January 16, 1992
With the end of President Bush's trip to Japan to seek progress on what Americans feel is unfair trade, I am reminded of the real issue by my disposal of my American car earlier this month. My story starts toward the end of the '30s when my brother was anxiously awaiting the arrival of his new Japanese bicycle (cost $8). When the beautifully painted new bicycle was delivered to our rural box out by the road, my brother was ecstatic. He got on the bike and began riding it up our dirt driveway.
September 15, 2002 |
Sometime in late spring, the mailings start to arrive: season announcements from area theaters, providing a range of shows for nearly every taste. Usually there's a familiar name on the roster--maybe a playwright or a production, an actor or a director. Often there's a world premiere or a local premiere. Occasionally, there's a classic. Always there are surprises. For some venues, the season has already started; for others, September marks the beginning of the year.
October 14, 2006 |
IN the aftermath of Katrina, the sight of an African American family ambushed by a natural disaster can't help carrying political baggage. But racial concerns hardly register in Des McAnuff's update of the unpredictable theatrical twister known as "The Wiz." Unpredictable might seem like a strange description for William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls' R&B version of "The Wizard of Oz," written expressly for an all-black cast.
November 30, 2011 |
— Take away the miracles, the bluesy guitar licks and all those antsy apostles, and what's "Jesus Christ Superstar" really about? Des McAnuff thinks he has the answer. It's a love triangle among Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, said the U.S.-Canadian director of the critically heralded, Broadway-bound production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical that's running through year's end at the La Jolla Playhouse. Actually, McAnuff said, he heard lyricist Rice deliver that revisionist take on the New Testament during a TV interview.
March 8, 1994 |
Michael Greif will become the second artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse since it reopened in 1983, replacing Des McAnuff. Greif, 34, currently a free-lance director, will assume the post next fall. He is known to local audiences for staging "What the Butler Saw" in the 1992 La Jolla season. He also co-directed "The Three Cuckolds" in 1986 and is scheduled to direct Neal Bell's new adaptation of Zola's "Therese Raquin," opening July 10.
April 11, 2007 |
With repeat off-Broadway successes but a less-proven record in commercial theater, stage director Christopher Ashley will become La Jolla Playhouse's artistic director in October, succeeding Des McAnuff, who turned the playhouse into a developmental workshop and launching pad for a series of Broadway hits. Announcing the 42-year-old New Yorker's appointment Tuesday, the playhouse's board chairman, Ralph Bryan, said a wide-ranging search had yielded "an accomplished theater artist ...
June 30, 2000 |
Movies are supposed to be about make-believe, but this was ridiculous: At one point in the filming of the new feature "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle," Des McAnuff, megaphone in hand like some silent-screen director from the 1920s, was trying to get 500 extras to follow the dizzying flight path--the swooping, diving, head-skimming trajectory--of a flying squirrel. A nonexistent flying squirrel. "There was nothing there, there were just a bunch of shouted instructions.
February 25, 2007 |
THIS was one case in which "almost" did count. Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse's outgoing artistic director, almost went to the Stratford Festival in his native Canada in 1983, but he headed south instead. He took up the reins of the playhouse and turned it into one of the country's most celebrated regional theaters, known for its taste for adventure and its propensity for birthing Broadway musicals. When Stratford beckoned a decade later, McAnuff was again tempted but again opted for La Jolla.
July 24, 2013 |
LA JOLLA -- The theater can do just about anything in my book, as long as it doesn't take place in a car. Driving always looks so ludicrous onstage, never more so than in the recent Pasadena Playhouse dud, "Sleepless in Seattle," in which a brief scene behind the wheel exhumed for me the buried memory of a cardboard cutout sedan shuffling across the stage of a school assembly. Such an aesthetically traumatic incident can send a theater critic back into therapy for an entire season.
March 20, 1994 |
In 1990, Joseph Papp named 31-year-old Michael Greif to be one of three resident directors at the New York Public Theatre. "Michael who?" was the response from the New York theater community. Greif's work at the Public got some mixed reviews, but he was taken seriously. Still, he's not exactly a big name. Yet.