November 18, 1994 |
You can hear the blizzard howling just outside the walls of Tim Farmer's superbly realized set of a New York radio station. Inside, however, we're snug, warm and completely entertained as an impressive corps of troopers belts, croons and harmonizes its way through the big-band standards of the day--Dec. 21, 1942, to be exact. In Walton Jones' "The 1940's Radio Hour," the cast of a popular, long-running radio show gathers for its weekly live broadcast.
December 24, 2000 |
Here we are, closing out a year dominated by a rather dispiriting series of political vaudeville turns. Get the hook. We have many L.A. and Southern California theater stories in the wings, spoiling for an encore. Among them: * The arrival of two Chicago Steppenwolf Theatre alums, Randall Arney and Stephen Eich, at the Geffen Playhouse. Question for 2001: Can the duo, in concert with producing director Gilbert Cates, take the Geffen to the next level?
July 25, 2002 |
Examining the bill of fare at this week's Ojai Playwrights Conference, regular theatergoers may find the words "Mark Taper Forum" creeping into their brains. The 5-year-old Ojai organization has a new artistic director, Robert Egan, who also is producing director of the Taper, L.A.'s flagship theater. Four of the five playwrights whose new works will be publicly read this weekend in Ojai have also been represented by Taper productions, public workshops or readings.
January 5, 2005 |
It's quite a collection. More than 70 years of popular song -- from a little ditty called "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo," coauthored by the big man himself, Walt Disney, to the works of such present-day maestros as Alan Menken, Elton John, Phil Collins, Randy Newman and more.
September 29, 1998 |
"The Cider House Rules," the epic, two-part stage adaptation of John Irving's 1985 novel, ruled the 1998 Theatre LA Ovation Awards nominees, which were announced Monday. It took 13 nominations, including best play at a larger theater.
May 15, 1995 |
The earth moved Friday night at the Zellerbach Playhouse. And nothing happened. The cataclysm was supposed to be the central event, both real and symbolic, in an ambitious new opus called "I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky." Call it a work in progress. Call it a work in regress. Call it a mess. Whatever you do, don't call it an opera. Ignore the simple fact that it stubbornly tells its story in music. Don't even call it a pop opera--though that's exactly what it happens to be.
September 8, 1999 |
When George Bernard Shaw wrote his second play, "The Philanderer," it was a topical comedy about what was then a hot debate in Victorian society: the New (as in "liberated") Woman. He apparently didn't expect his 1893 play to remain current much longer than the daily newspaper. "The more topical the play, the more it dates," Shaw wrote. " 'The Philanderer' suffers from this complaint." Surprise, George.
March 17, 1996 |
Actress Shirley Knight has never been one to go with the Hollywood flow. A Midwestern girl who came to Los Angeles in the late 1950s with no acting experience beyond a few college shows, she landed a studio contract and an Oscar nomination within a year of setting foot in California. Shortly after that, she left Tinseltown for less glitzy pursuits in the Eastern theater and elsewhere.
March 12, 2006 |
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" New Broadway cast recording (Nonesuch) * * * 1/2 "SWEENEY TODD" is Stephen Sondheim's most operatic score, and the temptation is overpowering to treat it that way. Opera companies profitably present it (unless they are in Los Angeles and DreamWorks wants to make a movie). Opera singers suit it (Bryn Terfel is an inspired Sweeney). The New York Philharmonic has recorded the score and makes it sound great.
September 17, 2003 |
"The Woman in Black," "Anything Goes" and "Animal Farm" are ahead in the race for the annual Ovation Awards, L.A.'s peer-judged theater awards. Each of the three shows received seven nominations -- so far. But the total nomination figures aren't complete. Costume design nominations weren't announced Tuesday with the others. Because of a computer glitch, voters are being asked to resend their costume votes.