RSSAll Entries in the "Ponderings" Category

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 […]

Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays For 5 Theme Parks

Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays For 5 Theme Parks

Los Angeles theater is currently lost in a messy argument about how exactly it should divide up its income, an argument I couldn’t dive into even if I wanted and, really, if you spend any amount time on this site then you’ve already heard all about it. What interests me though is how rarely the […]

No Proscenium: What We Talk About When We Talk About Immersive (REVIEWS)

No Proscenium: What We Talk About When We Talk About Immersive (REVIEWS)

In this edition of the No Proscenium column: reviews of RETROGRADE and A SILVER LINING and some thoughts on the i-word. It’s been a busy couple of months in the LA immersive theatre underground, and that’s not even counting all the seasonal haunted houses that spring up like so many pumpkin patches. “Immersive” is the […]

The Incredibly Ridiculous BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Theater Award Nominations are Now Open for your Patronage...

The Incredibly Ridiculous BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Theater Award Nominations are Now Open for your Patronage…

If you feel so inclined, then go here and let the popularity party commence. No disrespect to the nominees of course – not their fault they were nominated – but I find these particular awards to reside somewhere between the Scenies and the Ovations in their degradation of what an award is supposed to be […]

Bringing Theatre into the Digital Age  - by Jeni Incontro

Bringing Theatre into the Digital Age – by Jeni Incontro

Another excellent guest contribution, this one is from Jeni Incontro on the as-yet-untapped opportunities of live-streaming live theater. There was an excellent article at the LA Weekly on the subject recently, which you can read here. But Jeni is offering some even bolder stuff here and it’s very well argued, LemonHeads. I have my own questions (of course), […]

Four Clowns and CSULB Theatre Arts Reimagine Audience Engagement Thru Social Media in Ubu The Sh*t - by Sara Waugh

Four Clowns and CSULB Theatre Arts Reimagine Audience Engagement Thru Social Media in Ubu The Sh*t – by Sara Waugh

Four Clowns and CSULB Theatre Arts Reimagine Audience Engagement Thru Social Media in Ubu The Sh*t By Sara Waugh LA-based touring clown troupe Four Clowns, in collaboration with the CSULB Theatre Arts Department, is taking a chance with their re-envisioned, newly devised version of French Playwright Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, by taking the element of live […]

Rogue Machine's John Flynn on the 99 Seat Debate: "Make Theatre Water Cooler Talk"

Rogue Machine’s John Flynn on the 99 Seat Debate: “Make Theatre Water Cooler Talk”

John Flynn, Artistic Director of Rogue Machine, asked if he might step up to the Bitter Lemons podium and offer some of his own thoughts on the 99 Seat Debate. We said it would be our privilege. While I may not agree with all of his points (you can see some of my thoughts here), […]

Can Homegrown LA Theater Learn from those "Presenting" Houses Around Town?

Can Homegrown LA Theater Learn from those “Presenting” Houses Around Town?

Anthony Byrnes thinks so. This, from his somewhat disorienting diatribe this week at KCRW: So what can LA theaters and audiences learn from the rise of the imports and the slow transformation of LA into a ‘presenting town?’ In a nutshell, consistency matters. Counterintuitively, these presenters have been committing to artists in ways that our […]

Latest Born Ready Episode: The Bar is Open at The Theater Bay Area Awards

Latest Born Ready Episode: The Bar is Open at The Theater Bay Area Awards

The Bad Boys from the Bay are back. Here’s their latest episode, with blurb below. You can go here to download the podcast. Enjoy! It’s our 20th episode! And for this milestone we decided to invade the TBA Awards armed only with our wits and a bottle of whiskey. Podcasting from backstage in the green room, we […]

NEWSFLASH: Theater is Alive and Well in Los Angeles (Evidence Within)

NEWSFLASH: Theater is Alive and Well in Los Angeles (Evidence Within)

Some pleasantries from the last couple weeks that you might want to catch, or not… Arguendo: This baby just had a very short run at REDCAT and is now closed. But as usual those folks from Elevator Repair Service have managed to stage the un-stable. While some of the circular agreements in the latter half […]

25 Years Ago the Berlin Wall Fell

25 Years Ago the Berlin Wall Fell

First of all, Happy Veterans Day (it’s tomorrow) to all those who are still here and especially those who aren’t. Like my father, Major General John Henderson Mitchell. I am most grateful for all veterans’ service, as I’m sure most of America is as well. Except for those few morons out there who somehow think that […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

Bob Verini blowing the trumpet for the new wave of immersive theater here in LA. Watch out! It’s a-comin’… WICKED LIT 2014 Bob Verini – ArtsInLA Immersive, site-specific theater could end up saving the art form for the immediate future. At the very least, it offers an audience an interactive and one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be […]

Latest Born Ready Episode: The Smoking Gun in LA w/ Colin Mitchell of Bitter Lemons

Latest Born Ready Episode: The Smoking Gun in LA w/ Colin Mitchell of Bitter Lemons

Yup. The Boys by the Bay decided to completely trash their reputation and put me on their latest show. Plus some other meaningless stuff… Here’s the blurb on the show below and you can either go to the site to listen to the podcast or you can download it here. Welcome to BORN READY’s Los […]

Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for 5 Comebacks

Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for 5 Comebacks

Among the many reasons to find Variety a reliably goofy read is its decision to group its theatre reviews and news under the header, “Legit.” This never ceases to amuse me. It feels like part of some worn and lovable Hollywood tradition, like Musso & Frank’s, like theatre is the aging but still reliable warhorse […]

Carey Dunn on Los Angeles Theater: "I believe we are currently operating on The Charles Shaw Business Model."

Carey Dunn on Los Angeles Theater: “I believe we are currently operating on The Charles Shaw Business Model.”

That’s right, once again swiping from BigCheap Theatre. This from Carey Dunn with a unique take on the whole 99 Seat Plan/LA Theater debate: I believe Charles Shaw wine is not good. I will likely get a hangover after two glasses. For just two dollars more there is a plethora of better choices at T.J.s. I […]

Your 2014 Ovation Award Winners

Your 2014 Ovation Award Winners

Congrats to all the players – er – winners. Intimately yours (or largely), Colin (presented). 2014 OVATION AWARD WINNERS Best Season: Fountain Theatre Outstanding Play (Large Theatre): “The Country House,” Geffen Playhouse Outstanding Play (Intimate Theatre): “The Recommendation,” IAMA Theatre Company Outstanding Musical (Large Theatre): “Floyd Collins,” La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts Outstanding […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

The lone wolf in the wilderness on this one. Tony the Frank. And his bile is well deserved. Brutal honesty in all its glory. A OR B? Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema SLIDING BORES A or B? The question of Ken Levine’s title refers to the choice between two parallel universes set forth in […]

Critique of the Week (with a Tweak) - Runner Up

Critique of the Week (with a Tweak) – Runner Up

Joel Beers once again gets some love this week – dude is on fire – but with a tweak. What you see next are two reviews by Joel of the same play, “Zealot,” currently playing at South Coast Rep, but for different publications. For some reason, he seems to have been given much greater latitude and […]

Los Angeles Theater Picture of the Year

Los Angeles Theater Picture of the Year

Tim Cummings and Jenny O’Hara. Two of my favorite people and a couple of my favorite Los Angeles actors for so many reasons. I am madly in love with this shot. It somehow sums up LA Theater in all its exhausted ecstasy.

A Litmus Test: The Difference Between the Serious Los Angeles Theater Critic and Everybody Else

A Litmus Test: The Difference Between the Serious Los Angeles Theater Critic and Everybody Else

Exhibit A: The theater production entitled A or B? currently playing at the Falcon Theatre. Exhibit B: The current LemonMeter Rating for said production which stands at 90% 91% 83% 85% Sweet. Now I wanted this baby to land firmly before I really dug into it, let all the reviews settle like a soufflé, let the […]

Gail E. Gabler Named as Actors' Equity's New Western Regional Director/Assistant Executive Director

Gail E. Gabler Named as Actors’ Equity’s New Western Regional Director/Assistant Executive Director

That’s the news from AEA (thanks for the tip, Rob!) naming Gail E. Gabler as the new Western Regional Director AND Assistant Executive Director, replacing the now-you-see-hiim-now-you-don’t tenure of Ralph Remington.  Hmmm. From what I’ve been able to glean, Ms. Gabler cut her teeth with the very hard-nosed SEIU that was involved with the whole Janitors for Justice […]

Award Winning Los Angeles Theater Critic Myron Meisel Resigns from The Hollywood Reporter

Award Winning Los Angeles Theater Critic Myron Meisel Resigns from The Hollywood Reporter

Say it ain’t so! Just got word of this through a couple of my birdies. Myron won LA Weekly’s Excellence in Criticism award this year and his writings at The Hollywood Reporter have always been some of the most intelligent and most incisive in the city. Though I’m guessing someone with Myron’s talent is not going […]

KCRW's Anthony Byrnes Tries to Distill the 99 Seat Plan Debate Down to a Scam...and Fails

KCRW’s Anthony Byrnes Tries to Distill the 99 Seat Plan Debate Down to a Scam…and Fails

I’m a big A-Burn fan. He’s great at mining metaphors from the theater he sees and clearly he’s a very savvy and experienced critic when it comes to LA Theater. His conversation starters are usually excellent fodder for discussion and debate. Usually. Don’t always agree with his tastes in theater, but then again, who DOES agree with […]

Two Telling Quotes from the Critics in the Trenches

Two Telling Quotes from the Critics in the Trenches

The first comes from a well-seasoned, well respected, award-winning critic who currently writes for a major publication here in Los Angeles. I will leave his name out of the mix to protect the innocent, but after seeing the same show at the Geffen last week I corralled him in the courtyard and after some idle […]

Latest Born Ready Podcast: Rob and Ray are Presenting a TBA Award w/ Robert Sokol

Latest Born Ready Podcast: Rob and Ray are Presenting a TBA Award w/ Robert Sokol

Nice to see these guys getting some love from ATM (see below). Well deserved. Here’s their latest, touching on awards and such. And if all goes well I’ll be on one of these damn things in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. I just want to know if they’ll pay for my beer even down here […]