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Archive for Huffington Post



Photo: MAU


Hoyt Hilsman – Huffington Post

This performance piece by Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponifasio, which had its world premiere at the Radar Festival in Los Angeles this week, is a perplexing work. On the one hand, it has a powerful and truthful core – it was developed by a group of Maori women as a response to the role of women in their own country and around the world. It features mesmerizing songs and chants in the Maori language and touches on rituals that are moving and transcendent.
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Seminar, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by: Craig Schwartz


Seminar by Theresa Rebeck.


Hoyt Hilsman – The Huffington Post

Plays about writers and writing present major challenges for both audiences and playwrights. Because writing is such an internal process, full of grinding frustration and occasional exhilaration, it is a tough subject to portray on stage. Playwright and film/TV writer Theresa Rebeck makes a valiant but flawed assault on the subject in her play Seminar, which ran last year for six months on Broadway and recently opened at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.   Read more…


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Playwright and screenwriter for film and TV Theresa Rebeck has a brilliant ear for realistic and witty dialogue and – more importantly – an eagle eye for observing the dynamics of modern relationships. Her insight, combined with her satirical edge, makes for some highly entertaining comedies and dramedies. She’s not always successful; a recent production of Our House had issues with a wavering tone. But when you settle into your seat to experience one of her plays, there’s no doubt you will be entertained, provoked and hopefully amused. This newest production, Seminar, does all that and more. Read more…


Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

I’m not sure what happened to Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar at the Ahmanson. In New York, on Broadway, with Alan Rickman as the sadistic guru of a high-end workshop for aspiring scribes, there emerged the portrait of a world-weary, sexually precocious, washed-up, literary “leader” of waiting-to-be-abused acolytes. It was a view of a demonic world fueled by jealousy and bitterness containing a single moment of generosity, redemption and purpose — what Ian would have called “divine.”   Read more…



November, Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz.


November by David Mamet.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

David Mamet’s grubby and farcical political play November, now playing at the Mark Taper Forum Downtown, is a riot of foul language and racial epithets, all tumbling from the mouth of the President of the United States, as daffily portrayed by Ed Begley Jr.  Read more…


David C. Nichols – Backstage

It’s a week before Election Day, and U.S. President Charles Smith is going down the toilet. The polls have the incumbent dead in the water. The national head of Smith’s own party can’t come up with more than $4,000 for last-minute ad wars. A prominent Native American chief is calling in his tribe’s government-ordained claim on Nantucket. The representative from the National Association of Turkey and Turkey By-Products Manufacturers wants to get a jump on the annual Thanksgiving pardon. Even the constantly telephoning first lady knows they’re bidding the White House adieu. She wants to take their couch, but it was re-upholstered on the taxpayer’s dime, as trusted dog wagger Archer Brown informs his beleaguered boss. Read more…


Dany Margolies –

Many of the modern-day U.S. presidents have been great public speakers, most have had their moments of dignity, a few have done great acts to better the nation. But, in every case, haven’t you wondered what each is like in the privacy of the Oval Office? Read more…


Bob Verini – Variety

David Mamet’s fleet, foulmouthed November peels back the Oval Office wallpaper to reveal a shlubby, nonentity president (Ed Begley Jr.) who, facing disaster in next week’s reelection bid, will say or do anything for a chance to hang on. At the Mark Taper Forum, helmer Scott Zigler has found the properly cool, uninflected tone for making jokes land. Better still, for all Mamet’s exaggerations, we readily believe — hell, since the Nixon tapes, we actually know — our leaders really do talk and think this way about us. This is satire with a scorpion’s sting. Read more…


Hoyt Hilsman – Huffington Post

David Mamet’s political farce November, which ran for six months on Broadway in 2008, gets a crackling revival at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Of course, this is lightweight Mamet, stuffed with one-line throwaways and f-bombs. But, in this election season, with the presidential campaigns spending billions and the attack ads flooding the airwaves, even the most farfetched farce has a remarkable resonance. Read more…