“While an increasing number of daily papers shorten stories and hire consultants to tell them what to print, VMG papers thrive by cultivating source networks, generating truly original story ideas, and digging into stories rather than skating across their surface.” From the “About Us” page of LA Weekly’s parent company Voice Media Group (the company [...]
I’m a big fan of M.R.’s criticism. As a matter of fact, a couple of her additions this year are in the running for Critique of the Year (COY). But even the best go off the rails every once and a while. Case in point, the 3000 word monstrosity re-printed below. Remember when I mentioned [...]
Tony tangles himself into a few knots trying to say too much in this particular review, but overall, he once again shows that he is by far the cream of the crop when it comes to LA’s theater critics. And he is spot on in his discussion about the absolutely repulsive effect that political correctness [...]
Premise, character, conflict. Oh, and details. Lots of details. Oh, and major mad portions of joy and enthusiasm. And then it all comes to life. Take a listen. Hi-freakin’-larious.
Holy Crap! This may be CGI but sources tell me it ain’t so…Holy crap! If this doesn’t jump start your morning I don’t know what will.
To date, I think this might be my favorite critique from Chuck McNutt. He seems genuinely annoyed and he makes no bones about it. This is what our supposedly top critic at the supposedly top publication is supposed to be doing; taking the supposedly “state theater of california” to task when they deliver milque toast [...]
It’s sometimes hard to highlight Don’s reviews here at the COW pasture, even when deserved, mostly because he is the Master Chef of the Stew Review and he’s usually got five or six reviews in each of his delectable dishes, some not as good as others, so to list the whole thing is virtually impossible. But [...]
“Questions about Epps’ production kept distracting me from the drama. For example, why wasn’t there other minority representation? The suggestion in the play is that the accused, a kid from “the slums,” is Puerto Rican. If the jury is no longer 12 fuming white guys, why not some Latino or Asian or female jurors? Perhaps [...]
This is really quite extraordinary and could almost make you re-enlist back into the human race. A very close friend of mine’s 2 year old daughter contracted liver cancer at four many years ago. She died at the age of 4. Half her life was spent battling cancer, a battle she lost. How my friend [...]
This particular teaser from Furious Theatre Company is a bit long in my book, they should never really be above 90 seconds, but it captures the feel of the piece cinematically and that’s good. And the show, Gidion’s Knot, is excellent. It’s a limited run so catch it now, folks.
Joy is infectious. And sometimes you just gotta let it all loose. Like this guy.
Paul has been doing solid work for years, mostly at the LA Weekly, but this particular review at Stage and Cinema really stood out for me, as much for the turns of phrase and literary gymnastics as for the way he mines the metaphors of rock and roll in such a vivid and colorful fashion. [...]
Haven’t seen the show, so no opinion on that, but for the rest, yep. Concept’ll get you every time. Even if you’re Anthony Byrnes. TITUS ANDRONICUS: A VAUDEVILLE Anthony Byrnes – KCRW OOPS I should have known better. I was seduced by the idea and, frankly, I hadn’t seen a good Titus Andronicus in a long [...]
This is just a study in analysis so beautifully and entertainingly done. Some of the imagery is just as good as you’ll see. THE PAIN AND THE ITCH Ernest Kearney – Working Author “The Pain and the Itch” from the pen of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Bruce Norris is unquestionably unsettling. Yet, in the theatre [...]
This is a good review, but it aches with so much internal conflict that David almost seems to be battling with his own internal demons, the love of the aesthetic and his own habitual ideology. It was an interesting read nonetheless. THE PAIN AND THE ITCH David Maurer – CultureSpotLA Building a story around an [...]
Inquiring minds want to know, who was the smelly middle-aged guy reeking of peanut butter and tobacco that Michael refers to below? Guesses are wholeheartedly encouraged. CM “Sitting next to a man who smelled of peanut butter and tobacco who touted himself a ‘real critic’ added to the experience for me. He seldom applauded at [...]
This is hilarious. Especially the raspberry montage. These animators, Doug Bayne, Ben Baker and Trudy Cooper, decided to add a little somethin’-somethin’ to some famous paintings. The result is dare I say, quite Python-esque. It’s amazing what we can do as far as riffing on other people’s work, mashups and sampling and the like, just wish this [...]
And then, finally, we get a thoughtful, almost whimsical response to the same play for our final and penultimate COW for this week. Frances seems practically Yoda-esque in her response to ANW’s production. Then again, with “Endgame” it should be nothing but. ENDGAME Frances Baum Nicholson – The Stage Struck Review In the trio of [...]
Here’s another response to ANW’s “Endgame” and again it’s pure Beckettian bacchanalia. Michael Sheehan ties himself into so many knots trying to say something insightful about this production that he ends up sounding like something right out of the great master’s “The Unnamable”. ENDGAME Michael Sheehan – OnStageLosAngeles THIS IS THE END, MY FRIEND… Any [...]
That Los Angeles Theater Companies continue to invite Steven Stanley to productions that require a modicum of abstract thought expecting anything other than what they get here simply boggles my mind. And you know, I don’t blame Steven, I really don’t, I blame A Noise Within; Steven has said on numerous occasions that the “fringey”, [...]
“There is nothing but ridiculous fun waiting for lucky patrons of Irma Vep, which offers a humor that needs a sprightly audience willing to go along with the grand spoof of such mediums as old Universal Studios horror movies, Victorian melodramas, and Emily Brontë novels. This sense of abandon was something that seemed to [...]
So this has been making the rounds lately, as many of you may know, and I resisted watching it for a quite a while, but I finally gave in. Most of the reactions have been something along the lines of, “Oh, the language of music is so universal…what a soulful child…the baby is so moved [...]
Perspective is everything. Or is it perception? Can’t remember. I guess it’s all in how you look at it. I don’t usually highlight the corporate demons, but hey, cool is cool.
Continuing the tribute to legendary and now deceased rocker, Lou Reed, here is an absolutely fascinating 4 minute exploration into that haunting baseline for the great song Walk on the Wild Side focused on Herbie Flowers the man who created it. The smallest things sometimes become bigger than we ever expect. My favorite line, when asked [...]
If you haven’t heard already the groundbreaking rock and roller, Lou Reed, originally of Velvet Underground fame passed away this week. He was 71. Reed was a true original, his song Walk on the Wild Side is still probably one of the coolest songs ever recorded. He influenced many and simply did his own thing [...]
These are the types of reviews that sometimes transcend their own medium. When critics have the ability to see these types of connections between the art, the artists and the culture within which they work and then communicate that type of vision, they become artists themselves and should not only be applauded, but should be [...]
There just aren’t many critics who can bring as much context, perspective and opinion to their work as Tony does. The following is a prime example. And the dude can write as well. INVISIBLE CITIES Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema SEEING WHAT’S INVISIBLE In describing Invisible Cities, allow me to paraphrase Gore Vidal’s critique [...]
Tony has two additions to this week’s COW consortium. This one is just such a total laceration that it stood out from all the rest of the lacerations this week. Plus, when a critic finally throws up his hands and decides to disavow an entire company after a third viewing of their work, well… I [...]
‘”Invisible Cities” stumbles upon an ironic and unfortunately apt metaphor for Los Angeles: here are the privileged elite wandering around a historic relic, oddly cut off from one another by technology, searching for the center of the invisible city that surrounds them.’ Anthony Byrnes – from his review of “Invisible Cites” at Union Station (KCRW)
“This is one of the most buzzed-about openings of the year (the creators were even given proclamations by the city of L. A. after opening night), there is a lot of money behind it, and the logistics involved are mind-boggling. Even with five additional dates added, the run sold out just after opening (keep checking [...]