I have to say Paul Birchall has been flourishing – in my humble opinion – since he’s been writing for Stage and Cinema. He’s been a longtime critic in this town, writing for many reputable publications, but since he took up tenure at S&C his voice has really evolved into something unique. Which is not [...]
“Rather than 3½ weeks, Five Small Fires has been in gestation for three full years. In terms of its process and artistic ambition, the distance from the Bootleg to the Mark Taper Forum on this day is not one of miles but light-years.” Bill Raden – LA Weekly
The prettiest mind in theater, our own (one time) AdvoK@ and now the sultriest voice in pop, Kat Primeau, and her dude Chris Sousa have a new album out under the name Sumeau. Got a chance to listen before release and thought it had a nice Cowboy Junkies meets the entire Twenty First Century vibe [...]
Joel Beers is quickly becoming one of my favorite SoCal theater critics. Here’s another example why. Joel, you wanna write for the Lemon? Hit me up! LYSISTRATA JONES Joel Beers – OC Weekly A legendary theater director and drama critic—let’s just say it was Harold Clurman because, lord knows, he doesn’t get enough props these [...]
“But even with the talent, hard work and sincerity, nothing can save the laughably awful story, generic music or emaciated characters. This is a developmentally disabled Hoosiers meets Whatever Awful High School Musical You Can Think Of meets ABC Afterschool Special. Even a visit to a whorehouse, a nod to a classic piece of Greek [...]
Ernest really likes Firemen currently playing at the Atwater Village Theatre. So did I. But as usual – especially when he’s feeling good about something – he lays it all down much better than I ever could. FIREMEN Ernest Kearney – Working Author The Echo Theater Company’s production of “Firemen” by Tommy Smith is a [...]
The Giddy Roar. THE UGLY ONE Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema RICH AND BEAUTIFUL I like a play that vacuums the audience in the wake of its rocket so that we tumble after, happy travelers grateful for the bruises. We bounce and roll along, too ecstatic to imagine stopping as the play flashes and [...]
“I’ve found that at least once a year there is a show that is loved and lauded by public and critics alike, a play that garners awards and big box office, and yet bafflingly leaves me completely cold. This year, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is that show. I was looking forward to [...]
One of the funniest monologues I have ever seen. Can’t believe I’m just finding it now. Mary Carrillo. Badminton. Athens Olympics. 2004. Go. For the history behind the rant. Go here.
Another online therapy session from the Huntress gets this week’s COW. As usual it’s smart, sometimes insightful, detailed, belabored, personal, vividly depicted, over-written, a little bit over-wrought and anybody’s guess as to whether it’s meant for our edification, the artists, or hers. Probably a little bit of all of the above. That said, it stood out [...]
Randall Gray’s review of his own play, Doctor, Doctor! You can read it here. Congratulations Randall! You set a new low in criticism while managing to set a new high in online entertainment and for that we reward you with the inaugural COY! Though the poll participation was meager (next year I’M just picking my [...]
The Professor of Lemonology, Trevor Thomas, is back and writing for Stage and Cinema. Here’s hoping it’s the start of a longstanding relationship. Because this one is a classic. SE LLAMA CRISTINA Trevor Thomas – Stage and Cinema NO COMPRENDO CRISTINA I’m throwing in the towel, giving up the ghost, packin’ up my mules and [...]
“To nonprofit theater companies in LASA, a question from a journalist: Does the disappearance of LA STAGE Times affect your desire to continue paying to be part of the service organization, LA Stage Alliance? How many of you are in it primarily because of the Ovation Awards?” Steve Julian – Morning Edition Host at KPCC
“However — yes, there’s usually a “however.” This past week, as I made my rounds of new productions, I was struck yet again by one of the remarkable ironies of LA theater — too often, the smallest shows are in the biggest theaters and the biggest shows are in the smallest theaters.” Don Shirley – [...]
Jason gets the double for this week’s COW. This review for “An Iliad” was written a week or so ago while I was in Colorado, so it still feels new to me. Again, there’s a wonderful seemingly shared vibration between reviewer and show here. Let’s hope LA keeps churning out this kind of top quality [...]
Jason wrote this over a week ago. One of his shortest reviews ever. Trust me, Jason, I understand the need for brevity in relation to this show. There are almost no words, so they have to be chosen carefully. Like Beckett, the response always need to be an almost impossible combination of spontaneity and a [...]
“Oh, and on a personal note. In the second act when Byron threw the fake fireplace log into the aisle by the audience, it ricocheted off the wall and hit me in the leg. YOU HIT ME WITH A PROP! The log was made out of foam so I wasn’t injured, but in what world [...]
A rather creepy but mostly effective teaser trailer from The Critical Action Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “Frozen”. This week’s Friday Feature.
I’ve decided that Randall Gray is good for Los Angeles Theater. Every vibrant community needs a Randall Gray. But what I like even more is how people react to the Theater of Randall Gray. And here, yet again, is yet another beauty for your reading pleasure. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, the Theater of [...]
“Focused performances limit undue dwelling on what exactly the foxes are intended to represent. Director Dámaso Rodriguez effectively balances King’s fanciful, open-ended allegory with visceral realism and mounting tension, despite the story’s predictable outcome.” Philip Brandes – from his review of “Foxfinder” (LA Times)
A teaser for Furious Theatre’s latest offering, Foxfinder, currently playing at the Carrie Hamilton in Pasadena and apparently getting very good reviews. I wouldn’t know though as I’ve been away in Colorado helping my mom get settled into her new home. So I’m a bit behind, but as always I’ll soon be way ahead of [...]
The new teaser trailer for the return engagement of Gangbuster Theatre’s excellent Sunny Afternoon, running January 10 through February 1, 2014. All told in under a minute. Well done, folks. Sunny Afternoon by Christian Levatino from Darrett Sanders on Vimeo.
Each one of these was lifted from our venerable weekly feature the Critique of the Week (COW) out of some 70 plus offerings (we had a few Runner Ups as well as some Runner Runner Ups). Thought it’d be fun to offer them up to the LemonHeadNation to vote on and then we’d award a [...]
My choice for this week’s COW doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the quality or lack thereof of the criticism, it’s the fact that Jason’s review of the Pasadena Playhouse’s currently running “Aladdin and his Winter Wish” is literally a “lone voice in the wilderness” standing as the ONLY negative review of the play [...]
“But there’s a deeper issue I wish these institutional leaders had addressed: artistic diversity. The most interesting playwrights in America already constitute a diverse pool. They just aren’t necessarily writing for houses of 750 people. How can artistic directors do a better job of providing a platform for these artists so that they can broaden [...]
I’m a little embarrassed to include this as this week’s COW. Just a little.But the fact of the matter is, this is something that the website LASplash has sanctioned and decided to publish for public consumption. Or public criticism. Plus the read itself actually produced belly laughs. I’m hoping that Miss Harer was intending that, [...]
“If populism had been the judge, jury and executioner in 1953, we would never have Samuel Beckett or his Waiting for Godot, which appealed at that time to a decidedly minority taste. Said Peter Bull, who played Pozzo in the play’s 1955 London premiere, “Waves of hostility came whirling over the footlights, and the mass [...]
A pretty swell cinematic depiction of a theatrical event for God’s Gypsy currently playing at the Lillian Theatre. Could have cut it by about 30 seconds, but it’s pretty good. The music really sells it and apparently that’s what the critics are lauding most about this particular production.
These guys always put together some funny videos, whether it be for their end of year fundraisers or just to promote a show. This year’s closer is more of the same. They need costumes, people, give ‘em a little love for Christ’s sake!
A-Burn goes against the grain with nuance and smarts and keeps the conversation going. PLAY DEAD Anthony Byrnes – KCRW It’s tempting to think that magic is about the trick. Whether it’s pulling a quarter out of your ear or a bunny out of a hat, it’s easy to think it’s about the quarter or [...]