RSSArchive for April, 2012

CONCEALING JUDY HOLLIDAY: 76% – SWEET

CONCEALING JUDY HOLLIDAY: 76% – SWEET

BITTER I was hoping for more of a story about Judy Holliday, who I thought was a fine actress and who, unfortunately, passed away at a very young age. The dreams did not really offer me a clear insight into this young woman nor cause me to have any feelings for her as a person. [...]

THE HEIRESS (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 97% – SWEET

THE HEIRESS (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 97% – SWEET

SWEET The theater might want to frisk future ticketholders for produce, or add an anger-management session to the bill: It’s that hard to handle the emotions provoked by this gorgeously directed and acted revival. Margaret Gray – LA Times SWEET “The Heiress” can easily devolve into a potboiler costume drama in the wrong hands, but [...]

The Monday Moment

The Monday Moment

Dutch filmmaker, Franz Hofmeester, has compiled a video that shows his daughter aging 12 years in 3 minutes. It’s especially resonant for me as my son, Max, just turned 3. Time flies. And change is the only constant. Pay attention. Hat tip, Lee Wochner.

The Saturday Saying (on a Sunday)

The Saturday Saying (on a Sunday)

“There was a time when you went to a musical to have a good time; to be lifted up. That time may be over. Where musicals (and comedy, for that matter) were once at least in part about resilience –when life throws you a curve, you sing and dance, spin patter- today’s musicals seem increasingly [...]

Jessica Variz, Paul Knox, and Matthew Anderson in "Goose and Tomtom". Credit: freshframafoto.com)

GOOSE AND TOM-TOM (GARAGE THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET This Garage Theatre production is perfectly executed with superb performances, excellent direction and a fascinating set. Mialka Bonadonna Morano – LAist SWEET Some might be annoyed at Rabe’s psychological non-linearity, while others might focus on how it makes for goofy fun. Both, I think, would be looking in the wrong place for what Goose [...]

in "The Pianist of Wellesden Lane" at the Geffen Playhouse. Credit: Michael Lamont.

THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE: 94% – SWEET

SWEET That’s par for the course of the rarefied ability and captivating story that Golabek shares with us. It makes her unforgettable tribute an undiluted privilege to witness. David C. Nichols – LA Times BITTERSWEET The Pianist of Willesden Lane features world-class piano playing, a moving story, a performer who has mastered the art of [...]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

This is simply a classic from Evan Henerson over at LA Examiner. It is a sublime snapshot of a certain time in a certain place at a certain show. AMERICAN IDIOT THE MUSICAL Evan Henerson – LA Examiner Maybe the usher was having a good day. I’d like to hope he and his fellow ushering [...]

A CHILD LEFT BEHIND (RUSKIN GROUP REMOUNT): 100% – SWEET

A CHILD LEFT BEHIND (RUSKIN GROUP REMOUNT): 100% – SWEET

SWEET The script balances social and personal commentary successfully, and Aymie’s energetic charm allows us easy access to his outrage. Amy Lyons – LA Weekly SWEET “Excellence” is the one word I would use to describe Alan Aymie’s highly energetic and dynamic one-man show. Audrey Linden – LA Examiner SWEET This is a play that [...]

ROMEO AND JULIET (COEURAGE THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

ROMEO AND JULIET (COEURAGE THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET With the new production of Romeo and Juliet by the Coeurage Theatre Company, currently playing at the Actors Circle Theatre, it finally all makes sense. Geoff Hoff – LA Theatre Review SWEET Flaws notwithstanding, this is a memorable effort, thanks to a gifted director’s fearless concept that clearly energizes everyone involved, particularly his dynamic, [...]

THE GIRL MOST LIKELY TO: 100% – SWEET

THE GIRL MOST LIKELY TO: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Even if someone living under that proverbial rock doesn’t know the fate of Araujo, it would be difficult to anticipate a happy ending as Premsrirat’s story unfolds, but under the bold, erotically charged leadership of director Jon Lawrence Rivera, who is blessed with a gamely inspired cast and design team, all the razzle-dazzle helps [...]

Gedaly Guberek: Marketing Butterfly

Gedaly Guberek: Marketing Butterfly

Once LA’s very own “Theatre Stud”. Recently de-throned by the effervescent Matthew Quinn, producer-debonaire, Gedaly has now firmly established himself anew as, the one, the only, Marketing Butterfly. Can you say “chrysalis”? Check out his latest blog post here. While I’m not sure who he’s speaking to when he says this: From a very young [...]

Newsflash: Theatre is Alive and Well in LA

Newsflash: Theatre is Alive and Well in LA

First off, do yourself a favor and go to the Geffen Playhouse, get some rush tickets if you need to and go see Good People. There is no better example of how to tell a story on stage running in Los Angeles right now. Much of what I see in town is Spectacle looking for [...]

Shelly Kurtz, Andrew Villarreal, Nancy Dobbs Owen, and Franciosa in 'The Bridge Club'. Credit: Ed Krieger).

THE BRIDGE CLUB: 66% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER But Mike Sabatino’s direction is shaky, a failing particularly evident in Dobbs Owen’s slow line pick-ups and pauses. And Sue’s awkward smoking of bizarre long white things that bear little resemblance to cigarettes makes us wonder what Sabatino was thinking. F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times SWEET Christopher Franciosa and Nancy Dobbs Owen play [...]

The cast of "Forbidden Broadway, Greatest Hits, Volume 2". Credit: Ken Jaques.

FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, GREATEST HITS, VOLUME 2: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Full of biting wit and downright funny parodies of various popular Broadway shows—and the famous actors that star in them—Musical Theatre West’s cabaret-style send-up FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: GREATEST HITS, VOLUME 2 plays its final, laugh-filled set of performances this weekend ending April 29 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. Michael L. Quintos [...]

New BLIP: What is the single most important factor that compels you to go see a theatre production in Los Angeles?

New BLIP: What is the single most important factor that compels you to go see a theatre production in Los Angeles?

Thanks to everyone who participated in our last BLIP (Bitter Lemons Interactive Poll). The question was: Do you think the LA Weekly Awards fairly represent the best in Los Angeles Theatre? And according to just over a hundred of you interested and active LemonHeads the answer was a pretty solid “No”. Take a look at [...]

TENNESSEE IN THE SUMMER: 89% – SWEET

TENNESSEE IN THE SUMMER: 89% – SWEET

SWEET “Tennessee in the Summer” combines fine acting and production work in a sizzling examination of Tennessee Williams and his demons. Mary Mallory – Tolucan Times SWEET Credit goes to director Sal Romeo for keeping the four-person cast cognizant of the all-too-real tragedies in Williams’ life, which though the stuff of soap opera, were hardly [...]

The cast of "Finding the Burnett Heart" at Elephant Stages. Credit: Josh Brazile.

FINDING THE BURNETT HEART (THEATRE 48): 93% – SWEET

SWEET Jeremy Aldridge’s direction elicits fine work from his impeccable cast and illuminates the play without calling attention to itself. Andrew Menzies’ set is handsome, modest, and convincingly lived-in. Neal Weaver – Backstage BITTERSWEET Paul Elliott’s play has its moments, but it feels rather dated even though it’s set in the present time. That said, [...]

Adam Kaokept and Addi McDaniel in "Cloudlands" at SCR. Credit: Henry DiRocco.

CLOUDLANDS: 50% – BITTER

SWEET The result is nothing short of a triumph for all concerned with this extraordinary new work. F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times BITTER Cloudlands does not elevate the storyline. It sinks it. The whole piece feels like a travelogue; the characters comment on their feelings, endlessly describing their unpleasant emotional experiences, yammering on and [...]

The Dramaturg: The Curious Case of the Missing Women Writers

The Dramaturg: The Curious Case of the Missing Women Writers

Last Monday, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, one of the largest and most respected regional theater companies in the country, announced its 2012-2013 season. Of the twelve shows that will run on its two main stages, not a single one was written by a woman. Only one will be co-directed by a woman. This discrepancy [...]

ASM and Stagehand for ORDINARY DAYS (musical) – stipend

Productions is looking for an experienced Assistant Stage Manager and Stagehand for the Adam Gwon musical  “Ordinary Days” Directed by Peter Kuo. The show is an Equity LA 99-Seat Plan contract and there is a nice stipend available for each position. This commitment would be approximately 1 month in duration (May through mid-June). The work [...]

OUT THERE ON FRIED MEAT RIDGE RD.

For Immediate Release Contact & Invite: Jerry Charlson: (323) 733-7073 jerrycharlson@yahoo.com OUT THERE ON FRIED MEAT RIDGE RD. PACIFIC RESIDENT THEATRE PRESENTS A WORLD PREMIERE WEST VIRGINIA COMEDY BY KEITH STEVENSON OPENING ON THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2012. OUT THERE ON FRIED MEAT RIDGE ROAD – Mitchell, a man down on his luck, wanders out on a dark [...]

“ON THE OUTSIDE” @ Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group

“ON THE OUTSIDE” @ Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601 Contact Zombie Joe: (818) 202 – 4120 Email: ZJU@charter.net {ON THE OUTSIDE. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group proudly presents Greg Kaczynski’s high-impact solo journey from his self-enslavement through friends, family, women, addiction and being on the outside, to discovering and uncovering the [...]

Happy 4th Anniversary Bitter Lemons!

Happy 4th Anniversary Bitter Lemons!

Yup. Hard to believe, but on this day, April 24th, in 2008, we posted our first post here at Bitter Lemons. And it’s been downhill ever since. Kidding! Though Enci and I started this site on a whim, that whim has turned into more than we ever imagined and we feel blessed to be a [...]

Harold Surratt, from left, Warner Joseph Miller, LeRoy McClain, Pascale Armand and Cheryl Lynn Bruce in Danai Gurira's "The Convert."  Credit: T. Charles Erickson /

THE CONVERT: 89% – SWEET

SWEET The devastating clash between Western culture and religion and African tradition and spirituality is at the heart of this masterful new work. Director Emily Mann has mounted a production that’s as compelling as it is gorgeous. Jennie Webb – Backstage SWEET Brought to life by Emily Mann’s subtle direction, a splendid set by Daniel [...]

Call for Theatre Group/Performers (Singing, Theatre, Dance) Westside

Looking for performers and/or a theatre ensemble who has the space in Culver City, Mar Vista, Westchester (SPA 5) to host 3 simultaneous, 12-week workshops in the Performing Arts to at-risk and high-risk youth. The workshops will culminate with a Talent Show for the community. Ideally, looking to find a group who has the space [...]

Taxing Theatres – Bill AB2540 Pulled

Taxing Theatres – Bill AB2540 Pulled

California Arts Advocates sent a newsletter out today announcing that the bill to tax theatres has been pulled! Yay! Thank you all who signed the petition and who called in, sent emails and advocated for the arts! Here is the email from CAA: Due to the overwhelming response of CAA members and other arts communities in [...]

Jacqueline Nguyen with the ensemble of "Miss Saigon."  Credit: Michael Lamont.

MISS SAIGON (LA MIRADA PERFORMING ARTS): 86% – SWEET

SWEET Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s phenomenally successful Vietnam War-era gloss on “Madama Butterfly” receives a sleekly staged, wonderfully performed revival that heightens this critic-proof popera’s strengths and obscures its frailties, to impressive effect. David C. Nichols – LA Times BITTER Let’s face it. For all its bells and whistles, “Miss Saigon” is really not [...]

STRONGARMED: The Premiere Match-up at Bootleg Theater

Contact: Amanda McRaven Phone: 434 806 0070 Email: losangelesclaw@gmail.com L.A.L.A.W. present STRONGARMED: The Premiere Match-up at Bootleg Theater on May 16 Los Angeles is a big, disparate place. So many theater companies and performance artists working here never meet. We want to bring us all together for one night a couple of times a year. Small theater companies [...]

Stage Manager Needed Immediately (pay)

The Visceral Company needs a stage manager who can start right away for its upcoming production of “The Turn of the Screw,” a one-act play based on the classic ghost story by Henry James. The show run 5 weekends, Thurs/Fri/Sat nights at 8 pm, from Thurs May 10 thru Sat June 9. Rehearsal schedule is [...]

The Thriller Perfect Quiet Place

THE ELITE THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIER OF THE THRILLER PERFECT QUIET PLACE The Elite Theatre Company is proud to announce its newest World Premier production of Perfect Quiet Place. Local play write Tom Eubanks delivers a thrilling mystery that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats! Perfect Quiet Place will [...]