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Archive for Shakespeare

Barding in the park, after dark

Kalean Ung and Sam Breen in Macbeth. Photo by Grettel Cortes.

Kalean Ung and Sam Breen in Macbeth. Photo by Grettel Cortes.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

‘Macbeth’ in Griffith Park, ‘Comedy’ in Irvine. CTG’s month of emulating Netflix. ‘Beach People,’ ‘Lavender Men,’ ‘Valley Song.’ Jason Alexander charts his Abby road.

Have you savored Shakespeare in the park this summer? This coming week might be the best possible moment for this annual ritual, as well as one of the last such opportunities. A daytime heat wave is expected this week, so you might not even need that extra wrap that you take, for example, to Topanga in June.

I’m recommending two productions far from Topanga — suiting different moods and, perhaps, with different ticket availability. If you want something wicked and wild, go to a dell in Griffith Park for Independent Shakespeare Company’s “Macbeth.” If you want something whimsical and witty, try the errrantly spelled “Comedy of Errrorrs” at New Swan Shakespeare Festival in Irvine. Read more…

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at Open Fist Theatre Company

Monazia Smith. Photo by Frank Ishman

Monazia Smith. Photo by Frank Ishman

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, originating in the 1500s and one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved and produced plays, has been adapted in countless ways over the past few centuries, including as films, musicals, ballets, operas, an animated Disney short, and even a disco-oriented off-Broadway takeoff called The Donkey Show, while having an impact felt in everything from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Dead Poets Society, and Woody Allen (A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy). Following all that, it is given a fresh spin by the Open Fist Theatre Company, changing the setting from Athens, Greece, to Athens, Georgia, in the antebellum South to mixed results. Leaving the original text intact, the comedy takes place on a plantation and focuses on both the wealthy family living there as well as their slaves, who are tasked with putting on a show for the gentry’s amusement. Hilarity ensues with magic, fairies, and shapeshifting. Read more…

Now through August 13

HAMLET at Antaeus Theatre Company

Photo by Frank Ishman

Photo by Frank Ishman

Terry Morgan – Arts Beat LA

At this point, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a theatrical peak so frequently attempted that you can see, as on Everest, the frozen bodies of thespians who chanced and failed the perilous ascent on the way. And yet this dissuades absolutely no one to take on the challenge, seemingly again like Everest in the words of mountaineer George Mallory, “Because it’s there.” Thankfully in the new production of Hamlet by the Antaeus Theatre Company the summit is impressively attained, due to Ramón de Ocampo’s brilliant lead performance and Elizabeth Swain’s assured direction. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

It is a badass, nail-biting event akin to a Celebrity Death Match of iambic pentameter gone wild as Ramón de Ocampo takes the stage in the lead role as the Prince of Denmark.  Never – have you seen Antaeus Theatre Company quite like this. Read more…

Now through June 20

LEAR at the Theatricum Botanicum

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Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

 Shakespeare’s King Lear has its potencies. Simply described, it follows the downfall of a once-powerful leader and the dysfunction of his family. Pondering his retirement, the monarch asks his three daughters to avow their love. The elder two, Goneril and Regan, lavish empty words on papa. The youngest, Cordelia, refuses to play that game, believing her actions of loyalty and respect will trump her sisters’ verbiage. Read more…

Now running through September 28.

Macbeth, The Antaeus Company

 

Macbeth by Shakespeare.

 

Dany Margolies – ArtsinLA

Are we, as an educated audience, expected to know exactly when Macbeth “turns”— when the pathologically evil ambition overtakes his soul? Or must the change in him be left open to interpretation? The answer may determine which cast to see in this double-cast production of Shakespeare’s “Scottish play,” illuminatingly directed by Jessica Kubzansky.  Read more…

 

Terry Morgan – LAist

Macbeth has never been my favorite Shakespeare play. I don’t have anything against it, but it’s never spoken to me in the way King Lear or Hamlet has, doesn’t have quite the flights of poetical brilliance. That being said, when the combined talents of the Antaeus Company take on a particular work, it’s always worthy of one’s time. The new production of Macbeth is expertly done, highlighted by Jessica Kubzansky’s deft direction and superb performances from its two lead actors.  Read more…

 

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

In Shakespeare’s macabre and unsettling tragedy, a ruthlessly ambitious Scottish general seizes the throne with the help of his scheming wife and guidance from a trio of witches. He then commits further murders to maintain a tenuous grip on his newly won power.  Adopting an unusual approach, director Jessica Kubzansky opens her production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, now running at the Antaeus classical theater Company, with a scene not scripted by The Bard.  Read more…

 

David C. Nichols – Back Stage

The dagger strokes of Macbeth at the Antaeus Company convey vaulting ambition but variable horror. Director Jessica Kubzansky’s intelligent, evocative take on Shakespeare’s daunting tragedy of treason and the supernatural is sensible to feeling as well as to sight, up to a point.  Read more…