RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "jason rohrer"

CHOIR BOY (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 33% - BITTER

CHOIR BOY (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 33% – BITTER

BITTER Tarell Alvin McCraney’s 2012 Choir Boy is a tantalizing, underdeveloped play-with-music not entirely improved by Trip Cullman’s direction, now at the Geffen a year after the production’s Manhattan Theater Club bow. Jason Michael Webb’s tasteful vocal arrangements sound terrific via Fitz Patton’s crisp sound design, but the very assurance and gravity of the “negro […]

THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? (L.A. GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER): 100% - SWEET

THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? (L.A. GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Every Los Angeles theatergoer should be so lucky as to see a show this ecstatic. Because all this work is in service of literature that evaluates the sexual morality, the emotional fidelity, the personal integrity we all would like to claim; and it asks of these things what they say about our natures. You […]

HAPPY DAYS (BOSTON COURT): 100% - SWEET

HAPPY DAYS (BOSTON COURT): 100% – SWEET

SWEET This production, which features Broadway veteran and multiple Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub, Adams’ real-life husband, in the role of Willie, Winnie’s there-but-not-there life partner, preserves the universality of Beckett’s vivid stage metaphor while making it seem right at home in Southern California. Charles McNulty – LA Times SWEET No other dramatist has ever been […]

BURIED CHILD (WHITEFIRE THEATRE): 78% - SWEET

BURIED CHILD (WHITEFIRE THEATRE): 78% – SWEET

SWEET In the end, this “Buried Child,” then, produced 35 years after the play won Shepard his only Pulitzer Prize, is the prolific playwright at his very best: naked, robust, and oh, so true. The Whitefire production is an ode to Shepard, ghosts and all, and a warning against sloth, envy and greed as only […]

THE TEMPEST (SOUTH COAST REP): 93% - SWEET

THE TEMPEST (SOUTH COAST REP): 93% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET I wish I could report that the acting was equal to the scenic imagination. This still strikes me as a production that doesn’t have all that much faith in Shakespeare’s ability to captivate a modern audience. Charles McNulty – LA Times SWEET To avoid being the one person in your circle not to have […]

THE LIFE AND SORT OF DEATH OF ERIC ARGYLE (SON OF SEMELE): 90% - SWEET

THE LIFE AND SORT OF DEATH OF ERIC ARGYLE (SON OF SEMELE): 90% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET I teetered early on the verge of boredom, staved off by the fine production until the last twenty minutes, the end a foregone conclusion in a play that just wouldn’t stop chattering. Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema SWEET Eventually there’s a twist to the story that, along with the play’s heavy exposition, did […]

THE WESTERN UNSCRIPTED (FALCON THEATRE): 95% - SWEET

THE WESTERN UNSCRIPTED (FALCON THEATRE): 95% – SWEET

SWEET It’s such a confident company that there are very few showboats. Long-form improvisation allows the inspiration of the moment – requires it – to drive the story; a couple months back I saw Fredrickson run wild upon a Sondheim UnScripted show with a series of intelligent, perceptive writing decisions and wildly successful character choices. […]

PERSIANS (GETTY VILLA): 78% - SWEET

PERSIANS (GETTY VILLA): 78% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Twice or three times in ninety minutes, arresting images are allowed to loiter unto dissipation. There is less of permanence in this production than of stasis. Perhaps its primary historical draw is the chance to experience what theater was like in Brooklyn in 1994. Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema BITTERSWEET In general, the […]

Critique of the Week - Runner Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Runner Up

This week’s COWs all come from that “hurtful” review site, Stage and Cinema, featuring those “biased” critics Jason Rohrer and Tony Frankel, and the reasoning for that is that each one is not only a glowing (see “not hurtful”) review of the show in question, but also a meticulously considered and richly delivered appraisal of the show […]

The Fat Boy Confessions

The Fat Boy Confessions

A couple of weeks ago the theater artist David Jette called me “an infamously belligerent dick.” That’s good, accurate reportage, well-phrased, best of all fair. David and I shared an antipathy for years, having identified in each other some essential social evil. Our mutual friends had to make adjustments when talking to us. It wasn’t […]

I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND: 83% - SWEET

I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND: 83% – SWEET

SWEET It’s full of dynamic characters going through interesting changes, and they say funny and moving things all the time; the emotional flow is well-ordered and effective. Exciting images, such as a spiritually bereft agnostic using John Lennon as an understandable face of God, populate a lively story. This premiere production by David Bickford, Jenny […]

THE FACE IN THE REEDS: 92% - SWEET

THE FACE IN THE REEDS: 92% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET As the cast takes turns revealing their little secrets, and I must admit there are a few doozies, I said, “Self this is one screwed-up bunch” but in reality, nothing new or unexpected. There was just too much going on and by the time the story arched to the predictable climax I was more […]

Taking a Shit at Philippe's

Taking a Shit at Philippe’s

The homeless constitute one of two demographics to whom a toilet cleaned by an indifferent minimum-wage worker looks pretty good. The other is rich people with maids. I am neither, and I don’t like shitting outside my own home. I am at least vaguely phobic about this. Sitting on a public toilet, sober, is not as bad […]

ECHO ONE ACTS 2014: 88% - SWEET

ECHO ONE ACTS 2014: 88% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET I notice that I have used the pejorative “little” for some of these scripts, and not for others. There’s a reason. “As We Sleep” does not feel little, despite its short running time, because of its universal truths and earned laughs. The not-much-longer “General Sherman’s Hollow Body,” despite seeming unfinished, feels epic in its […]

Why is Stage and Cinema Being Removed from Review Lists?

Why is Stage and Cinema Being Removed from Review Lists?

It has come to my attention that one of the top publicists in Los Angeles, David Elzer, has recommended to his clients that they no longer offer free tickets and invitations to Stage and Cinema. Also on the list of those that have removed Stage and Cinema are publicist Michael Sterling who works with 3D Theatricals. Stage and Cinema, […]

Is Steven Leigh Morris Advocating Mediocrity?

Is Steven Leigh Morris Advocating Mediocrity?

Well the first clue in answering that question is that the title of his latest piece over at Stage Raw is called On the Virtues of Mediocrity. Though there does appear to be an attempt at some tongue in cheek here. I think. Clearly, SLM is out for something more. He usually is. But it does seem pretty […]

BROADWAY BOUND (ODYSSEY THEATRE): 94% - SWEET

BROADWAY BOUND (ODYSSEY THEATRE): 94% – SWEET

SWEET Director Jason Alexander, who originated the role of Stanley in the Broadway premiere, imparts his command of the material into an attentively drilled cast. Despite limited rehearsal time, the actors have become comfortable enough to dredge shaded subtext from their roles, which is impressive especially under the close scrutiny of an audience shoved smack […]

ANDRONICUS (COEURAGE THEATRE): 81% - SWEET

ANDRONICUS (COEURAGE THEATRE): 81% – SWEET

SWEET Lelliott’s earnest interpretation has a fine continuity of theme. It could use a similar consistency of mood, or a greater investment in the occasional departures from tone. But ultimately it’s an exciting and worthwhile production. If opening night had a few swords falling nervously from scabbards, and even if a prop representing an amputated […]

PENELOPE (ROGUE MACHINE): 82% - SWEET

PENELOPE (ROGUE MACHINE): 82% – 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 […]