Layout Image

Archive for Kirk Douglas Theatre

BIG NIGHT at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Big Night is one of those sitcom-like stage comedies that tries super hard to tackle big themes but trips on the very glibness it purports to satirize. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Big Night is a play with aspirations bigger than it can deliver on. The new work by playwright Paul Rudnick wants to make grand statements and provoke gnarly debates about important social issues, but complex issues need to be explored carefully — they’re not best served by being glossed over to get to the next Big Idea, a trap Big Night falls into all too often.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

While it is clear that the recent tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the regularity of mass shootings have weighed heavily on comedy writer Paul Rudnick’s mind, his distillation of these heady conversations about gun violence and mental health come wrapped in too shiny of a package in the form of his play, Big Night.
Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

It’s not a new topic, but the superficiality of the film industry seems an easy and thus fairly constant pick as the foundation for an examination of modern ethics.
Read more…

 Now running through October 8

 

KING OF THE YEES at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Fans of the fourth wall — that imaginary wall separating performers from their audience — should steer clear of Lauren Yee’s new play King of the Yees, now playing at the Kirk Douglas in Culver City. But for more adventurous folks, those willing to throw caution (and conventional theatrical tradition) to the wind, the show proves a fun ride, full of twists and turns. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The many pleasures of King of the Yees, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody at the Mark Taper Forum, emerge not from playwright Lauren Yee’s rambling unfocused script but from the abundant talents of its versatile ensemble and the production’s colorful staging. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

There are intriguing themes considered in Lauren Yee’s comedy King of the Yees, currently running at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, particularly about the playwriting process and how artists begin with a preconceived notion only to broaden their scope as they discover the truth of these subjects.
Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There is a moment toward the end of a favorite documentary where people who grew up in the then-segregated African-American neighborhood around Central and Slauson in L.A. talked about the loss of that neighborhood with regret. Entrance into the mainstream was great, they say, but they lost those close-knit community ties. Read more…

Now running through August 6

GOOD GRIEF at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Ngozi Anyanwu stars in the first play she wrote herself, “Good Grief,” in its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. She plays Nkechi, a medical-school dropout who has returned to her childhood home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, after the accidental death of a friend plunges her into intense mourning that, family and friends suggest, is becoming self-indulgent. Read more…

Erin Conley – OnStage

“Tell me a story. Something that’s true, something that’s false, something that seems familiar. Something that sounds like it could be true.” This line really encapsulates the simultaneously realistic and dreamlike feeling of Good Grief, a world premiere play written by and starring Ngozi Anyanwu, now playing at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In the preface to her extraordinarily eloquent play Good Grief, Ngozi Anyanwu tells us that it takes place between 1992 and 2005 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania — and also “at the beginning of time … and the future.”  Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Our pasts cannot be changed. We can try to relive them, but in reality all we store in our memories is our reactions to them. These ideas thread through “Good Grief,” …… Read more…

Now running through March 26

 

ADLER & GIBB at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Something is strangely fascinating about “Adler & Gibb,” the latest from the strangely fascinating theatermaker Tim Crouch. Read more…

THE WHOLEHEARTED at the Kirk Douglas theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Wholehearted is an intense, ambitious work in need of finessing.

Performed by Suli Holum, it’s inspired by the real life account of world champion female boxer Christy Martin, an abused spouse who survived a murder attempt by her husband but never made a comeback after he shot and stabbed her and left her for dead. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

In Deborah Stein’s play “The Wholehearted,” world-premiering at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, a female prizefighter named Dee Crosby finds herself at a crossroads in life. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Arts In LA

Considering the gravity of the themes raised by this production—abuse, violence, homophobia, lifelong heartache—the audience should feel deeply immersed in the world of this woman boxer, feeling every literal and metaphoric punch that touched her. Instead, focus lands on the techniques the storytelling uses and not on the heart of The Wholehearted.

Now running through December 11

 

VICUÑA at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

 (Photo by Craig Schwartz)

(Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Jon Robin Baitz has always tended to treat his subject matter obliquely and to view it from a slightly skewed vantage point. But here, he’s tackled his subject head-on, becoming downright confrontational. And since his subject is Donald Trump, the result is both volatile and controversial. If Baitz was not already on Trump’s enemies list, he probably will be now. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Clothes make the man, and the play, in Jon Robin Baitz’s latest and timely “Vicuña.” It is largely about the run-up to this presidential election, which makes it tailor-made for this week and perhaps the next four years. Read more…

Now running through November 20

RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This high-spirited biopic of musical entrepreneur John Dolphin (Stu James) is part juke-box musical, part music history, and part a recreation of past performers and their hits.  For those of us old enough to remember the songs and events, it’s a trip down memory lane. Read more…

Now running through August 7

ENDGAME at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Moments before heading out to witness Alan Mandell’s staging of Endgame at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, just before sundown, I lit my first yahrtzeit candle to commemorate the first anniversary on the ancient lunar calendar of the death of my father. Leaving it to burn in my absence permitted me to approach Samuel Beckett’s 1957 classic with suitable sobriety about mortality.   Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

What does a director do for a play? The writer writes the words, designers make the show look a certain way and the actors flesh out the rest, right? Well, yes and no, of course. Read more…

Now running through May 22

 

 

WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Is “Women Laughing Alone With Salad” the first play inspired by an Internet meme? In 2011 the feminist website the Hairpin published stock photographs of slender models appearing to exult over forkfuls of mixed greens. We’d all seen these images in advertisements, but we’d never really looked at them, or wondered what, exactly, was so hilarious about salad. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Sheila Callaghan’s Women Laughing Alone With Salad isn’t quite the female-centric piece you expect it to be. As anticipated, it comments on women’s attitudes about their bodies, the pressures they face to conform to a certain image and their experience of womanhood within our culture in general. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

From Kate Crackernuts through Crumble (Lay me down, Justin Timberlake), Lascivious Something and Roadkill Confidential to her best work to date, the award-winning Everything You Touch, Sheila Callaghan has purveyed a consistently inventive theatrical vision, always identifiably hers, yet with a flair for ranging variations across a spectrum of anger to whimsy. Read more…

Now running through April 3

THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

 Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

…James Lecesne conjures up a community in his a guest production in a brief run at the Kirk Douglas after a successful New York run, winning this year’s United Solo Special Award. Read more…

Now running through January 31

STRAIGHT WHITE MEN at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

SWM_CraigSchwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

As a theater critic, I find myself writing perhaps disproportionally about plays with race, gender and sexuality issues — those subjects being responsible for a disproportionate amount of the most meaningful work being created — for which I am arguably ill-equipped to discuss, falling back on the presumptive faith that art is still art.

Read more…

 

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Three adult brothers gather at their Dad’s home for Christmas and goof around. When the youngest brother Drew (Frank Boyd) is overcome with emotion during their Christmas Eve takeout Chinese meal, the others struggle to understand what’s bothering him.

Read more…

 

Now running through December 20.

 

REAL WOMEN OF EAST LA ARE IN THE PALISADES AND PASADENA – Don Shirley, L.A. Observed

real-women-curves-pasadena

Don Shirley – LA Observed

Center Theatre Group, which continues to call itself “L.A.’s Theatre Company,” also continues to demonstrate virtually no interest in LA stories.

When CTG recently announced the next Mark Taper Forum season, after previously revealing new seasons for the coming year at CTG’s Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas theaters, I began counting. So, how many of the 14 CTG productions at these three venues are set in or near LA?

None.

Read more…