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Archive for Myron Meisel

HOME/SICK at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Nick Benacerraf

Photo by Nick Benacerraf

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Most of American society tends to regard terrorism as a contemporary phenomenon, part of our unshakeable conviction in the uniqueness of our own experience. In fact, terrorism has been a constant in world politics since at least the French Revolution, inevitably perceived in terms ranging from ignoble to glorious. So The Assembly’s production of Home/Sick, a reimagining of the Weather Underground experience from 1969 to 1978, now running at the Odyssey Theatre, may play for different audiences as a cautionary tale, Read more…

Now running through July 3

SPEAKING IN TONGUES at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Strong

Photo by Suzanne Strong

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Australian Theatre Company, formed by local Aussie talent to showcase their national theater literature, returns to the Matrix after their successful 2014 debut, Holding the Man, with a double presentation (not in repertory) of two major opuses playing alternately through a four week run: Read more…

Now running through July 2

HEDDDA GABLER at the Antaeus Theatre Company

Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

If you’re someone who usually dismisses 19th-century theater classics as stuffy and stiff, you might want to reconsider and go see Hedda Gabler at Antaeus Theatre Company, where Jaimi Paige delivers a mesmerizing performance as the beautiful and manipulative title character. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Who is Hedda Gabler? Of course she’s the crux of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s 1891 play. But who is she, deep down? Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Heinrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler remains a titanic creation that still demarcates the theater’s passage into modernity. Its protagonist is the embodiment of contradiction, from the diamond-like clarity of her individuality to her ultimately inscrutable motives.    Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

When Ibsen’s thoroughly modern drama was first staged in Munich in 1891, the response from the critics was damning. They almost universally decried the play, declaring it was a presentation of a monster whereas the art of theater was supposed to elevate and refine. Read more…

Now running through July 17

THE HAIRY APE at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Photo by Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Class warfare has surged and ebbed in the U.S. public consciousness during harder or more prosperous times throughout the past century, but the distorted perversion that it is something waged by the poor upon privileged victims gets exposed as a disingenuous lie by Eugene O’Neill’s 1922 The Hairy Ape – an anguished cry on behalf the exploited and dismissed. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Throughout his long and productive career, playwright Eugene O’Neill pursued a course of experimentation, producing works both in a realistic style and in an expressionist mode that attempted to go beyond the limits of conventional theatre. The Hairy Ape in 1922 was the second of his attempts to transcend realism, following The Emperor Jones the previous year. Read more…

Now running through July 17

HONKY at Rogue Machine at the MET Theatre

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

For a considerable time now, it has become exceptionally difficult to shock an audience, a gambit that used to be an important arrow in the artist’s quiver. Nevertheless, in a society where in recent years the most dreaded circumstance has become to feel in any colorable way “awkward”, discomfiting the viewer may now be the next best thing.    Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Honky, directed by Gregg T. Daniel at the Rogue Machine Theatre, is one of those tricky comedies that elicits laughs from audience members even as they shift uncomfortably in their seats. Read more…

Now running through June 12

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

 

 

CASA VALENTINA at the Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Jim Cox Photography

Photo by Jim Cox Photography

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

I remember, back when young and impecunious, sneaking into the house during first intermission to catch the last two acts of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy, only to be so smitten that I returned the following day to buy a ticket to see the first act and stay again for the rest. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Fierstein’s play shines a light on hatred in unlikely places with Casa Valentina, given a sly interpretation David Lee, who adds extra bite to this 2014 dramedy. Read more…

Now running through April 17

DIRT at the Raven Playhouse

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

While Alejandro G. Iñárritu customarily and pretentiously inflated the purported weight of the soul in his 2003 movie 27 Grams, Bryony Lavery more tangibly measures the palpable bulk of a dead human body in her insightfully written Dirt, a West Coast premiere presented by Rogue Machine Theatre with SRS Production Wing. Read more…

Now running through April 10

 

THE UNDERSTUDY at Studio Stage

Photo  by Bryan Dechart

Photo by Bryan Dechart

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Coming a generation earlier than Sheila Callaghan, Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius, Seminar) mapped out a career course for many like her to model. Read more…

Now running through April 3

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

DREAM CATCHER at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In concept, Stephen Sachs’ Dream Catcher at the Fountain Theatre is a timely play. Directed by Cameron Watson, it details a clash between a young engineer involved in designing a solar-energy plant that would help combat global warming, and a poorly educated Native American woman who objects to the project because it violates the sacred lands of her people. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Contemporary headlines about global warming, a hot-button political controversy, merge with matters of social conscience and human history in the world premiere of Stephen Sachs’ challenging two-person drama. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Spending any extended time in a desert like our own Mojave inevitably becomes a transformative experience, gradually and continually altering one’s perceptions of our place in a natural environment. It’s eerie the way one’s sensibility adjusts to the desert’s variety and pulse as our awareness continues to fine-tune. Read more…

Now running through March 21

CANDIDE at the Long Beach Opera

Photo by Keith Ian Polakoff

Photo by Keith Ian Polakoff

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The concept framing Long Beach Opera’s Candide, of life as a first rehearsal, is apt. We’re given little stage direction and then blindly stumble through this world. So the title character—after discovering that life is tragic, cruel, and random—learns that the best one can do to survive is to find the simple joys in life. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

True to its theme, there will never be “the best of all possible” Candides. Leonard Bernstein’s almost perfectly imperfect musical theater piece straddles the realms of Broadway and the opera, not unlike Porgy and Bess (if “The Gershwins’ (sic)” tarted version hasn’t scotched its operatic identity for the foreseeable future). A signal failure in its original 1956 run, Candide returned in 1973 as a smash hit under Harold Prince’s tutelage and remained popular ever since. Read more…

Now running through January 30