November 13, 2003 |
Noises Off: Few things get an audience laughing like a door-slamming, plate-dropping, pants-falling farce. Perhaps that's because the genre evokes the barely controlled chaos of everyday life, allowing theatergoers to guffaw at other people who are struggling to hold things together. Since its 1982 premiere, "Noises Off" has stood as a particularly riotous example of the genre. A revival of the Michael Frayn comedy proved cathartic in New York after the Sept. 11 attacks.
November 9, 1998 |
"Henry, I have a confession," Eleanor of Aquitaine says to her husband, King Henry II. "I don't much like our children." That line, from "The Lion in Winter," always draws a laugh, and the laugh is always tempered by understanding--for the audience sees full well that Eleanor and Henry's greedy, duplicitous, rage-filled children are exactly what Mommy and Daddy have made them.
July 21, 1998 |
Despite all appearances, Garry Essendine, the spoiled, aging matinee idol, is an estimable fellow. That may be hard to recognize beneath his pouty fits, his willed helplessness, his bossiness and his lovemaking to every woman who makes herself available, including the wife of a friend. "Present Laughter" is a coming-of-age story of a middle-aged man who should already have matured but hasn't--fame and charm got in his way.
March 23, 1999 |
Gay clergy and parishioners face considerable opposition as they try to fit in to the structures of Christianity. D. Paul Thomas' new play "The Presentment" is drawn from this very current conflict. Thomas leaves no doubt about his own position--he supports the church's full inclusion of homosexuals. On paper, at least, it looks audacious for the Pasadena Playhouse to produce a play that so unequivocally advocates a particular point of view about a controversial issue.
October 13, 2003 |
Few things get an audience laughing like a door-slamming, plate-dropping, pants-falling farce. Perhaps that's because the genre evokes the barely controlled chaos of everyday life, allowing theatergoers to guffaw at other people who are struggling to hold things together. Call it primal scream-with-laughter therapy. Since it first hit the boards in 1982, "Noises Off" has stood as a particularly riotous example of the genre.
December 6, 1991 |
It isn't that one is offended by the sex jokes or the drug jokes or the occasional wrong grammar or the mispronunciation of Gauloises , the French cigarettes that Sarah finds so sexy to smoke in Paris. Not really. What is such a grind in Susan Rubin's "Sarah's Story: Tripping on the Belly of the Beast," which has dimly reopened Theatre 4 at the former Los Angeles Theatre Center, is the endless tripping on absolutely nothing we could care much about.