Adapted by Rex Pickett from his novel (which also spawned the 2004 hit movie), their oenophilial odyssey makes an enjoyable if at times leisurely debut in its stage incarnation at Ruskin Group Theatre.
Philip Brandes – LA Times
In this intimate world premiere, we have a fun time swilling with the errant boys in wine country, but we don’t get the layers of flavor or complexity we were looking for.
Jennie Webb – Backstage
The wine relaxes body and mind for laugh-out-loud comedy, preparing the way for Miles’ infectious and poetic praise of that most fickle and fragile of wine varietals, Pinot Noir, with which audiences will no doubt fall in love, too.
Barnaby Hughes – Stage and Cinema
Who would have ever thought that “Sideways,” the multiple award-winning film based on Rex Pickett’s book, could be adapted for the stage. Well in fact, Pickett has adapted his novel and turned it into a captivating World Premiere theatrical version currently on stage at the Ruskin Group Theatre.
Beverly Cohn – LASplash
Amelia Mulkey directs her professionally adept actors with a light hand, choreographing transitions nicely (the scene changes are very fun too). The actors are likeable, especially the quiet romantic interest, Maya (Julia McIlvaine), who seduces Miles with her wine expertise. Crowd favorite Jack is boisterously played by Jonathan Bray and very much a match for Thomas Haden Church in the film version (if we’re making comparisons).
Kate West – Kate West Reviews
With Pickett and company more than meeting the challenges involved in adapting a novel-turned-film into a two-act play, you can expect all 65 Ruskin Group Theatre Co. seats to be filled throughout Sideways’ scheduled 2-month run if not beyond. Wherever you live, a road trip to the Ruskin is well worth taking.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA
This production was done exceedingly well.
Geoff Hoff – LA Theatre Review
That’s why ‘Sideways’ The Play at The Ruskin Theatre was such a totally enjoyable experince. Amelia not only cast the play with really excellent actors, but she even made the set changes fun.
Joan Alperin Schwartz – LA Examiner
The results, in director Amelia Mulkey’s winning, funny and wise production, are more involvingly intimate than the movie.
Paul Birchall – LA Weekly
In Sideways The Play, however, the f-word and its permutations nearly take over the play. It’s virtually the same script, adapted by playwright Rex Pickett from his original novel, but somehow in C.J. Strawn’s cramped stage setting it loses much of its brio—like a vintage wine that is never opened.
Cynthia Citron – LA Examiner
There are a few interesting contrasts between Pickett’s storytelling in this version and the screenplay – both of which I liked.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Times
Run to see this fantastic play before it closes on October 28th, 2012. You can fall in love with the characters all over again and spend the night thinking about the wines and wonderful relationships.
Joe Straw – Joe Straw #9
SIDEWAYS: THE PLAY
Ruskin Group Theatre
3000 Airport Ave., Santa Monica
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays
EXTENDED THROUGH OCTOBER 28, 2012
Tickets: $25; (310) 397-3244
Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
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.