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Archive for Kirk Douglas Theatre

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

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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…

THE OBJECT LESSON at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

 Object Lesson, created and enacted by Geoff Sobelle, is a determinedly odd amalgam of performance art and clowning, an extended existential joke deploying self-aware empty gestures, obsessive materialism and well-established gags consciously stranded in the context of a litter-strewn vacuum. And yes, a desire to be loved. It’s as if a contemporary Emmett Kelly did an evening-long solo show, capped by the bottomless box trick. Read more…

Now running through October 4.

GIRLFRIEND at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

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Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Todd Almond’s libretto for the musical Girlfriend is as honest as a John Hughes gay musical would have been—if John Hughes had written a gay musical. Using Matthew Sweet’s 1990s Alternative Rock album of the same name as it’s framework, this story captures the anticipation and titillation that sets in when one’s crush starts to pay attention and reciprocate that affection.Read more…

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Matthew Sweet’s 1991 rock album, “Girlfriend,” was parlayed into an intimate two-character musical, which originally bowed at Berkeley Rep in 2010. Revised for its current L.A. premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, this utterly disarming teenage gay love story effectively evokes an earlier era…… Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s Alliance, Nebraska in 1993, and two teenage boys, Will (Ryder Bach) and Mike (Curt Hanson), face troubling questions about their sexual identity.  Read more…

Now running through August 9.
 

HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Talk amongst yourselves,” says a wild-eyed Lester Bangs as he hammers away at his typewriter, gesturing us into his unkempt apartment, Black Sabbath blaring from the turntable. “And nobody touch my records.”Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

The lesson to be learned here is not how to be a rock critic but how to be a human being, experiencing instead of describing, taking action instead of observing. When the theatermakers are teaching this lesson, this piece is at its finest. When the theater-makers are trying to make theater, even they must still learn a few things. Read more…

Jon Magaril – Curtain Up

I raise my lighter way up for Erik Jensen’s kick-ass performance as Lester Bangs, trumpeted by many as the best rock critic of all time. His reviews and essays in the ’70s heyday of Rolling Stone, Creem, the Village Voice were fiercely opinionated (sometimes ecstatic, often vituperative), deeply personal, and enduringly influential. Following his example of popularizing the terms “heavy metal” and “punk rock,” I hereby dub the new play co-written by director Jessica Blank and Jensen a rock-u-docu-solo-show. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

….Bangs, with his uninhibited prose and rabidly personal take on pop music, remains the patron saint of rock critics, martyred at 33 by demons not unlike those of many musicians he idolized and in turn rejected for their inevitable failings. Read more…

 

 

Now running through June 28.