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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Blueberry Toast is Deliciously Entertaining

By Patrick Hurley

The art of dysfunction is taken to dizzyingly extreme heights in Mary Laws new play Blueberry Toast, making its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company. (more…)

La Mirada’s Hunchback is quite a Spectacle

By Patrick Hurley

Victor Hugo’s classic novel featuring the most famous ostracized outcast of all time comes to grand and vibrant life in La Mirada’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Musical, with songs based on the 1996 animated Disney film, is slightly darker than it’s animated predecessor and follows a bit closer, at least in narrative, to the classic novel. (more…)

Vivid Prose Lights up Burnpile

By Patrick Hurley

Lucy Alibar’s new play Throw me on the Burnpile and Light me up, playing now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, is a hybrid theatre/creative non-fiction piece that evokes through cleverly constructed language, simple nostalgic imagery, and a gentle performance by the writer. (more…)

Barbecue Cooks up Some High Comedy

By Patrick Hurley

Robert O’Hara’s new play Barbecue, playing now at the Geffen Playhouse, want us to understand that things aren’t always what they seem. Not everything is black and white. Playing with dramatic irony, nimble dialogue and exaggerated stereotypes, this production is swift, surprising and often hilarious. (more…)

Van Hove’s Bridge Offers One Helluva View

By Patrick Hurley

Ivo Van Hove’s barebones production of Arthur Miller’s classic A View from the Bridge, playing now at the Ahmanson Theatre, is a reconceived, stripped down stunner, that is as exhilarating as it is powerful. (more…)

Ma Rainey Stuns at The Taper

By Patrick Hurley

August Wilson’s blues masterpiece Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom comes to vivid life in director Phylicia Rashad’s stunning production, playing now at the Mark Taper Forum. (more…)

Alive Is A Worthy Work In Progress

By Patrick Hurley

The Well Orchestrated Madness and Armenians of Colorado presented I Am Alive a new musical about Armenian Genocide survivors at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. (more…)

Charm Transcends its Limitations

By Patrick Hurley

Set in an LGBTQ center in Chicago, Charm, playing now at the Celebration theatre, takes on the hot-button issues of gender identity, sexuality, and race, and does so with a  sometimes light and highly comedic touch. Darleena Andrews (Lana Houston) arrives at the Center to volunteer her time to teach a trans-youth charm class. Darleena, who goes by Mama, is welcomed to the Center by D (Rebekah Walendzak), a person who doesn’t claim a gender, a concept very foreign to the sixty-something Mama, who has very old-fashioned ideals about what it means to identify as male or female. This sets up a clash that will undoubtedly occur between the two. (more…)

A Savagely Engaging Limbo

By Patrick Hurley

If Sartre’s idea of hell is other people, playwright John Patrick Shanley dives into the idea that limbo is a desperate need for other people. Savage in Limbo, presented by the newly formed Sixty-Six Theater Co. and playing now at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre in West Hollywood, is part naturalism, part surrealism, and part melodrama. And tackles the idea that it’s a helluva lot easier to change if you don’t have to do it alone. (more…)

Awake is too Prosaic to Sing

By Patrick Hurley

The immutable hope for the American Dream to endure is alive and well in Awake & Sing! The revival production, playing now at the Odyssey theatre. Written in 1935 by Clifford Odets, it follows three generations of a Jewish family living in a small Bronx apartment during the great depression. (more…)