There were a plethora of posts, articles and stories that electrified the Los Angeles blogosphere this year, most of them were pure fabrications by us here at Bitter Lemons, but a few actually had some substance, merit, and yes, even perhaps some value. So we’ve decided to list the top thirteen here today so you can peruse, relive or ignore at your leisure.
They are a combination of the best read and most hotly debated and they are listed in no particular order.
THE BITTER LEMONS’ TOP STORIES OF 2012
That Little Ghetto on Santa Monica Boulevard – In October, inspired by theater critic Ernest Kearney, I finally decided to open up a can of whoop ass on The Complex. There was much hullabaloo from detractors and supporters, but most importantly, proprietor Matt Chait, responded magnanimously, we sat down, had some food, chatted and a slight shift in the teutonic plates on Theater Row may actually have occurred.
The Greater Los Angeles Theater Producers Alliance – 2012 was the year that Los Angeles Theater finally got its shit together and realized it needs an Alliance of Theater Producers. Well, at least it got the ball rolling. LA Stage Alliance did an excellent job facilitating much discussion, a 99 Seat Transitional Committee was formed and now the slow grind of forming an Alliance that has teeth is in the works. Stay tuned.
Theater Critic Jason Rohrer Banned from the Edgemar Center for the Arts – Our very own Jason Rohrer dared to savage a couple shows at the Edgemar and was rewarded by being banned for life from the facility. Further hijinx ensued here and here.
The Two Dirtiest Words in Theatre – Jay McAdams, Executive Director of LA’s 24th Street Theater and sometimes Lemon contributor wrote this sublime post in which he reclaimed the phrase “community theatre”. Truly one of the most inspiring articles of the year, so much so that actor Alfred Molina even chimed in at one point.
Offended Patron Walks out of Falcon Theatre – I picked up on this story and had the audacity to wonder out loud whether the story had more to say about the offended than the offense. A shitstorm ensued, one of which I gladly dove headlong into only to be called everything from a “douche” to a “racist hipster”. As always, I embrace all attempts to define me and this site.
Bill Dore: RIP 1933-2012: My mentor, friend and creative godfather, William Dore, died of leukemia this year and I wrote a tribute to him.
Merry Clackamas, America – Another powerful, personal article from theater critic and Lemon contributor, Jason Rohrer, as he responded to the violence in Connecticut with an extraordinarily intimate story about his own familial challenges with mental illness and violence.
Fringe, Fringe and nothing but the Fringe – In its third year the Hollywood Fringe established itself as one of the top if not THE top Fringe Festival of the Western States. All sorts of interesting stories here, here, here, here, here and here.
When They Can’t Take a Joke – Bitter Lemons’ contributor, Kevin Delin, had the sack of salt to actually call out some of the harsher critics of Pasadena Playhouse’s production of Under My Skin and ask the question, “If the audience is laughing, can it really be that bad?” All hell, of course, broke loose.
Longtime Backstage Critics Spindle and Margolies Summarily Dismissed – Backstage decided that their new website direction did not include their longtime senior theater critics Dany Margolies and Les Spindle. They have since landed safely on their feet, but the separation was odd and a bit heated.
The Future of Theater Criticism - At an LA Stage Alliance panel several renowned LA Theater Critics talked about everything except what was most important: the relevancy of the professional theater critic. I asked the question and LA Weekly’s Steven Leigh Morris responded.
Critic Tony Frankel Stirs things up in Chicago – Tony wrote a review on a local Chicago production, we picked up on it and lo and behold things got a little wacky. More hipster racism running amuck.
Is Ira Glass Gay? - For some reason people are REALLY interested in the sexuality of NPR personality Ira Glass. Go figger.
About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.