November 16, 2005 |
Something old and something blue (and grisly) were the surprise favorites Monday at the 2005 Ovation Awards, which honor excellence in Southern California theater. Taking home four awards each were Fullerton Civic Light Opera's original staging of the perennial blockbuster "Miss Saigon" and Lost Angels Theatre Company's small-theater production of "Killer Joe," Tracy Letts' brutal comedy.
March 10, 2008 |
Hamlet, never at a loss for high-wattage words, describes the players who come to the family castle as "the abstract and brief chroniclers of the time." Actors, the melancholy prince understood, hold up a mirror not just to nature but also to the age they live in. In our era, it is the solitary performer onstage who has presented us with the most vivid accounts of the underreported parts of our world.
February 5, 1996 |
A young man in an oversized shirt and baggy jeans, with an enviable headful of shoulder-length braids, steps up to the mike. Looking down toward the stage floor, he croons an urban street tale in a lilting Jamaican accent. The multiethnic crowd listens as the man peppers his sentences with street lingo. Eventually, a few enthusiasts get into the spirit, and the more the man uses a certain word, the more they whoop. "Go drown in a lake of Diet Coke," Everton Sylvester exhorts an unseen adversary.
April 15, 2012 |
NEW YORK - New Yorker drama critic John Lahr set off a social media firestorm in December with a blog comment that called for a moratorium on those "infernal all-black productions of Tennessee Williams plays unless we can have their equal in folly: all-white productions of August Wilson. " The theater community, as viewed from my portal on Facebook, found the comparison not just inept but inflammatory. Emily Mann, who happens to be directing the multiracial Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker that opens later this month at the Broadhurst Theatre, however, refused to take the bait when we spoke during a rehearsal break in March.
June 12, 2011 |
Regional theater wasn't a big turn-on for me when I was a theater student in the late 1980s, early 1990s. Off-Broadway was cool; off-off-Broadway was cooler. Those subscription-based behemoths scattered around the country like giant shopping malls sounded dorky to me. My view of the world beyond the five boroughs of New York City was admittedly cramped back then. I didn't realize that the theater that gave me my start, the Public Theater, was part of the very same nonprofit network my callow ignorance was prepared to completely write off. As the Public's literary intern, reading scripts all day in the complex of offices shared by head honcho Joseph Papp and his wife, literary director Gail Merrifield Papp, I had a lot to learn.