March 12, 1998
* "Harriet's Return"--Debbie Allen, left, stars as Civil War-era heroine Harriet Tubman at the Geffen Playhouse through Saturday. * "A Soldier's Play"--Charles Fuller's 1940s-era military courtroom drama exploring complexities of pride, hate and tragedy as a black attorney investigates a black sergeant's murder on an army base in the South. Opens Friday at the Coleman & Smith Artistic Co.
October 15, 1987 |
Director Arturo Corso is sitting on a step at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, watching a dress rehearsal of Dario Fo's satirical romp, "Elisabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman" (opening Friday). He studies the actors, nods, smiles, whispers to his assistant, laughs at the appropriate intervals. It's all very normal, very typical--that is, except for the fact that Corso doesn't speak or understand a word of English.
November 24, 1997 |
Italian playwright Dario Fo's recent Nobel Prize for literature seems strikingly ironic. Outrageously iconoclastic, Fo's commedia-influenced farces are pitched so far outside the mainstream they defy official encomiums. "Accidental Death of an Anarchist," Fo's early '70s satire, now at the Evidence Room, depicts the chaos that arises when one gloriously demented Fool (Gregory Sporleder), impersonating a muckraking judge, leads a bunch of corrupt cops on a series of merry tangents.
September 3, 1998 |
When the Nobel Prize committee awarded Italian theater artist Dario Fo the 1997 award in literature, it called him a man who "emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden." Anyone curious about how Fo does this should go see his 1974 class-struggle comedy, "We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!," at the Open Fist Theatre Company.
April 4, 2009 |
In the anarchic realm of master provocateur Dario Fo, satire and slapstick are never mutually exclusive, as witnessed by "The Devil With Boobs." In its West Coast premiere at Open Fist Theatre Company, this 1997 allegory weds commedia-inflected hysteria to savage observation, with exceptional results. Written by Fo for his wife, Franca Rame, the title, as translated by Jon Laskin, indicates the narrative thrust, barely. Set during the Renaissance, "Devil" concerns how a master devil tasks his dim apprentice to possess an honest jurist and turn him to debauchery.
October 19, 1987 |
In the commedia dell 'arte tradition, Dario Fo doesn't so much write plays as jot down sailing orders for them, to be filled out in front of an audience that shares the body language of the players. The joke isn't just the words, but the half-wink and the jerk of the thumb. Fo's scripts tend to lose their joy when performed by American actors, and "Elisabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman" at the Los Angeles Theatre Center is no exception, even with an Italian director, Arturo Corso.