RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "mialka bondadonna morano"

THE BRIDGE CLUB: 66% - BITTERSWEET

THE BRIDGE CLUB: 66% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER But Mike Sabatino’s direction is shaky, a failing particularly evident in Dobbs Owen’s slow line pick-ups and pauses. And Sue’s awkward smoking of bizarre long white things that bear little resemblance to cigarettes makes us wonder what Sabatino was thinking. F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times SWEET Christopher Franciosa and Nancy Dobbs Owen play […]

ETERNAL THOU: 91% - SWEET

ETERNAL THOU: 91% – SWEET

SWEET Matt McCray distinguishes himself with Eternal Thou as one of the most inventive and, pardon the pun, plugged-in theater makers in LA. He’ll leave you thinking about that iPhone in your pocket a little differently. Anthony Byrnes – Opening the Curtain SWEET McCray’s staging blurs the distinctions between the actors-as-tech-components and actors-as-people, so that […]

THE VAULT: BANKRUPT: 100% - SWEET

THE VAULT: BANKRUPT: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Credit too to Hazel Kuang’s scenic design, Jasmine Orpilla’s original music and video appearances, and Patsy McCormack’s lighting. Their scrappy yet stylish efforts do a nice job framing this evening of smart and silly satire. Jennie Webb – Backstage SWEET Yet although the message is somewhat murky, the show still works as pure entertainment […]

THE BOOMERANG EFFECT: 71% - BITTERSWEET

THE BOOMERANG EFFECT: 71% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER Each performer deserves applause for fighting to give a shred of humanity to each moment, despite the uninspired direction, and it’s a pleasant moment when they are able to. It’s too bad the work of the playwright didn’t match up and the director pandered with sitcom safety. Phillip Kelly – MadTheatrics SWEET Boasting some […]

CAGES (MATRIX REMOUNT): 80% - SWEET

CAGES (MATRIX REMOUNT): 80% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET The shortcomings of this admirably intended endeavor become apparent during a meandering first act. Coming across more as a string of case studies than a dramatization, the diffuse narrative quickly turns tedious. Things improve marginally after intermission, but the production ultimately scores more points for a strong acting ensemble and creative staging effects than […]

SLITHER (HOLLYWOOD FOREVER): 25% - BITTER

SLITHER (HOLLYWOOD FOREVER): 25% – BITTER

BITTER Alas, her intentions in this play remain as obscure as the show is dull. Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema BITTER The script itself has moments of wisdom, but while its metaphors are evocative, they don’t add up to much. Under Casey Stangl’s direction, battered wife Reeves mistakes acting innocent for playing plumb stupid. […]

BRILLIANT TRACES (LOUNGE THEATRE 2): 86% - SWEET

BRILLIANT TRACES (LOUNGE THEATRE 2): 86% – SWEET

SWEET Fortunately, director John Hindman and his talented performers unearth the fraught emotionalism beneath the inscrutable exchanges. Wagner displays real depth, but it is the indescribably unusual Ferrer who fascinates in a haunting turn that should be seen. F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times BITTERSWEET Compelling at key junctures, the reiterative script comes packed with […]

EXPECTING TO FLY: 83% - SWEET

EXPECTING TO FLY: 83% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Hyman’s decent writing doesn’t offset the dense stasis that sets in early on, or a central conceit that wears terribly thin. The convenient Twilight Zone-inspired finale doesn’t offer much satisfaction either, but the performances are outstanding. Lovell Estell III – LA Weekly SWEET Hyman brings us a taut, convincing, carefully calibrated anatomy of a […]

NO GOOD DEED: 71% - BITTERSWEET

NO GOOD DEED: 71% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Pelfrey has fashioned a bracingly cerebral and nerve-rattling piece. Though the play needs to bring its complex narrative and heady themes into focus more quickly and lucidly, the project pays off as an intellectually stimulating ride. Les Spindle – Backstage BITTERSWEET The task is for the audience to figure out which is which, who […]

ABSOLUTE BLACK: 100% - SWEET

ABSOLUTE BLACK: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Just as satisfying is the finesse with which Cate pushes past the tropes of the detective procedural to some insightful, touching reflections on sexual politics and unfulfilled physical and emotional longing. All in all, a square deal for your 15 clams. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET Supported by Natalie Hyde’s period-perfect costumes and […]

RED HOT PATRIOT: THE KICK-ASS WIT OF MOLLY IVINS: 65% - BITTERSWEET

RED HOT PATRIOT: THE KICK-ASS WIT OF MOLLY IVINS: 65% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET Kathleen Turner, who portrays Ivins in “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins,” which opened Wednesday at the Geffen Playhouse, can’t quite duplicate the light East Texas drawl. (Turner’s signature husky tone sounds as though she’s been treating a sore throat by gargling with bourbon.) But the veteran actress has that same […]

NEXT FALL (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 80% - SWEET

NEXT FALL (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 80% – SWEET

SWEET Director Sheryl Kaller elicits multilayered performances. Marked with sensitivity and grace, this West Coast premiere rendition is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking. Les Spindle – Backstage SWEET But all credit to the company for managing to go on with the show after the death of Geffen founder and producing director Gil Cates. This offering, worthwhile […]

HOPE: 91% - SWEET

HOPE: 91% – SWEET

SWEET Add infidelity, a surprise pregnancy and a dash of romantic intrigue, and it equals a melodrama that’s fit for just about any age. Musical director Ben Taylor’s slate of oldies impressively evokes the period, while cast performances are uniformly good under José Luis Valenzuela’s direction. Lovell Estell III – LA Weekly SWEET Generally, however, […]

PULLING LEATHER: 67% - BITTERSWEET

PULLING LEATHER: 67% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET In its present stage, Pulling Leather is an engrossing work with a lot of high, compelling moments. It has intriguing characters, good realistic dialogue and a strong sense of what love ought to be. Considering that it’s Ryan’s first full length play, it is quite good and definitely worthy of your time. Don Grigware […]

THE VAULT: UNLOCKED: 100% - SWEET

THE VAULT: UNLOCKED: 100% – SWEET

SWEET This show is full of music and laughs, but be warned that it’s also full of adult language and sexual content. So leave the kids at home, grab yourself a double chai latte and go. If you’re a hipster, you’ll laugh with them; if you’re not, you’ll laugh at them. But you will definitely […]

TROJAN WOMEN (AFTER EURIPIDES) (SITI COMPANY): 78% - SWEET

TROJAN WOMEN (AFTER EURIPIDES) (SITI COMPANY): 78% – SWEET

SWEET Poetically adapted by Jocelyn Clarke to include modern insights through temporary suspension of the fourth wall, this standing ovation worthy SITI Company production brims with sophistication and powerful dramatic performances perfectly contextualized within the Villa’s outdoor Greek-style theater. Mialka Bonadonna Morano – LAist BITTERSWEET But the collective force of the play — an overwhelming, […]

STRANGER THINGS: 66% - BITTERSWEET

STRANGER THINGS: 66% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Johnson endows Helga with a curious charm, and the show’s somber, claustrophobic tone is leavened by dry wit (Mother: “This is what God is doing to us.” Helga: “God doesn’t care about us. We’re not his type.”). And just when the story seems predictable, it twists into something genuinely chilling. Charlotte Stoudt – LA […]