The Bizarro World of Randall Gray

Randall Gray

I was going to let this one go. I really was. I swear.

If you missed it, as this week’s Critique of the Week (COW) I posted an absolute lashing from longtime Pasadena Star News and Stage Struck Review critic Frances Baum Nicholson on the show Doctor, Doctor!, a brand new offering from the brand new company and venue The Stages of Gray in Pasadena. I found the critique interesting mostly because I’d never seen Frances so directly incensed and it was clear that her target was the main creative force behind the show the company and the venue, Randall Gray.

Then Randall decided to respond to Frances’ lashing in the comments section of the COW and then I had to correct him on several falsehoods that he was attempting to perpetrate, mainly that no one else shared Frances’ sentiments about the show. This was clearly untrue simply by looking at the current LemonMeter for the show here which at the time stood at 25% Bitter and clearly showed that at least two other critics shared Frances’ opinion on the show- they didn’t like it. I told Randall that we would of course adjust the Meter accordingly if any new reviews came in. Clearly this inspired Randall and he must’ve started feverishly scouring the internet and I received a couple emails from him over the next 24 hours  - one at 2:20am – with several links to supposedly “new reviews”, one of which was a horribly written thing that was already part of the LemonMeter, another was a press release – not sure why he sent that one – and the other two were “legitimate” reviews – as far as that goes. So they were added to the LemonMeter and they helped bump up Doctor, Doctor’s score to 48% Bitter, which is where it stands today.

And as I said I was perfectly fine leaving it at that – even though I was peppered with several emails from a variety of folk who had a lot to say about Randall’s past history in the LA Theater Community and the current melee – when suddenly some new information was brought to my attention today.

It seems Randall Gray, our star of the hour, decided to write a review. Of his own show.

Yep.

It was first seen on the BigCheap List (you gotta join to see it) and then I tracked it down where most of Randall’s reviews live on Yahoo under his name and his self-proclaimed moniker The California Theater Critic.

So now I hope you understand why I just couldn’t let it go.

And no, this is not simply a glorified press release or a self-promotional blog post, this is clearly a review. Of his own show. As you will bear witness to in just a few moments. I’ve used his reviews before in the LemonMeter, albeit begrudgingly, but, yes, I fully admit that Randall Gray, The California Theater Critic, has been a part of the Bitter Lemons Experiment up to this point.

After today, however, that will no longer be the case. Let’s just say his credentials have been revoked.

And so, without further adieu, I give you Randall Gray’s review of Randall Gray’s play Doctor, Doctor!, directed and produced by Randall Gray at the venue and company created by Randall Gray called The Stages of Gray. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Bizarro World of Randall Gray.

DOCTOR, DOCTOR!
Randall Gray – The California Theater Critic

A wildly funny and intelligent party on stage, Doctor, Doctor! is the story of four secretaries and a nurse who, working alongside their specific physicians, struggle with the creation of a brand new medical office established to implement a new health care reform system in America. A psychiatrist, an OB-GYN, a dentist, a surgical specialist, and a multi-specialized child prodigy attempt to deal with two patients who have their own character issues, romantic encounters, comedic situations, and emotionally challenging scenarios, as the story develops. This highly clever production which offers some powerful messages, interesting emotional challenges, and a good deal of hopeful encouragement as it causes its audience to laugh out loud, sing along with some fantastic music, and even stand and dance along with the cast as the production progresses.

Running just under two and a half hours, Doctor, Doctor! never stops delivering on intelligent writing, phenomenal performances, and outrageous energy. Currently on stage at the brand new theatrical facility, Stages of Gray Theatre Company in Pasadena, CA, Doctor, Doctor! runs through March 24th with performance times being Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 7pm, and select matinees at 2pm. Tickets for a production of this caliber are more than realistically priced at just $30 per person, and the theatre does offer special discounts for seniors and military personnel. The theatre itself, conveniently located just off the Altadena Drive and Sierra Madre Blvd. exit of the 210 freeway at 299 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107, the space is intelligently designed, offers two ADA approved restrooms, concessions are available at suggested donation, and there is easy handicap access. There is plenty of parking in the area around the theatre, as well as a parking area behind the theatre building.

Stages of Gray Theatre Company, which is a new name for a highly established theatre company, and is perhaps the newest and most intelligently designed intimate theatre in the Los Angeles county area, has a promising future that will be a pleasure to watch and encounter. With a set six show 2013 schedule including ‘Born Yesterday’, ‘DeathTrap’, ‘Tick, Tick, BOOM!’, ‘RENT’, and two world premier productions, Stages of Gray is offering an array of styles that will appeal to the majority of people in the theatre going public. The Artistic Director and owner, Randall Gray is a highly established and capable award winning writer, director, vocalist, and actor. Bringing nearly forty years of experience to a newly established theatre and having some extremely intelligent casting selections, Stages of Gray Theatre Company has an impressive and exciting future. This is one theatre that is going to be around for a long time to come. So join the rest of the community and call 909-461-7375 or log onto www.StagesofGray.com today to check out the performance schedule and make your reservations to see Doctor, Doctor! Special season ticket offers also available, check the website for details.

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Colin Mitchell 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.

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  1. Ezra Buzzington says:

    This is hiLARious. So, I guess he took over the Sure Foundation Christian Fellowship which used to be housed there? I must see this show.

  2. Jason Rohrer Jason Rohrer says:

    Don’t you say a word about his hair.

  3. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    Never.

  4. Brian says:

    Is this going to be theater’s version of “The Room?”

  5. Edgar says:

    wow.
    Not capital letters “WOW” but simply lower-case “wow.
    That was more a press release passing as a review.
    And, yes, this is theatre’s version of “The Room”!
    Kinda reminds me of the “Hamlet” some years ago that had the billboards all over town:
    http://www.laweekly.com/2004-06-24/news/or-not-to-be/

    I await the unfolding saga with baited breath.

  6. Timmy says:

    Lemon Meter to the rescue! Go get em, Colin!

  7. Josh says:

    I love this Colin! This is exactly why Bitter Lemons was created! Before its existence, this is the kind of thing that would have gone unnoticed or would have stripped my melon. Bravo!

    I remember writing my own review for a show I did in college when the daily newspaper refused to send a reviewer. It opened:

    “If God had attended, he would have asked for autographs!”

    Although, I never signed my name and the whole thing was an over-the-top, inside joke to those in the cast and crew and who knew me, my editor was pissed!! The only thing that saved my ass was that the review came out on April Fool’s Day and I said it was all a joke (total lie!)

    In the end, I think my newspaper staff got better on the ball about showing up for reviews.

    And it was also COLLEGE!! Trying that trick in the real world is not smart! And I’m glad Bitter Lemons is here to call folks on it! C’mon people, that’s all ego stuff!!

    J

  8. Yale Cohn says:

    Yale Cohn’s comments on Bitter Lemons stories are almost always among the most well written, thoughtful, thought provoking and memorable comments on any thread he comments on, if not the entire website itself.

  9. Enci says:

    Wow! Rock on Colin! Nice job! You should also keep an eye on Yale, just in case. :-)

  10. Fanny says:

    Two and a half hours!?! Oy.

    I always make sure there are ADA approved restrooms at every venue I attend.

    This “review” is hilarious.

  11. Brian says:

    Gray’s comments about the ADA bathrooms make this new theater seem like a good place to take a crap, and the review FBM wrote indicates that is exactly what happened.

  12. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    And the hits keep on coming.

    By the way I think you meant FBN not FBM. I kept trying to figure out who the hell you were referencing and then my feeble mind realized it was a typo and I was saved.

  13. Katie Buenneke says:

    Is this theater’s version of The Room, or is “The Room: Live” theater’s version of The Room? (yes this is a thing that actually happened, Tommy Wiseau made his movie into a play)
    http://dcist.com/2011/06/the_room_live_afi_silver.php

    Having worked with Tommy on “The Room: Live,” I think that there is only one Tommy. And I’d say that that’s a good thing. But this guy sounds like a close second to Tommy. God help us all.

  14. Brian says:

    (damn the lack of ability to edit after hitting “submit comment”)

  15. Colin Mitchell Colin Mitchell says:

    I know, I know.

    Gotta check out this whole “Room” thing cuz the only “Room” I know is Pinter’s.

  16. Trevor Thomas says:

    Oh dear. I suspect we may have wandered into the realm of a Supreme Artist.

  17. John says:

    Who is Randall Gray? I can’t find anything about him on imdb or any other credible source…