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Big Night = Big Disappointment

By Patrick Hurley Sophomoric pedantry rises to dizzying new heights in Paul Rudnick’s slog-fest Big Night, which opened last night at The Kirk Douglas Theatre. It is an unfledged, didactic glob of far-left liberal moralizing—fortified with overwrought, yet undeveloped dialogue, spewed by posturing archetypes, so staggeringly far-fetched it’s almost impressive, and then the whole thing … Continue reading

Formula Fuels A Funny Thing

By Patrick Hurley A funny thing happens when derivative contrivance fuels a play’s engine; namely, compulsory catharsis drawn from formulaic content, wherein a distrait attempt to entwine pathos with dark humor simply can’t rise above its own prosaicisms because of the Rom-Com insistence of containing the whole thing as a neatly packaged, sugary-sweet trifle.

Indecision Reigns In Iphigenia

By Patrick Hurley Iphigenia in Aulis, presented by the Getty Museum and Court Theatre, is playing now at the Getty Villa. The play is the last extant tragedy by Ancient Greek playwright Euripides, and was part of a tetralogy that also included Bacchae.

Bridesmaids Parody is Pure Silliness

By Patrick Hurley “The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of” series has been raucously entertaining audiences at Rockwell Table and Stage for the last two years. Their most recent parody is of the 2011 film Bridesmaids. And while the show doesn’t illuminate anything that movie didn’t, it does goes a step further and adds in musical numbers, … Continue reading

Curious Incident is a Theatrical Wonder

By Patrick Hurley Theatricality and complex narrative have rarely aligned as staggeringly brilliant as they do in the highly sensorial production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on the novel by Mark Haddon. playing now at the Ahmanson Theatre.

This Rhinoceros Shows its Age

By Patrick Hurley Rhinoceros, the classic absurdist play by Eugene Ionesco, playing now at the Pacific Resident Theatre, is a milestone in post war avant-garde theater, wherein we watch a group of inhabitants in a small provincial French town all slowly turn into Rhinoceros’s. Save one, the protagonist of the play, Bèrenger (Keith Stevenson), fights … Continue reading

Chaotic King Is A Crowd-Pleaser

By Patrick Hurley A woman in search of her father serves as a metaphor for a writer in search of her story. King of the Yees, a new play by Lauren Yee, playing now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre is part true story, part fantasy and part meta-theatrical experience.

Strong Performances Make Certain Impression for Uncertain Heisenberg

By Patrick Hurley The uncertainty of our relationships is placed into tight focus in Simon Stephens’ charming and evocative Heisenberg, playing now at the Mark Taper Forum.

Love Might Be Written in the Stars in Compelling Constellations

By Patrick Hurley

The contrast between the fractured theoretical and the temporal hinges upon the smallest of variables, and is reliant on the infinite number of possibilities that determine the course of one’s life.  How then can we justify the experiences we have as being the only possible actualities in a universe filled with alternatives? (more…)

The Pride Gets Stuck in The Past

By Patrick Hurley There are moments in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play The Pride, playing now through July 9, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, where the intentions of the playwright seem to peek through the swathes of heavy-handedness, and the clutter of exposition, shedding a little light on the ever changing views … Continue reading

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