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Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

A-Burn has always said he wants his critiques to be “conversation starters not conversation enders.” Case in point, this week’s COW. A wonderful treat of provocative questions and subtle insights. THE WHIPPING MAN Anthony Bynres – KCRW The Whipping Man, Matthew Lopez’s new play, depends on a big historical conceit. It’s a bit like a […]

And The 2014 Bitter Lemons' Critique of the Year (COY) Goes To...

And The 2014 Bitter Lemons’ Critique of the Year (COY) Goes To…

I decided to circumvent the top three and just get to the damn winner. Thanks to everyone who chimed in. All seven of you. Much appreciated. You can see a list of all the nominees here. Anyhoosiers, without further Freddy Adu – drum roll please – the winner of the Second Annual 2014 Bitter Lemons’ […]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“Every year the Equity News does an issue devoted to statistics; number of work weeks, number of contracts used, what type, by region, revenue under each, etc. And a comparison to the previous year’s stats. I will never forget that the year the Equity Waiver came into use, the previous year’s stats showed over 500 […]

The 2014 Los Angeles Theater Critique of the Year (COY) [Voting Extended]

The 2014 Los Angeles Theater Critique of the Year (COY) [Voting Extended]

The what? That’s right, I said it and I’ll say it again, the 2014 Los Angeles Theater Critique of the Year. Or more affectionately, The COY. Here are the 13 Best Critiques in Los Angeles Theater in the year 2014. Well, according to me, at least. And that’s somewhat authoritative. I think it’s fair to say […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

Jason the Roar in all his painful, awkward, honest glory. A strong contender for Critique of the Year (COY). BLITHE SPIRIT Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema BIRD THOU SURE AIN’T NOW “Hail to thee, blithe spirit! Bird thou never wert, That from Heaven, or near it, Pourest thy full heart In profuse strains of […]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“At big city houses and regional theaters across the land, those who can be counted on to buy tickets are routinely condescended to with just this sort of indifferently directed, she-used-to-have-a-TV-show offering, as if aged playgoers were a simplistic, undemanding herd. But surely old audiences are as discerning a crowd as exists; they’ve seen more […]

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, […]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“The world does not need a sanitized version of “Into The Woods” and children do not need all the production values of a Disney blowout (though Meryl Streep will probably do the Witch’s role justice). The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has produced a musical that truly works magic across generations. Some may protest that parts of […]

The Friday Feature

The Friday Feature

Some irreverent Christmas silliness from Lost Moon Radio. Love these guys.

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 […]

The Monday Moment

The Monday Moment

“This is my first time seeing theatre and I think I’m done.” Don’t let this happen to you. Or me. Please. Happy Monday, LemonHeads!

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 […]

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 […]

The Saturday Saying(s)

The Saturday Saying(s)

“Note regarding talk of the 99-Seat Plan improvements, this production employs 19 actors. Four are in the actors/stage manager’s union, Equity. These are the very actors who prop up the production. Does anybody honestly believe that anybody would be served in this all-Latino staging of Julius Caesar (performed for an all-Latino audience, the night I […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

Just take out your notepads, LA Theater Critics, and go to school on this one from Ern the Mick. Besides being smart and inquisitive, it’s also an entertaining read. Some ask that the critic not draw attention to themselves when they review, me, I want to get to know the critic as much as I […]

Critique of the Week - Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

Sometimes blunt is all you need to be a COW. FOREVER Brian Sonia-Wallace – ArtsBeatLA Forever was, to quote an elderly gentleman leaving the theatre, “not my cup of tea.” The latest creation of writer/actress Dael Orlandersmith, this one-woman show is a piece of straight-up storytelling that just bored this reviewer. The writing is repetitive, […]

Critique of the Week - Runner Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Runner Up

Hey, you don’t see a review written in the form of an “ironic free verse shaped as a totem” very often. You just don’t. So…here ya go… PREMEDITATION Andrea Kittelson – LA Examiner LATC artistic director and UCLA professor José Luis Valenzuela directs an outrageous mock noir written by (and starring) Evalina Fernández that lowlights […]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“I began this review by discussing the advantage to theaters of producing one-person shows, and the short-cut writing a personal memoir offers. Orlandersmith often consulted a notebook as she expounded on her story. But the number of times she seemed to stumble suggests it was not well rehearsed and undermines the notion that the notebook […]

Critique of the Week (it's a tie!)

Critique of the Week (it’s a tie!)

Joel Beers is just too fucking good to be stuck down there in the OC. Not that there’s anything wrong with the OC, but Joel, baby, get your ass up here so you can shine some of your particular kind of light on some of these shows in the HollyHood. They need it! Somebody get […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

Some incredibly rich theater criticism from one of LA’s best. THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? Ernest Kearney – Working Author It is a question of passion in Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” Not the mass produced, test marketed variety of “passion” favored by copywriters, but the genuine article, that all-consuming fervor […]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“This production, which had a successful run earlier this year at the small NoHo Arts Center in the San Fernando Valley, would be newsworthy alone for its move to an institutional theater like the Geffen, apparently in a bid for a New York opening. One can only pray that, contrary to established practice, this exemplary […]

Critique of the Week (on a Monday)

Critique of the Week (on a Monday)

Love how personal this week’s COW is, how Michelle takes us on a journey, kicking and screaming, and finds herself breaching the light on the other side of the tunnel. A good read. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST Michelle Sandoval – EdgeLosAngeles A Noise Within is Pasadena’s go-to playhouse for excellent offerings of classical theatre, […]

Critique of the Week - Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

I have not been a fan of David St. Nichols work, if I’m being honest, I find that although he’s clearly a fine a writer and smart and knows theater, he holds back or hides behind the dynamics of his own prose, ultimately giving us nothing but froth, but here the froth seems to work […]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“No one wants a return to the polarization and acrimony of the fierce “Equity Wars” of the late 1980s, but the time is ripe for a reexamination of the 99-Seat Plan and the organizational models that have developed around it. Reform will be difficult, but after speaking to passionate theater professionals from across the spectrum […]

Critique of the Week (on a Monday)

Critique of the Week (on a Monday)

Mark Hein of the Theatre Ghost blog has been haunting the LA boards for a while now, writing some excellent reviews somewhat under the radar. This latest is especially good and garners this week’s COW. Almost makes me want to go see this show. Almost. It is a “movement piece” after all. And me and […]

The Monday Moment

The Monday Moment

This is funny. And it’s Monday. I think we should offer a bag of rotten fruit and vegetables at the door of every show in town. Hat tip to the Jason the Roar.

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“Originally commissioned by Playwrights Horizons in New York, and further workshopped locally last year at South Coast Repertory’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, Marjorie Prime marshals a fine array of out-of-town talent. However, Smith’s star power notwithstanding, Center Theatre Group yet again ostentatiously avoids hiring from the plentiful pool of hugely capable Los Angeles players. The company’s […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

The “harsh” and “hurtful” joy of Tony the Frank. Thank God he FINALLY got SOMETHING right… SPRING AWAKENING Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema REAWAKENING In one of the bios for Deaf West’s production of Spring Awakening, actress Ali Stroker thanks the company for stepping out of the box, and turning what some may think as […]

Another Saturday Saying

Another Saturday Saying

“Looks like the LA Theater ‘Extortion Awards’ just put out their nominations again. Each year at this time I thank baby Jesus I’m out of this mess. If anything makes a playwright want to jump off a cliff it’s this vile group of insiders looking into the toilet and nominating their own turds for special […]