RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "jason rohrer"

PENELOPE (ROGUE MACHINE): 88% - SWEET

PENELOPE (ROGUE MACHINE): 88% – SWEET

SWEET John Perrin Flynn and Brenda Davidson’s production of Penelope is so vivid that it’s hard for me to imagine the play in any other presentation – even though I’ve recently seen another that had its own strengths. Flynn’s direction is unequivocal, authoritative. He finds the excitement and narrative drive carefully laid underneath Enda Walsh’s […]

STUPID FUCKING BIRD: 96% - SWEET

STUPID FUCKING BIRD: 96% – SWEET

SWEET The reason you need to stop and buy tickets now – is it closes July 27th and the rest of this ensemble cast is remarkable. Throw in the fact that it’s beautifully designed and crisply directed – really please don’t miss this one – it’s worth the trip to Pasadena. Anthony Byrnes – KCRW […]

LAND LINE: 92% - SWEET

LAND LINE: 92% – SWEET

SWEET And yet I thoroughly enjoyed the mood I was in after the play. Dramatic issues aside, for at least one member of the demographic at whom the Rabbit Hole-esque drama seems to aim, it’s a very pleasant reverie on familiar traumas. It’s like going home at a comfortable remove, so much so that I […]

A Civil Exchange of Ideas

A Civil Exchange of Ideas

There are several layers of irony going here, but mostly this is simply a wonderful example of WrightCrit. Something I experimented with during the run of one of my own plays Breaking and Entering last year. My experiment mostly failed for a variety of reasons, mostly my approach to the dialogue. But Jason the Roar, the […]

Everyone's a Critic

Everyone’s a Critic

  The web site for which I am a critic, Stage and Cinema, has enjoyed a boom recently from which I am grateful to benefit. Not that I get paid; there are people who know how to work the internet for money, but we are not among them. There are a few advertising dollars but Tony […]

BRIGHT LIGHT CITY: 75% - BITTERSWEET

BRIGHT LIGHT CITY: 75% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET This play is full of surrogates, which has the potential to be fascinating. Where this play could grow is in the area of real. All the seedlings aren’t fully cultivated. All this fakery isn’t countered enough by dirty Earthly truth. Andrea Kittelson – LA Examiner SWEET This dark comedy is a bizarre concoction of […]

Stunt Rigger

Stunt Rigger

Message on a scrap of linen found inside a cigar tin purchased in Bucharest, 2003: For seven years in the vigor of my youth I had made a living as a stuntman and gag rigger in Los Angeles. When in the course of my profession I brought a mild injury to a clinic strange to […]

AJAX IN IRAQ (MILES MEMORIAL PLAYHOUSE): 82% - SWEET

AJAX IN IRAQ (MILES MEMORIAL PLAYHOUSE): 82% – SWEET

BITTER If you’re going to update a classic work, ask why. If its themes resonate with you, and remind you of contemporary issues, do you really need to rewrite the thing? Mightn’t that classic text still serve a really pointed, personal director’s vision? Even a literal one? You could teach McLaughlin’s Ajax in Iraq in […]

DEATH OF THE AUTHOR: 75% - BITTERSWEET

DEATH OF THE AUTHOR: 75% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET It is smart, suspenseful, surprising, downright sensational writing, and with DeLorenzo in the director’s chair and a superb cast giving it added layers and depth, it makes for a play and production I could easily see again and again. Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA SWEET Early on, the jokes and exposition feel a bit sitcom-y […]

Show People

Show People

Opening night, in the alley behind the theater, the light over the stage door burned out. The overcast had been thick all day and at 7:00 it might have been midnight, so the lead actor missed the stage door in the dark and groped his way along the damp alley until he knew he’d gone […]

THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS (AHMANSON THEATRE): 89% - SWEET

THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS (AHMANSON THEATRE): 89% – SWEET

SWEET Diane Paulus’ direction of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” is mesmerizing. It features a cast of strong actors, abundant laughs amidst serious moments, and some of the most beautiful vocals this side of Broadway. Get a chance to see this show while it’s in town. Molly Quinlan – Neon Tommy SWEET Paulus’ creation, as […]

THE YELLOW BOAT: 100% - SWEET

THE YELLOW BOAT: 100% – SWEET

SWEET “The Yellow Boat” a play with music by David Saar is billed as based on a true story which makes it even more poignant and heart breaking. Patricia Foster Rye – Pat Rye Reviews SWEET By contrast, Yellow Boat director Joseph V. Calarco has wrought this shipshape show from the same deep toolchest out […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

The giddy roar. Always a pleasant sound. THE YELLOW BOAT Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema ON A SEA OF TEARS It’s a play that deals with AIDS, and the central character is a little boy. Okay? So while Coeurage Theatre Company (like many who have produced David Saar’s The Yellow Boat since it was […]

THE SUIT (FREUD PLAYHOUSE): 86% - SWEET

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 (BROAD STAGE): 82% - SWEET

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (BROAD STAGE): 82% – 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 […]

PAUL ROBESON (EBONY REP): 75% - BITTERSWEET

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. […]

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

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 […]

THE UGLY ONE (EST/LA): 100% - SWEET

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 […]

BRIEF ENCOUNTER (THE WALLIS): 90% - SWEET

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 […]

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

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 […]