Layout Image

Archive for Lynn Nottage

Troubies, Tanner, and a Top Tenth list

Matt Walker and Rick Batalla. Photo by Douglas Leadwell.

Matt Walker and Rick Batalla. Photo by Douglas Leadwell.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Plus ‘Annie,’ ‘Clyde’s,’ ‘Invincible,’ Sheldon Epps’ memoir.

Tis the season for Troubadour Theater’s annual holiday hoot. As usual, it’s a refreshing antidote to too many competing “Christmas Carol”s.

This year Troubies director Matt Walker takes aim at the 1988 shoot-’em-up film “Die Hard.” Its setting — a corporate holiday party in a Century City high-rise — is the excuse for the timing in December. The Troubie title is “Die Heart,” because the show includes melodies and riffs, if not the precise lyrics, of some of the songs from the rock group Heart. Read more…

CLYDE’S at Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography

Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography

Terry Morgan – ArtsBeat LA

According to a survey conducted by American Theater magazine, Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s is currently the most produced play in the U.S. It’s not surprising that Nottage’s work is being done; she’s received the Pulitzer Prize twice during her illustrious career. But it’s a little disappointing that this show seems to be her most popular. I think she’s a talented playwright and have enjoyed several of her other creations, but I found this play to be meretricious and phony – I didn’t believe a minute of it. The new production of Clyde’s at the Taper is professionally done and features a capable cast, but the play itself feels more like a safe CBS TV sitcom than anything resembling reality. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

A word to the wise: eat, preferably a sandwich, before seeing Clyde’s at the Mark Taper Forum. After the show ends, you’ll be hungry, not just for food like Montrellous (Kevin Kenerly), the executive chef of the titular diner, describes, but for an artistic experience that’s more substantial than what you you’ve just seen onstage. Read more…

Margaret Gray – Los Angeles Times

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” advises a favorite proverb of tough-love advocates. And in a universe with free will and infinite possibilities, it’s probably sound advice. Don’t sit around grousing about your situation; find one you like better.

But what if there’s nowhere else to go? What if that inferno of a kitchen is your whole world? Read more…

Tracey Paleo – BroadwayWorld

“Sometimes a hero is more than just a sandwich.”

Quite possibly, a perfect production. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage’s Tony Award-nominated CLYDE’S at the Mark Taper Forum is heartfelt, funny, and seriously delicious.

From writing to performances, direction to delivery, costuming, scenic, sound, and lighting design, opening night saw 100% on the Richter scale of live theater. Read more…

Through December 18

SWEAT at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat, now playing at the Mark Taper Forum, exposes the collapse of the American working class in the new millennium. When backed up against the wall and left with neither income nor hope, people sink into racism almost by reflex. The ramifications of humanity’s anger hangs over the play, yet Nottage hints at the power of forgiveness and redemption. Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

The Pulitzer Prize for drama is given, when it is given, for a piece of theater which reflects something elemental to understanding an aspect of American culture. Rarely has that seemed a more apt designation than the 2017 prize handed to playwright Lynn Nottage for “Sweat.”

Now running through October 7


Intimate Apparel, Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Jim Cox.


Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

A persuasive melodrama, Intimate Apparel is perhaps Lynn Nottage’s best known play, although she won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Ruined in 2009. Written and first staged at Center Stage in Baltimore almost ten years ago, Intimate Apparel has a pleasing contemporary relevance. Although Nottage’s drama is set in New York City in 1905, in the love letter romance there are parallels with the perils of contemporary online dating, as well as a slight nod to the pretext of Cyrano de Bergerac.   Read more…


Terry Morgan – LAist

There’s a lot to be said for the virtues of a compelling tale well told. It hearkens back to the initial reasons people get interested in narrative art in the first place: the seduction of story. While it’s great that some plays have important messages and others are triumphs of style and wit, it’s worthwhile to remember the considerable pleasures of investing in the trials and tribulations of a sympathetic character. Such is the appeal of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, receiving a solidly satisfying production right now at the Pasadena PlayhouseRead more…



By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont.


By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage.


Terry Morgan –

Lynn Nottage’s play, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, is more intriguing as a concept than a reality. It looks at the marginalization of African-American actors in the twentieth century, an undeniably interesting subject, but then stumbles in multiple ways. The fault, unfortunately, is in the writing, and the strong cast in the new production at the Geffen Playhouse isn’t able to overcome this problem.   Read more…


David C. Nichols – Backstage

In By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, playwright Lynn Nottage, a 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for Ruined, again turns her incisive eye on the objectification of African-American women. The West Coast premiere of her 2011 satire of racial identity in the Hollywood studio system is an often enjoyable fusion of wry comedy and gritty comment, at least until polemic overtakes the proceedings.  Read more…


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Lynn Nottage’s play By The Way, Meet Vera Stark is light years apart from her recently staged play (also at the Geffen) entitled Ruined, which was a potent portrayal of unspeakable tragedy in war-torn Congo. Yet the main focus of this play is once again the plight of black women, to which Nottage gives thoughtful examination coupled with wry commentary.   Ostensibly a comedy, this time her primary setting is the Hollywood studio system during the 1930s. We gain an unusual insight into the close friendship between two actors. One – Gloria (Amanda Detmer) – is white, privileged and desperate for the lead role in an upcoming Southern saga. The other – Vera (Sanaa Lathan) – is black and also desperate for a good movie role – any role. Unfortunately for a ‘colored girl,’ the only screen roles available are menial ones such as maids and mammies.   Read more…


Melinda Schupmann –

Early in Hollywood’s heyday, directors discovered that caricatured black actors played well in films, especially comedies, and the actors, desperate for work, acquiesced. Male stereotypes were born: wide-eyed, lazy, superstitious, subservient characters who kowtowed to their superiors (read that white). Among the actors were Willie Best, Mantan Moreland, and Stepin Fetchit, the most highly paid stock actors in the genre. Read more…