There’s Not Much Substance There For Hir.

By Patrick Hurley

There is a continuing theatrical narrative of patriarchal and hegemonic representation. A plethora of American stories that deal with the lower to middle class American family through a very traditional lens, highlighting struggle. For the last decade or so, the surge of identity politics, awareness of a need to be more inclusive and  over-correction of the aforementioned narrative, there has been a shift in the collective narrative from the white heteronormative expectancy of canonical works into one of many colors, shapes, sexual orientations, gender identities and cultural re-appropriations. Continue reading “There’s Not Much Substance There For Hir.”

Dear Evan Hansen Flashes its Way into History

By Patrick Hurley

Stories of teenage turmoil have been being told for centuries. The misunderstood youth trope nearly always serves a narrative wherein a moral dilemma serves as edification to an ignorant, older audience. Shakespeare killed his young star-crossed lovers. The adults in their lives had driven them to suicide because of their inability to reconcile differences with each other, thus preaching the dictum of embracing each other’s differences. Dear Evan Hansen, the Broadway phenomenon, which is currently on its first national tour, playing at the Ahmanson Theatre, is the most recent iteration of the misunderstood youth narrative, and this time, as is the custom with today’s YA fiction, it wants to feel like an inside job. Continue reading “Dear Evan Hansen Flashes its Way into History”

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is Dead on!

By Patrick Hurley

Free will and the sheer randomness of the universe as two men wander a theatrical wilderness in desperate search for understanding makes Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, playing now at A Noise Within, a thought-provoking modern masterpiece that is as deeply profound as it is hilarious. Continue reading “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is Dead on!”

Shakespeare’s Measure Proves All Too Timely

By Patrick Hurley

Method and Madness theatre Co. is presenting Measure for Measure, at the Mid-City Arts Center. The staging of this lesser produced Shakespeare Comedy as directed by Margaret Starbuck is in a cabaret-style.  The seating is meant to immerse the audience into the action as it happens around us. And while the staging of an episodic comedy comes with its own set of challenges, the use of audience interaction at least gives the somewhat problematic text a feel of novelty and relevance.  Continue reading “Shakespeare’s Measure Proves All Too Timely”

Belleville Bewilders

By Patrick Hurley

What is happening to theater? Why do so many theatrical experiences end in a shrug of bewilderment? The elements of dramatic tension, conflict and drama are better served on Netflix these days. Continue reading “Belleville Bewilders”

Hamlet in a Hurry

By Patrick Hurley

There is a sense of urgency to Bedlam’s four actor production of Hamlet, playing now in repertory with George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan at the Broad Stage. Continue reading “Hamlet in a Hurry”

This Water Ain’t Flowin’

By Patrick Hurley

In desperate need of human connection, a group of people navigate love, loss and addiction in the surprisingly dated and sluggish Water By The Spoonful, playing now at the Mark Taper Forum. Continue reading “This Water Ain’t Flowin’”

Elliot Lingers in the Past

By Patrick Hurley

A metaphor manifest through a time-bending series of monologues, makes Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, playing now at the Kirk Douglas, a lyrical but uneven patchwork. Continue reading “Elliot Lingers in the Past”

God is Sinfully Funny

By Patrick Hurley

The almighty has decided to return to the world to clear up a few misinterpretations that two thousand plus years of exegesis has gotten wrong. And since he’s decided to return to Los Angeles, he takes, as his corporeal host, irrepressible sitcom star Sean Hayes. And who doesn’t want to see Sean Hayes as God? Good thing you don’t have to imagine how fabulous that would be, it’s actually happening in Act of God, the wonderfully funny new play by David Javernaum, playing now at the Ahmanson Theatre. Continue reading “God is Sinfully Funny”

A Beautifully Made Bed

By Patrick Hurley

The journey of a relationship is told in a beautifully simplistic way in Sheila Callaghan’s new play Bed, presented by Echo Theater Company and playing now at the Atwater Village Theatre. Continue reading “A Beautifully Made Bed”

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