RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "jason rohrer"

Ivanno Jeremiah, left, and Nonhlanhla Kheswa in "The Suit" at UCLA's Freud Playhouse. Photo: Pascal Victor, ArtComArt.

THE SUIT (FREUD PLAYHOUSE): 86% – SWEET

SWEET Three years ago, also with the help of Estienne and Krawczyk, Brook reduced Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” down to its ritualistic essences, removing the magic and retaining the humanity. In the “The Suit,” however, the horrors won’t go away. But by making theater, music and dance inseparably one, Brook’s art reaches that cleansing Bachian [...]

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Broad Stage. Photo: Simon Annand.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (BROAD STAGE): 80% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Still, the production, by War Horse director Tom Morris, is surprisingly uninvolving. The main quartet of lovers and their foibles feel too separate from the puppet business, a big reason that the puppets’ theatricality doesn’t translate into emotional heft. Zachary Pincus-Roth – LA Weekly SWEET Nonetheless, this inventive production will send you home with [...]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

Jason’s love-affair with Impro Theatre continues. Lucky for us his reports from their field always allow for some of his best and most entertaining work. Just like them. Apparently taking a date to the show will get you a little somethin’-somethin’. I can neither confirm or deny the veracity of the Impro Effect… SHAKESPEARE UNSCRIPTED Jason Rohrer [...]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“Impro Theatre, however, is funny and sophisticated, and will make your date look at you with new eyes.  Your date will say, “Gee, your choice of entertainment suggests a great deal of respect for me, and for yourself.  In fact, now that you’ve shown me this amazing thing, I see myself in a new light, [...]

A Raw, Stagey Confession

A Raw, Stagey Confession

I fell off the wagon sometime last month. I’m not sure what day it is, to tell you the truth. I hadn’t had a drink in something like ten years; maybe eleven. I should have kept going to the meetings, maybe, but I didn’t, and here we are. Point is, I have apparently been in [...]

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

Jason just had too many good turns of phrase in this one to pass up, plus you can hear the lament in his voice, wishing, hoping, praying that somehow they could have come up with a better show for the great man that inspired this apparently mediocre production. PAUL ROBESON Jason Rohrer – Stage and [...]

The Saturday Saying

The Saturday Saying

“In a production as stately and reverent as its subject was startling and rebellious, Philip Hayes Dean has directed his own one-man-with-musical-accompanist play to a standstill.  I don’t know how you’d do this if you wanted to: to reduce a renaissance man like Paul Robeson to the dusty subject of a mediocre history lecture, especially [...]

Keith David and Byron J. Smith (background in "Paul Robeson," at the Ebony Repertory Theatre. Photo: Craig Schwartz.

PAUL ROBESON (EBONY REP): 75% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET The least effective scene is an unnecessarily thorough reenactment of Robeson’s appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, with Smith asking the questions from the piano bench. The slack direction and unfocused storytelling render a potentially dynamic sequence tedious, bombastic and repetitive. The reliance on history that charges “Paul Robeson” ultimately proves its undoing. [...]

Pippa Hinchley, Wendy Radford, David Hunt Stafford, Ron Bottita, and Chet Grissom in "God Only Knows" at Theatre 40. Photo by Ed Krieger.

GOD ONLY KNOWS (THEATRE 40): 63% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET If you enjoy a mystery, you will enjoy the United States Premiere of a mystery thriller at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills. Whether you are a believer or not, you will enjoy God Only Knows, written by award-winning British playwright Hugh Whitemore. And you will definitely take pleasure in the work of the artists [...]

EST/LA presents Robert Joy and Eve Gordon in "The Ugly One" at the Atwater Village Theatre. Photo by Kevin Riggin.

THE UGLY ONE (EST/LA): 100% – SWEET

SWEET The director works her excellent actors to technical precision in timing and physicality, and they more than meet her energy. They improve on an already thrilling script, which of course is why one hires actors. Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema SWEET Given a sharply engaging English translation by Maja Zade, this West Coast [...]

Hannah Yelland and Jim Sturgeon in "Brief Encounter" at The Wallis. Photo: Jim Cox.

BRIEF ENCOUNTER (THE WALLIS): 90% – SWEET

SWEET It’s an absolutely beguiling production, psychologically simple but stylistically as rich as a tapestry. Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly SWEET If you love the movie (and what emotionally sentient human being doesn’t?), you’ll surely get a kick out of Kneehigh’s ingenious homage. Charles McNulty – LA Times SWEET While it’s all a bit [...]

SJW. SMH.

SJW. SMH.

Social justice warriors, take heed! Right now, you’re full of fix-the-world and stop-the-madness. Packed with outrage and frustration. Shit’s not right! Everybody’s not equal! And old people are just not changing things quickly enough. Old people are in the way of progress. As you love to say, we’re on the wrong side of history. Here’s [...]

Leon Russom in "Henry V" at . Photo: Rob Cunliffe.

HENRY V (PORTERS OF HELLSGATE): 83% – SWEET

SWEET At worst, Shakespeare can bore a roomful of kids to disruption, texting and gossiping and running in the aisles. But the Porters held a predominantly female, under-18 audience in the palm of its hand for two and a half hours at its Henry V opening on Saturday. This, not in the seasoned second week [...]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

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 [...]

Kogi, Kimchi, Kill Me

Kogi, Kimchi, Kill Me

If you haven’t seen the Wilshire Boulevard Temple since its retrofitting and refurbishing, do. Originally decorated in 1929 through the generosity of MGM boy wonder Irving Thalberg, the interior of A. M. Edelman’s Byzantine dome is one of L.A.’s great sacred objects, at least as regards good taste. Less tasty were the offerings of Kogi, [...]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

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 [...]

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

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 [...]

Denis O'Hare in "An Illiad" at the Broad Stage. Photo: Lawrence K. Ho.

AN ILIAD (BROAD STAGE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET If you’re not already convinced that this is a show you miss at your own peril — Mr. O’Hare’s performance is an hour and 40 minute tour de force. Without giving away too much — he even makes sense out of Homer’s litanies — delivering the poignant reminder that what we’d like to think [...]

Barry McGovern in “I’ll Go On” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo: Craig Schwartz.

I’LL GO ON (KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET This performance is as fine as any performance can be. Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly SWEET McGovern has all the qualities of a superb Beckett interpreter. He relishes the comic brio even at its most scatological and possesses a voice that can draw out all the various hues of the verbal brilliance. Vehemence [...]

The Horror

The Horror

To begin with: it is a bad play. The first minute is bad and it gets worse. Its badness nearly reaches an apex when, during the inevitable hushed climax (which of course happens two feet from my front-row seat), my theater companion’s phone goes off. I brought her. I, the guy who writes endlessly of [...]

Megan Rippey, left, Sol Mason, Paul Sand and Shay Astar in "Kurt Weill at the Cuttlefish Hotel" at the West End Theatre. Photo: Agi Magyeri.

KURT WEILL AT THE CUTTLEFISH HOTEL (WEST END THEATRE): 90% – SWEET

SWEET Still, fans of the material may well find this sui generis item rewarding. It’s certainly a promising initial attraction, unlike anything else afloat on Southland stages. David C. Nichols – LA Times BITTERSWEET As director and musical director, Paul Sand and Michael Roth complement each other in creating evocative stage moments within each of [...]

Stage and Cinema’s Jason Rohrer’s Best of Los Angeles Theater 2013

Stage and Cinema’s Jason Rohrer’s Best of Los Angeles Theater 2013

Jason the Roar, a frequent contributor here at the Lemon, does all his reviewing over at Stage and Cinema and he has decided to roll out his favorites in LA Theater 2013 this year. Jason’s list focuses on the theater companies rather than the shows themselves, but I did want to include this little ditty [...]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

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 [...]

"Aladdin and His Winter Wish" at the Pasadena Playhouse. Photo: Clarence Alford.

ALADDIN AND HIS WINTER WISH (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 90% – SWEET

BITTER As if to provide a counterpoint to the Troubies’ general excellence, Pasadena Playhouse is now hosting Aladdin and His Winter Wish, a shiny jukebox panto from the family that classed up our culture with television behemoths American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. But with a hundred times the Troubadour budget, affording [...]

How the Delin Saved Xmas

How the Delin Saved Xmas

Someday I’m gonna start keeping my mouth shut. At the first open-casket funeral I ever attended, the deceased’s head was tipped at an awkward angle, showing sutures straining to hold his lips together. Maybe that would do it for me – death, I mean; it’ll take more than catgut to ensure my silence. For the [...]

WALKIN’ IN A WINTER ONE-HIT WONDERLAND (FALCON THEATRE): 86% – SWEET

WALKIN’ IN A WINTER ONE-HIT WONDERLAND (FALCON THEATRE): 86% – SWEET

SWEET Unlike their previous year-end offerings, based either on popular children’s TV specials (The Little Drummer Bowie, A Charlie James Brown Christmas) or on beloved movie hits (It’s A Stevie Wonderful Life, A Christmas Westside Story), Walking In A Winter One-Hit-Wonderland dispenses with storyline, big-cast production numbers, and even its usual second act to simply [...]

Brian Dennehy in "The Steward of Christendom" at the Mark Taper Forum. Photo: Craig Schwartz.

THE STEWARD OF CHRISTENDOM (MARK TAPER): 53% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET This devotion to verbal patterning is both his signal strength and conspicuous weakness as a dramatist. In “The Steward of Christendom,” Barry’s 1995 play now being revived at the Mark Taper Forum as a star vehicle for Brian Dennehy, retrospective prose substitutes for dramatic action. Charles McNulty – LA Times BITTERSWEET The playwright’s prose [...]

The cast of "Peter and the Starcatcher" at the Ahmanson Theatre. Photo: Terry Shapiro.

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (AHMANSON): 77% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET If, in the first act, the wit varies so vertiginously that it flirts with the tiresome, then in a deliriously delicious opening musical number of the second act, the entire cast sings and dances in delectable drag as fish mutated by the pollution of the ocean with starstuff into cross-dressing mermaids. This sort of [...]

Another County Heard From

Another County Heard From

Jim Marsh is a retired teacher and administrator for the Lincoln Unified School District (LUSD) in Stockton, California. He was my 6th grade teacher and has been an enormous positive influence on thousands of kids in that unfortunate city. For years he escaped the classroom by driving the WOODBUS, a mobile carpentry shop that gave [...]

Karen Anzoategui in "Ser!" at Los Angeles Theatre Center. Photo: Ed Krieger.

¡SER!: 94% – SWEET

SWEET These reservations notwithstanding, “¡Ser!” is singularly original and thoughtful, not to mention a lot of fun. With a few tweaks, like the endearing artist at midfield, it could easily kick its way into the world performance arena. David C. Nichols – LA Times SWEET Under Marcos Najera’s direction, Anzoategui’s performance avoids every pitfall of [...]