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ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 1989 | MARK CHALON SMITH
Some directors reach for the farcical in staging Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona," turning this early work into a cartoonishly bawdy love quadrangle. A New York production, for instance, put the actors in clownish duds and beat-up tennis shoes to create almost a circus air. But Victor Pappas won't have any of that.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 1989 | MARK CHALON SMITH
Some directors reach for the farcical in staging Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona," turning this early work into a cartoonishly bawdy love quadrangle. A New York production, for instance, put the actors in clownish duds and beat-up tennis shoes to create almost a circus air. But Victor Pappas won't have any of that.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 1990 | MARK CHALON SMITH
So much of Jamie Baker's "Don't Go Back to Rockville" revolves around Ed, a dangerous, drunken jockey who's in trouble with the racing commission, that we're primed for a firestorm when he finally shows up at the end of the first act. The moseying style of the early scenes in "Rockville," given a valid staging by Rancho Santiago College's Professional Actors Conservatory, reveals the local topography with the plot details in small but clear relief.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 1990 | MARK CHALON SMITH
Rancho Santiago College's Professional Actors Conservatory sidles up to "Candide" like a tipsy conventioneer looking for a party. Director Victor Pappas never lets up in keeping the Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim musical adaptation of Voltaire's classic satire a giddy, vaudevillian experience. That's fine--for about the first act. The silliness is good fun at the outset, when the broad but often fresh style and Pappas' hard-working cast mesh nicely.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 1987 | MARK CHALON SMITH
The Greek tragedies of Sophocles don't turn up on American stages much these days, which is both unfortunate and understandable. Done right, his epic, mythic dramas can be powerfully satisfying probes of both the heroic and depraved in the human soul. Done wrong, these moralistic classics can belabor even the most sophisticated audience.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 1986 | DON SHIRLEY
Old Pasadena is charged with youthful energy these days. Its newest theater group, the Pacific Theatre Ensemble, has channeled some of it into a play that was more or less contemporaneous with Pasadena's golden age--Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 1989 | LYNNE HEFFLEY
"The Crucible" at South Coast Repertory, "Fences" at the Doolittle Theatre and "El Salvador" at the Gnu Theatre were awarded top honors by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle on Sunday. Each show garnered four awards, including one each for distinguished production, 1988. South Coast Repertory led all Los Angeles and Orange County theaters with five awards. The Los Angeles Theatre Center and the Pasadena Playhouse tied with three awards each. International City Theatre's "Distant Fires" and "South Central Rain," presented by the Pacific Theatre Ensemble at the Tamarind Theatre, each received two. There were no other multiple winners.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 1989 | DON SHIRLEY
It's easy to understand the language of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" at the Grove Shakespeare Festival; it's well-spoken American Shakespeare. But it's harder to figure out why the Grove, which has hardly exhausted the entire Shakespearean repertoire, is offering its second "Verona" in six years. This early play is not among Shakespeare's finest. At the Grove, it produces a modicum of merriment early on, but wears out its welcome shortly after intermission.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 1988 | DAN SULLIVAN, Times Theater Critic
Ah, those long evenings on the old front porch, with everybody tearing each other to bits. It's how families used to entertain themselves before television. Some families still do. Jamie Baker's "South Central Rain," at the Tamarind Theater, is set in Louisville circa 1974. It concerns the clan we first met in Baker's "Don't Go Back to Rockville" (still running at the Victory Theatre).
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 1991 | M.E. WARREN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Troilus and Cressida" is an ambitious undertaking for any theater company. Although Shakespeare's rendering of the Trojan War culminates in a lengthy and populous battle scene, ultimately it is a talky play in which wooing and winning, in war and love, are games of wit rather than of action. Between the sword and the tongue, the production of Rancho Santiago College's Professional Actors Conservatory Theatre Company is defeated.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 1989 | JAN HERMAN
The 1989 Grove Shakespeare Festival will include eight plays at the 550-seat outdoor Festival Amphitheatre and at the indoor, 178-seat Gem Theatre. "Even though we've shortened the schedule to six months, it will be our most ambitious season," Grove artistic director Thomas F. Bradac says. And the most expensive. The projected budget comes to $850,000, Bradac says--considerably more than last year's $570,000 and higher than the $660,000 projected for the season in January.
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