Post image for Off-Off-Broadway Theater Review: AN ECLECTIC EVENING OF SHORTS VII: BOXERS AND BRIEFS (Theater 54 @ Shelter Studios)

SOME ARE TKO’S, SOME SHOULD BE BRIEFER The first play featured in this annual showcase of ten-minute plays by emerging writers, An Eclectic Evening of Shorts VII: Boxers and Briefs, is Margo Hammond’s humorous Mistress Marlene, directed by Alex Dmitriev. Bill, an electrician (a disarming Tim Barker), arrives at his elderly client Sandra’s (a naturalistic Susanne […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH (The Theatre @ Boston Court)

EVERYTHING NEEDS A RETOUCH 30-year-old Jess is a mess. A New York-based dotcom genius, Jess is fraught with low self-esteem, making her an overweight, smelly, anti-social, stressed-out, aggressive, iconoclastic nerd who picks at her zits. She tells fellow nerd and co-worker Lewis during lunch at Chipotle that her mother, estranged for years, is dying back […]

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Post image for Off-Broadway Theater Review: SHAKESBEER (New York Shakespeare Exchange)

BOOZE AND BARD In ShakesBEER, NYC’s Original Shakespearean Pub Crawl, New York Shakespeare Exchange members perform ten-minute scenes from four Shakespeare plays in as many bars over the course of three hours. The locations change with every incarnation of the show; the most recent one was hosted by The Liberty, Peter Dillon’s Pub, Galway Pub, […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: DORIAN (House Theatre)

A WILD(E) ADAPTATION A spectacle that swirls and thrills, The House Theatre of Chicago’s Dorian has updated Oscar Wilde’s classic cautionary tale from Victorian music halls to today’s club scene. Their “promenade” production also transforms an ambulatory audience into vintage voyeurs, even stalkers. As they perambulate around the capacious Chopin stage (a seating area is […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: MUD BLUE SKY (A Red Orchid)

THE CONDITIONAL KINDNESS OF STRANGERS An episodic evening set in and around a hotel near O’Hare Airport, Marisa Wegrzyn’s itinerant one-act both celebrates and red-flags those encounters, seemingly causeless and effectless, that in fact change and define us–at the time, more than we know or need to. It promises to be wild but, better, ends up […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE WAY WEST (Steppenwolf)

WATCHING LOSERS LOSE IS A LOSE/LOSE SITUATION After a brief show of compassion for life’s casualties and some welcome sympathy for the underdog in Good People and The Motherfucker with the Hat, Steppenwolf Theatre Company is back to a bad habit—amusing an audience by mugging poor slobs. An unwelcome world premiere, Mona Monsour’s two-act downer […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: BULGAKOV/MOLIÈRE (City Garage Theatre in Santa Monica)

TITTY GARAGE Shows that are listed at two hours and fifteen minutes shouldn’t be forgiven for running three hours, unless they are written by a genius like Mikhail Bulgakov.  One of that early Soviet dissident’s plays is in fact embedded in Charles A. Duncombe’s new play, sort of, but it’s a dream version that takes […]

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Post image for Film Review: DRAFT DAY (directed by Ivan Reitman)

DOES ANYONE FEEL A DRAFT? With two first-round picks in the 2012 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns were favorites to trade up to the No. 2 overall pick and land the rights to Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. They were outbid by the Washington Redskins, whom Griffin would lead to the playoffs. The Browns […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Music Preview: LOUIS ANDRIESSEN’S DE MATERIE (“An Evening of Andriessen” LA Phil)

WHAT’S DE MATERIE? Of all the offerings during LA Phil’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival, the hard-core lovers might prefer Europe’s leading Minimalist, Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. His rarely performed, abstract, non-traditional, quasi-operatic work De Materie (“Matter”) will receive a huge production, the work’s first performance on the West Coast, on April 18 at Disney Hall. Written […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Music Review: RAMIN BAHRAMI (Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts)

BACH TO BASICS If anything, Iranian pianist Ramin Bahrami’s American debut at the Wallis in Beverly Hills last Wednesday was just more evidence for soloists needing a director. The discussion need not be about his mastery of Bach (which he has in spades) or whether his playing is innovative or not (my vote is “not” […]

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