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April 24, 1990 | JAN HERMAN
When "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" first appeared in 1967, it came as a shock. Here was a play in which a mother and father make sick jokes about their handicapped 10-year-old daughter. Father, impersonating a German doctor: You vont a vord for her? You can say she iss a spastic vis a damaged cerebral cortex, multiplegic, epileptic. . . . Mother: That is a long word. Father: Which iss vy I prefer wegetable. One might have expected that sort of black comedy from Lenny Bruce.
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January 27, 1995 | MARK CHALON SMITH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Joel Cotter was 10 the first time he saw "Death of a Salesman." As a boy, he sat cross-legged in front of his family's TV in Boston while Lee J. Cobb rumbled through his interpretation of Arthur Miller's most famous hero, the defeated Willy Loman. "It was over my head," he admits. "Still, I knew on an emotional level that something profound was happening. I didn't get all the complexities, but had a feeling that they were there."
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 1995 | MARK CHALON SMITH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Joel Cotter was 10 the first time he saw "Death of a Salesman." As a boy, he sat cross-legged in front of his family's TV in Boston while Lee J. Cobb rumbled through his interpretation of Arthur Miller's most famous hero, the defeated Willy Loman. "It was over my head," he admits. "Still, I knew on an emotional level that something profound was happening. I didn't get all the complexities, but had a feeling that they were there."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 1990 | JAN HERMAN
When "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" first appeared in 1967, it came as a shock. Here was a play in which a mother and father make sick jokes about their handicapped 10-year-old daughter. Father, impersonating a German doctor: You vont a vord for her? You can say she iss a spastic vis a damaged cerebral cortex, multiplegic, epileptic. . . . Mother: That is a long word. Father: Which iss vy I prefer wegetable. One might have expected that sort of black comedy from Lenny Bruce.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 1997 | T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Laura Shamas' "Portrait of a Nude" at the Alternative Repertory Theatre is not a play in the strict sense. It's more of a docu-sketch about the effect of Francisco Goya's "Naked Maja" on liberals and conservatives over the past couple of hundred years. Finally, it's a piece about censorship and those who would tell us what we'll look at and listen to.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1995 | M. E. WARREN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Alternative Repertory Theatre is offering a new Christmas production this year in place of "A Christmas Memory," its six-year staple by Truman Capote. "Kringle's Window," by Mark Medoff, is a feel-good fantasy about the existence of Santa Claus that probably will please the little ones. But if you're a grown-up looking for a touching tale to spark the spirit of the season, this will leave you cold as an unlit Yule log.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 1992 | M. E. WARREN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Even the most hardened of Scrooges would have to be softened by "A Christmas Memory," Truman Capote's wrenchingly personal account of his boyhood bond with his colorful Aunt Sook. As staged by the Alternative Repertory Theatre, it's a simple, moving, whimsical touchstone for the heart of the holidays. Director Joel T. Cotter and his actors, Lee Clark and Barabara Sorenson, bring great warmth to the production, a staged reading of Capote's short story complete with scripts in hand.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 1993 | JAN HERMAN
Unless you are Gore Vidal, for whom Truman Capote could do no right, there's a good chance you'll like the Alternative Repertory Theatre's fifth annual holiday presentation of "A Christmas Memory." I've seen Capote's nostalgic reminiscence about a Southern-style Yuletide season presented twice before by this Santa Ana storefront troupe, and both times I was charmed by its evocation of the touching friendship between a young boy and his dotty old cousin.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 1994 | T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In a season that overflows with Dickens, Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" is a simple, uncomplicated holiday treasure. Just being recognized as a Christmas classic, it hasn't yet worn the shine off the holly. The production that Alternative Repertory Theatre offers as its Christmas card, directed by Joel T. Cotter, for the most part retains the simplicity in Capote's touching remembrance.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1989 | JAN HERMAN
Most theater in Orange County, like most theater anywhere, is based on the art of illusion. The players make the audience believe, to a greater or lesser degree, that what it is seeing on stage is somehow real. This holds true across the entire theatrical spectrum, from William Shakespeare to Neil Simon. Such an illusional art almost always requires the technical support of scene designers and costume-makers, lighting engineers and sound technicians.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 1996 | T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Once you accept the fact that Luis Santiero's "Our Lady of the Tortilla," at Alternative Repertory Theatre, is little more than a sitcom episode, you can relax and enjoy its little jokes. That's not to say there isn't more in the play than jokes. Santiero has some comments on the foolishness of empty dreams, the benefit of belief and, most prominently, the value--or lack of value--in maintaining too powerful a hold on one's heritage. But he doesn't belabor his comments.
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