Layout Image

Archive for Feature article – Page 4

WILL L.A. ACTORS SUE THEIR UNION?

broadus

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

We haven’t been treated fairly, and everybody knows it, says actress Maria Gobetti.

She’s objecting to the union’s elimination of L.A.’s 99-Seat Theater Plan, which, for the uninitiated, was in effect for a quarter century and permitted union actors to work in theaters of up to 99-seats in L.A. County for token stipends. Read more…

 

WAR AND PEACE. REBECCA METZ, ON ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION AND ITS PLAN FOR L.A.

Rebecca-Metz

Steven Leigh Morris – @ This Stage magazine

Steven Leigh Morris: Things have gone very quiet in the past couple of months. You’d almost think that nothing is happening.

Rebecca Metz: There’s a lot of anger, in the older generation particularly. Personally, I can’t function holding that much anger. My goal is to get the union to see that we’re reasonable, and for us to see that they’re reasonable. Two weeks ago, [I was in a meeting] with Gail Gabler, Mary McColl [and others]. I have been having a text conversation with Mary McColl, we’ve had a good, civil conversation. She said, “Kate and I are going to be in town, I want you to choose six people and [we can] have a conversation.”  Read more…

One-Person Shows Are Too Stuck in Reality. Sometimes They Should Make Things Up

st_jude_photo5

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

A solo show’s a little show where people talk about their life,

“Like battling the bottle. Or slicing themselves with a knife,

“They tell their tale with wigs or props, with easels to communicate,

“Like being gay or being bi or being trans or being straight!

Read more…

A NEW SCHEME TO HAVE SHOWS PAY $150 FOR A REVIEW WILL HURT L.A. THEATER

drama_critic_parking_only_neon_light_sign

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

So you’re a theater having a hard time getting audiences. A new plan under way by the ever-tempestuous L.A.-based theater website Bitter Lemons allows you to pay the website directly for a published review, with the reviewer receiving the lion’s share of that payment — no guarantee of a good review, and you can’t select the reviewer, but it’s at least a guarantee of a review by “an experienced critic.” It’s something like when playwrights or screenwriters pay an expert to read their drafts, or a theater pays a dramaturg or script doctor — the major difference being that Bitter Lemons’ “initiative” is not just a private exchange, it’s a public one that involves readers and audiences. So what’s the problem? Read more…

Fixing Words That Go Clunk in the Night

master-master675Bob Verini – Stage Raw

John Logan’s Red has been one of the most produced plays of the last few years, with over 40 mountings at major theaters coast to coast, usually reviewed in deserved superlatives. Yet in all the column inches devoted to the incisive two-hander, few if any of my critical colleagues have made reference to Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, though they certainly could and maybe should have done. Read more…

Neil LaBute, on his play The Break of Noon

neil-labute-007

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

The meister of messy and cruel romantic relationships, in works such as In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things, Fat Pig and Reasons to Be Pretty, playwright, screenwriter and film director Neil LaBute shines a spotlight on atrocious behavior.  Read more…

 

LOOKING BEYOND THE MINIMUM-WAGE MESS IN LA THEATER

EquityLogo_RGBcolor

Don Shirley – LA Observed

Alarm bells are going off in the LA theater community about Actors’ Equity’s proposal to require most productions to pay Equity actors the minimum wage – soon.

Reading some of the dire predictions, it would be easy to surmise that this step would doom most of LA theater – or at least eliminate the use of Equity actors in most LA productions except those at a handful of larger theaters. Read more…

 

SOLIDARITY, FOREVER

tweed

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

“If you want to give it away, get out of the union!”

I’ve heard that cry, all the way from the East Coast.

I teach for Cal State University and I belong to a union I love – the California Faculty Association. I walked into the theater department office at Cal State last week, and the secretary handed me a sizable check, mid-month in what’s normally a monthly pay cycle. I wasn’t expecting it. “What’s this?” I asked. “Your bargaining unit just got you guys a pay raise.”

How can you argue with a union like that, or with unions in general? If I want to take work in a non-union house – say U.S.C. or CalArts, no problem with my union. They’re protecting my ability to choose how I spend my time, and meanwhile, they’re in the trenches with my university’s administration fighting for better pay.

So can we please put to bed the ludicrous argument that because some people, such as me, or Tim Robbins, or city councilman Mitch O’Farrell, feel that the stage actors’ union, Actors Equity Association, is behaving appallingly in its treatment of the 99-Seat Plan and Los Angeles area theater, that we’re union-bashing. Read more…

AN INTERVIEW WITH GIGI BERMINGHAM

Photo courtesy of Goldsbymusic.com

Photo courtesy of Goldsbymusic.com

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Gigi Bermingham is well-known in Los Angeles for her performances, comedic and dramatic. Recently, these have included leading roles in Terrence McNally’s Master Class at International City Theatre and Non-Vital Organs at Skylight Theatre. She also directs, lately for Antaeus Theatre Company (You Can’t Take It With You) and Sierra Madre Playhouse (An Ideal Husband). Read more…

 

ONE MUSICAL WHERE THE LEADING MAN SHOULD NOT SHINE

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

For one more weekend, through Sunday Feb. 8, there’s an absolutely smashing revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 Company in town. If you detect a note of surprise in that announcement, no offense is meant to the Cabrillo Music Theatre, which presents it, and especially not to Nick DeGruccio, who does a skillful, sophisticated job mounting the musical theater perennial. em>Read more…

A DOG SPEAKS OUT ON A SOLO SHOW ABOUT A SPEED-FREAK ALCOHOLIC ACTOR

Steven Leigh Morris  –  Stage Raw

Herbert the Chihuahua discusses Mitch Hara’s Mutant Olive

Chihuahua

 Herbert the Chihuahua was sitting in the front row of the Lounge Theatre on Saturday night, cradled by his female owner. She and an unidentified man to her right were there to see Mitch Hara’s Mutant Olive, a one-man show about Hara’s self-described alter-ego, Adam Astra – a “speed-freak alcoholic” actor auditioning for the role of Happy in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.  Read more…

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

 

LUCY LAWLESS PLAYS EVIL IN NEW PANTO PRODUCTION OF ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’

Photo by Michael Rozman

Photo by Michael Rozman

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Gifted New Zealand-based actress Lucy Lawless, known for her larger-than-life television roles, steps into yet another this December, courtesy of the Pasadena Playhouse. In the theater’s annual holiday season panto extravaganza, Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight, the gay-favorite actress—who triumphed locally as ball-busting prison matron Mama Morton in the Hollywood Bowl’s Chicago last year—is playing the evil fairy Carabosse. Read more…