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Archive for South Coast Repertory

MOBY DICK at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

If one has the audacity to take on the leviathan of American literature, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, one had best be able to do justice to the source material and also have something new to bring to it. Thankfully, the Lookingglass Theatre Company’s production (which mysteriously removes the hyphen from the title) fulfills these requirements Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Has there ever been a work of classic literature, something that was on the reading list at your high school or college? Something you meant to read, maybe even started to read, but gave up soon into it? Read more…

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

Founded in 1988 in Chicago by a group of Northwestern graduates, the Lookingglass Theatre is known for its innovative ensemble theater productions. In its adaptation of Herman Melville’s sprawling novel, Moby Dick, the company has tackled the monumental challenge of translating an epic work into a couple of hours of stage time.  Read more…

Now running through February 19

THE ROOMMATE at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

A worldly 50-something lesbian from the Bronx moves in with a naïve 50-something woman in Iowa and changes her roommate’s life. That’s the gist of Jen Silverman’s stilted one-act, whose main appeal is its focus on the lives of older women, usually given short shrift in American film and theater.   Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

There are just a few two-handers in theatre that feature two women of a certain age talking and bonding over the similarities and/or differences in their lives. Read more…

Now running through January 22

DESTINY OF DESIRE at South Coast Repertory (and other plays)

 

Photo by ​Debora Robinson/SCR.

Photo by ​Debora Robinson/SCR.

Don Shirley – LA Observed

The telenovela genre, that hotbed of steamy romance, becomes embroiled in a fervent embrace with the theater in “Destiny of Desire,” Karen Zacarias’ wildly funny play at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Read more…

Now running through November 20

ALL THE WAY at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatre based on the recreation of history can be frustrating. On the one hand, one never knows how much the facts have been altered to make it properly dramatic and entertaining, while on the other, there are often so many characters that one never really gets to know any of them. That said, Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way manages to avoid most of these pitfalls. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

There should be a special award for when one actor wins the Tony, but then another actor still finds a way to kill the role — to act the heck out of it and to make it new. I’d nominate Hugo Armstrong, who stars as Lyndon Baines Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s Tony-winning “All the Way” at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In a tableau framed by a Greek colonnade with the US seal prominently placed centerstage, Robert Schenkkan’s political rouser revisits the moments following John Kennedy’s assassination as Lyndon Johnson (Hugo Armstrong) seizes the reins of power and steps into the presidency. Atop the columns on a raised stage stands a cast of characters who will both ally themselves with Johnson and oppose him, and that is the stuff of his ardent pursuit of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read more…



Now running through October 2

RED at South Coast Repertory

Debora Robinson / South Coast Repertory

Debora Robinson / South Coast Repertory

Margaret Gray – LA Times

“I am not your rabbi, I am not your father, I am not your shrink, I am not your friend, I am not your teacher,” the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko warns his new assistant in the first scene of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning bio-drama “Red,” now at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. “I am your employer.” Read more…

Now running through February 21

THE MADWOMAN IN THE VOLVO at South Coast Repertory

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The charm of Sandra Tsing Loh — or of any successful comedian and satirist for that matter — lies in the ability to transform commonplace yet intensely private experiences into performance material that is entertaining, enlightening and, for some viewers perhaps, cathartic. Read more…

Now running through January 24.

ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – South Coast Repertory at Segerstrom Stage

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

 Influenced by the popular commedia dell’arte of the 16th century, Carlo Goldoni’s 18th century archetypal The Servant of Two Masters makes a perfect model for Richard Bean’s British update of a wily servant’s service to two bosses in 1963 Brighton. Populated by some of the stock characters of the form, it is two and a half hours of pratfalls, comic timing, and improbable situations designed for maximum laughs.  Read more

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Photo courtesy of mellopix.comNow running through October 11.

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Richard Bean’s version of Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters updates the action to the Swinging Sixties in England, complete with big hair and a skiffle band. As with most commedia, the humor is broad and the characters are archetypes, but it’s undeniably funny.   Read more…

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.

MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The things that are good about Rajiv Joseph’s new play Mr. Wolf outweigh the things that are misguided, enough that one hopes the author will use this world premiere to tighten the play’s focus and deepen its impact. The current production at South Coast Repertory benefits from an excellent cast and a veteran director in David Emmes, but other elements of the show, such as the set design, are somewhat lacking. Read more…

Now running through May 3.

OF GOOD STOCK at South Coast Repertory

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Photo by Debora Robinson

Margaret Gray – LA Times

South Coast Repertory’s generosity to new playwrights has a fairy godmother-like charm. The company commissioned a play from the relatively unknown writer Melissa Ross and has mounted a lavish, gorgeous world premiere production of it. Read more…

Now running through April 26.

TOKYO FISH STORY at South Coast Repertory

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Photo by Ben Horak

Margaret Gray – LA Times

There are plenty of fish in the sea, we console ourselves when loved ones escape our nets. But in Kimber Lee’s new play, “tokyo fish story,” having its world premiere at South Coast Repertory, the truth of this old proverb is in doubt. Read more…

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

Admirers of the 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” should settle in comfortably for Kimber Lee’s tokyo fish story. Read more…

Now running through March 29.

TRISTAN AND YSEULT at South Coast Repertory

 

Following their astonishing­ Brief Encounter and The Wild Bride, the beguiling players from Kneehigh return to St. Ann’s Warehouse with this glorious adaptation of Tristan & Yseult. Based on an epic ancient tale from Cornwall, Tristan & Yseult revels i

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

One element that’s always appealed to me in the Tristan and Yseult story [this  version, anyway] has to do with how King Mark – a betrayed ruler and cuckolded husband -  declines to violently avenge himself on the erring lovers.  Although the opportunity is there, he forbears from plunging a dagger into their sleeping bodies……Read more…

Now running through February 22.