’s esteemed Syzygy Theatre Group. Having purchased a copy of Axler’s one-act and read the first half of it before seeing it […]