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 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 […]
Some irreverent Christmas silliness from Lost Moon Radio. Love these guys.
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 […]
“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!
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
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.
“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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
“And yet this is completely undermined by a later scene in the play, between Moritz and his father, played by Troy Kotsur. Every other scene or song in the play is equally accessible to deaf and hearing audiences – through some mixture of sign, speech, and supertitles – but this scene between two deaf actors […]
This is usually a pretty scarific time. And this little teaser trailer is brief but impactful. Wicked Lit 2014. Catch it.
Myron Meisel is simply hands down the most intelligent critic in Los Angeles. Case in point, this sumbitch right c’here. I feel smarter just reading it… HAPPY DAYS Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub star in a fresh and vital American interpretation of the Samuel Beckett classic In perhaps the […]
This week’s batch of COWs emphasizes the “smart”. And they don’t get much smarter than the Grande Dame of LA Theater Criticism, Sylvie Drake. Sit up and take notice, young ‘uns, this gal is simply smarter than you. THE TEMPEST Sylvie Drake – Cultural Weekly Modified versions of Shakespeare’s plays are certainly nothing new. They […]
Better from Count Obfuscate…and much more entertaining. If only he had this much fun with stuff he didn’t like instead of “representin’” all the time. THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS David C. Nichols – LA Times Controversial psychology and show-biz moxie commingle in “The Behavior of Broadus,” with triumphant results. As delightfully self-assured as it is […]
One of our favorite companies here at the Lemon, Lost Moon Radio, did yet another funny little video parody, this time of of master documentarian Ken Burns, and lo and behold that mighty mag Slate picked up on it. Oh, the wacky world of the webernets. Congrats folks! Here’s the viddie: