That Awesome Theatre Blog!

Truths Speaks Volumes

 By Patrick Hurley Jeanne Sakata’s solo show Hold These Truths, playing now at the Pasadena Playhouse, recounts the remarkable journey of Gordon Hirabayashi (Ryun Yu) who was a young Japanese man at the start of World War II, and whose defiance and determination to oppose the United States Government’s orders to incarcerate Japanese-American citizens in … Continue reading

Basic But Beautiful Battlefield

By Patrick Hurley Legendary director Peter Brook returns to his legendary roots with Battlefield, playing now at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Based on his own adaptation of the Mahabharata, a piece he co-adapted three decades ago with Marie-Hélène Estienne, this seventy-minute piece is a triumph of minimalist theatre.

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

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