Reviews

“RAIN” at The Old Globe

“RAIN” at The Old Globe

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Aired on KSDS-FM on 4/8/16 RUN DATES: 3/24/16 - 5/1/16 VENUE: The Old Globe In adapting a piece of literature, there’s an obligation to maintain the spirit of the original. W. Somerset Maugham’s riveting 1921 short story, “Rain” (originally titled “Miss Thompson”), has certainly provided fertile ground for adapters: three films, and an aborted musical, called “Sadie Thompson,” created in 1944 with Ethel Merman in mind. Now, along come composer/lyricist Michael John La Chiusa and librettist Sybille Pearson, with a Read More →

Love Is In The Air:   ‘romance/romance’ At North Coast Repertory Theatre

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PAT LAUNER TIMES OF SAN DIEGO 7/16/14 Ah, the vagaries of love. Or, as the musical “Romance/Romance” would have it, “the little comedy of life.” The costumes may change, but the character and conflict remain the same, even across centuries. The 1988 show is set in the 1890s and the 1980s. For his North Coast Repertory Theatre Read More →

A Life In Music: The World Premiere, “scott Joplin’s New Rag”

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PAT LAUNER THEATER REVIEW TIMES OF SAN DIEGO 10/7/14 Talk about your ambitious projects! Robert Barry Fleming wrote the play,   “Scott Joplin’s New Rag,” and plays all the characters – not only talking almost nonstop for 70 minutes, but singing (a bit), dancing (impressively -- including moonwalks and hip hop moves), reciting rap poetry and playing piano: Read More →

Reality Tv Before Its Time: “the Lion In Winter” At Moonlight Stage Productions

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PAT LAUNER TIMES OF SAN DIEGO 1/19/15 “We’re jungle creatures,” the Queen says to the King. But, as portrayed in William Goldman’s magnificent 1966 comic drama, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II are far worse than that. The 12th century English monarchs are carnivorous beasts, who eat their young. Those offspring, one might say, deserve being eaten – and worse. They’d as soon see Read More →

“My Fair Lady” at Cygnet Theatre

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PAT LAUNER TIMES OF SAN DIEGO 3/17/15   Talk about your Extreme Makeovers! There was never a sculptural re-molding of a human lump of clay like the Greek Metatmorphosis myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, brilliantly refashioned by George Bernard Shaw into the play, “Pygmalion” (1913), which then underwent another transformation, into the magnificent Lerner and Lowe musical, “My Fair Lady.” The book and lyrics may be credited to Alan Jay Lerner, but many of the lines were penned by that Read More →

Is a Tumor something to sing about? It is in “A New Brain”

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PAT LAUNER TIMES OF SAN DIEGO 6/2/15 Like the neurosurgery at the center of the action, “A New Brain” is a delicate operation. It’s a musical, a comedy and a deadly serious autobiographical story of a near-death experience. The main character is in a coma for a good part of the show, while everyone around him waits to see the outcome of the sensitive, intricate procedure that may or may not correct his arterio-venous malformation. William Finn, who wrote Read More →