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Archive for Geffen Playhouse – Page 2

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

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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

 

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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

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.