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Opening the Curtain

KCRW

Musings on what Los Angeles theater is - and can be. Want to know more? Subscribe to Anthony's weekly Theater newsletter.

Musings on what Los Angeles theater is - and can be. Want to know more? Subscribe to Anthony's weekly Theater newsletter.
More Information

Location:

Santa Monica, CA

Networks:

KCRW

Description:

Musings on what Los Angeles theater is - and can be. Want to know more? Subscribe to Anthony's weekly Theater newsletter.

Language:

English

Contact:

1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-5183


Episodes

The theatre of place: Jordan Downs

5/20/2019
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For Cornerstone’s latest piece “A Jordan Downs Illumination” the focus is really space and time (or more accurately *place* through time). That place is the public housing project in Watts - Jordan Downs. And the time is from World War II when the project was built through now when - After decades of conversation and controversy, the entire project is phase by phase being rebuilt as an urban village.

Duration:00:03:27

Saved by the cast

5/6/2019
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At the beginning of Michael McKeever’s play at the Fountain Theatre, we are at the end of a dinner party. Daniel and Mitchell seem to be the perfect gay couple. Daniel’s a talented architect. Mitchell’s a successful writer. They’re a terrific match. Daniel cooks, Mitchell cleans. You know the deal. It’s that moment of a dinner party where the last bottle of wine is being opened and you’re in the living room chatting about momentous things like why Mitchell’s agent Barry dates young boys and...

Duration:00:03:23

Enjoy the dancing dildos

4/29/2019
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Sometimes watching a play is like having a friend tell you a confusing story. You know, one of those stories where, a few minutes in, you begin to wonder exactly what the story is about and why, exactly, are they sharing it with you. That’s how I felt watching Ammunition Theatre Company’s world premiere of “Brain Problems” by Malcolm Barrett.

Duration:00:03:27

The tenure of white supremacy

4/22/2019
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In the Geffen Playhouse’s latest production, you’re going to office hours at an elite university.

Duration:00:03:39

Doll hubris, anyone?

4/15/2019
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Children’s theatre is tricky business. It’s a bit like cooking for kids. The easy way out is all sugary sweets. Give ‘em saccharine fake smiles and stories so simplistic they’re easily digestible without any real thought. Like that ice cream cone for breakfast, it may hold the child’s attention for a few minutes but … is it really what they need?

Duration:00:03:34

A play boss-battling itself

4/1/2019
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Inda Craig-Galván’s play “Black Super Hero Magic Mama” is a tricky one to wrap your mind around. Not because the setup is unfamiliar (unfortunately, you’ll recognize it immediately) but because where the play takes that setup has it fighting against itself.

Duration:00:03:39

A theatrical sudoku puzzle

3/25/2019
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“Incognito” at the Son of Semele is a puzzle play.

Duration:00:03:13

Female power? Hell yes.

3/18/2019
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Sarah De Lappe’s play “The Wolves” is having a bit of a moment. On top of being a finalist for the Pulitzer, it’s slated for over 50 productions across the US - making it one of the year’s most produced plays.

Duration:00:03:21

Time for Block Party to evolve

3/11/2019
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If you’ve been patiently waiting for a play about roller derby, I have good news. If you had hoped it would be a great play about roller derby - um…not so much. “For the love of it (or the roller derby play)” takes us inside the locker room of the Brooklyn Scallywags - the best female roller derby team in the league. Gina Femia’s play gives you a peek behind the scenes at women who go by names like Lizzie Lightning and Diaz De Los Muertos.

Duration:00:03:37

Bring your kids to the theater!

3/4/2019
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The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts latest offering, Pigpen Theatre Company’s “The Old Man and the Old Moon” is the ambling story of how the light gets into the moon told by seven guys who play all the parts and double as a charming folk band.

Duration:00:03:20

Sometimes the past is more real than the present

2/25/2019
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What’s the difference between a play and a film? That’s one of the questions that Brazilian director Christiane Jatahy asks with her stunning piece “What if they went to Moscow?” How Ms. Jatahy poses that elegant question is a little complicated so stick with me.

Duration:00:03:39

A method to the political madness

2/18/2019
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The Actors’ Gang has two things that run through their productions: style and politics. The style is a distant relative of Commedia Dell’Arte, the Italian comic tradition built around stock characters like Harlequin, Pantalone, the corrupt judge. Even if you’ve never seen a Commedia show, chances are the sitcoms of your youth were built on the same formula.

Duration:00:03:56

Questioning a fairy tale

2/11/2019
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Matthew Bourne’s “Cinderella” at the Ahmanson is fascinating as much for what it isn’t as for what it is.

Duration:00:03:25

Our inescapable past.

2/4/2019
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For all it’s seeming simplicity, the Wooster Group’s latest show is complicated, dense experience. Let’s start with the title: “The B-Side: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,” A Record Album Interpretation.” What’s a record album interpretation?

Duration:00:03:37

Fighting the patriarchy

1/28/2019
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In Taylor Mac’s play “Hir” (spelled H-I-R - more on that in a minute), the old order simply won’t stand.

Duration:00:03:39

Hidden classical treasures

1/21/2019
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One of LA theatre’s hidden treasures is the theatre that happens at the Getty Villa. The Getty Villa’s latest production goes up this coming weekend with a site-specific show from Four Larks called “Katabasis.” Four Larks - like the Villa - is another hidden LA treasure.

Duration:00:03:35

Sleeping with your son

1/14/2019
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Remember that cool kid in high school? The one with the awesome jacket and that effortless edge. He was something of a rebel: used nasty language in just the right way. Made it all look so easy. Now remember that other kid who tried to copy him? Same jacket, same foul language but he couldn’t quite pull it off? Ghost Road company’s latest show is like that second kid: cool stuff but can’t really pull the whole thing off.

Duration:00:03:32

Theatre for a New Year

1/7/2019
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New Year - new theatre! Here’s my short list for the plays you shouldn’t miss this spring.

Duration:00:03:43

Best of 2018, part 2

12/31/2018
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Last week I started looking back at the theatre in LA that made a difference in 2018. This week I round out that list with the kind of work I hope fills theaters in 2019.

Duration:00:04:14

Best of 2018, part 1

12/26/2018
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Looking back at the best shows from a year of theatre is always a little strange. It’s not like KCRW’s list of best albums that you can instantly download and enjoy. Theatre is ephemeral - you can’t stream it or hit rewind. So reflecting on a year’s productions is less a guide to what you should see, and more an evaluation of where we are as an audience - and maybe a hint of where we’re going.

Duration:00:03:43