“Los Otros” is curious about the manifold layers of personal identity, but in a desultory way that deprives the work of sufficient dramatic pressure. The Southern California lens adds local interest, but that and first-class underscoring aren’t enough to transform these essayistic compositions into riveting theater.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
While some of the text achieves a sense of lyricism, the narrative nature of the sung content sounds almost like everyday speech set to music, far more banal than poetic. Nor is the show’s music anything special, though its performance—by Fenwick, associate music director David O, and eight other instrumentalists—is focused on strings in Bruce Coughlin’s orchestrations, creating sounds that are mellow and moody.
Eric Marchese – Backstage
It’s an illustration of the problem inherent in so many solo shows, in which a character who never appears on stage is pivotal to the plot and cries out for a flesh-and-blood manifestation. It’s too bad that Los Otros is stuck with just two actors.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Watch
As the sole performers of this musical, they create a very intimate environment with their audience. Both Pawk and Monge give a compelling performance, pulling you in with both spoken words and beautiful songs that keep you involved from beginning to end.
Ebony Sargent – LASplash
There are three questions I ask myself upon critiquing theater: What were they going for? Did they achieve it? Does it work? The answer for Los Otros is: I don’t know. I don’t know. No.
Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema
Unfortunately, when I hear two sounds at the same time that aren’t in focus, I get lost, whether it is two separate conversations or an off-key singer telling a story to unmelodic tunes. Still the piece haunts me, perhaps because the actors were really excellent in their roles or the fact that California is now almost 50% Latin and I know so little about their lives.
Robert Machray – Blog Critics
And yet telling such delicate truths, in retrospect, may be enough for a poem or a short story, but it’s insufficient for a work of musical theater, which is, almost by definition, larger than life. It’s a vulgar form, where the kinds of sensitivities underscored in Los Otros evaporate after the curtain call.
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly
Perhaps because there are no easy answers to the difficult issues raised by the show, Fitzhugh doesn’t even try to provide them. But by instead providing an ending which comes from far out in left field, Los Otros is likely to leave audiences feeling confused and unfulfilled.
Sharon Perlmutter – Talkin’ Broadway
This loose assemblage of keepsakes is actually a fitting metaphor for Los Otros, itself. The musical, with a book by Ellen Fitzhugh and music by Michael John LaChiusa, is more like these souvenirs than a real journey.
Anthony Byrnes – KCRW
Only her replacement or recovery can save this piece Ritchie touted so highly. “Los Otros” may have much to say, but it will be tough to get an audience to stick around enough to listen.
Frances Baum Nicholson – The Stage Struck Review
“Los otros” eventually gets around to making its otherness statement — there are no “others”; we’re all the same — which is welcome in these fractured political times but falls short of achieving the intended emotional impact, for all the pleasure to be found in Pawk and Monge’s company.
Bob Verini – Variety
Looking visually cool is not enough of a reason to have a particular set design. I felt like all of these objects were meaningless in the context of the play and this is yet another reason that I left feeling disappointed with the production.
Karen Leahansen – Karenleahansen
And while there’s a lot of battling in this 90 minutes, it’s the audience that is losing the war. In fact, more pointedly Los Otros raises the question of whether or not anyone at Center Theater Group was involved in vetting this material during the development process before it landed on stage in a full-scale production. There’s a lot wrong with Los Otros, and it’s hard to believe that no one thought this show wasn’t going to be anything but dreadful.
Brian – OutWestArts
Los Otros is a lovely low-key musical of lingering pleasures.
John Magaril – CurtainUp
This is a show wherein all the elements –bar none– work together.
Dale Reynolds – Latin Heat Entertainment
The setting feels bleak. A desert may not be a day at the beach, but the heart beating behind this tender look at whites and “los otros” beats for dignity and the strength of the human condition.
Evan Henerson – LA Examiner
We went to see Los Otros at the Mark Taper Forum this weekend and, unfortunately, it is one of the worst musicals we have ever seen!
Perez Hilton – Perez Hilton
Someone commented it was a good nap.
Karen Weinstein – Culture Vulture
Los Otros tries hard to say something meaningful and moving about the Latino experience in the USA, but its good intentions are undermined by a weak book and oft-irritating vocalizing.
Willard Manus – Total Theater
Mark Taper Forum
Los Angeles Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave., L.A.
8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays
Ends July 1, 2012
Tickets: $20 to $65; (213) 628-2772
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes with no intermission
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.