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Archive for Jenny Lower

SEPARATE BEDS at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Separate Beds, a relationship comedy by that lacks the absurdity of a farce and the insight of a drama, may stir self-recognition among a few long coupled audience members. (If so, you should get yourself to a marriage counselor right away.) Read more…

Now running through June 19

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

LUNATICS AND ACTORS at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

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Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Lunatics & Actors, the latest world premiere by Jeremy Aluma’s clowning troupe Four Clowns, is less a fixed narrative than a series of funny, unpredictable, and menacing vignettes that excavate the distinction between creative performance and insanity.

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Four Clowns’ newest theatrical staging is Lunatics & Actors, written by David Bridel. Bridel’s one-act drama is posited as an anthropological and scientific experiment in progress, with some results and further experimentation being presented this night to a collection of interested persons (being us, the audience).  The play commences when an eccentric neurologist, Dr. Duchenne du Boulogne (Thaddeus Shafer) introduces himself to us and explains his work to date; being the science of electrophysiology. Read more...

Now running through May 28

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

A GAMBLER’S GUIDE TO DYING at the Ruskin Group Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

In just over an hour, Scottish playwright Gary McNair’s affectionate portrait of the rise and fall of an inveterate gambler manages to span 45 years, chart a grandson’s disillusionment and recovery of faith in his hero, mull the randomness of the universe, and probe the legacy of any human life. And at just over an hour, the Ruskin Group Theatre’s Los Angeles premiere of A Gambler’s Guide to Dying manages to feel a shade too long.    Read more…

Now running through April 29

THE CHRISTIANS at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

“I have a powerful urge to communicate with you, but I find the distance between us insurmountable.”

That refrain, repeated at various points throughout Lucas Hnath’s powerful, richly textured The Christians, could be the motto for any number of American ideological divides. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Religion can be a great separator. Though it can bind people together, it can also create an us-vs.-them mentality. In The Christians playwright Lucas Hnath lights a charge in his audience by confronting head-on the dangers of absolute faith, particularly when that belief excludes others viewpoints. Read more…

Now running through January 10.

A VERY DIE HARD CHRISTMAS at Theatre Unleashed

Photo by Alice Reyes

Photo by Alice Reyes

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Josh Carson’s lovingly crafted theatrical tribute to the action franchise starring Bruce Willis opens in darkness, until an offstage cappella chorus sounds the familiar crescendo and theme music that herald a 20th Century Fox movie. Read more…

Now running through December 19.

 

THE SHOPLIFTERS at the Victory Theatre

Photo by Tom Sullen

Photo by Tom Sullens

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

The Shoplifters, Morris Panych’s 2014 comedy having its West Coast premiere at the Victory Theatre in Burbank, tries to put a goofy spin on some not-so-funny topics: high-strung rookie cops, overzealous right-wing Christians and the San Andreas Fault–sized gap between the rich and poor. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

It is the time of Spain’s bloody Civil War (a small screen flashes graphic newsreel footage of the conflict before the play starts), and the pair must put on a “command,” performance for some of Franco’s officers and an unfortunate group of prisoners slated for the firing squad. Read more..

Now running through December 20.

’57 CHEVY at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Photo by Stephen Mihalek

Photo by Stephen Mihalek

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

Though the Latino Theater Company’s newest production never delves into contemporary politics, it’s hard to imagine a more direct or effective counter-narrative to the kind of xenophobic propaganda that so often dominates immigration debates. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Writer Cris Franco was a year old when his Mexican-born father brought his family from a small town in Mexico to South Central Los Angeles.  As a young boy Cris thrived there until the age of 10. Then his Dad, a skilled mechanic with a booming business, grew tired of commuting to and from the San Fernando Valley and relocated his wife and kids to the White cultural wasteland we know as Granada Hills.  Read more…

Now running through December 6.

FUNDING ARTS JOURNALISM: STAGE RAW’S SECOND SYMPOSIUM ON ARTS COVERAGE BY JENNY LOWER

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Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

On Friday, ESPN announced the dismantling of its popular sports and culture site Grantland, eliciting shock and disappointment on the web. The move comes a few weeks after ESPN cut 300 jobs, reportedly to make up lost cable subscription revenue. It is, unfortunately, only the latest sobering development to challenge the financial viability of arts coverage.

Read more…

UNCLE VANYA at the Antaeus Company

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Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

Boredom is contagious in Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, now receiving an energetic revival at the Antaeus Company. The locus of the ennui is Yelena (Linda Park), the gorgeous, restless young wife of Serebryakov (Lawrence Pressman), an elderly professor who has retired to his family’s provincial estate.    Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

As a child, I couldn’t understand why anybody would attend a production of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”; surely not even the most pretentious adult would choose to watch gloomy Russians with interchangeable names hurt each other’s feelings and complain about having wasted their lives for as many as three hours at a stretch.

Read more…

Now running through December 6.

GET. THAT. SNITCH. at Atwater Village Theatre

Pphoto: Courtesy Great Minds Creative Productions

Photo: Courtesy Great Minds Creative Productions

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Like most of the gangsters it features in its slick, style-obsessed production at the Atwater Village Theatre, Get. That. Snitch., the debut effort of Great Minds Creative Productions, talks a big game. But like the “very bad men” who one by one fall to their knees in a pool of their own gore, eliciting little more than a shrug from their colleagues, it proves surprisingly slight

Read more…

Now running through November 1.