That Awesome Theatre Blog!

Jersey Boys Is All Jukebox

By Patrick Hurley The story of the rise of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys, playing now at the Ahmanson Theatre, is a high-energy juke box musical that relies entirely on spectacle and song recognition and falls completely short of compelling narrative.

Dry Land Proves Unsettling

By Patrick Hurley Dry Land, playing now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre as part of Center Theatre Groups Block Party, is a theatrical and literary novelty, it’s a coming-of-age story that was written by a playwright who was only twenty-one years old when she wrote it, she had not had time nor space from her … Continue reading

History a Laughing Matter in Archduke

By Patrick Hurley A darkly funny twist on history, Rajiv Joseph’s new play Archduke, making it’s world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum, is a slightly uneven but entirely entertaining endeavor into historical fiction.

An Encounter Worth Hearing

By Patrick Hurley

Drawn from the book The Encounter: Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu, about Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic Photographer, who, in 1969 became lost in a remote part of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil. Director/performer Simon McBurney has put together a solo show, straight from a successful Broadway run,  playing now at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. (more…)

Wall Doesn’t Build to anything Revelatory

By Patrick Hurley Agitprop, in its contemporary state, is a highly politicized work of art, a work that is meant to provoke and incite an audience to action of some kind—Brecht is perhaps the most notable agitprop artist of the last hundred years.  Robert Schenkkan’s new play Building The Wall, playing now at the Fountain Theatre, … Continue reading

Raunchy Absinthe Is Intoxicating

By Patrick Hurley Doubling as a sort of cracked out version of Cirque Du Soleil, Absinthe, playing now on the event deck at L.A. Live, is equal parts acrobatic and acerbic.

Orange Proves Bittersweet

By Patrick Hurley An exploration of self, as told through the eyes of an unexpected narrator, Orange, playing now at South Coast Repertory, is a theatrically infused mix of bildungsroman and Young Adult fiction. Following a sort of hero’s journey, with a less than traditional hero, it sticks to an identifiable catharsis down a theatrically familiar road … Continue reading

Edward Albee’s Zoo is Still a Great Story.

By Patrick Hurley Deaf West Theatre is presenting Edward Albee’s at Home at the Zoo at the Wallis Annenberg, now through March 26, and the amalgamation of Deaf West’s duality in casting combined with Albee’s masterful focus on language creates a disparity with more returns than diminishes. The play, which consists of two of Albee’s … Continue reading

Fun Home Is Pure Storytelling Gold

By Patrick Hurley Dancing on the line between nostalgia and tragedy, Fun Home, playing now at the Ahmanson Theatre, is a testament to the raw power of storytelling. It is a sturdily illustrated expression of the intrinsically universal language of theatrical narrative, executed through a blend of lofty production design and redolent lyricism that will … Continue reading

Pasadena Celebrates Tennessee with Reading Series

By Patrick Hurley The Pasadena Playhouse will be hosting Four By Tenn,  staged readings of Tennessee Williams plays in conjunction with the Playhouse’s development production of God Looked Away, a play about Williams at the end of his career and starring Al Pacino and Judith Light. 

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