October 22, 2001 |
A writer in love with the evanescence of truth, Harold Pinter can succeed or fail on stage for reasons no larger than a flea. And it's not always complete success or utter failure. The difference between a solid Pinter production and a production with something extra, with a blackjack behind its back, cannot be detected by the naked eye. You only realize the difference if, on the way back to your car, in an exhilaratingly strange way, your head hurts.
November 8, 2002 |
Conflicts far beyond those supplied by the text complicate "The Chase," the final presentation of Woodland Hills Community Theatre's 2002 season at the West Valley Playhouse in Canoga Park. Horton Foote's 1952 account of a disillusioned Texas sheriff and the escaped convict bent on destroying him here finds the author's burgeoning early voice inadvertently clashing with a wildly misguided approach.
June 6, 2012 |
Mark Ravenhill, the English playwright best known for his play with the unprintable title (let's just call it "Shopping and Copulating"), isn't one for bromides and gooey sentiments. In "pool (no water)," now receiving its L.A. premiere at the Complex's Flight Theatre in a highly visceral Monkey Wrench Collective production, he exposes the darker side of the artistic underground. Suffice it to say, this isn't about the nobility of the creative calling. The premise of this work, first performed in 2006, is attention-grabbing: A visual artist (serenely played by Jessica Lamprinos)
April 15, 2012 |
NEW YORK - New Yorker drama critic John Lahr set off a social media firestorm in December with a blog comment that called for a moratorium on those "infernal all-black productions of Tennessee Williams plays unless we can have their equal in folly: all-white productions of August Wilson. " The theater community, as viewed from my portal on Facebook, found the comparison not just inept but inflammatory. Emily Mann, who happens to be directing the multiracial Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker that opens later this month at the Broadhurst Theatre, however, refused to take the bait when we spoke during a rehearsal break in March.
May 19, 2008 |
Adapt a classic novel for the stage and you're bound to come up with a few memorable moments of drama. It's like buying an artistic insurance policy -- no matter how badly your adaptation fails, the original novel is there to save you from total disaster. "My Antonia," currently at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, contains a handful of truly moving scenes about failed love, growing old and learning to live with regret. For that, we can thank Willa Cather, who wrote the novel of the same name in 1918.
December 17, 2012 |
A high school production of the musical "Legally Blonde" in Ohio has been deemed by administrators to be inappropriate for its audiences, resulting in the apparent dismissal of a drama teacher. A report from station WLWT in Cincinnati said that Sonja Hansen, a drama teacher at Loveland High School, has been forced to resign following the staging of the musical show. Hansen told the station that she was asked to resign or she would be fired. The dispute centers on the school's production of "Legally Blonde," the musical based on the popular Reese Witherspoon movie.
August 2, 2012
Colombia 's cocaine production fell by nearly 25% in 2011 from the previous year, and was down by more than 70% since 2001, according to the White House. A report released this week by the Office of National Drug Control Policy suggests that the Andean country once known as the largest producer of cocaine has scored a remarkable victory. That's great news, if indeed the latest estimates are accurate. But the report is at odds with a United Nations survey released last week that concluded that Colombia's cocaine production remains virtually unchanged, dropping by a mere 1% since 2010.
March 10, 1992 |
Shop Television Network Inc. in Burbank, once a distant third in the hotly competitive U.S. home shopping market, has filed for bankruptcy protection after one of its largest creditors won a court order to repossess most of the network's video production equipment. The filing under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy laws puts the court order and other litigation on hold while Shop Television works out a plan with its creditors to repay its debts. The company listed $10 million in assets and $4.
March 19, 2011 |
Entering the Downtown Independent near Little Tokyo on Thursday for the National Theatre Live's broadcast of director Danny Boyle's stage production of "Frankenstein," I found it impossible to leave behind the unfolding series of catastrophes in Japan that has the world collectively holding its breath. The current crisis follows us everywhere. With the hard-to-fathom images of flattened towns, the protracted suspense over radiation levels and the frustration of not being able to do more than donate to relief organizations, it's no wonder there's a growing hunger for deeper reflection on this multipronged calamity, in which natural disasters have set off an unnatural one. Journalism bombards us with passing information; artists call our attention to enduring truths.
June 12, 2009 |
One of Hollywood's largest prop shops is closing, the latest sign that the falloff in local film and TV production is taking its toll on small businesses that serve the entertainment industry. 20th Century Props of North Hollywood said Thursday that it would shut its doors next month because of mounting business losses. The prop shop, which supplied the chandeliers in the blockbuster "Titanic" and futuristic furniture in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," has been a fixture for two decades.