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Archive for Pacific Resident Theatre

ALBEE/PINTER at Pacific Resident Theatre

Anthony Foux and Jason Downs. Photo by Myrna Gawryn.

Anthony Foux and Jason Downs. Photo by Myrna Gawryn.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1960, Edward Albee and Harold Pinter were young playwrights whose work challenged theatrical convention and the expectations of critics and audiences. Both Albee’s brief two-hander, Fam and Yam, and Pinter’s lengthier one-act, The Dumb Waiter, received English language premieres that year — Albee’s at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway and Pinter’s at the Hampstead Theatre Club in London.

Different in style and substance, each nonetheless harbors the influence of Samuel Beckett and an absurdist perspective which posits the human experience as, at best, uneasy, uncertain and unsettling. Read more…

Through February 5

ANDY WARHOL’S TOMATO at Pacific Resident Theatre

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Back in the ’60s, Andy Warhol was quoted as saying, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” — but his own fame clearly outpaced that prediction. He’s been the subject of films and books, and now playwright Vince Melocchi has crafted a play about the artist before he was celebrated, titled Andy Warhol’s Tomato. The world premiere production at Pacific Resident Theatre is a well-acted and entertaining addition to Warhol lore.
Read more…

Now running through September 22

SMART LOVE at Pacific Resident Theatre

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the hallowed maxims of writing teachers everywhere is: “Show, don’t tell.” Simply put, the actual experience of a thing is much more effective than simply hearing about it. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule (Swimming to Cambodia comes to mind), but it’s a solid one to follow overall. Brian Letscher, writer of Smart Love, now running at Pacific Resident Theatre, could have benefitted from this advice.
Read more…

Now running through February 24

RHINOCEROS at Pacific Resident Theatre

Photo by Vitor Martins

Photo by Vitor Martins

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

How can people be rhinoceroses? Ask that in the literal and figurative senses and you have Eugene Ionesco’s 1959 landmark play, “Rhinoceros.” Read more…

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

It’s difficult to imagine a timelier and more fitting play for the “Make America Great Again,” era than Eugène Ionesco’s 1959 absurdist satire. The playwright wrote it in response to the alarming ascent of fascism during the first half of the twentieth century. Despite the passage of time, it is arguably more relevant now than when it was first written. Read more…

Now running through

A TOUCH OF THE POET at Pacific Resident Theatre


Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Dramatically, antiheroes are more interesting to write about and portray than standard heroes because they combine the most compelling aspects of both hero and villain. Eugene O’Neill knew this well, and populated his plays with a parade of sympathetic ne’er-do-wells, from Jamie in Long Day’s Journey into Night to the entire cast of The Iceman Cometh. Read more…

Now running through December 18


Photo by Vitor Martins

Photo by Vitor Martins

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Eccentricities of a Nightingale was Tennessee Williams’ 1951 rewrite of his earlier Summer and Smoke. It was supposedly his preferred version of the story, and one can see why. The main character of Alma is more clearly delineated, and the drama springs more from her choices than from fate. The current production at Pacific Resident Theater benefits from Dana Jackson’s sensitive direction and a knockout lead performance. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

With “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” Tennessee Williams’ 1951 revision of his earlier play “Summer and Smoke,” Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice ends its 30th anniversary season on a quietly remarkable note. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Tennessee Williams’ play, “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” has been said to be about good and evil, illusion and reality.    Read more…

Now running through August 14

THE DOCK BRIEF at Pacific Resident Theatre

Photo by Vitor Martins

Photo by Vitor Martins

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

This amusing one-act by the late playwright John Mortimer is a genial, slight piece and touchingly old fashioned.  You just don’t really see this sort of play anymore:  an intimate two-hander involving a pair of fellows who sort of banter and bluster with each other. Read more…

Now running through November 15.



Photo by Vitor Martins

Photo by Vitor Martins

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

“There’s a danger with one-man shows. What if you don’t like the performer? You’re screwed.” I’m paraphrasing, but this is a sentiment that Orson Bean articulates early into his own one-man show. The ironic implications just hang in the air, unanswered. Before and after this line, however, Bean’s efforts indicate his intent to entertain rather than leave us with regrets. Read more…

Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

When you go to Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, one of the great pleasures is seeing performers Orson Bean and his wife Alley Mills hanging out in the lobby either manning the concession stand or assisting in helping folks to their seats (that is, if they aren’t actually in the show).  Read more…

Now running through November 29.


From Monday Nights at Rogue Machine to Awake and Sing! to Jennie Webb

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I Like Mondays


What is nicer than a Monday night show? If I were a theater producer I would always slip a Monday night performance into the schedule, just on principle.


For one thing, all the critics will come, as they really won’t have anything else to do that night, except perhaps tweaking their prose before the Tuesday deadline and maybe watching Antiques Roadshow. You may even get some of the ol’ parasites (read: awards voters) from the Ovations, LADCC, and Stage Raw, given the lack of distracting other attractions.  Read more…




Photo by Ashley Boxler

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Actor-playwright  is one lucky fellow, having a top-flight ensemble to write comedies for; and having a director, Guillermo Cienfuegos, with such a sympathetic comprehension of the strands threaded through his humor; and, to top it all, being able to act in a pivotal role in his own plays. Stevenson is Pacific Resident Theatre’s answer to Rogue Machine’s actor-playwright John Pollono, whose Small Engine Repair transferred to New York earlier this year. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Fried Meat Ridge Rd. is a pretty wacky name for a street, but actually it’s a real thoroughfare that runs just outside Keyser, West Virginia, where playwright Keith Stevenson is from. (The place comes up on Trulia with photographs of a manicured landscape, and a listing of over a million bucks.) Read more…

Now running through September 7.

HENRY V at Pacific Resident Theatre


Photo by Erika Boxler

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The Pacific Resident Theatre’s new production of Shakespeare’s “Henry V,” directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos, is about as spare and unvarnished as the theater gets. The set consists of a few folding chairs in the blackest, boxiest of conceivable black-box stages.

There’s one prop: a tinny-looking crown. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

Forget the spectacle of the movie versions of Henry V by Laurence Olivier or Kenneth Branagh (each making their film directing debuts). This is a Shakespeare of the imagination, consistent with a text originally conceived for a less than lavish playhouse, the Bard of resourceful invention and indefatigable conceit. Eleven actors, seven in multiple roles, commence with a paperback and loose sides at a reading table that is quickly cast aside as the Chorus (Alex Fernandez) exuberantly conjures up in our fancy the scale of great nations inexorably impelled to conflict upon a sanguinary battlefield. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – ArtsInLA

Shakespeare spread the story of King Henry V over four plays. We first hear of him, but don’t see him, in Richard II, as Prince Hal, the wastrel prodigal son of King Henry IV. In Henry IV, Part 1, we see Prince Hal’s adventures among the London lowlife and his friendship with the fat rogue Sir John Falstaff. Hal saves the life of King Henry in the war against the rebel lords, kills the warrior Hotspur in single combat, and begins to earn the respect of the king and restore his tainted reputation.
Read more…
Now running through May 11.

Nora, Pacific Resident Theatre

Photo Source: Vitor Martins.


Nora by Ingmar Bergman.


David C. Nichols – Backstage

It’s seldom that a revision of a classic carries the riveting punch of Nora, now getting its overdue Los Angeles debut at Pacific Resident Theatre. This stark black-box take on Ingmar Bergman’s searing 1981 reduction of Henrik Ibsen’s immortal A Doll’s House grabs its viewers from the outset and never lets go. Read more…