Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: URBAN DEATH (Zombie Joe’s Underground in North Hollywood)

THEATER OF WHAT THE FUCK As an impresario and creative force, the man who calls himself Zombie Joe is the envy of the North Hollywood arts scene. Largely on the remarkable popularity of Urban Death, its signature show now in the tenth incarnation since 2005, Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group operates year-round out of an […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: UN-RULE-LEE (Elephant Theatre Lab in Hollywood)

RULIER THAN THOU I came to this show in a bad mood and left in a better one, which is as much praise as I can heap on a one-woman show about identity issues. There’s no theatrical fauna I want more sincerely to see on the endangered list, and none that looks less likely to […]

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Post image for Off-Broadway Theater Review: THE SOUND AND THE FURY (Elevator Repair Service at The Public Theater)

HOW SWEET THIS SOUND The standout theater company Elevator Repair Service (ERS), much acclaimed for their six-hour-plus show Gatz, among others, brings the first part of William Faulkner’s novel The Sound and the Fury to the Public Theater, performing it in its entirety, with spectacular results. The section of the novel in question consists wholly […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE DECEMBER MAN (L’HOMME DE DÉCEMBRE) (Mary-Arrchie)

THE LAST VICTIMS An urban massacre grabs headlines for days, then burns out as quickly as it erupted. There’s always the next shock of the known to deal with: Without meaning to be cruel, we move on. An aftermath drama, The December Man is Canadian playwright Colleen Murphy’s 90-minute, three-character look at what won’t fade […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: CHEKHOV UNSCRIPTED (Impro Theatre at The Lab on Vermont)

THE CRAGS OF DELIVERANCE If bad reviews are the flattest line my pen can draw, a steppe of the imagination that writes its unsurprising self, a good review is the Caucasus. To critique Impro Theatre requires ice boots spiked with inked nibs. Frankly I’ve become fearful of seeing this company scale the heights of artistry, […]

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Post image for Film Preview: INSIDE OUT (Disney•Pixar/Fathom Events at theaters nationwide)

GETTING INSIDE FIRST Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film Inside Out ventures inside the mind to find out. The film opens in theaters nationwide on June 19, 2015, but Fathom Events and Disney are working together to present a special screening in […]

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Post image for Off-Broadway Theater Review: NEW COUNTRY (Cherry Lane Theatre)

EVERYTHING OLD COUNTRY FEELS NEW AGAIN In Mark Roberts’ delightful and moving play New Country, skillfully directed by David Harwell, 25-year-old country music star Justin is up to his usual antics on the eve of his wedding—partying, philandering, and treating everyone around him like crap. Good-looking, charismatic and egotistical, Justin (David Lind) has never encountered […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: MIRACLE! (Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary’s Attic)

DEAF, DUMB, BLIND–AND FABULOUS! Right now there’s a lot of noise in the attic–Mary’s Attic in Andersonville. The uproarious occasion is Miracle!, a gender-bending, cross-dressing romp created by sex guru Dan Savage, the seminal spokesperson (“Savage Love”) for most matters GLBTQ. Losing not a laugh, it was inevitable that Hell in a Handbag Productions, Chicago’s […]

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Post image for Film Preview: THE QUEENDOM OF TONGA (directed by Brian Favorite)

GIVE SOME GREEN ON PINK FOR THE QUEENDOM Pinkstart, part of Kickstarter, is the new global LGBT crowdfunding website. The Queendom of Tonga, a fascinating 50-minute documentary now in post-production, seeks funding to complete short animation sequences by Tess Martin. Follow a Peace Corps volunteer, directed to stay in the closet, as he navigates how to […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: QUIZ SHOW (Strawdog)

A METAPHORICAL MESS “The truth can be cruel.” That’s the twisty motto of the interactive quiz show within Quiz Show, a maddeningly metaphorical one-act from Strawdog Theatre Company. The U.S. premiere of British playwright Rob Drummond’s puzzle piece, this treacherous 75-minute drama morphs like a microbe–from a game show that tests trivia to a lethal […]

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