Marjorie Prime, LA

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" was the mantra of my youth, but that mantra does not serve a critic well. Looking forward to the opening night of "Marjorie Prime," I thought, "At last Michael  ...

La Traviata, LA Opera

The question: To be or not to be faithful to the original setting of an opera is known to evoke passions as intense as those expressed by the originalists fighting with the rest of us who think the Constitution should  ...

Buyer and Cellar, LA

Somewhere folks who make up summer reading lists and compile theatrical playlists get the notion that we still have the summer off from school to simply be amused before we return in September. The curmudgeon in me screams, “I haven’t  ...

Dixie’s Tupperware Party, LA

Are you thinking you caught me leaving out some important information in the heading? Like the actor's name? Well, I am glad you are awake, but here is the dilemma: At this point I think I should put in a  ...

Thaïs, LA Opera

“Thaïs.” Does the name ring a bell? If you are not an opera aficionado, the likely answer is no, unless you happen to recall the haunting "Méditation from Thaïs." If so, you are on the right track. This late 19th-century  ...

The Tallest Tree in the Forest, LA

Paul Robeson sang the soundtrack of my childhood. I wore out two copies of his 78-rpm album, "Ballad for Americans," yet continued to play it, scratches and all. When I was about 8 years old I met him after a  ...

Ruth Draper’s Monologues, LA

Ruth Draper is not a household word for you? Well, you are forgiven. She was born in 1884 and performed monologues through the early 1950s. The grayest of the gray-haired in the audience may recall a moment or two of  ...

Lucia di Lammermoor, LA Opera

For a fully satisfying combination of classical music and contemporary theater, the current LA Opera production of "Lucia di Lammermoor" is not to be missed. I shamelessly like my opera grand with voices to die for, singers who can act,  ...

My Name is Ashher Lev

Asher Lev (Jason Karasev) is the son of an Hasidic couple, Rivheh (Anna Khaja) and Aryeh (Joel Polis). How you feel about "my Name is Asher Lev" may have as much to do with how you feel about proselytizing, ultra  ...

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, LA

      It is not possible to write a review of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" without invoking the ghost of Anton Chekhov. Lest one be tempted, within the program playwright Christopher Durang provides  ...