The Irish are Coming!

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

Corktown '57 poster.

The Odyssey Theatre will present the world premiere of John Fazakerley’s family drama, Corktown ’57 this month. Set in Philadelphia’s pro-Irish Republican community of “Corktown,” the play charts the conflict of family and political loyalties when a dying family patriarch schemes for glory within the Irish Republican movement. “The play is a fiction, but it’s inspired by memories of my … Read More

A Pot of Bronze at the End of the Rainbow

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

Gigi Bermingham as Judy Garland, with Brent Shindele (as Anthony) on piano in End of the Rainbow. Photo: Suzanne Mapes

A Review of End of the Rainbow, on stage at the Long Beach International City Theatre. Set during Judy Garland’s attempted comeback at London’s Talk of the Town nightclub in 1969, Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow is, in duck terms, an odd mallard. The narrative orbits addiction, but never is allowed to dip into the bleak emotions delivered so … Read More

What Will Happen to Baby Luna?

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

Review of Luna Gale, on stage at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Cynicism is an easy currency to trade in, especially when the subject is the government and its initiatives – and popular entertainment is a large marketplace. Consider child protective services and related efforts to help distressed children; how often is the social worker positioned relative to families as the internal affairs investigator is to the police? In Luna Gale, playwright Rebecca Gilman wisely resists the impulse to be cynical without resorting to romanticism. Her depiction of a social worker’s efforts on behalf of the titular baby is poignant, yes, but also …

AVPA Students Take a Page Out of Chekhov for Fall Play

A CorrespondentA&E, Theatre

For the next two weekends, the Blurred Vision Theater Company of Culver City High School will be staging the classic Chekhov play, The Seagull, at the Robert Frost Auditorium at the north end of the campus. The lights go up on the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts students on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7, and on Sunday afternoon at 1.

Ragtime Touches Every American Soul

Steve FinleyA&E, Theatre

Ragtime, The Musical touched the heart and soul of every American at the turn of the century. The Tony award-winning musical, based on the novel by E. L. Doctorow, blends a combination of splendid acting and superb singing. The show continues this weekend at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center with four more performances.

Beau & Aero Hits the Target and Lifts Audiences with Laughter

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

A Little Bit Off's Beau & Aero

Review of Beau & Aero, on stage at the Complex (Dorie Theatre) as part of the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Hurry! Only 3 performances left…Do you want to know the secret of flight? Here: If you want to fly, you don’t need to close your eyes, madly flap your arms, and wish really hard only to inevitably be disappointed that your feet remained firmly grounded. Instead, go see Beau & Aero, a flight of fancy whose inspired silliness will lift you up with laughter.

The Hot and Cold of Long Beach ICT’s Other Desert Cities

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

A review of Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, on stage at the Long Beach International City Theatre. While the political tangles with the personal in the family dysfunction of the Long Beach ICT’s production of Other Desert Cities, the blurring of abstract ideology with human drama is ultimately tangential. The point is not that the Wyeth family parents Lyman Nicholas Horman) and Polly (Suzanne Ford), modeled after Ronald and Nancy Reagan, clash with liberal daughter Brooke (Ann Noble) about politics to the exasperation of the apolitical Hollywood son, Trip (Blake Anthony Edwards). Rather, the point is …

‘White Marriage’ Calls for a Divorce

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

A review of “White Marriage” on stage at the Odyssey Theatre. The French call it a mariage blanc, which translates to “white marriage,” although “blank marriage” would be equally appropriate. It’s an expression that refers to unconsummated nuptials. As the title of a play by noted Polish playwright and poet Tadeusz Różewicz, however, it takes on the unintended meaning of a play with unconsummated drama.

Flyin’ West, Soarin' Low

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

A review of Flyin' West, on stage at the International City Theatre in Long Beach until April 6, 2014. On the heels of the toe-tapping Cole Porter musical Let’s Misbehave, the International City Theatre’s season of “uniquely American stories” continues with the way-back machine set to the unsteady period after the Civil War in Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West. As the Author’s Notes helpfully inform us, tens of thousands of African-Americans left the South to escape racist violence and establish all-black settlements where they could live and work towards achieving their own dreams. It’s not a well-known chapter of American history, which makes it all the more important a story to tell.

Walk Me Home, Run to the Theatre

Frédérik SisaA&E, Theatre

Review of Walk Me Home, on stage at Santa Monica's Promenade Playhouse until March 16th.In anticipation of Theatre by the Blind’s Walk Me Home, I was cautioned (twice!) to be gentle and keep in mind that this is not a professional acting troupe. Setting aside the implication, intentional or otherwise, that I might be an unusually tough critic, the warnings were unnecessary. Professionalism isn’t an indispensable hallmark of good theatre, rendering moot the …