December 11, 1990 |
Pacific Theatre Ensemble's third annual production of "The Long Christmas Dinner," Thornton Wilder's extraordinary memory play, sweeps aside the usual batch of gooey holiday theater sentiments with profound simplicity. Dinner is spread out for us in the ensemble's tiny second space in Venice, bedecked with a few quilts, a china cabinet, a dinner table and seven intelligent actors.
August 18, 1993 |
The enchanted plays of French playwright Jean Giraudoux have suffered from neglect in recent decades, both here and in France. Perhaps it's because they're too fanciful for a world mired in disasters. Perhaps their metaphors seem too airy in the face of the violence that grips us daily. Perhaps their cast lists simply tend to be too long. As any visitor to the Pacific Resident Theatre Ensemble's current revival of the 1939 "Ondine" could attest, the loss is all ours.
October 12, 1998
First produced in 1932, "The Great Magoo," a vintage potboiler by Ben Hecht and Gene Fowler, now at the 24th Street Theatre, is a Damon Runyon wannabe that would have been better off gathering dust in the archives. The action opens in Coney Island at the height of the Great Depression. Nicky (Jay Karnes), a womanizing barker and songwriter, has fallen hard for hoochie-coochie dancer Julie (Julia Campbell), an ambitious entertainer whose sights are set on the Great White Way.
June 11, 1999 |
The intrusion of the future on a surrealistically fluid present is a lot like pit bulls, vipers and bad grammar--all are things to be accepted but hardly embraced. At least that's the initial view from the conservative member of a trio of female explorers in 1888 who undertake a metaphysical trek through time and space in 24th Street Theatre's playful, energetic revival of "On the Verge."
March 3, 1995 |
Pacific Resident Theatre Ensemble's new production of Georges Feydeau's farce "There's One in Every Marriage" is so good you almost wish it would go on forever. And sometimes it seems as if it will. Divided into three long and laborious acts, Feydeau's text (here translated and adapted by Suzanne Grossman and Paxton Whitehead) lacks the swift pace modern audiences have come to expect from farce.
February 20, 2004 |
Is this a theater or a sick ward? Characters in "Chekhov x 4" -- four early one-acts, presented on the Antaeus Company's cozy new North Hollywood stage -- can't go long without complaining of gout, palpitations, foggy vision or assorted aches and pains. In Chekhov, of course, these are never purely physical maladies but symptoms of some deeper distress. In "The Proposal," a high-strung suitor (Arye Gross) asks for the hand of a neighbor's daughter (Angela Goethals) and loses feeling in a leg.