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Archive for Geffen Playhouse

LETTERS FROM A NUT at the Geffen Playhouse

 

(Photo by Chris Whitaker)

(Photo by Chris Whitaker)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

At the height of the Vietnam War, Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist,  a periodical with anarchist leanings, sent a copy of his notorious “Fuck Communism” poster to Senator Bob Dole. In response, he received a reply saying, “Thank you for your suggestion. You can be sure It will receive serious consideration.” This disconnect suggests the essence of writer/performer’s humor.      Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Remember The Jerky Boys, practical jokers who harassed unsuspecting dupes on the telephone in the 1990s? Stand-up comedian Ted Nancy (nom de plume of Barry Marder) has made a career of reviving that art. Now he has turned his life’s work into a performance-art piece.
Read more…

Now running through July 30

CONSTELLATIONS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Constellations, the character piece by Nick Payne that is now playing in a new production at the Geffen Playhouse, requires a talented cast to succeed. The expansive themes of love in an ever-expanding cosmos, the jarring sequencing of the moments, and their repetition could turn audiences off quickly.    Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

She’s a quantum physicist, he’s a beekeeper. They meet at a barbecue. It’s a tale as old as time…but, what exactly is the meaning of time?
Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

He was in “Downton Abbey,” she was on “Big Love” and “Once Upon a Time.” Now Ginnifer Goodwin and Allen Leech have taken to the stage, starring in English playwright Nick Payne’s “Constellations” at the Geffen Playhouse.Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This intriguing play by British playwright Nick Payne centers on an unlikely love affair between beekeeper Roland (Allen Leech) and quantum physicist Marianne (Gennifer Goodwin), but it doesn’t proceed in the expected ways.
Read more…

Now running through July 23

ACTUALLY at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

He said, she said. Then he said more, and then she said more. They both kept saying things. But no matter how much they said, it was impossible to determine what had actually happened between the two freshmen in the Princeton University dorm room when they were very drunk. Was it consensual sex or rape? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Um, actually.” These seemingly innocuous words are critical to the events of the aptly named Actually, a new play by Anna Ziegler currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a co-world premiere with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

We see the kiss twice: once at the play’s beginning and once at its end. Her hands express her uncertainty. They don’t push him away, but they don’t embrace him. Her left hand hovers near his shoulder, a question mark over the moment and certainly over the play. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Anna Ziegler’s smart and penetrating play Actually, now premiering at the Geffen Playhouse, Tom (Jerry MacKinnon), a freshman at Princeton, recounts an incident in which his best buddy Sunil leans in and kisses him on the mouth. Read more…

Now running through June 11

THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo  by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

It is one of the age-old theater questions: Can a performance rise the level of a so-so script, adding depth missing from the dialogue and characterizations? Broadway actor Matt McGrath proves the answer can be yes in The Legend of Georgia McBride, a comedy, now playing at the Geffen, about drag queens in a run-down bar in the Florida Panhandle. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The Legend of Georgia McBride is one of those rare charmers, a sweet story about nice people that manages to be neither syrupy nor cloying. Directed by Mike Donahue at the Geffen Playhouse, the production features a strong ensemble that brings heft and heart to a very amiable comedy. Read more…

 Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

They say clothes make the man. In “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” women’s clothes certainly turn a childlike lad into a maturing gentleman. Still, Matthew Lopez’s play, enjoying its West Coast premiere at Geffen Playhouse, reminds us that our true selves are who we are at heart, having nothing to do with our outer adornments. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Can an Elvis Impersonator reinvent himself as a drag queen? Better yet, can an impoverished married straight man with a child on the way become a successful star drag act? Upon this thin premise hangs Matthew Lopez’s hilariously outrageous The Legend of Georgia McBride at The Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Now running through May 31

 

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Mary Tyrone is the female Hamlet. She’s a role that measures an actress’ stamina, talent, and resourcefulness. No wonder many top-echelon actresses such as Jessica Lange, Katharine Hepburn, and Vanessa Redgrave jump at the role. This time, it’s Jane Kaczmarek who takes on the challenge….Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

With a running time of three hours and 20 minutes, including an intermission, this theatrical experience really is a long haul. Eugene O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical four-act drama charts the dysfunction that permeates the Tyrone family— James and Mary and their sons Edmund and Jamie.  Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

“I was so healthy before Edmund was born,” says matriarch Mary Tyrone in playwright Eugene O’Neill’s epic “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” considered a masterpiece of American theater of any era.   Read more…

Now running through March 18

THE LION at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Christie Goodwin

Margaret Gray – LA Times

I spent much of “The Lion,” singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer’s one-man musical at the Geffen Playhouse, inwardly commiserating with my twentysomething self. She hung out in so many coffee shops all those years ago, strung out on caffeine and poetry slams, waiting in vain for someone exactly like Scheuer to walk in with his guitar. Read more…

Now running through February 19

ICEBERGS at the Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch Photography

Jeff Lorch Photography

Margaret Gray – LA Times

During Alena Smith’s play “Icebergs,” in its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, thirtysomething screenwriter Calder (Nate Corddry) sets up an air mattress in his Silver Lake living room for a visiting friend.     Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Isolation and tribalism, art and commerce, privacy and over-sharing, global warming and geological cycles, commitment and divorce, parental frustration and parental adoration, instability and inevitability. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

A screenwriter must choose between preserving the integrity of his story or changing it to please a box-office star. A career-minded actress must decide between having the baby she and her husband presumably long for or pursuing her profession. Read more…

Now running through December 18

THE MODEL APARTMENT at the Geffen Playhouse

Model Apt

(Photo by Jeff Lorch Photography)

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

The Geffen Playhouse has had a fruitful relationship with playwright Donald Margulies, resulting in memorable productions such as Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Dinner with Friends and Collected Stories. It’s only natural the theatre would want to continue this successful streak, which leads to the current revival of Margulies’ earlier work, The Model Apartment. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The story of an elderly couple and their efforts to elude the past, The Model Apartment — now running at the Geffen Playhouse — unfolds with subtlety and surprise. It’s one of those poignant dramas about “little” people that lingers after the final curtain. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

Anchored by actress Marilyn Fox’s exquisite portrayal of a retiree trying to keep her family together, The Model Apartment is a stirring evening. The talented four-person ensemble draws the audience into this tragic and relatable drama at Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It’s impossible to share impressions about “The Model Apartment” without revealing its plot points. But the mood it creates and the feelings it stirs up can’t be spoiled by spoilers. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

In one of his early plays, Donald Margulies examines how one couple’s best laid plans for their twilight years become dismantled when they fail to reconcile properly with the past. Read more…

Now running through November 20

BLUE SKY at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The marital problems of an upper-middle-class couple (with particular focus on the vague discontent of an adulterous wife) are the stuff of soap opera.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Broadway director John Rando brings the witty comedy Big Sky to the Geffen with a talented cast and a script that plays on conventions of the 1980s, but reflects how times have not changed when it comes to American’s obsession with wealth above all. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

A family faces a confluence of crises during an Aspen blizzard. Making its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse is playwright Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros’ dramedy Big Sky, directed by John Rando. It’s a lively work, full of relatable, if affluent (at least at first glance) white characters, who are definitely privileged.  Read more…

Now running through July 17

IN & OF ITSELF at the Geffen Playhouse

la-1463080132-snap-photo

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The first time Derek DelGaudio performed at the Geffen Playhouse — in the 2012 show “Nothing to Hide,” which he created with co-star Helder Guimarães and director Neil Patrick Harris — DelGaudio ended up staying longer than expected: The magic act, originally slotted for a one-month run, packed the house for 18 weeks. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Arts in LA

Derek DelGaudio’s world premiere In & of Itself proves him to be a captivating performer and a mesmerizing illusionist. He is not quite yet the philosopher he purports to be, but kernels of interesting ideas weave through the piece—such as making personal pain disappear like a house of cards. Read more…

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

Derek DelGaudio’s new solo show at the Geffen Playhouse’s black-box theater is a lot different from other one-man ventures. For one thing, there’s magic. And unlike the impulse to overshare that weighs down so many other autobiographical efforts, DelGaudio cloaks his personal storytelling in mythological allusions….. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

The illusion and prestidigitation show, In & Of Itself, presently playing at the Geffen Playhouse, feels somewhat underwhelming. Ostensibly a very short evening with a solo performer (one hour and five minutes) the show unfolds at a languid pace. Read more…

Now running through June 26

STAGE KISS at the Geffen Playhouse

 

stage-kiss-geffen-playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

More than any contemporary playwright who comes to mind, Sarah Ruhl’s characters inhabit worlds wholly her own. Even when she adopts a historical setting, as with In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), her lyrical sensibility fashions heightened realities, where a house of string or a dead man’s perpetually ringing cellphone seem natural. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

Stage Kiss, now featured at the Geffen Playhouse, offers both belly laughs and belly aches. Many zingers leave audiences gasping for air between chortles, but the play feels empty because of sketchy characterizations and a fuzzy interpretation of Shakespeare’s frequently quoted, “All the world is a stage.” Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Sarah Ruhl’s insular comedy is set in the world of the theater. Act One begins with an audition then sees its way through to opening night. Act Two follows our leading pair and the aftermath of their off-stage love affair. Stage Kiss is chock full of in-jokes and ‘theaterly’ sight gags and business, but none of it proves all that funny. Read more…

Now running through May 15

SEX WITH STRANGERS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It could be the setup for a Harlequin romance: A beautiful novelist curls on a couch in a bed-and-breakfast in rural Michigan, proofreading a manuscript, completely alone. Heavy snow has deterred other guests, and even the proprietor has been called away on family business. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz –  Theatermania

Laura Eason’s exploration of egos, insecurities, and drowning in digital communication features a fiery performance by Stephen Louis Grush as a mysterious stranger who struggles to separate from a bad-boy persona in the Geffen Playhouse production of Sex With Strangers.

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The title “Sex With Strangers” may be the most exciting thing about this production. A flat script, uninspired direction and a robotic performance turn it to lead. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Premiering at Chicago’s Steppenwolf company in 2011 and having its New York bow in 2014, Laura Eason’s two-character play offers a seriocomic glimpse at fervent career ambitions and provocative romance in the internet age. Read more…

Now running through April 10