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Archive for David Melville

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…

STRANGE EVENTFUL HISTORY at the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex

Photo by Grettel Cortes

Photo by Grettel Cortes

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Few Americans have a detailed understanding of the history behind Shakespeare’s history plays. We may grasp the themes of his work – the struggle for power and/or the Bard’s reflections on what makes or breaks a king – but many of us are less familiar with the actual historical events, or the familial relationship between one warring monarch and the next. Read more…

Now running through November 22.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW – Independent Shakespeare Company in Griffith Park


Photo by Grettel Cortes

Steven  Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

That David Melville should bring La Dolce Vita into his family-friendly outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s knotty Italian comedy makes sense. Italian comedies of the 1960s are no less dodgy, regarding their sexual politics, than the amused brutality towards a defiant spouse found in Taming of the Shrew’s central story. Independent-minded, embittered Katherine (Melissa Chalsma) turns obedient only after being violently, jocularly wooed by her flippant suitor/husband Petruchio (Luis Galindo). This is every tyrant’s fantasy. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

How does — or should — a modern director deal with the egregious chauvinism in The Taming of the Shrew? While there are ways, you won’t uncover them in director David Melville‘s current staging, on display weekends in Griffith Park. <em>Read more…</em>

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sometimes I wish Shakespeare had written a different version of “The Taming of the Shrew” — one in which the shrew is “tamed” with, say, empathy and affection instead of torture.  Read more…


Now playing through August 29.

Red Barn, Independent Shakespeare Company in the ISC Studio


Red Barn by David Melville and Melissa Chalsma.


Dany Margolies –

Captivating storytelling hallmarks this world premiere musical in Los Angeles that centers on an 1827 crime in the English countryside. David Melville and Melissa Chalsma, better-known to summer-Shakespeare audiences as the makers of Independent Shakespeare Company’s outdoor seasons, wrote the book for Red Barn, in part because the story, told to Melville by his mother when he was a boy, continued to stay with him—an excellent recommendation for a tale. In it, the mole-catcher’s daughter, Maria, had an affair with the landowner’s son and heir, Matthew, and bore his daughter. Matthew would set wedding dates and then postpone, until his debauched lust pushed him into an even more irrevocable act. Read more…