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Jon Robin Baitz

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ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Hollywood spits out writers all the time. But it's not often that a writer gets the chance to spit back — and on the world's biggest stage, no less. Yet Jon Robin Baitz has precisely that opportunity in his lyrical new Broadway play "Other Desert Cities," which he hopes can achieve an improbable goal: fulfill the unmet ambition of an ABC series he conceived but was basically fired from four years ago. "On 'Brothers & Sisters,' I tried to write a show about an emerging matriarch and what America was like right now," he says of the politically minded family drama that ran for five seasons, the last four without its creator.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 30, 2013 | By Susan King
Linda Lavin is getting the hang of Twitter. She's been practicing on Thursday nights when she tweets during both East and West coast airings of NBC's sitcom "Sean Saves the World. " In the series Lavin plays Lorna, the loving, albeit pushy, mother of Sean Harrison (Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace"), a gay divorced father with a demanding job who is now full-time dad to his 14-year-old daughter (Samantha Isler). "I'm getting a lot of response," said the vivacious, petite actress, an age-defying 76, about her tweets.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 2010 | By Margaret Gray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Jon Robin Baitz came up with the title of his new play "Other Desert Cities" while driving east on Interstate 10. Originally it was to be called "Love and Mercy," but then Baitz visited Palm Springs. "There's the turn-off for Palm Springs and then you see a sign: And Other Desert Cities, he said. "And it goes out into this huge existential desert of America, surrounded by Joshua trees and windmills, and you just don't know what's out there … and it's terrifying. And wonderful.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
If like me you come from a mixed family, meaning there are conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats boisterously hashing out their differences at the holiday table, you'll have an easy time recognizing the Wyeth clan gathered to celebrate Christmas at the family's Palm Springs compound in Jon Robin Baitz's grippingly entertaining "Other Desert Cities. " The play, which opened Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum, invites us to eavesdrop on the hostilities that can't help breaking out even though the occasion is festive and everyone is supposed to be on his or her best behavior.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 9, 2007
I am smiling at the thought of seeing my late friend Wendy Wasserstein's play "Third" at the Geffen. Wendy's clear, gorgeous voice, her understanding of comedy within misery were singular, and she is missed. I'm also looking forward to Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's "Blind Date," presented by UCLA Live. Jones' work is vivid and tempestuous, and smart as a whip.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 1993 | RICHARD STAYTON, Richard Stayton is a playwright and free-lance journalist.
If President-elect Bill Clinton can call himself "the comeback kid," so might Jon Robin Baitz. After all, Baitz is back in the city of his birth, working on "The Substance of Fire," his acclaimed New York play about a tempestuous editor's battles to retain control of a publishing house.
MAGAZINE
December 1, 1991 | RICHARD STAYTON, Richard Stayton , former theater critic for the Herald Examiner, is a frequent contributor to this magazine.
Embrace failure!' " " 'Embrace failure'?" "You don't remember that lesson?" asks Jon Robin Baitz. "Vaguely." John Steppling sighs. "I don't remember what I meant by it, but that doesn't matter." "You said a writer must not be afraid to risk failure, and when you fail, embrace it. Learn from it." Steppling shrugs. "I guess I was talking a lot about failure in that part of my life--a recurring theme." Baitz laughs. Steppling grimly resumes studying the menu at this New York restaurant.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 1994 | Laurie Winer, Laurie Winer is The Times' theater critic
Neil Simon and his producer, Manny Azenberg, decide to open "London Suite" Off Broadway and confirm what everyone knows about the state of theater inside the most beautiful theaters in the world, the ones on Broadway where neither producers nor ticket-buyers can afford to be. Ignoring Broadway, however, the new season in New York is fairly rich in plays, even without Neil Simon.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2012 | By Margaret Gray
On your way to meet actress Robin Weigert for the first time, you may be forgiven for feeling some trepidation about who, exactly, will greet you at the door. Will it be Calamity Jane, the buckskin-wearing, dirt-encrusted, foul-tongued frontier woman Weigert portrayed on HBO's "Deadwood"? Or the winged, hovering Angel from the 2010 off-Broadway revival of "Angels in America"? The straight-talking lawyer Ally Lowen on "Sons of Anarchy"? Or perhaps you'll find yourself face-to-face with Brooke Wyeth, the fragile, leftist, Ivy League-educated writer Weigert plays in Jon Robin Baitz's "Other Desert Cities," which opens Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 1990 | BARBARA ISENBERG
Los Angeles-born Jon Robin Baitz, 28, has been someone to watch since his first play "Mizlansky-Zilinsky" was produced by L.A. Theatre Works in January, 1985. Next came "The Film Society," a strong play about the British presence in South Africa, which traveled from the Los Angeles Theatre Center to London, New York and San Francisco. Writing in London's Plays and Players magazine, Charles Marowitz called the play "as auspicious" a premiere as John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" or Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2012 | By Margaret Gray
On your way to meet actress Robin Weigert for the first time, you may be forgiven for feeling some trepidation about who, exactly, will greet you at the door. Will it be Calamity Jane, the buckskin-wearing, dirt-encrusted, foul-tongued frontier woman Weigert portrayed on HBO's "Deadwood"? Or the winged, hovering Angel from the 2010 off-Broadway revival of "Angels in America"? The straight-talking lawyer Ally Lowen on "Sons of Anarchy"? Or perhaps you'll find yourself face-to-face with Brooke Wyeth, the fragile, leftist, Ivy League-educated writer Weigert plays in Jon Robin Baitz's "Other Desert Cities," which opens Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 2012 | By David Ng
The Los Angeles premiere of "Other Desert Cities" by Jon Robin Baitz is to feature Jeannie Berlin, JoBeth Williams and Robin Weigert. The actors are joining the previously announced Justin Long and Robert Foxworth in the comedy about a wealthy family living in Palm Springs. "Other Desert Cities" -- which was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama -- is scheduled to open Dec. 9 at the Mark Taper Forum. The play premiered off-Broadway in 2011 and transferred to Broadway the same year with a cast that included Stockard Channing, Judith Light, Stacy Keach and Rachel Griffiths.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 2012 | By Chris Barton
Citing a "scheduling conflict," Center Theatre Group has announced that Joe Mantello will no longer direct its upcoming production of "Other Desert Cities," which was nominated for five Tony awards during its recent Broadway run under Mantello's direction. Written by Jon Robin Baitz, "Other Desert Cities" will now be directed by Robert Egan, who was producing director at the Taper for 20 seasons before his departure in 2003, and directed its New Work Festival. Egan is currently artistic director of the Ojai Playwrights Conference.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Hollywood spits out writers all the time. But it's not often that a writer gets the chance to spit back — and on the world's biggest stage, no less. Yet Jon Robin Baitz has precisely that opportunity in his lyrical new Broadway play "Other Desert Cities," which he hopes can achieve an improbable goal: fulfill the unmet ambition of an ABC series he conceived but was basically fired from four years ago. "On 'Brothers & Sisters,' I tried to write a show about an emerging matriarch and what America was like right now," he says of the politically minded family drama that ran for five seasons, the last four without its creator.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2011 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
The best showbiz careers are unpredictable. Longevity, one index of success, entails a flair for reinvention. Resting on one's laurels, as any longstanding "somebody" can tell you, is the quickest way of summoning the hook. Linda Lavin, currently making eccentric comic mischief in Jon Robin Baitz's "Other Desert Cities" at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, has gone from chorus girl to sitcom star to Tony-winning stage veteran in a wild professional ride that no fortune teller could have foretold.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 2010 | By Margaret Gray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Jon Robin Baitz came up with the title of his new play "Other Desert Cities" while driving east on Interstate 10. Originally it was to be called "Love and Mercy," but then Baitz visited Palm Springs. "There's the turn-off for Palm Springs and then you see a sign: And Other Desert Cities, he said. "And it goes out into this huge existential desert of America, surrounded by Joshua trees and windmills, and you just don't know what's out there … and it's terrifying. And wonderful.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 1987
"The Film Society," a play by Jon Robin Baitz will open next month in London, not on Broadway.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 1991 | ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Lighting a Fire: "Substance of Fire," a new play by 29-year-old Los Angeles playwright Jon Robin Baitz, opened Sunday at Playwrights' Horizons Off Broadway to mostly positive reviews, both for the author and the play, which focuses on a steely publisher who survived the Holocaust without learning anything about compassion.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2009
Regarding your piece on the NEA ["If I Ran the NEA," March 1], whenever I'm in Europe I'm always struck at how integral a part of everyday life public art is and how profoundly it affects people. Europeans are justifiably proud of their artistic heritage and recognize the value of nurturing the whole person. When all children are ever exposed to are the mall and McDonald's golden arches, you get adults with a cheap-plastic-and-snack-food mentality, quite different from children whose lives are immersed in great music and surrounded by Michelangelo and Monet.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 9, 2007
I am smiling at the thought of seeing my late friend Wendy Wasserstein's play "Third" at the Geffen. Wendy's clear, gorgeous voice, her understanding of comedy within misery were singular, and she is missed. I'm also looking forward to Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's "Blind Date," presented by UCLA Live. Jones' work is vivid and tempestuous, and smart as a whip.
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