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Audience Building Part 2: Start From Scratch

Audience Building Part 2: Start From Scratch

This post was originally published in Ms in the Biz on September 26, 2014. Colin requested we re-post them here. If you have questions, please comment and I’ll answer. This is the second in a series of Audience Building articles, where I go into depth on the sticking points, the places where I see people take short cuts but […]

An Open Letter to Sony: You are All a Bunch of Pussies

An Open Letter to Sony: You are All a Bunch of Pussies

CNN has just reported that the United States of America is going to officially acknowledge that North Korea was indeed the source of the Sony Hacks. So North Korea is in fact waging open war upon our right to free speech. And you guys just fucking caved. Like a bunch of fucking pussies. If ever there […]

The Bitter Lemons' Top Rated Los Angeles Theater Productions of 2014

The Bitter Lemons’ Top Rated Los Angeles Theater Productions of 2014

This list is pulled directly from our LemonMeter Ratings. These are the most critically-acclaimed shows in Los Angeles Theater for the year 2014. These are not based in opinion like our Best Of List, but in quantifiable facts, well, after they’ve been adjusted for opinion of course. Heh. I think I just made that phrase […]

Don Shirley on Center Theatre Group's "Branding" Problem

Don Shirley on Center Theatre Group’s “Branding” Problem

As always, Downer Don is all over Center Theatre Group and their lack of LA-centric and LA-specific programming. Here’s something from his latest public flogging especially concerning their self-professed tag as “LA’s Theatre Company”: Since Michael Ritchie took the CTG helm, the company has displayed hardly any interest in LA-specific settings, subjects or talent. In the […]

Actors' Equity Association Sets January 13th Town Hall to Discuss LA's 99 Seat Plan

Actors’ Equity Association Sets January 13th Town Hall to Discuss LA’s 99 Seat Plan

I was expecting this. Guess I better pay up my damn dues so I can’t attend this sumbitch. Heh. Here’s the blurb from the AEA emailer: This meeting – for paid up members of Actors’ Equity – is part of a continuing effort to hear from our members in Los Angeles, and will give you […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

Karen Weinstein brings such an interesting psycho-analytical approach to her reviews. This is a prime example. INTO THE WOODS Karen Weinstein – Culture Vulture Trip thee lightly into the woods my darlings but beware the eternal dangers lurking there. Thus it is and thus it shall always be. The woods are full of wolves, giants, […]

Fricken Dickens: Christmas Carols Abound

Fricken Dickens: Christmas Carols Abound

It was the best of plays, it was the worst of plays, and everything in between. Each holiday season, theatre goers can count – usually requiring both hands – on any number of productions of Charles Dickens’ immortal “A Christmas Carol.” From time-tried versions to original adaptations, Dickens’ ghostly holiday tale consistently takes top honors […]

The Bitter Lemons' Top Los Angeles Theater Stories of 2014

The Bitter Lemons’ Top Los Angeles Theater Stories of 2014

Here comes our second big list as 2014 comes to a close: The Bitter Lemons Top Los Angeles Theater Stories of 2014! Huzzah! For a list of our favorite productions in Los Angeles Theater 2014 go here. This list, however, is culled from a variety of news and editorial posts published during 2014. Each of these […]

Audience Building Part 1: Know Thyself / Know Thy Audience

Audience Building Part 1: Know Thyself / Know Thy Audience

\This is the first in a series of Audience Building articles that were originally posted on Ms in the Biz. Colin requested we re-post them here. If you have questions, please comment and I’ll answer as quickly as possibly.  I don’t just want to give you a punch list of how to build a devoted fan […]

“If you really care about artists, it’s not enough to let them scrape by while you’re paying your development staff and your assistant and your marketing people at a higher rate.” - American Theatre Magazine

“If you really care about artists, it’s not enough to let them scrape by while you’re paying your development staff and your assistant and your marketing people at a higher rate.” – American Theatre Magazine

This is a fascinating article written by Diep Tran over at American Theatre Magazine, entitled Paying Playwrights More Than Play Money. You could literally substitute “actor” for “playwright” and “Los Angeles Theater” for any number of spots in this article and you’d have the exact same debate that is currently happening here in our artistic […]

The Bitter Lemons' Best of Los Angeles Theater 2014

The Bitter Lemons’ Best of Los Angeles Theater 2014

Starting my lists a little earlier this year so I can enjoy the yuletide celebration in Colorado Springs in a couple of weeks. I’m guessing everyone else’s lists will not be far behind. So… The following ten productions are my personal favorites from 2014. I definitely saw more theater this year than I ever have in […]

"Joltin' Joanne" Kaufman "Dis-Invited' by High Level Broadway Press Agent

“Joltin’ Joanne” Kaufman “Dis-Invited’ by High Level Broadway Press Agent

We highlighted this story last week and now the LA Times (always late to the party) reports that Wall Street Journal cultural critic, Joanne Kaufman, has been dis-invited and will no longer receive free tickets. Here’s a snippet from the story: In the column, titled “Confessions of a Broadway Bolter,” Kaufman confesses to leaving early […]

American Theatre Magazine Shines a Spotlight on LA's 99-Seat Debate

American Theatre Magazine Shines a Spotlight on LA’s 99-Seat Debate

And mostly rehashes what has already been occurring on every platform in the city, including here at the Lemon, over at Bigcheap Theatre and over on the LA Theater Network Facebook page, while wheeling out the loudest (and mostly articulate) voices in the debate, including Jay McAdams, Doug Clayton, Kyle Nudo, Dianne Wyenn, Simon Levy. […]

Ebenezer: The Immersive We’ve Been Waiting For (REVIEW)

Ebenezer: The Immersive We’ve Been Waiting For (REVIEW)

If you haven’t been to New York to see Sleep No More or Then She Fell you’ve probably been wondering what the big deal is about immersive theatre. Maybe you’ve caught a few of the shows I’ve reviewed before, or that have been featured in No Proscenium, the immersive theatre newsletter I ship out bi-weekly, […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

Sylvie! WHAT THE BUTLER SAW Sylvie Drake – Cultural Weekly In his book on farce, Albert Bermel tells us that what defines farce is “to scoff in public at whatever the neighbors’ cherish in private.” To put it in a broader cliché, one person’s tragedy is another one’s comedy. Farce, in short, is not merely […]

LA Weekly Theater Awards Terminated After 35 Years

LA Weekly Theater Awards Terminated After 35 Years

I guess it’s now somehow appropriate that the final edition of the LaWees was hosted by denizens of the Undead. That would of course be Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group. Little did we know that their selection as hosts would be such a heapin’ spoonful of foreshadowing. This from an email from LA Weekly Advertising Director […]

Recap of the Hollywood Arts Council "Stayin' Live" Theatre Symposium

Recap of the Hollywood Arts Council “Stayin’ Live” Theatre Symposium

Here’s a recap from the less “shadowy” corners of Los Angeles Theater where shit appears to be gettin’ done… COUNCILMEMBER MITCH O’FARRELL KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT HOLLYWOOD ARTS COUNCIL STAYIN’ LIVE THEATRE SYMPOSIUM Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell was the keynote speaker November 15th at this year’s Hollywood Arts Council Stayin’ Live Symposium addressing the challenges faced by live […]

McNulty Live Tweets "Peter Pan Live!"

McNulty Live Tweets “Peter Pan Live!”

And it’s pretty damn funny. Here are some snippets:   Nice to see Chuck McNutt having a little fun. And the LA Times allowing him to do it.

Why the Current Clarion Call  that "There are No Producers" is Bad News for Los Angeles Theater

Why the Current Clarion Call that “There are No Producers” is Bad News for Los Angeles Theater

Initiated by John Flynn’s recent and rousing post here at the Lemon, and now taken up as some sort of celebratory credo by such notables as Jay McAdams, among others, this recent clarion call that “there are no producers” is not a good thing, in my humble opinion. Mostly, because it’s false. Here’s how Mr. Flynn […]

Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for Live TV, Cable Edition

Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for Live TV, Cable Edition

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that NBC has chosen to draw their water from this particular, theatrical well. In conceiving of these live, musical broadcasts of theirs, the network has chosen The Sound of Music and Peter Pan as source material, two pieces of theater that long ago ceased to be pieces of theater. […]

Wall Street Journal Cultural Critic, Joanne Kaufman, is a  self-admitted "Broadway Bolter"

Wall Street Journal Cultural Critic, Joanne Kaufman, is a self-admitted “Broadway Bolter”

And she apparently doesn’t care who knows it. Many thanks to Daniel Faigin for bringing this to my attention. This from Bway producer Ken Davenport’s blog The Producers Perspective: It was a article confession by The Wall Street Journal culture commentator Joanne Kaufman, who admitted that she walks out of Broadway shows after only one act […]

Latest Born Ready Episode: The Meat of Our Displeasure with Oprah w/ Revolva

Latest Born Ready Episode: The Meat of Our Displeasure with Oprah w/ Revolva

More from the Bad Boys by the Bay. The link for the podcast is here and the blurb for the latest episodes is below. This particular one is very intriguing as Rob and Raymond respond to some criticism from local blogger/critic Daniel Faigin from an episode I was in. Always happy to play match maker […]

Re-Branding Los Angeles Theater (Hint: Use #LATHtr)

Re-Branding Los Angeles Theater (Hint: Use #LATHtr)

Pauline Adamek, editor and head critic of ArtsBeatLA and critic for Stage Raw, recently published an open letter to Los Angeles Theater folk concerning the re-branding of our artistic community with the ever-popular #LATHtr Twitter logo, which we originally helped launch here at the Lemon back in 2010. Here’s Pauline: Why, I asked, can you spot […]

The Unlikely Rebels

The Unlikely Rebels

One day last week, Colin Mitchell and I texted plans to meet at the Mark Taper Forum. We hadn’t seen each other in months. Twenty minutes after the text, with all of Los Angeles to attract us, we randomly stopped for gas at the same station at the same time. Later, more synergy: While we […]

A-Burn asks CTG's Ritchie: "Why do this play in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in 2014?"

A-Burn asks CTG’s Ritchie: “Why do this play in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum in 2014?”

What exactly am I talking about? The current production of Joe Orton’s seminal What the Butler Saw currently playing at the Mark Taper Forum. Anthony Byrnes at KCRW wants to know “Why this show and why now?” I have a pretty simple answer for Anthony: It’s a tried and true commodity and a “my bad” gift […]

Criticism and Theater for Young Audiences (TYA)

Criticism and Theater for Young Audiences (TYA)

Thanks to Doug Cooney – one of the authors of the article – for sending this my way. It’s a pretty cool exploration at TYA Today on the subject of theater criticism and it’s relationship to Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA). Here’s a snippet that we’ve all heard before: Journalists readily dismiss concerns over TYA’s scant […]

Punchdrunk's Plans to Set Up Shop in Los Angeles Put on "Indefinite Hold"

Punchdrunk’s Plans to Set Up Shop in Los Angeles Put on “Indefinite Hold”

It all seemed so exciting when we kinda sorta broke the news here at the Lemon (the first inkling actually appeared in the LA Weekly) back in October, that Punchdrunk was creating a “permanent” new home here in Los Angeles to produce both their wildly successful show Sleep No More and a new LA-specific project TBA. Now, according […]

American Theatre Magazine Lets Jason Rohrer, Roar

American Theatre Magazine Lets Jason Rohrer, Roar

And his subject matter? None other than the genius folk over at Impro Theatre. Me likey. Here’s Jason on the magic: Above all, Impro’s work has taught me to demand more from the theatre, and from the culture in which it is embedded. The people who would entertain us have got to reward our faith. […]

Why did the LA Times not Mention the LA Civic Light Opera in their Stories about the 50th Anniversary of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion?

Why did the LA Times not Mention the LA Civic Light Opera in their Stories about the 50th Anniversary of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion?

Dunno. And frankly, it was not on my radar, as I’m hardly a Los Angeles Arts Historian, but it sure as fuck was on Daniel Faigin’s radar and he was none too pleased by the snubbing. So being such a devoted fan of the LA Times, I of course have no problem giving Daniel some […]

Membership Companies, the Minimum Wage and the 99 Seat Plan

Membership Companies, the Minimum Wage and the 99 Seat Plan

Howard Seth Cohen of Thomas Hampton Reviews fame contacted me recently concerning a recent Chicago Tribune article. In the article Chris Jones discussed the minimum wage and how it affects or doesn’t affect artists who are essentially independent contractors. But he also touches on the sort of gray area of the “membership company”. Those companies […]