September 19, 2013 |
The late Hollywood talent agent Sue Mengers will rise again in Los Angeles when Bette Midler reprises her recent Broadway starring role in "I'll Eat You Last" at the Geffen Playhouse. The production is scheduled to run for three weeks at the Geffen with an opening set for Dec. 5. "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers," written by the prolific John Logan, is a solo show in which Midler incarnates the colorful Hollywood agent as she holds court in her Beverly Hills home. Mengers, who died in 2011, was an agent to some of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s, including Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw and Faye Dunaway. The play opened at the Booth Theatre in New York in late April and ran for two months.
June 27, 2008 |
Victorian hoaxer Louis de Rougemont captivated England with his supposed true adventures as a castaway marooned for decades in the South Pacific. A lethal giant octopus, leisurely rides on sea turtles, buried treasure and a stint as an aborigine tribe's war chief figured into the mix. The chronicle, avidly consumed by his public in magazine serial form, led to fame and fortune for De Rougemont -- and a hard and lasting fall from grace at the hands of skeptics.
November 11, 1988 |
When Debbie was growing up, her parents told her bedtime stories. Not the usual kind--these were graphic, shattering memories of the Holocaust. Now her parents are retiring to spend their golden years in Florida. But Debbie, obese and schizophrenic, is on the warpath. "Debbie is a living, breathing stage creation," said playwright Donald Margulies, whose dark comedy, "The Model Apartment," opens today at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
September 17, 1991 |
Unlike many playwrights, Donald Margulies never was an actor. He once took an acting course, and he has done readings for friends as a lark. But the only time he ever appeared in a play, he recalls, was two years ago at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York. "I went up on my lines horrendously," he says. Ironically, he'd written them. "My co-star was a 9-year-old girl," Margulies, 37, recounted the other day. "She stopped the show, saying, 'That's not your line.'
April 27, 2008 |
THESE days, it's getting trickier to be a playwright. Changing tastes and shrinking budgets have prompted theaters to cut back on, or at least rethink, the ways in which they cultivate new material. Writers programs have been closed, safe bets favored over creative risks, and alternatives -- both bold and bleak -- sought to replace the familiar development cycle of commission, reading, workshop and (if you're lucky) production. One exception is South Coast Repertory. Thanks to financial foresight and a committed board, founders Martin Benson and David Emmes have maintained a tradition of investing in playwrights as well as plays.
September 23, 2007 |
More than a quarter century ago, the critic Robert Hughes called the public's response to Modern art "the shock of the new. " The role of art was to stimulate ideas, provoke thought, challenge ways of seeing. Today, we are experiencing a different, troubling phenomenon: a popular culture that embraces the comfort of the familiar. Americans discovered the hard way that we don't like surprises. Now that fear and uncertainty have taken permanent residence, people are unnerved by ambiguity in all aspects of life.
June 6, 2007 |
Donald Margulies' fans can catch two new plays next season by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of "Dinner With Friends." The Geffen Playhouse and South Coast Repertory will premiere new shows they've commissioned from Margulies during 2007-08. In addition, Annette Bening and Christine Lahti will take starring roles in two other plays at the Geffen.
April 17, 1999 |
In a play like Donald Margulies' "Sight Unseen," it's easy for viewers and critics to focus on sociopolitical statements and grand themes, rather than the emotions of a situation. The themes are there in Alternative Repertory Theatre's current production in Santa Ana. But they aren't really what the play is about. The drama concerns an artist on the verge of being burned out, lost in the quicksand of success.
October 6, 2000 |
Two couples in their 40s, prosperous, two kids apiece, many, many shared vacations, friends from way back. One couple splits. The other doesn't. This is not particularly exotic narrative territory. But among America's commercially successful playwrights who also happen to be good, Donald Margulies has proven one of the finest. "Dinner With Friends" won the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year and now makes its Los Angeles debut at the Geffen Playhouse.
May 21, 1999 |
The Geffen Playhouse's "Collected Stories" offers the sort of pleasure you don't find often enough at the theater--any theater. It's a modest but thoroughly engrossing work by Donald Margulies, one of America's sharpest playwrights. It's "juicy" in an old-fashioned sense, a story of a literary friendship made and sorely tested, and in director Gilbert Cates' production, there's juice aplenty.