Forever, LA

In lean times theater directors turn more frequently to one person performances and very small casts. For material, the "written-and-performed-bys" mine the depths of memory. It is so much the easier if the remembered are dead and will never see  ...

Bright Star, San Diego

Steve Martin once said: “When you’re playing the banjo, everything’s OK.” And that may be what ultimately saves “Bright Star.” Despite some pretty glaring deficiencies, the music is so good you almost don’t care about lyrics, dialogue or plot. This  ...

Affluence, LA

Affluence is a major issue in American society today — a few people have a lot of it while a lot of people have none and probably never will — so it’s not surprising that some playwrights are drawn to  ...

Choir Boy, LA

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win a MacArthur genius grant? I mean, aside from the fact that a sweet stipend would come to you for five years, no questions asked, no forms to be filed,  ...

The Trip to Bountiful, LA

"The Trip to Bountiful" is an old-fashioned story mounted with old-fashioned style. Not that that is all bad. It is what passes as a classic in the 21st century. Horton Foote's first iteration of this memory tale was as a  ...

King Lear, Shakespeare’s Globe (U.S. tour)

Stages around the world are observing Shakespeare’s upcoming 450th birthday, and what better way to join in than to be able to catch a sterling production of one of his masterpieces by Shakespeare's Globe. At Philly's Annenberg Center for the  ...

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  ...

Old Hats, SF

To say something is “old hat” is to say that it is passé, out of style, yesterday’s news. And, indeed, clowning and mime have seen a gradual decline in popularity since the glory days of Charlie Chaplin, Emmett Kelly and  ...

An Audience with Meow Meow, Berkeley, Calif.

A pussycat she’s not, in spite of the name. (And who knows what her real name is?) No, she can purr on occasion and preen and lick her fur, but Meow Meow has claws, and she’s not afraid to show  ...