BYOC: BRING YOUR OWN CANTEEN In an effort to spark dialogue on Trump-era immigration, The Road Theatre Company has mounted a revised version of Carlos Lacámara’s Nowhere on the Border, a play that premiered at The Hayworth Theatre in 2006 during the presidency of George W. Bush. While this partially-rewritten work is a testament to […]

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WHAT WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME MEANS TO ME Given the barrage of nasty nightly news, I don’t doubt that Americans are champing at the bit for a large slice of patriotism as they watch America seemingly evolving and devolving at once. And there isn’t a document that represents our constantly changing America more […]

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SIMPLE PLEASURES IN THIS FEAST The Shakers have a song in their hymnal that reads: ’Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free ’Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ’Twill be in the valley of love […]

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LONELY HUBRIS “I want it all.” “The sky’s [not] the limit.” “You only live once.” “You can’t take it with you.”: We’re fascinated by all the pride that precedes a fall. We can conditionally identify with hyper self-assertion — then strategically withdraw our sympathies when it comes a cropper. That’s what still works, almost 40 […]

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ROCKING THE BOAT When we enter the theater, we see two women in a small fishing boat. It’s surrounded by huge buckets depicting the shallows of an inlet in the Alabama delta. Overhead netting seems to catch the stars. For nearly ninety minutes, this seemingly static situation becomes the engrossing story-setting for The Gulf, Audrey Cefaly’s […]

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TOUCHING BUT TRAPPED IN A TIME WARP Stop Kiss was a big 1998 hit at New York’s Joseph Papp Public Theater. In 2000 it arrived in Chicago in a tepid local premiere by the Naked Eye Theatre Company. That misfire aside, Diana Son’s 95-minute one-act — a tale of two women who only discover they’re […]

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MY WHITE NIGHT I first saw Lillias White when she made her Broadway debut in Barnum in 1981; I’ve been watching her work for almost four decades since, and I promise you she never fails to blow the roof off the joint (happy are those who saw her “Effie” in the 1987 revival of Dreamgirls). […]

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KING ARTHUR DETHRONED If you’re a hardcore Henry Purcell fan, don’t expect anything resembling his original 1691 semi-opera, King Arthur, in Long Beach Opera’s production, which opened yesterday, Jan. 12, at the Beverly O’Neill. (A semi-opera is an unusual form of early opera that was half-sung and half-spoken.) Even in John Dryden’s libretto, there is […]

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A LIGHTHOUSE SPILLS ITS SECRETS Isolation forces intimacy on its inhabitants, if only by its process of elimination. It can also foster secrets: Scattered souls protect their privacy by keeping stuff to themselves. In The Secret Garden or The Turn of the Screw what’s hidden must out — to respectively good and evil ends. This strategic formula works in Whisper […]

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A FOX FANTASY The Verdi Chorus is So Cal’s only choral group which centers around the dramatic and diverse music for an opera chorus. The Fox Singers, who constitute the professional ensemble of this wonderful chorus, are presenting, for one-night only on Sat. Feb. 1 at 7:30, a program devoted to all things fantastical. You […]

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