November 2, 2008 |
"The Joy Luck Club" is filled with ghosts. Amy Tan's four Chinese-born matriarchs call on ancient spirits for help and repress memories of brutality and heartache. Their daughters are haunted by their mothers' high expectations, their own insecurities, and (being good Asian Americans) model-minority angst. In the end, nearly everyone finds some semblance of luck, if not joy, thanks to encounters with the "other" side -- what Tan has described as the elusive worlds of Fate and Faith.
March 4, 2010
A lesser-known comedy by Euripides, "Helen," turns the myth of Helen of Troy on its head. In this version, the face that launched a thousand ships never ran off to Troy with Paris but lived faithfully in Egypt while an impostor took her place. The play reading is directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. 8 p.m. Friday; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Free ($15 parking before 5 p.m.; museum ticket required). (310) 440-7300. www.getty.edu.
May 25, 2001 |
Linguists have long known that it's not just clothes that make the man, but his speech patterns as well. Beverly Olevin's slightly contrived "Soundings," at the Odyssey Theatre, is a thoughtful rumination about how stuttering has influenced the lives of two men, Jason (Jonathan Brent) and Paul (Ed F. Martin), who meet at a Santa Barbara institute that helps young people achieve and retain normal levels of fluent speech.
July 16, 1999 |
A middle-aged man (Michael Kearns) discovers a short note meant for his lover, setting off complicated mechanisms of dominance in this edgy revival of Robert Harders' "Bill and Eddie"' at Playwrights' Arena. The shrill whistle of a boiling teakettle cuts through the stifling, still air of this venue. It's both an alarm and evidence of the complicated, suffocating relationship that ties Eddie (Kearns) and Bill (Fred Russell) together in rituals of physical and emotional abuse.
June 11, 1996 |
You've heard of Theater of Cruelty, but have you seen any Theater of Suffering, a genre not unique to, but popular in, Los Angeles? If you are interested, check out "Black Dawn," a new play by Jean Colonomos at the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood. "Black Dawn" tells the story of five Cambodian women who survive horrible atrocities at the hands of the Khmer Rouge only to develop a psychosomatic or functional blindness.
November 27, 1998 |
Edwin Sanchez opts for the unexpected in "Clean," his visceral family drama at the Celebration Theatre. Despite Jon Lawrence Rivera's taut staging, however, the path of novelty descends inexorably into melodrama in Sanchez's promising but minor effort.