Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
With more incest, deception, abuse, and dysfunction than a Greek tragedy, August: Osage County is not your typical family drama. Tracy Letts' Pulitzer-winning, three-hour-plus saga is intricately written, exhaustingly well-acted, and stomach-wrenching to watch.
At 82, Academy Award winner Estelle Parsons blew all pastoral images of a Great Plains family matriarch out the window with her abrasive, pill-addicted character. Her poet husband has just walked out the door and into the lake, causing her three daughters and other assorted family members to come home for his funeral in a cloud of old hurts and confusion. A family this dysfunctional trapped in one house is a ticking time bomb, and with each lie that unravels, no one escapes unscathed: adultery, child abuse, addiction, incest, and general cruelty.
The howlings and shrieks of a family in pain, with the ramblings of the oft-high mother, made the show a bit hard to hear and understand at times, but it did add a distinct sense of mass confusion. Shannon Cochran, as eldest daughter Barbara, matched Parsons in sheer power on stage, as she slowly grew into a slightly younger but equally cruel version of her mother. The feeling of entrapment in their Great Plains home is palpable, and the play ends with no more hope than when it began. Unlike the Greek tragedies where someone usually repents after the bloodshed, the family of August: Osage County is left with nothing but their own wreckage with which to try to salvage any kind of life.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Once upon a time, there was a man who was known to love himself above all other men with aplomb throughout the land, and that man was known as John O’Hurley.
That’s right: J Peterman on Seinfeld, the silver-haired champion of Dancing With The Stars, and general celebrity for all your Family Feud hosting needs, is starring in Los Angeles’ Ahmanson theater as Kind Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot.
Firstly, I am so happy to be home in Los Angeles. Secondly, I love Monty Python films.
Now. I saw Spamalot in New York two years ago, so this was my second attempt at loving it. But- hear me out devoted fans of this show across the nation- I just don’t think it’s as funny as it should be. And devoted fans there are aplenty: the Ahmanson was filled with people wearing pins and shirts from the show, laughing hysterically for two hours and cheering throughout.
I certainly did giggle at certain moments and each actor on stage was not without singing and dancing chops. In fact I thought the principals were all quite good; the overall production (including the text itself) just doesn’t measure up to the hype in my opinion.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Two sad things about this show:
Monday, July 13, 2009
Mincemeat is exactly what experimental, political theaters everywhere are trying to accomplish. And the company producing it, Cardboard Citizens, accomplishes it in no small manner.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Peter Pan was, by far, the most fun that I have had at a theater event on this trip. Set up in a white, circus-like tent in Kensington Gardens, a beautiful London park, the theater-in-the-round boasts an Imax kind of experience in that the setting (London rooftops, Neverland, the Pirates' ship) was projected onto the ceiling of the tent above the seats and the simple stage.
For all the talk about film celebrities in theater this summer, Jude Law (pleasantly and surprisingly) rose to the occasion in Hamlet. Roles like this almost require a certain amount of arrogance to say yes, why of course I should play one of the biggest parts in the cannon of this language's theater, and, unlike Helen Mirren in the French equivalent of Phedre, Law had the presence to pull it off.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I loved this show.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The National Theatre is another example of a government subsidized theater creating an atmosphere where everyone just wants to be. I am happy to say I will be returning a few times to this theater during my stay here, and when I do I will be sure to take some photos of the giant (and I do mean giant) grass-covered lawn furniture out front where people happily sip drinks and wait for their show to begin.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A word on my mindset heading into this gorgeous theater: For the first time in London, I had gotten lost. After a lovely lunch by the river, I got off at the right tube stop, but it all went down hill from there. I was literally sprinting across Trafalgar Square, white skirt blowing in the wind behind me.
My first show in London! I was a little misinformed the other night: Aunt Dan and Lemon was actually not in the West End, but at the Royal Court Theater near Kensington. The Royal Court is a national theater, meaning they are greatly subsidized by the government.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Cheers from London! I am seeing my first West End show tomorrow night, but before that, I wanted to give a recap of the Geffen's latest political drama, Farragut North.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Bassam's is quite possibly what I miss most about San Diego right now. This is one of my favorite coffee shops for studying, people watching, and sipping espresso that could revive the dead. Newly settled on Fifth Street in Banker's Hill (just across the street and up a block from one of my other all-time favorites, Extraordinary Desserts), Cafe Bassam is part antique shop, part European coffeehouse, and part wine bar.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
One of my favorite perks of living in the Los Angeles area is that aside from the occasional celebrity sighting about town (Amy Adams eating barbeque, anyone?), there are always opportunities to see some very fine film actors returning to the stage.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I consider myself I fairly well-read person, so I am a little bit embarrassed to say that before today's selection, I had never read anything by Cormac McCarthy. I now intend on scouring the library for his many books.