July 27, 2007 |
LA JOLLA -- In the theatrical world of Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux, love isn't so much a battlefield as a chessboard. The objective is still to win -- money, sex, psychological control -- but victory comes through strategic cleverness and manipulation rather than brute force. There's a subtlety of style here that is very French, possibly too much so for American theatergoers not easily seduced by austerity and abstraction.
February 1, 1990 |
Perseverance paid off big for La Jolla Playhouse this year. Des McAnuff, the playhouse's artistic director, pursued Athol Fugard's newest play, "My Children! My Africa!" with a tenacity that convinced the renowned South African playwright to direct its West Coast premiere at the Playhouse. It will be the centerpiece of the 1990 season, July 8-Aug. 12 at the Mandell Weiss Theatre. "My Children! My Africa!"
June 2, 1987 |
When "Hello, Dolly!" came out, one of the people who didn't complain about its being a rip-off of Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker" was Thornton Wilder. To Wilder, literature was "a relay race"--a process of passing it on. He had borrowed his materials from Moliere and Nestroy, and he had no problem deeding them over to Broadway to see what could be done with them as a musical. Time would decide who had told the fable best.
October 17, 1989 |
"Macbeth," the bad-luck play, is likely to bring good luck to the La Jolla Playhouse. Director Des McAnuff doesn't take the abstract, conceptual route with Shakespeare's tragedy. His staging is bloody, bold and resolute, and he brings the beast down. It's evident that McAnuff has staged the play before outside (at the Stratford, Ontario, Festival.) He knows its traps and its electrical circuits, and he is not afraid to overload them.
April 23, 1987 |
In these days of catch phrases and buzz words, the most serious and most abstruse may be the term artistic deficit . The Theatre Communications Group's 14th annual survey on the economic health of the nonprofit professional theater in America attempts to shed some light on it, but not until it takes you on a roller-coaster ride of facts and figures only a dedicated statistician could love.
April 14, 1988 |
Who would have thought six years ago, that the iconoclastic La Jolla Playhouse would have survived and prospered in staid, unruffled La Jolla? Not only has it done that, but with the announcement Wednesday that a new gift of $1.2 million from Mandell Weiss is going to help build the Weiss Forum (see article on Page 1), the playhouse seems to be securing its future.
July 6, 1990 |
A funny thing happened to a musical comedy classic on the way to the La Jolla Playhouse. It began to dwell on serious dancing. Some of the slapstick shticks and zany pratfalls that defined Jack Cole's choreography for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" peek through the mugging and mayhem in this updated version. But they have definitely undergone a metamorphosis in the playhouse production, now at the Mandell Weiss Center for the Performing Arts at UC San Diego.
May 11, 1991 |
The La Jolla Playhouse may be trying to tell us something with its choice of season openers in recent years. Its 1990 season, which for financial reasons was almost canceled, began poignantly with a hauntingly lovely production of a Chekhov play--"The Cherry Orchard"--a story of a once-mighty house come to ruin because of financial excess.
January 28, 1988 |
If Des McAnuff had any doubts about becoming artistic director of the new La Jolla Playhouse six years ago, he can have none now. Not only has the Playhouse zoomed to national prominence under his guidance, but McAnuff is expanding his 1988 season by five weeks for the best of reasons: increased ticket demand.
May 22, 2001 |
"Some people ain't made for small-town life." In a different time and place, under a darker sky, this sentiment could have been directed at Matthew Shepard, the martyred subject of "The Laramie Project." That play makes its Southern California premiere later this summer at the La Jolla Playhouse, once again under the artistic directorship of Des McAnuff. But no, these are the words of kindly Doc Gibbs, referring to Grover's Corners' most nakedly unhappy resident: choir director Simon Stimson.