Game is Highly Charged and Relevant

By Patrick Hurley

Agitprop theatre is a highly politicized liberal leaning style that came out of Europe in the 1920s. The plays of Bertolt Brecht are still the most notable examples of this particular movement.  With his sudden shifts and lack of theatricality, Brecht wanted the audience to be witness to how theatre was made, to the artificiality of it so they could ignore everything but the message of the play. The Bitter Game, written and performed by Keith A. Wallace, playing for a limited engagement on the terrace of the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills is an exciting reminder that highly charged political pieces of art have the ability to stir and surprise while inciting you to some kind of political action. Continue reading “Game is Highly Charged and Relevant”

This Long Day is Worth the Journey

By Patrick Hurley

Eugene O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical play Long Day’s Journey into Night is a lumbering, loquacious and lyrical voyage into the dysfunction of family.  Continue reading “This Long Day is Worth the Journey”

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.

Continue reading “Basic But Beautiful Battlefield”

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 short plays, The Zoo Story, written in 1958, and Homelife, it’s prequel, written in 2004, deals with themes of isolation, dissatisfaction, and the essential loneliness of being human, a bittersweet and ultimately tragic journey, as seen through the eyes of an everyman who is being confronted by an unsatisfied wife and a volatile stranger, both of whom challenge his routine, thwart his sense of stasis, and alter his entire universe through Albee’s bleak, often hilarious, but always effective language. Continue reading “Edward Albee’s Zoo is Still a Great Story.”

An Entertaining 946 Lands at the Wallis

By Patrick Hurley

Brecht once asked, “In the dark times, will there also be singing?”. Kneehigh’s production of 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, asks this question, and then answers it with a somewhat befuddled yes.  There is singing, but the darkness is lightened in order to appeal to a broader audience, and the combination is less than effective. The play, which is playing now through March 5 at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the performing arts, has adapted children’s books into a sweet, somewhat endearing kind of Brechtian family musical experience, and that’s…a unique enough selling point, I’m sure.  Continue reading “An Entertaining 946 Lands at the Wallis”

Guys and Dolls is a Bet Worth Taking

The Wallis presents Guys and Dolls
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Nov 29: The Wallis presents “Guys and Dolls” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on November 29th, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

By Patrick Hurley

The acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Guys & Dolls gets a wondrously minimal, beautifully staged production at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, playing now through December 20.   Continue reading “Guys and Dolls is a Bet Worth Taking”

A Truly Theatrical Awakening

By Patrick Hurley
Deaf West Theatre and The Forest of Arden have reimagined and reinterpreted Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s 2007 Tony-Award winning musical Spring Awakening, playing now through June 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.  Continue reading “A Truly Theatrical Awakening”

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