BABY DOLL (ELEPHANT THEATRE COMPANY): 70% – BITTERSWEET

Tony Gatto and Lulu Brud in "Baby Doll" at the Lillian Theatre, presented by Double A Productions and Elephant Theatre Company. Credit: Joel Daavid.

BITTER
Unfortunately, despite the efforts of Brud, Gatto and Marmo, Baby Doll, Archie Lee and Silva remain highly unsympathetic two-dimensional characters, a trio that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to spend even a minute with, let alone one hundred. Only Colton manages to give real, human dimensions to dithering Aunt Rose.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

SWEET
What remains is Williams’ story, which still makes for entertaining drama, and Joel Daavid’s new production at the Lillian Theatre certainly bears that out.
Kurt Gardner – Blog Critics

SWEET
The sultry narrative is relatively tame by today’s standards, yet the timeless human drama about lust, revenge, sexual politics, and prejudice is eloquently served in Daavid’s evocative conception.
Les Spindle – Backstage

SWEET
Daavid has designed more shows than he has directed, and he is responsible for the grotesquerie of this ramshackle set as well as its lighting; these alone would be impressive, but he has also directed the sway and nuance of a baker’s dozen committed, talented actors. I would like to see what he could do with a more major piece, with themes more sophisticated than this little revenge story; but that is not to say I’m unhappy to have seen this.
Jason Rohrer – Stagehappenings

SWEET
Even as parts of the text seem emotionally muddled, the acting approaches varied, and the accents seemingly from different areas of the South, there is a single-mindedness of purpose that weaves even the more disparate bits into an evening of powerful cohesion.
Samuel Bernstein – WeHo News

SWEET
Joel Daavid’s direction deftly balances the play’s humorous and dour underpinnings (the use of the ensemble as a type of Greek chorus is especially effective), and he draws excellent performances from the cast. Gatto is a platter of rage, redneck buffoonery and arrogance, while Brud’s ever-beckoning sensuality is as polished as Marmo’s understated menace.
Lovell Estell III – LA Weekly

BITTER
Despite the lackluster quality of the script, the Elephant Theatre Company fails to lift Baby Doll above the morass. Unevenness characterizes the production and is its chief fault.
Barnaby Hughes – Stage and Cinema

BITTER
While I applaud the experiment I was disappointed in the outcome.
Robert Machray – Blog Critics

SWEET
All in all Joel Daavid’s production of Baby Doll is a fine piece of theatre wrapped up in a set I’d love to inhabit myself.
Lucy Griffin – ArtsBeatLA

BITTERSWEET
There’s a whole lot of acting going on in The Elephant Theatre production of Baby Doll. With accents so thick you can cut them with a knife, the ensemble at The Lillian takes its work very seriously.
Michael Sheehan – On Stage Los Angeles

SWEET
This is a very entertaining one act and a fitting homage to one of our greatest playwrights.
Patricia Foster Rye – PatRyeReviews

SWEET
That an adaptation of a Tennessee Williams screenplay even has a movement choreographer is an indication of the painstaking efforts that Daavid has made to theatricalize this script.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Watch

BITTERSWEET
While the performances are uniformly good and the production utterly professional, the play failed to hold my interest, and I can’t really say why.
Joel Elkins – LA Theatre Review

SWEET
It’s worthwhile making the trip to Elephant-land to see this.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

SWEET
Though the story’s a little thin (it comes off more as an extended, intermissionless vignette), it offers a compelling story of expectations and obligations, of claiming one’s due, as it thrashes about with unforgivable misogyny and racism, skeevy voyeurism, and the tit-for-tat one-upmanship of a hillbilly feud. The performances are solid and the direction nails the story’s coiling foreplay (titillation, frustration, and impotence) and its rousing climax (honor and revenge).
James Scarborough – What the Butler Saw

SWEET
Daavid’s Baby Doll puts a slightly different spin on Williams’ portrait of a decadent, crime-ridden Southern town by adding colorful strokes that never diminish the original intent. This is a production, definitely worth your time.
Don Grigware – BroadwayWorld

BABY DOLL
Double A Productions and the Elephant Theatre Company
The Lillian Theatre
1076 N. Lillian Way, Hollywood
EXTENDED THROUGH JAN. 22, 2012
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00. Sundays at 7:00
Tickets: (323) 960-4420

Filed Under: LemonMeter

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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.

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  1. Jason Rohrer Jason Rohrer says:

    I can’t agree with him this time, but I find it encouraging that Mr Stanley has found a show he didn’t like.

  2. Joel Daavid says:

    And why is Mr Stanley’s review at the top?

  3. No particular reason, Joel, I just post ‘em as I read ‘em. His was the first I read. The most important thing obviously is the overall score.

    We’re considering reshaping the look a little bit and just having the show title, picture and the overall LemonMeter score visible on the front page. That way, you would just see the score and then need to click on the thumbnail to get to the individual reviews.

    Most regular readers here realize that the score is an aggregate of several reviews and not just one.

  4. Joel Daavid says:

    Thanks Colin, WeHo News review just came out. Would love for you to add it in.

    http://wehonews.com/z/wehonews/archive/page.php?articleID=6678

  5. Thanks, Joel. We’ll get it in the mix pronto.

  6. Michael says:

    Also, “4 stars” from Patrick Foster Rye . . . http://www.patryereviews.com/about.html

  7. Michael says:

    Also, “4 stars” from Patricia Foster Rye . . . http://www.patryereviews.com/about.html

  8. Joel Daavid says:

    Weren’t we at 70 before James Scarborough’s review?

  9. No, actually you were at 75% before his review. Scarborough’s review pushed you into the Sweet category, which then caused the Bittersweet reviews to finally kick in. They then pushed you back down to where you stand now. Bittersweet reviews either move the score up, if the combined total of the other reviews are in the Bitter realm, or push the score down, if the combined total of the other reviews is Sweet.

    You can see the entire description of how the LemonMeter works by clicking the button “LemonMeter” at the top of the site.

    Congrats on the extension, Joel.

  10. Joel Daavid says:

    :(

  11. I know, I know, but I wouldn’t worry about the numbers too much, Joel. Clearly you’re getting audiences which is why you extended. Now maybe I’ll have a chance to catch it if I ever get a free moment!

  12. Way ahead of ya, Joel. It’s already in the mix.