October 8, 1992 |
Come clean, we're told. The major candidates for President toss that phrase at their opponents. Thousands of therapists and confessors counsel coming clean, on the assumption that the truth will set us free. Those troubled Tyrones, in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night," know better. During the course of a day at the summer house in 1912, the members of this family repeatedly throw each other into the wash, psychologically speaking. But some stains are too deep.
April 12, 1990 |
There's something about Southern women that makes playwrights go goofy. It's as if a spell--a cloud of unreason--settles over them as they create characters so heavy with quirks they can seem more cartoon than human. Beth Hansen, with her eccentric nervous Nellie having hissy fits all through her works, has to be the prototype, but she's not nearly the only one. Take Ellen Byron and Jack Heifner, for instance.
July 2, 1989 |
Murray Schisgal is pacing, his hands jammed in the pockets of his jeans. When he pivots you can read the words "Dunlop Tires" on the back of his shirt. If not for his white beard and the overgrown monk's fringe of gray hair on his shiny, bald head, he might pass for an eager kid in a schoolyard.
June 27, 1995 |
Three men in tuxedos. Two women in white gowns and sequins. A pianist. And drapes. Drapes in many colors. Billowing drapes. Drapes everywhere. Enough drapes to make Christo jealous. That's the cozy set-up at the Gem Theatre for "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow," a Musical Theatre Co. presentation of Stephen Sondheim songs, which opens with an appeal to the theater gods (the audience) to take pity on the players. "You who sit up there in stern judgment/Smile on us," they sing.
July 14, 1992 |
At first blush, GroveShakespeare's decision to stage "The Fantasticks" at the Gem Theatre this summer seemed unadventurous, little more than an easy way to put people in the seats. Management had promised "a fun-filled musical," and what held more promise than reviving one of the world's most frequently produced shows with its built-in reputation as a critic-proof crowd-pleaser?
January 18, 1985 |
Neil Simon is as close to a sure-fire hit as community theater gets, and the Gem Theatre in Garden Grove adds a richly observed version of Simon's "California Suite" to what is shaping up as a sure-fire season. Simon isn't simple to stage; comedy never is. The trick is to make it look simple, not forced, and director Cherie L. Brown succeeds handily in three of the play's four segments.