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The Power of Duff, LA

I keep hoping for transformative theatrical moments at Westwood's inviting Geffen Playhouse. Sadly they are few and far between. There is no doubt that playwright Stephen Belber thinks he has penned such a piece with "The Power of Duff." Billed  ...

Talley’s Folly

Celebrated author Lanford Wilson (1937–2011) won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for "Talley's Folly," a tender two-person, one-act romantic comedy. It’s one of the plays in Wilson’s  trilogy about the  Talley family of Lebanon, Missouri. Aurora will be presenting  ...

Buyer and Cellar, San Diego

What is it about stuff? We buy it, we love it, the novelty wears off and we buy more. We get a distinct, if fleeting, dopamine rush, but it doesn’t cure what ails us. This quest for material possessions is  ...

Shostakovich Trilogy, SF Ballet

When San Francisco Ballet undertook “Shostakovich Trilogy” in 2014, many observers held their breath. Could the company pull off this evening-length work by in-demand choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, the artist-in-residence at American Ballet Theater (which got to premiere the piece, even  ...

The White Snake, San Diego

Combine an ancient Chinese fable with a MacArthur “genius” director and the result is an enchanting, eye-popping night of theater that seamlessly combines text with compelling performances, sumptuous costumes, live music, a touch of whimsy, and production values the likes  ...

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

  Alonzo King’s world premiere of “Biophony,” which is inspired by archival recordings of animals and sonic imprints of natural habitats, just happened to follow last week’s Meredith Monk performance of “On Behalf of Nature”. With both come an  ...

The Marriage of Figaro, LA Opera

What is not to like about Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro"? Not much. When skillfully executed, the music is Mozart at his liveliest. The story is a convoluted farce with overtones of the conflict between the classes and the eternal battle  ...

Chapter Two, San Diego

Two wounded people give love another try in a revival production of Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two” at the North Coast Rep. While the setting and dialog are straight out of the 1970s, surprisingly little feels dated about this touching tale  ...