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Ronald Ribman

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ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 1989 | ROBERT KOEHLER
American artists have never had an easy time of it, but the case of playwright Ronald Ribman borders on the ridiculous. He remembers that when he applied to the University of Pittsburgh masters program in literature and submitted writing samples, "a teacher noted that 'Mr. Ribman has a bizarre way of looking at life that a few courses in Realism will break.' Even then (in 1954), they didn't understand me." His very un realistic play writing has since been misunderstood and acclaimed.
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February 12, 1993 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Robert Koehler writes regularly about theater for The Times.
As a foreign visitor once told this writer, you can tell a lot about Americans by the way they sell meat in the markets: neatly packaged in nice plastic foam containers. The wish to stay at arm's length from the raw meat of existence pertains to many American playwrights as well. But not Ronald Ribman, and certainly not Ribman's intimate masterwork, "Cold Storage."
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 28, 1991 | ROBERT KOEHLER, Robert Koehler contributes regularly to The Times.
Ronald Ribman is settling into his seat just before the start of a crucial read-through of his new play, "The Rug Merchants of Chaos." He flips through note-filled pages of his legal pad, while director David Schramm is ready to signal his actors James Morrison, Fran Drescher, Matt Landers, Barbara Whinnery and Ernest Harada to go through their paces. Ribman then reaches down into his satchel, pulls out a newspaper clipping, and hands it to his guest. "Here, read this.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 28, 1991 | ROBERT KOEHLER, Robert Koehler contributes regularly to The Times.
Ronald Ribman is settling into his seat just before the start of a crucial read-through of his new play, "The Rug Merchants of Chaos." He flips through note-filled pages of his legal pad, while director David Schramm is ready to signal his actors James Morrison, Fran Drescher, Matt Landers, Barbara Whinnery and Ernest Harada to go through their paces. Ribman then reaches down into his satchel, pulls out a newspaper clipping, and hands it to his guest. "Here, read this.
NEWS
February 12, 1993 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Robert Koehler writes regularly about theater for The Times.
As a foreign visitor once told this writer, you can tell a lot about Americans by the way they sell meat in the markets: neatly packaged in nice plastic foam containers. The wish to stay at arm's length from the raw meat of existence pertains to many American playwrights as well. But not Ronald Ribman, and certainly not Ribman's intimate masterwork, "Cold Storage."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 1989 | LYNNE HEFFLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Anyone with a mind to whoop it up theatrically as the '80s wind down is in luck. New Year's Eve celebrations take center stage at several theaters around town, with shows and extra goodies to help audiences ring in the new. Here's a sampling: At the Los Angeles Theatre Center it's a champagne toast at 7:30 p.m. and special ticket prices for the 8 p.m. performances of Raymond J.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1987 | HOWARD ROSENBERG, Times Television Critic
Saul Bellow's frantic and tragically humorous "Seize the Day" transfers to TV in a ribbon of dark, nervous energy. A "Great Performances" production airing at 8 tonight on Channel 24 and at 9 tonight on Channels 28 and 15 (plus Saturday at 8 p.m. on Channel 50), its 90 masterful minutes hum from start to finish. The time is the 1950s, when the central character of Bellow's novella--failed actor-turned-failed salesman Tommy Wilhelm--is in a run of bad luck.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 29, 1998 | PHILIP BRANDES, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Something old, something Gnu. Finely polished performances distinguish the Odyssey Theatre's revival of "Cold Storage," the final production from Jeff Seymour's late, lamented Gnu Theatre. Seymour returns to the director's chair and this time around co-stars in Ronald Ribman's quietly affecting hospital drama, set in a ward lounge circa 1976.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 1991 | SYLVIE DRAKE, TIMES THEATER CRITIC
There is a line in "The Rug Merchants of Chaos" that says it all--about the desperate characters in this latest Ronald Ribman play and about the human condition as a whole: "Everything in our lives is hanging so delicately between tragedy and farce." So is Ribman's new play. The statement is, of course, particularly true of the two American couples fleeing Cape Town who are the focus of this tragifarce that opened Sunday at the Pasadena Playhouse's Balcony Theatre.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1996 | SCOTT COLLINS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"I am a man!" cries Zoditch, the protagonist of "The Journey of the Fifth Horse" at Los Angeles Playhouse. "I am not a nobody!" Of course, Zoditch is a nobody, a literary nobody in the Bartleby or Gregor Samsa mold. But the real irony is that playwright Ronald Ribman was able, in this period piece set in the late 19th century, to create a structurally complex, emotionally satisfying drama around this delusional cipher.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 1989 | ROBERT KOEHLER
American artists have never had an easy time of it, but the case of playwright Ronald Ribman borders on the ridiculous. He remembers that when he applied to the University of Pittsburgh masters program in literature and submitted writing samples, "a teacher noted that 'Mr. Ribman has a bizarre way of looking at life that a few courses in Realism will break.' Even then (in 1954), they didn't understand me." His very un realistic play writing has since been misunderstood and acclaimed.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 1991 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Getting through Len Jenkin's "Gogol" is like taking apart one of those Chinese box sets, only to come to the last and smallest box--and find nothing. Of course, a Chinese box set contains--as with so much in Chinese culture--an impish pleasure, a variant on the aesthetic fascination of the Mobius strip. "Gogol's" nothingness is a real cavity. And nearly as painful, based on what director Lisa Sanman-Smith has put together in a visiting production at Los Angeles Theatre Center's Theatre 4.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 1990 | DON SHIRLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Susan Dietz has resigned as artistic director of Pasadena Playhouse, effective Oct. 21, in order to pursue film and television opportunities. No replacement is waiting in the wings, but "we'll look at a host of people who have expressed interest over the years," said the theater's managing director Lars Hansen. A meeting on Oct.
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