I think Blackbird, at heart, contains both despair and hope, without one canceling the other out. But Blackbird provides more proof that Rogue Machine is one of our most intelligent and vibrant theater companies.
Harvey Perr – Stage and Cinema
Larsen takes a less abstract approach to the play than Joe Mantello did in his 2007 staging at Manhattan Theatre Club with Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill. These aren’t post-Pinteresque figures any longer but tumultuously unresolved human beings — an interpretation that works extremely well in a space so intimate the actors have nowhere to hide.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
Dark, heavy and fulfilling, Rogue Machine keeps soaring on the wings of “Blackbird.”
M.R. Hunter – Stagehappenings
This powerful piece begins when Una shows up unexpectedly at the office of Ray, forcing him to come to terms with the effects of their relationship. Una pulls Ray into an encounter that is gripping, surprising and utterly unforgettable.
Craig Parish – Socal.com
The lean, mean intermissionless production is built of clipped, overlapping dialogue, and director Robin Larsen is still helping the cast find their rhythm in the intense real-time conversation. Compact yet dense, Harrower’s script is layered with questions about attraction, second chances and life-altering actions. It’s tricky and daring and in peril of incensing those upset by the man’s claim that the girl pursued him — and that he was no “sick bastard,” but a 40-year-old man in love.
Amy Nicholson – LA Weekly
Robin Larsen directs with a fine eye for detail and the careful unraveling of emotional ambiguities. Anderson captures the growing frustration of a man trying to deal with a loose cannon from his past that has returned to threaten his future, while Cummins reveals the endless desperation of a woman who has for years cherished a thwarted, hopeless love.
Neal Weaver – Backstage
Whoever knew that a director would make a big splash this year directing more than one play about the secrets lurking within the souls of pharmaceutical company workers? But Robin Larsen has done just that.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Watch
In any case, whatever preconceived notions you might have of Blackbird as a staged version of a cable TV revenge melodrama will quickly be dispelled by the playwright’s unclichéd (and even poetic) dialog and unpredictable plot twists, especially as directed to razor-sharp perfection by Robin Larsen and performed by a pair of utterly brilliant actors.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA
Before I get into spoiler land, I want to strongly recommend this play to everyone. There are so many sickly beautiful and dark portraits created by Robin Larsen in this production. Everything clicks. Don’t read the reviews, just go, and get ready to learn something about yourself.
James Haro – Angry Patrons
There is a perverse thrill to watching the production. Not the salacious sexual taboo but the contradictory pleasure of watching two actors embody deeply pained characters so completely with such virtuosity. You feel sickened by the story but feel lucky to be this close to it. For a brisk hour and twenty minutes the tension between the two actors never drops and it’s exhilarating.
Anthony Byrnes – Opening the Curtain
This is where the play enters Lolita territory, tiptoeing along a cotton thread between a spring-autumn love cliché worthy of mockery, and a discomfiting but truthful revelation upon the workings of two hearts. The delicacy, candor and earnestness of that investigation are what makes the play so courageous.
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly
A richly created environment contributes an effortless sense of reality to this affecting, disturbing and utterly engrossing play.
Andrew Moore – Stagehappenings
5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.
8 p.m. Fridays, 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Monday
After which the schedule changes to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday, and 8 p.m. Mondays
EXTENDED THRU SEPT 12, 2011
Tickets: $25-$30 (855) 585-5185
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Filed Under: LemonMeter
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.