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Episodes

Seeing Beckett through a clown's eyes

10/14/2019
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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.

Duration:00:03:45

When a play is more of a story

10/7/2019
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What’s the difference between a dramatic story and a play? That’s the question that nervously filled my mind with the first words of “How the light gets in” at Boston Court.

Duration:00:03:25

When is a “Handjob” more than a handjob?

9/30/2019
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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.

Duration:00:03:20

The trouble with expectation

9/26/2019
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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.”

Duration:00:03:35

Holding an imperfect mirror up to LA (vida loca)

9/23/2019
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This isn’t an easy story to hear but judging by the sold out crowds and standing ovation - it’s a journey that is letting a community see a reflection of itself and their struggles.

Duration:00:03:42

Time to get schooled

9/16/2019
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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.

Duration:00:04:06

Breathing female life into a stubborn male classic

9/9/2019
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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.

Duration:00:04:02

The brilliant complexity of a feminist classic

8/19/2019
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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.”

Duration:00:03:21

Saying no to the myth

8/12/2019
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There’s a temptation with the big stories, say a Greek myth, to embrace the epic, larger-than-life quality. After all it’s a myth, right? Take playwright Sarah Ruhle’s “Eurydice”.

Duration:00:03:40

The paid intimacy of immersive theater

8/5/2019
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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.

Duration:00:03:19

Manifest masculinity

7/25/2019
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“Men on Boats” is a play that gets many things right… and yet somehow ends up not quite hitting its target.

Duration:00:03:32

Brecht without the politics

7/15/2019
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Even for a classically focused theatre company like Antaeus, their new play “Caucasian Chalk Circle” feels dated.

Duration:00:03:31

A dead man’s legacy

7/8/2019
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Playwright Geraldine Inoa’s stunning play “Scraps” is haunted by a character we never meet. Don't miss this powerful production.

Duration:00:03:19

Shocking a culture forward

7/1/2019
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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.

Duration:00:03:50

Sherlock Holmes and the case of too many plot points

6/24/2019
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The Sherlock Holmes inspired play “Mysterious Circumstances” is itself a bit of mystery … but not in the way the Geffen’s Artistic Director Matt Shakman probably intended it.

Duration:00:03:48

Mama drama with power chords

6/17/2019
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Sigrid Gilmer isn’t one of those playwrights who warms up to an idea. She’s the kind of playwright who grabs you by the chest from the very first moments.

Duration:00:03:23

The alchemy of emptiness

6/3/2019
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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.

Duration:00:03:38

Why do you choose what you choose?

5/27/2019
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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.

Duration:00:03:11

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