CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2011 |
Heidi Helen Davis, an actress, acting teacher and stage director who had a long association with the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, her family announced. She was 60 and had breast cancer. Since 1985, Davis directed more than 20 plays for the outdoor stage at the Theatricum Botanicum, including Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1993), "The Glass Menagerie" (1994) and "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1997)
August 7, 2011 |
Before there were trendy lofts, coffeehouses and bacon maple doughnuts on the streets near Los Angeles' skid row — back when graffiti wasn't considered "art" in downtown Los Angeles — Ben Donenberg had the idea that theater could improve the neighborhood. "In New York, no one would normally walk in Central Park after dark because it's dangerous," the then-30-year old impresario told this newspaper in 1987. "You put up a Shakespeare festival and thousands of people flock to the park.
August 11, 2009 |
To see a Moliere play is to be struck anew by the enduring hilarity of the French master. The current production of "The Miser" at the Theatricum Botanicum is a case in point. Even after 300-plus years, Moliere's comedy about a wealthy old skinflint determined to force his son and daughter into loveless marriages while he marries a girl half his age can still elicit appreciative hoots from modern-day audiences. That is, of course, if the play is given the right staging. At the Theatricum, those appreciative hoots regularly resound through the Topanga hillsides.
August 21, 2008 |
The avant-garde Japanese punk band Boredoms recently recruited 88 drummers to perform the percussion symphony 88BoaDrum at the La Brea Tar Pits, but that would seem to be nothing compared with the 300 children expected to simultaneously pound the skins at Rhythm Child on Sunday at the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. What would possess anyone (anyone who's not Tommy Lee, that is) to encourage a toddler's interest in drums? A firm belief in the musical ability of all children helps Rhythm Child founder Norman Jones take the pain out of percussion.
July 30, 2008 |
Fame, addiction, fatality: "Long Day's Journey Into Night," now on view at the Theatricum Botanicum, posits the American family as crime scene, echoing back to the Greeks but as modern as Britney's latest rehab lapse. A half-century since its Broadway premiere, Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece still feels like a dare: Just try to look away from the carnage.
July 31, 2007 |
Nature cooperated with art on the opening night of "Dracula," a new adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic by Ellen Geer, which premiered under a near-full moon at the Theatricum Botanicum while strange animal cries echoed through the Topanga hills and bats swooped over the stage as if on cue.