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Archive for Geffen Playhouse – Page 2

BARCELONA at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The clash of values in playwright Bess Wohl’s disputatious two-hander takes place between Irene (Betty Gilpin), a chattering blonde tourist from Denver, and Manuel (Carlos Leal), a handsome Spaniard who’s ferried her back to his loft in Barcelona for wild, mutually satisfying sex.  Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

What’s notable about “Barcelona” is not so much what it says. One hopes, when a play has made it all the way to the Geffen Playhouse, it reveals something about the human condition. But at the Geffen, it’s interesting to observe how difficult this one’s messages are to take in. Read more…

Bob Verini  -  Arts In LA

Ever find yourself walking in a park in the morning, or through a mall in the afternoon, or down a main drag like Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard at night, enjoying the sights and sounds and people, and suddenly you say to yourself, “Holy crap, what if there should be an incident right now? What if somebody with a bomb or a gun is right around that corner?” Read more…

Pauline Adamek  -  ArtsBeatLA

Two opportunistic strangers hook up for a brief bout of sex. But what starts off as a drunken one-night stand turns into a soul-searching all-night discussion that goes until dawn.   Read more…

Now running through March 13

THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

…Will Eno’s acclaimed Thom Pain (based on nothing) arrives in Los Angeles after a decade of playing virtually everywhere else. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Thom Pain is antagonistic toward his audience. He shouts at them, starts tangents that he suddenly drops, draws seemingly interminable pauses, and rambles on about stories that lead nowhere. This Pulitzer Prize finalist, written by Will Eno, will invigorate or infuriate one depending on their perspective but it is doubtful audiences have seen anything resembling this monologue before. Read more…

Now running through February 14.

LOUIS AND KEELY: ‘LIVE’ AT THE SAHARA at the Geffen Playhouse

Courtesy of the Geffen Playhouse

Courtesy of the Geffen Playhouse

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Vintage nightclub artistry ignites palpable frissons around the Geffen Playhouse, where “Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara” has sailed back in triumph. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

A hit at Sacred Fools back in 2008, Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara proved to have legs; it’s been picked up and revamped several times over prior to its current production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Now running through January 17.

OUTSIDE MULLIGAR at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

The committed theatergoer, confronted with the prospect of a play set in Ireland, may well inquire, “First of all, is it one of the light ones or one of the dark ones?” Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Outside Mullingar feels like a memory play of the distant past that is set in modern times. The farming territory of Killucan, Ireland, has a timeless aura. Into this delicate setting, Shanley beautifully tells a quiet tale of unrequited love, where the characters are not so much repressed, but gloomy about what they think they can’t have. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Bob Verini’s Stage Raw review of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar places the show squarely within its proper context, and though much of his take is unassailable, I regard the play with more susceptible affection — though in the Irish manner, all such sentiment and despair are to be doubted in equal measure.    Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Exit Reviews are a series of ‘vlogs’ or brief video reviews, giving first impressions of the show.   Read more…

Now running through December 20

 

GUARDS AT THE TAJ at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

It cannot be said that Rajiv Joseph’s West Coast premiere Guards at the Taj is entertaining. Neither is it cheering, inspiring nor pleasantly distracting. But it thoroughly provokes thoughts and emotions like few other “entertainments” do. Read more…

Now running through November 15.

 

THESE PAPER BULLETS! at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

About the best way to communicate my absolute, unalloyed pleasure in These Paper Bullets!, Rolin Jones’s Much Ado About Nothing adaptation at the Geffen, is to report that the smile that came over my face in the first five minutes stayed with me through the intermission, which I couldn’t wait to have end so that I could return for Act Two, and hung on back to my car and beyond.

Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing revolves around lies, exaggerated love, and the ramifications of gossip. What other modern group faces these issues on such an international public stage as much as celebrities do?

Read more...

Dany Margolies – ShowMag

Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of enjoying this play?

At least subtitling this work “a modish ripoff” gives fair warning about playwright Rolin Jones’s script. It’s a rip-off, indeed, of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, in which the thirtysomething former flames Beatrice and Benedick forswear love, while the younger Hero and Claudio’s emotions catch fire before our eyes.

Read more…

 

Now running through October 18.

 

BAD JEWS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

 Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

Among the many contentious ideas explored during Bad Jews, Joshua Harmon’s delicious pressure cooker of a show now playing at the Geffen, is how a religious or cultural identity can become the sole bedrock upon which some people base their identity. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

I can remember the disapproving dismay clucking through suburban Newark, New Jersey, aroused by the satiric observations of the early Philip Roth, and could never have imagined myself partaking of the same chagrin as my parents felt in reaction to the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man, which I thought was pretty dead-on from my own experience of that period. em>Read more…

Now running through July 19.

MURDER FOR TWO at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Joan Marcus

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Smack dab in the middle of our current, if not our ongoing, theatrical austerity crisis comes Murder for Two, a musical whodunit whose bold, albeit thrifty, conceit is to have all the roles played by two actors. Read more…

Jon Magaril – CurtainUp

This madcap musical mystery shoots a cap at any puffed-up pretension beyond a giddy desire to please. Its pleasures may be too daffy to knock you dead. But the barrage of blithe inventions should still liven up your day, qualifying it as entertainment in the second degree. Read more…

Now running through August 2.

 

 

THE POWER OF DUFF at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

The inciting incident of The Power of Duff, Stephen Belber’s new play at the Geffen, occurs early. Local Rochester, N.Y. news anchor Charlie Duff (Josh Stamberg)—having lost his wife to divorce, his son to resentment, and now his long-estranged dad to death—closes a broadcast with a spontaneous, brief “rest-in-peace” prayer.Read more…

 Margaret Gray – LA Times

The inciting incident of The Power of Duff, Stephen Belber’s new play at the Geffen, occurs early. Local Rochester, N.Y. news anchor Charlie Duff (Josh Stamberg)—having lost his wife to divorce, his son to resentment, and now his long-estranged dad to death—closes a broadcast with a spontaneous, brief “rest-in-peace” prayer.Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Charlie Duff is disconnected. Despite being an evening-news anchor on a non-network station in Rochester, N.Y., he exists in solitude and obliviousness. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

The Power of Duff commingles the dangerous elements of faith and mass media. The Geffen Playhouse is now presenting playwright Stephen Belber’s comedy, the first production since its 2013 premiere at Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. Read more…

Now running through May 17.

SWITZERLAND at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini – Variety

Writers of crime fiction are rarely as brutal or twisted as the characters they create. But meet Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995), by general agreement a foul-mouthed misanthrope who spent decades detailing the psychotic narcissism lurking in humanity’s dark heart. Read more…

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

Crime novelist Patricia Highsmith was renowned for her intense psychological thrillers, particularly her series featuring the murderer Tom Ripley, but she was also known for her reclusive, abrasive and even hateful personality. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

If the unexamined life is not worth living, then for novelist Patricia Highsmith (Laura Linney, making her Los Angeles stage debut), detached dissector of amoral murder, the unimagined death may not be worth dying. This is suggested by Australian Joanna Murray-Smith’s new play Switzerland, an original commission by The Geffen Playhouse presented as a co-premiere with The Sydney Theatre Company. Read more…

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

There are some plays, like Small Engine Repair, in which the entertainment comes from truly not knowing what’s going to happen. If the plot is spoiled, the journey is much less fun. This causes something of a problem in telling you enough about the play for you to make an informed decision on whether you’ll enjoy it, while not telling you too much. Read more…

Now running through April 19.

THE NIGHT ALIVE at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

This Conor McPherson script fits squarely within his oeuvre—of poetic plays about souls seeking human connection in the midst of supernatural forces. However, unlike other Los Angeles productions of his works—including the Geffen Playhouse’s The Seafarer in 2009 and Geffen’s The Weir in 2000—this version lacks a feeling of something deeper and more mysterious going on. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive feels like a study in randomness. The action, such that there is, happens in a nondescript Dublin bed-sitting room piled with assorted junk, fast food rubbish and old clothes.

Read more…

Now running through March 15.

 

HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo courtesy Geffen Playhouse

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

Jerome Kern, no mean tunesmith, had a famous retort when asked about Irving Berlin’s place in American music. He has none, the Show Boat composer replied; “he is American music.” In a similar vein, one might say that Hershey Felder has no place among performers of musical biographical monologues. Read more...

David C. Nichols – LA Times

“I wrote for love. I wrote for my country. I wrote for you.”

Now running through December 21.