March 12, 1999 |
On a summer day in 1995, David (Matt Letscher) receives a message from an old high school friend, Gordon (Jonathan Scarfe). Handed the queen of spades, David imagines within the card the haunted face of a woman he's seen only once. Quitting his dead-end job as a newspaper proofreader, David returns to his hometown of Vancouver to meet with two old friends in this sleek production of Robert William Sherwood's psychological thriller "Absolution," at the Court Theatre.
January 9, 1997 |
The desire to fly seems to be born in the soul of mankind. That doesn't mean in a 747, but all by yourself. Icarus tried it in Greek mythology, and Da Vinci tried on a Renaissance hilltop. Most of us do it in dreams, and it has become a useful metaphor for playwrights and screenwriters. Lee Blessing, perhaps best known for his Broadway success "A Walk in the Woods," uses the image throughout his play "Eleemosynary."
October 5, 1996 |
Play titles often contain metaphors, but they should not be unintended. After seeing "A Quarrel of Sparrows," the James Duff play now at the Court Theatre in West Hollywood, one can only think of his characters, who, despite constant and agitated twittering, remain lightweight. It's not that big things don't happen. Paul (David Kaufman), a playwright on his way to the Russian Tea Room to sign A Contract With Hollywood, runs into God.
June 25, 1994 |
You don't have to know much about classical music to relish "Concert Pianist," a clever, humorous and touching one-man, multi-character piece written and acted by Barry Neikrug at the Court Theatre in Los Angeles. Neikrug's story of growing up in a family of musicians and desperately searching for a "genius teacher" who can help him make up for lost years of not practicing unfolds without obscurities and extends its meanings generally.
June 10, 1994 |
Father-son conflict is such old business in the American theater that the prospect of yet another play about it may inspire yawns. But Joe Cacaci has come up with a fresh angle in "Old Business" at the Court Theatre. Furthermore, Cacaci's got Harold Gould and Alan Rosenberg in his play. These masterful actors make you feel as if you, too, are a member of their Fleischer family. Be careful, though, if you're thinking of this show as a Father's Day present. It's funny but bitter.
May 13, 1994 |
"Sacrificial Dance" at the Court Theatre is a temper tantrum thinly disguised as a drama, twisting that paradigm of rational inquiry--the courtroom drama--into a highly stylized and increasingly ludicrous tirade against "The System." Playwright Donna McGee's exploration of society's inadequate response to child sexual abuse centers on a teen-age girl (Lori Horowitz) on trial for shooting her tyrannical father (Bill McKinney).
January 28, 1994 |
A superstitious film producer believes it's bad luck to face a bed north. But hustlers make strange bedfellows, especially if a casual assignation leads to commitment. When the producer invites the man who came to dinner into his bedroom, more than a bed gets turned around at the Court Theatre. David Knapp's "A Bed Facing North" is an elegantly crafted tale of doomed love between a conservative older man and a promiscuous youth.
December 2, 1993
Rick Najera's solo play, "The Pain of the Macho," will have performances Friday and Saturday at the Court Theatre in Hollywood, then go on hiatus during the theater's renovation. It will reopen in January.
July 31, 1992 |
The only thing more deceiving about Lee Rosenthal's show than its title--"Crushed"--is its subtitle: "Tales From the twentynothing Generation." At Theatre/Theater, Rosenthal hardly comes off as a 26-year-old guy crushed and flattened by the inflating pressures of contemporary life. And if he's at all representative of his fellow baby busters, it's hardly a generation enamored with nothingness. Rosenthal's is an act of struggle with representation.
April 26, 1991 |
Like John Iacovelli's minimalist set seemingly borne into the clouds, Laura Shamas' elegant, effervescent biographical play, "Lady-Like," at the Court Theatre in West Hollywood, is shot through with the artist's desire to transport the mind. Shamas' material is so willfully and intelligently selective that it's charming to notice what she left out of her story. What she has left in is more than charming: It is as solid yet fragile as cut crystal.