RSSArchive for July, 2011

The Monday Moment

The Monday Moment

I never realized how funny the Story of Jonah really was. The essence of storytelling. Told by a cute little girl. Replete with lisp.


Clown Car Chronicles: Epic Recap Part II

  OK, so I started working on this blog last Thursday night before our performance in Indianapolis and now it’s Sunday and I’m finally finishing it. Part One of this Epic Recap ended with the story of “Moonana” as we made our way to Utah, and now it continues… Our two SUVs hauled ass through [...]

Private Lives

Private Lives

Sparks fly when Amanda and Elyot, formerly married to each other, find themselves in adjoining hotel honeymoon suites – each with a brand-new spouse in tow. Private Lives, Noël Coward‘s stylish, savvy comedy about the people we can’t live with – or without – opens at International City Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts [...]

Seeking Stage Manager

The Sierra Madre Playhouse, a non-profit AEA 99 seat plan theater adjacent to Pasadena is gearing up for its Fall production of “To Kill A Mockingbird” which opens October 7, 2011. Auditions are being held this Sunday, July 31 and a 6 week rehearsal schedule begins week of August 21 with Tech weekend on Sept. [...]

Anna Deveare-Smith in "Let Me Down Easty" at the Broad Stage. Credit: Amy Graves.

Critique of the Week

LET ME DOWN EASY Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly The tug-of-war between the classical and the topical shows up in the marketing of Anna Deavere Smith on tour, as she performs her latest series of interview-based monologues, Let Me Down Easy, at Santa Monica College’s Broad Stage, in association with Arena Stage of Washington, [...]

in "Richard III" at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. Credit: Miriam Geer.

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

RICHARD III (THEATRICUM BOTANICUM) Ed Rampell – Hollywood Progressive Enjoying Shakespeare under the stars at Topanga Canyon’s Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is de rigeur during summertime for Angeleno theatergoers. No July, August or September in L.A. is complete without an outing to this outdoor pantheon of plays when the Theatricum’s repertory season is in full [...]

NEWSFLASH: Theatre is Alive and Well in Los Angeles

NEWSFLASH: Theatre is Alive and Well in Los Angeles

I’m a witness to that happy fact being that I just feasted from a veritable horn o’ plenty of theatre this last week. And each and every course was delicious in its own special way. Let me run it down for ya. Last Saturday: FINALLY caught Rogue Machine Theatre’s Small Engine Repair – recently transplanted to [...]

Laura Cable, Tom Schmid, and Michael G. Hawkins in "The Sound of Music".  Credit: Ed Krieger.


SWEET Cabrillo Music Theatre’s current version, running through July 31, brings back the magic of the original, with a talented cast, a full orchestra and lavish sets, which have a history all their own. Cary Ginell – Thousand Oaks Acorn SWEET Cabrillo Music Theatre, under the skillful eye of Lewis Wilkenfeld, is once again reviving [...]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“Perhaps the evening’s overwhelming tedium is a result of its leisurely directing, by Smith with Anjali Bhimani. Or the script’s prioritization of verisimilitude over drama: You may start to think you’re at “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” sipping your fifth soda while your dad yammers on about patio furniture. (My date suggested “The Banality [...]

Veronica Alicino, from left, Nick Cobey, Stephen Marshall, David Pevsner and Andy Fitzgerald in "It Must Be HIm" at the Edgemar Center for the Arts.. Credit: Jillian Winstersteen.


SWEET Things begin on a perilously wobbly note, but this romp — well-suited for the intimate Edgemar Center’s black box — finds its (old-fashioned) groove with a mix of breezy comedy, dirty jokes and tuneful numbers from Emmy-winning composer Larry Grossman and lyricist Ryan Cunningham. Charlotte Stoudt – LA Times BITTER At its best, It [...]

A Fate Worse Than Death: Re-Googling

A Fate Worse Than Death: Re-Googling

I wasn’t aware of this controversy between Dan Savage and Congressman Rick Santorum. This video is both very funny and somewhat disturbing. In this day of Googling and SEO Optimization and how difficult it is to repair ones reputation let alone one’s image…well it’s just kinda scary. I call it Re-Googling, but I think there [...]

Ann Stocking, Lena Kouyoumdjian and Bo Roberts in "Sganarelle" at the Bergamot Station: Credit: Paul Rubenstein.


BITTERSWEET As always, director Michel tackles the text with imaginative boldness, while Duncombe’s production design, though somewhat sparse, is certainly striking, especially his elaborate costumes. But what could have been a pell-mell comical romp falls victim to a largely inexpert cast, which too frequently bungles Moliere’s elegant language. F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times BITTER [...]

7.28.11: Things I Saw Today in Los Angeles

7.28.11: Things I Saw Today in Los Angeles

Don Shirley at LA Fitness. My face melting in the rearview mirror. A raven pick up a tin can and deposit it in the recycling bin. Okay it was at the LA Zoo Bird Show. My son saying to me, unsolicited, “I love you, daddy”. Me picking up my jaw from the ground and asking, [...]

Tracy Eliott and Mikhail Blokh in "The Insidious Impact of Anton" at the El Centro Theatre.. Credit: Sarah LeFeber.


SWEET Hilder’s meta-theatrical narratives and fake-out scenarios occasionally overreach in cleverness, but Richard Tatum’s suitably playful staging keeps things moving and allows the resolution to emerge organically from Hilder’s quirky, genre-defying characters. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET David Hilder blends romantic comedy with existential overtones to pose life’s bigger questions, and the result is [...]

COCKROACH needs a Stage Manager and Costume Designer

The US Premiere of Sam Holcroft’s COCKROACH is looking for a Stage Manager and a Costume Designer. There is some pay. Costumer must be able to differentiate character through personal detail and procure uniforms that match different actors and sizes. The Stage Manager must have experience with blocking notes, organizing rehearsals and running performances with [...]

One Critic’s Transition into the Twenty First Century

One Critic’s Transition into the Twenty First Century

Was guided to this lovely new blog Stage Struck Reviews by Brian Polak from Boston Court. The author of the blog is Pasadena Star-News theatre critic, Frances Baum Nicholson. In her very first post she offers a heartfelt lament on the death of print publication and how she refuses to give up her calling as [...]

Ash, Dickie, Amir, and Kevin

Clown Car Chronicles: Phoenix Makes Me Want To Be A Better Person.

Hi. Hey. Hello! So Phoenix kinda blew my mind. I really had known nothing about Phoenix other than that most people not from there hated it and it was hot. Right before leaving I had a conversation with a friend which consisted of her saying, “Don’t go to Phoenix. They won’t understand your show. There [...]

Dinner at the Bikini Lounge

Clown Car Chronicles: Epic Recap, Part I

Well, I’m a little late joining the gang with this blog (7 days into the three week tour). Luckily, the reason for this delay is due to extreme business to the point where I might be going a little bonkers (I’ll elaborate as this blog continues). So, I finally have some free time and will proceed [...]

The 4 Clowns crew posted at the Grand Canyon in AZ

Clown car chronicles… insane intro

This four clowns tour has been an amazing experience for me so far. I might even say its on that NEXT LEVEL! As the pianist and newest member of the four clowns group, this trip has brought me closer to all four clowns (Mischevious clown Kevin Klein, Nervous clown Amir Levi, Angry clown Raymond Lee, [...]

The Thursday Thought

The Thursday Thought

Now that our public education system is clearly in tatters and no one seems to know how to fix it, this could be the future of education: The Khan Academy. I’d seen a story about this guy a few months back. Pretty amazing what is possible when the human imagination and the internet come together.

"Quake" at the Open Fist Theatre. Credit: Maia Rosenfeld.


BITTERSWEET The shifting focus from character to character sometimes leaves us uncertain whom to root for, and Act 1, though always interesting, fails to generate much emotional heat. The play simmers along quietly till near the end, when a series of confrontations brings things to a rapid boil. Neal Weaver – Backstage BITTERSWEET Their skirmishes [...]

Nick Ballard, top, with Ashanti Brown, Teya Patt and Katie Locke O'Brien in the background. Credit: Ed Krieger


SWEET A few things are working in favor of this theatrical long-shot. First, there’s the masculine beauty and brooding sensitivity of shirtless Nick Ballard, who plays the half-man, half-bull creature with a James Dean scowl, camera-ready six-pack and dapper pair of horns. Then there’s Abigail Deser’s stylish staging, which revels in the play’s springy non-naturalism [...]

Thoughts from a Los Angeles Theatre Expatriate

Thoughts from a Los Angeles Theatre Expatriate

A very intelligent, sensitive and impassioned reflection from American Theatre Magazine Associate Editor Rob Weinert-Kendt at his The Wicked Stage blog. He was the founding editor of Backstage West and now lives in New York. He was here during the “month that was” in a mostly professional capacity and has now finally offered his thoughts [...]

Kevin attempts to get comfortable in clown air mattress, next to a motel bed

Clown Car Chronicles: Long Days’ Journey Into Dementia

Well, it’s 11:55pm on Tuesday night, and we’re in Desoto, Kansas.    We started the drive this morning at 8am in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. 13 hours of driving, with a few stops along the way, and we finally made it.   I believe delirium started hitting me about 20 minutes from our final destination when I started [...]

Aaron Hendry in "Tartuffe" at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. Credit: Miriam Geer.


SWEET Directed by Ellen Geer, Tartuffe is newly adapted for Topanga audiences, complete with new songs composed by Ms. Geer and arranged by Cody T. Gillette; Peter Alsop penned the lyrics. Barton is first-rate as Orgon, while Geer and Batemen are beautifully memorable as Dorine and Marianne, respectively. Hendry is perfectly villainous as the titular [...]

Prop pieces needed for this weekend

Jnglee, Inc. seeks the following props for the weekend of 7/30 and 7/31. A contract can be put together ensuring the safety of your items, and any help is greatly appreciated by the producers. The shoot takes place in Van Nuys. Please contact Reena Dutt at or 323.333.4694 if you have the folllowing items: – a 1950′s [...]

Cindy Lou Johnson’s 90 minute, one-act play Brilliant Traces hits NoHo August 5, 2011

Cindy Lou Johnson’s 90 minute, one-act play Brilliant Traces hits NoHo August 5, 2011

Cindy Lou Johnson’s 90 minute, one-act play Brilliant Traces hits NoHo August 5, 2011 NORTH HOLLYWOOD -  Brilliant Traces by Cindy Lou Johnson will run at NoHo Stages for three weekends in August.  You’ll laugh – you’ll cry.  In the state of Alaska in the middle of nowhere… a comic and anguished story about isolation [...]

Extension of BARRIE: BACK TO BACK thru 9/4/11 at Pacific Resident Theatre

PRESS CONTACT Jerry A. Charlson (323) 733-7073 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PACIFIC RESIDENT THEATRE EXTENDS J.M. BARRY’S EVENING OF PLAYS “BARRY: BACK TO BACK” THROUGH SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2011 VENICE, Calif. – The Pacific Resident Theatre is extending their critically acclaimed BARRIE: BACK TO BACK by J.M. BARRIE. Currently playing on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays [...]

The Monday Moment

The Monday Moment

In memory of the incredibly talented and just as incredibly troubled Amy Winehouse who died on Saturday, I give you my favorite Winehouse song live, “You Know I’m No Good” for your Monday Moment. May you finally find the peace you could never find amongst the living.

Sean Galuzka and Chris Sams in "Poison Apple" at Space 916. Credit: Susan Lambert.


SWEET The play is a carefully controlled – perhaps too carefully controlled — exercise in suspense. Director Susan Lambert skillfully charts the gradual emergence of the macabre facts, and the two actors cannily play off one another to keep the tension building. Neal Weaver – LA Weekly SWEET Still, Galuszka’s knack for writing sly dialogue [...]