Think of something you love. Something you’re really passionate about; something that, at least in your mind, can either be done right or really wrong. Maybe it’s a sport? Or a recipe? Or maybe even a kiss. When that thing’s good, it feeds your soul. When it’s bad … well, sometimes you’d rather just skip it. That’s how a lot of theater folks, myself included, feel about Samuel Beckett.
Erik Patterson’s play “Handjob” does indeed include a handjob. So if you’re the kind of person who might be offended by that or by male frontal nudity then this play might, oddly, be perfect for you. Stick with me.
oday, before we open that theater curtain, I want you to join me... at an imaginary art gallery. Playwright Vince Melocchi is counting on your fascination with the Warhol legend to fuel his play “Andy Warhol’s Tomato.”
The frame for John Leguziamo’s latest one man show is an eighth grade history textbook … well that and a bit of racist bullying. In “Latin History for Morons” his son comes crying from school about some white boy who, having descended from white generals dating back to the civil war, told him he was a ‘beaner’ and king of nothing.
How do you breathe life into ancient art? That’s the driving question behind the Getty Villa’s outdoor theater program (and arguably the Getty itself). Each September the Getty mounts a Greek or Roman play in their spectacular Malibu canyon amphitheater.
When is the last time you saw a play with a cast of eight complex women? I see a lot of theater and I think my answer is right next to never ...but an all female cast isn’t the only stunning thing about Maria Irene Fornes’ play, “Fefu and her friends.”
The invitation to “Under the Big Top: Atlas” is intentionally a little cryptic. It’s clear it’s an immersive theater experience. It’s clear it’s $70 for a 30 minute performance. Beyond that, it invites your imagination to wander. There’s mention of 1928, some kind of flood at the circus. A mystery, someone’s disappeared, maybe I can help locate her? And that it’s a partnership with Two Bit Circus. That’s enough for me. I’m intrigued.
Any time you’re seeing a revival or a new production of an old script, you walk in wondering -will reviving this script tell us anything new? That question is very present in the Odyssey Theatre Company’s production of “Loot” directed by Bart DeLorenzo.
Samuel Beckett’s plays can be really tricky. They are conceptually so full and simultaneously so maddeningly empty. It’s that emptiness that’s the key. What a production does with that emptiness is what separates a transcendent production of Beckett from a sleep-inducing one. Take the production of “Happy Days” starring Dianne Wiest at the Mark Taper Forum.
In “Invisible Tango” that magic and narrative is being crafted by Helder Guimarães. The magic is mostly a theme and variation on card manipulation and increasing elaborate versions of “is this your card?” In the intimate theater that’s configured to focus on a simple card table, the action is close enough to be dazzling and big enough to feel like more than a single trick.
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.
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...