May 21, 2013 |
There are many ways of being a political playwright. Christopher Shinn's approach, centered on characters rather than on ideologies, is one that will never go out of style. Illuminating large-scale public concerns through the microscopic examination of individual behavior, Shinn finds political meaning in psychological patterns. In plays such as "Four" and "Where Do We Live" (to my mind, the most resonant theatrical response to 9/11), he has shown how the conduct of our nation is reflected in our most intimate relationships.
May 30, 2013
"Dying City," Christopher Shinn's psychologically acute drama now having its Los Angeles premiere courtesy of Rogue Machine, offers an intriguing tussle between Kelly, a psychotherapist, and the memory of her husband, Craig, who was killed in the Iraq War under circumstances that leave open the possibility of suicide. This past is brought back in all its anguish and bitterness by the unexpected visit of Peter, Craig's identical twin. The acting is as meticulously observed as it is emotionally tense.
December 31, 2006 |
BARBARA AND LAWRENCE FLEISCHMAN THEATER, GETTY VILLA Venue A visually stunning production of Euripides' "Hippolytos" inaugurated this magnificent outdoor 450-seat theater last season. Set in the hills of Malibu, the theater has an air of enchantment that could rival anything in the mythological world.
May 16, 2013 |
You might have a friend like Dan in Allen Barton's new play, “Years to the Day” at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Dan (Michael Yavnieli) is loud, abrasive and politically incorrect. He'll butcher and barbecue - and probably overcook - your sacred cows. He's been like that since college, but there's something about him you can't resist. Dan is clearly the playwright's love interest in this often diverting but thin world premiere, which dramatizes a conversation between longtime friends.
January 10, 2005 |
The most charismatic character in Christopher Shinn's new play "On the Mountain" is dead. Jason Carlyle, a Kurt Cobain-like rock star, killed himself a few years back. His former girlfriend Sarah has tried to say good riddance. She remembers Jason as an addict and a fraud. She's now clean and sober. Another part of Sarah, however, can't let him go. She keeps photos from the old days within easy access.
May 13, 2013 |
Sometimes a performance is so finely adept that you forget the actor and see only the character. The dancer is inseparable from the dance, to borrow Yeats' timeless formulation. Glynn Turman's portrayal of Bynum in the stunning Mark Taper Forum revival of "Joe Turner's Come and Gone” is such a performance. Playing an older boardinghouse resident with clairvoyant vision and a penchant for old country magic, Turman makes this eccentric character seem so natural that it's as if he wandered into the theater from an open door backstage.