August 27, 1992
Like John Steppling and Athol Fugard, Steven Berkoff's playwriting process includes the directing of his own work, shaping its style on stage as well as on page. In all these cases, it's fascinating to see other directors tackle further productions. Brian D. Scott's guidance of the Powerhouse's production of Berkoff's "Lunch" shows not only the one-act's durability, but his own firm grasp on the play's structure, tempos and rhythms.
October 14, 1994 |
As a performer, British director-playwright Steven Berkoff is an odd mix of brilliant mime, bawdy vaudevillian and obnoxious child. A really obnoxious child. Best known here for staging his long-running "Kvetch" at the Odyssey Theatre, Berkoff's adaptations of Kafka, Aeschylus and Poe and his direction of Shakespeare plays have garnered him an international reputation.
October 12, 1994 |
Los Angeles has been good to Steven Berkoff. The edgy British actor-playwright-director, best known for his virulent portraits of working-class anomie, has staged many of his plays here--including "Acapulco," "East" and the long-running "Kvetch," all at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. But he's almost unknown as a thespian. In fact, although Berkoff is a popular staple of the British stage, he's been on the boards only once in L.A., in "Decadence" in 1984.
June 3, 1987 |
"We are beset by an array of problems that don't always sit and wait in the queue in your mind to be solved, but are liable at any instant to jump out of line and shout for your attention, even though in the meantime your present task may be ruined." So wrote Steven Berkoff in the program for "Kvetch," his long-running and turbulently funny hit at the Odyssey in West Los Angeles. My task, the other night, was to assess the current cast of "Kvetch."
May 18, 1990 |
Anyone who has been stumped by the work of Steven Berkoff--its bombast, its outrageousness, its virulence, its scatology--might find the Sunday 3 p.m. edition of "The South Bank Show" on Bravo cable (repeated May 29 at 7 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.) a guide to understanding this extreme iconoclast.
February 27, 1997 |
Steven Berkoff, dressed in drag in his play "Massage," looks like an aging alligator. He's supposed to be a British housewife who earns extra change in the sex trade, working at a dubious massage parlor. But any client who took one look at this "masseuse," with her oily mien and smug glances, would probably run in the other direction. Not that Berkoff is going for realism here. "Massage," at the Odyssey Theatre, is a highly stylized cartoon.