Breathing life into those ideas, however, requires performers who understand them. Setting aside flubbed lines, cadences and delivery frequently do not reflect a good handle on their meaning. Instead, emotional peaks arrive at arbitrary overacted moments, with insignificant sound and fury.
Philip Brandes – LA Times
Ives strives to make the theological debate as compelling dramatically as it is intellectually, but the attempt tends to fall flat, the result of overwritten dialogue and characters who represent philosophical points of view rather than people. Still, Fancy’s ‘s towering turn as the rabbi who finds himself challenging his own tightly held beliefs is powerful.
Paul Birchall – LA Weekly
This imaginative play of ideas receives a striking West Coast premiere that may leave its audiences reeling, thanks to director Elina de Santos and a dream cast.
David C. Nichols – Backstage
Set and costume designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, Lighting Designer Leigh Allen, and Sound Designer Bill Froggatt have enhanced the production as much as is possible in a single setting, but Elina de Santos, a much-acclaimed director, has faltered a bit here because the very nature of the play virtually ensures that it will come off as static and overly complicated. And that’s a hard act to overcome.
Cynthia Citron – LA Examiner
West Coast Jewish Theatre’s production of David Ives’ brilliant, exquisitely written “New Jerusalem,” on stage at the Pico Playhouse, is pure theatrical and intellectual magic.
Beverly Cohn – LASplash
This is “historic” drama I highly recommend.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays
The play is directed by Elina De Santos, and while she keeps it going at a fast clip, the play becomes an intellectual exercise and is ponderous in places.
Audrey Linden – LA Examiner
And while the bulk of the play is taken up by good actors speaking intelligent dialogue about weighty matters, this production is content to let that be that. It is as if the director said, “A good play is its own reward.” Well, it is, when you read it. When you stage it, though, you have responsibilities, such as framing the important instants that make up a story; otherwise your audience would be better served by a trip to the library than to the theater.
Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema
The ensemble acting is adroitly, tautly directed by Elina de Santos. The sparring between the philosopher and his interrogators, especially the rabbi, is electric.
Ed Rampell – Jesther Entertainment
10508 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; Ends April 1, 2012
Tickets: $28; (323) 821-2449
Running time: 2 hours, 35 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.