By Pat Launer
Comedy and drama in myriad hues
From Amadeus to Five Shades of Blues.
A New Theatre voice, a reading with stars
And a totally whacked-out Christmas on Mars.
THE SHOW: CHRISTMAS ON MARS, a dark, dippy comedy by Harry Kondoleon, a wackily imaginative playwright who died prematurely in 1994, at age 39, from AIDS. Some consider this his best play.
THE STORY: The storyline is pretty nutty, filled with screwy plot twists, manic monologues and madcap confessionals. Bruno and Audrey are engaged, and seeking an apartment in New York . As they’re looking over the latest option, Audrey announces that she’s pregnant and Bruno immediately proposes. And then, in swoops Nissim, a riotously deranged character who spews pain and painful truths. A flamboyant former flight attendant prone to fainting, Nissim has been dependent upon – and in love with – Bruno for a decade. He tells wild stories of mutual affection. But Bruno, a narcissistic model, isn’t copping to any of it – though he’s had plenty of assignations along the way up his (stalled) career ladder, including Audrey, who just happens to be a commercial casting director. Before Nissim can get through more than a handful of the incriminating love letters Bruno has received, Ingrid sweeps in. She’s been summoned by Bruno to help pay the rent, but Audrey detests the mother who abandoned her 20 years ago. Ingrid has money and wants absolution. Nissim wants Bruno. Audrey wants the baby (she stays pregnant for wayyy too long, appearing over-stuffed in the second act and refusing to relinquish the tyke). And Bruno wants… well, just about everyone. The language is machine-gun fast; the loopy moments can be riotous. But there’s also a great deal of nasty ruthlessness here, and the ending is a lot less than satisfying. In fact, the whole play is. What’s the point, anyway… what we perpetrate on others in the name of love? Cruel journey.
THE PLAYER/THE PRODUCTION: The Globe wisely summoned back director Kirsten Brandt to bring her off-the-wall sensibilities to this batty/brutal play. She’s marshaled a fine cast. But they feel both under the top and over it. It takes a long time for Audrey and Bruno’s characters to build. By the second act, everyone has had a meltdown, a disclosure of secrets, a screaming hissy-fit, and these are the actors’ best moments. As Nissim, diminutive Jack Ferver doesn’t make his grand entrance as ostentatiously as written, but he grows in endearing outrageousness. In David Furr, we don’t get a sense of Bruno’s callous self-absorption till very late in the game. Colette Kilroy’s Ingrid is not as rich-looking (odd costume choices by Angela Balogh Calin) or as desperate as we’d expect, but she rises (or falls) to expectations soon enough. Sarah Grace Wilson makes Audrey an enigma, but she comes into her own in the second act, getting ever more bonkers and cozying up to the increasingly influential Nissim, who’s a character you both love and despise (and since, by most accounts, he’s a stand-in for the playwright, perhaps he should be a tad more likable). The set (Nick Fouch) is very basic, the slightest suggestion of a Manhattan apartment above and below, but it feels far from cramped or claustrophobic on the Cassius Carter stage; there’s zero furniture in the first act and only a cradle in the second, for that symbolically fraught new arrival. It doesn’t seem that Kondoleon had enough time on earth to fully develop his talents and refine his intriguingly unhinged voice.
THE LOCATION: On the Globe’s Cassius Carter Centre Stage, through July 9.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Good Bet, if you like this sort of absurd comedy of cruelty
A LITTLE NIGHTMUSIC
THE SHOW: AMADEUS, Peter Shaffer’s 1979 drama about Mozart, perfectly timed for this 250th anniversary year of the brilliant composer’s birth
THE BACKSTORY/THE STORY: Shaffer wasn’t the first to explore the classic composer rivalry. In 1898, Rimsky-Korsakov premiered an opera, “Mozart and Salieri,” which in turn was based on a short story by Pushkin, written five years after Salieri’s death in 1825. Shaffer has always been drawn to the struggle between opposites and lives fractured by envy; some suggest that this may stem from his being born a twin (his brother Anthony wrote the wildly successful thriller, Sleuth). A former music critic, Shaffer was naturally drawn to the story, and there are places in the script where his rapturous descriptions of Mozart’s music are sheer poetry. Over the years, he has worked and reworked the play, which won multiple awards in London and New York, and seven Oscars for the 1984 film version, including Best Picture and Screenplay (also by Shaffer). This is, according to Lamb’s associate artistic director Kerry Meads, its seventh incarnation. It’s still not right – far too talky, too didactic, too on the nose, beating us over the head with the messages and their meaning. And making the religious aspect (Salieri’s repudiation of God for putting such genius “in the mouth of an obscene child”) too extreme and far-fetched – and repetitive. The play as a whole tends to drift into the domain of melodrama. But however overblown or overwritten, the drama’s characters are delicious, and the Lamb’s Players have a juicy time with them. What the piece is saying, about ordinariness in the face of genius, is heart-stopping.
THE PLAYER/THE PRODUCTION: Jeanne Reith works her usual magic with the costumes, which have all the flounce and froufrou of 18th century courtiers. And some of the quick changes (especially for Costanza) are thrilling. So are the hats. And the imaginative use of dressmaker models as character stand- ins, is marvelous.
The accents, and long riffs in Italian or German, are extremely well managed (thanks to polyglot language consultant Chrissy Vögele-Reynolds). David Cochran Heath does excellent work in reprising the role he first assayed 17 years ago – the scheming, jealous Salieri, who turns monstrous when his own mediocrity is confronted by the brilliance of the young Mozart. But this Salieri doesn’t quite change enough from the crazy, wheelchair-bound curmudgeon in the first and last scenes to the arrogant, prideful reminiscences of his youth. As Mozart, Jon Lorenz has a field-day. A stalwart Lamb’s performer, he has rarely nabbed a featured or spotlight role. Here, he gets to strut his stuff – his musicality, wicked humor and serious actorly thoughtfulness, in addition, of course, to having great fun with the adolescent smut-mouth that has angered many purists. By all reports, however, the composer’s letters show that he had quite a juvenile, scatological side. This version actually has less scatology than earlier ones, and director Meads has decreased that even further. But there’s still plenty of pubescent humor and action, and there is that donkey-bray laugh. Colleen Collar is solid as Mozart’s long-suffering wife, Costanza; Rick D. Meads, Doren Elias and Jim Chovick and are aptly stodgy and regal as the Emperor Franz Joseph II and members of his court. And K.B. Mercer, Paul Maley and Greg Good do excellent work as the gossip-mongering “venticelli.” The set (Mike Buckley) is a basic series of provocatively revealing curtains draped above mirrored steps (which sometimes produce blinding reflections for the audience). The lighting (Buckley again) enhances the costumes and the changing, darkening mood. Mozart’s death feels rushed, though his slide into the unmarked mass grave is a chilling theatrical moment. It just doesn’t seem that there’s enough music, and what there is, isn’t loud enough. We need to hear more of the Requiem, more than snippets of the operas. But overall, director Kerry Meads has done a superb job of keeping the tone alternately solemn and lively, the action smooth and seemingly effortless and the tension high. You owe it to Mozart, in his celebratory birthday year, to enjoy his youthful excesses, mourn his tragically early death and thrill to the luminosity of what he left behind.
THE LOCATION: At Lamb’s Players Theatre, through July 23.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Best Bet
THE SHOWS: NOT I and KRAPP’S LAST TAPE, a Beckett double-header performed by Claudio Raygoza, directed by Glenn Paris
THE BACKSTORY: It’s a wakeup call and a refuge. A New World Stage. Ion theatre company’s executive artistic director, Claudio Raygoza, and producing artistic director, Glenn Paris, have teamed up to present repertory productions of 20th century classics, and to provide a new theater space intended for their own use and as a haven for other small, homeless companies. They’ve taken over a 3600 square-foot downtown warehouse location, and within a scant five weeks, fashioned it into a viable 88-seat theater (using the seats from the North Park Theatre – quite comfortable!). The place has enormous potential and the plans are exciting (maybe they’ll even help elevate the neighborhood). The two Beckett plays, with Paris directing Raygoza, alternate with Ionesco’s The Chairs, with Raygoza directing Paris (and San Diego darling DeAnna Driscoll). That piece opens June 16 and runs through July 9. An auspicious beginning. And Claudio tells me the initial response has been so enthusiastic, the space is already booked through next March!
THE PLAYER/THE PRODUCTION: The evening opens with Not I, written by Beckett in 1972. It’s a relentless monologue, spoken only by a mouth (the character is identified only as “Mouth”; the rest of the speaker is not visible). Through a torrential stream of consciousness, we hear about a woman (the piece is typically performed by a woman, ostensibly referring to herself in the third person) who’s nearing 70, perhaps dying. She has remained silent most of her life, since being thrust prematurely into the world from her mother’s loveless womb. The “godforsaken hole” reviled by Mouth is at once the mother’s sex organs, the miserable world into which the woman was thrust and that unstoppable oral aperture. If Molly Bloom’s famous monologue is an affirmation of life and an assertion of female identity, Not I is its antithesis. It is Beckett at his most minimalist. The emotional force of the piece is damped to a degree by being spoken by a man; the self-negation, the refusal to refer to herself in the first person (“No! SHE!”) are crucial to the play. However, since it’s only a disembodied mouth, it’s possible to ignore gender, but knowing that a man is speaking the words remains a bit unnerving. Even if that man is Raygoza, who does a fine job with the gargantuan undertaking. But the flood of language, despite considerable modulation of pace and tone, becomes incantatory, hypnotizing, ultimately soporific. We lose focus on the content, we are amazed by the technique, the apparent discomfort of the black face-covering that keeps slipping, the incredible task of memorizing the lines.
But in Krapp’s Last Tape, we are riveted, mesmerized. Under Paris ’ direction, Raygoza reaches the pinnacle of his dramatic career. His work is always authentic, explicit, intense and hyper- focused. But here, there is laser-beam clarity and unconditional concentration. Every move, as is Beckett’s directive, is meticulously choreographed. My theatergoing friend called the scrupulous, methodical slo-mo movements ‘theatrical tai chi.’ Perfect. Raygoza’s rigor and precision are breathtaking; the character’s pain is palpable. Dressed in filthy, shabby clothes (the man, after all, hasn’t been out of his house in years), he shuffles and shambles, his habit patterns as ingrained as the dirt in his face and garments. He replays the tapes he’s made each year, and relives the life that’s gone astray. The light is dim, ghoulish. He is making his final entry, still relishing the sound of words (“spooool”), lamenting his lost love, still remembering the one moonlit night when he lay on top of her. He pathetically insists to the end: “Perhaps my best years are gone, my best chance at happiness. But I wouldn’t want them back.” There is always the banana business: the sexually provocative mouthing of the fruit, slipping on the peel. But this is no comedy; it’s life at its Beckettian bleakest. And it’s a performance not to be missed.
THE LOCATION: At the new downtown theater space, New World Stage, through July 9; in repertory with The Chairs.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Best Bet
BLUES IN THE NIGHT
THE SHOW: FIVE SHADES OF BLUES, the latest offering from Calvin Manson, whose Ira Aldridge Repertory Players presents stories of African American singers and song
THE STORY/THE PLAYERS/THE PRODUCTION: Like Manson’s prior ‘concert’ presentations, Raisin’ the Rent and An Evening with Billie Holliday, there’s very little narrative arc in this show. The piece opens with a young guy (Kenneth Calloway) talking about his Granddad and the stories he told about the origins of the blues. We don’t hear from him again until the top of the second act (which inexplicably, is longer than the first), and his recollections don’t provide much insight, though they’re potentially an ideal entry-point. The conceit is under-developed, and we never do learn what the ‘five shades’ are, since there doesn’t seem to be a particular ‘hue’ or tone assigned to each of the singers. And there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason or sequence to the huge playlist. It’s just one aching, amusing or rousing song after another, mostly as solos. Which is fine, because when the group of five talented vocalists sings in unison, it feels very much like a bunch of solo song stylists each doing their thing, and it really doesn’t work; considerably more arrangement and musical direction required. And the show wrap-up features five unison songs in a row. Some of the numbers make excellent use of the group as backup for a solo turn (musical direction by Joe Norwood and Ayanna Hobson). The African openers, “Lewa Wechi” and “Senie,” are very powerful, and perfectly followed by Charmen Jackson’s outstanding, evocative rendition of the spiritual “At Sunrise.” She also does a wonderful turn in “The Sky is Crying” and “Today I Sing the Blues.” The men seem quite comfortable with the comic songs (Don Jackson with the funny Lightnin’ Hoopkins number, “Honey Don’t Tear My Clothes” and Lucky Peterson’ “3 Handed Woman”; Prince Sewood with Johnny Taylor’s “Cheaper to Keep Her ”). Of the women, co-director Jackson seems most at home with the blues, which appear to be more of a stretch for sweet-voiced Anasa Johnson, who so excellently captured Billie Holiday in two prior Manson/IARP productions; or Ayanna Hobson, who is a superb jazz singer, and scats as well as anyone. In fact, she’ll be appearing soon in IARP’s next production, Sassy, about Sarah Vaughn. That seems better suited to her. Of course, these two megatalents can put over any song, and Johnson does high-octane work with “In the Morning When I Rise,” while Hobson is terrific with “Born Under a Bad Sign.”
If you love the blues, you’ll love this presentation. Because it’s intimate, and there’s a good deal of talent displayed, and the band is hot – and cool. Lead guitarist Joe Norwood really lets ‘er rip, and keyboardist Vic Kemp, bassist Dana Mayer and drummer Pete Bogel are right there with him. We all got a right to sing the blues. [And we’ve also got a right to accurate print material. This is a long-standing problem with IARP, easily remedied with spellcheck and eagle-eyed editing. Even the names of the performers are misspelled, multiple times, in the program. Professional companies need a consistently professional look].
THE LOCATION: On the Express Stage in North Park ’s Acoustic Expressions, through June 25.
READINGS AND MORE READINGS …
… Our newest theater venture, VOX NOVA THEATRE COMPANY, launched this week with a fundraising premiere, a farce called Oedipus in the Tragicomic Bathtub, written by Ruff Yeager, directed by Kirsten Brandt, the co-founders of the new company; Yeager will serve as Executive Artistic Director and Brandt the Associate Artistic Director. The mission is new play development, and the venture got off to a rousing start, with an all-star cast that featured Priscilla Allen, Laura Bozanich, Patricia Elmore-Costa, Jeannine Marquie, Mike Sears, George Weinberg-Harter and Jeff Wells as an aging old-fart Greek Chorus, each with a physical quirk or infirmity to die for (or from). It practically took them minutes to make their painstaking entrances and exits under Brandt’s terrifically timed/paced direction.
In this deconstruction of the Oedipus myth, Ruff’s son, Geoffrey Yeager, spent the entire evening in a downstage in the titular bathtub, mostly with a newspaper over his face. Matt Thompson and Wendy Waddell were very funny as the new Mother and Father who, when told of “the curse” prophesied by the old folks – that is, that childrearing is a lifelong headache, nightmare and horror — they decide to give up their baby. (Later, the young tyke will poke his eyes out with a stray diaper pin). John Martin is drop-dead hilarious as a lusty, big-busted, polka-dotted, casually cruel neonatal nurse. All the elements of the original story are there (even the Sphinx riddle about the “four legs, two legs, three legs” makes a significant appearance – though its explanation is presented as a play-ending revelation). Phil Johnson is extremely amusing (as always) as the blind, groping Terry (aka Tiresias); mostly he’s groping Nurse John.
The whole effort was admittedly a linguistically playful one for Yeager. In the post-show talk-back, he said he just wanted to tweak, tease and spoof stilted classical language, and turn the structure of a Greek drama on its head. In both efforts, he succeeded mightily. But there didn’t seem to be much point to the endeavor, and nothing really was gained or learned. The repeated voiceover readings of Birth and Death announcements, with all the tiny details no one but the deceased really care about, was funny at first, but grew old fast. The campy silliness wore out its welcome, too, though there were some sidesplitting moments. Yeager missed a great opportunity for some political commentary (most of the Greek tragedies, remember, were reflective of their societies and instructive as well). At one point, Father proclaims: “We are young, we are hopeful, we are America !” Yeager really could’ve run with that, and it might have given more insight, depth and political relevance to the piece. As an exercise in theatrical self-reference (the fourth wall is broken repeatedly for a ‘play within a play’), it was derivative – and those in-jokes are almost always funnier for theater folk than for anyone else. But the performances were tremendous. I think the play was best served as a reading. Though it might be entertaining in a fully staged version, I’m not sure it would make much of a statement, without some serious fleshing out and paring down.
But this is an exciting new endeavor, and the upcoming featured artists are nothing short of thrilling – including new plays by Mac Wellman (known locally for Sledgehammer Theatre productions of Termina Hip, Sincerity Forever and 7 Blowjobs), Susan Yankowitz .( Terminal, written with theater icon Joseph Chaikin; and, also at Slege, A Knife in the Heart and Phaedra in Delirium) and Marianne McDonald (scads of local productions and Greek adaptaions). For info on upcoming events: visit www.voxnovatheatrecompany.com .
…Todd Salovey, the artistic director of the 13th annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival (celebrating what I’d call its Star Mitzvah this year), is presenting a reading of a world premiere, The Blessing of a Broken Heart, which he’s adapted and directed. Based on the spiritual memoir of the same name by Sherri Mandell, it’s the deeply moving story of a woman whose son was tragically slain by a Palestinian terrorist. Todd promises that the searing, healing journey is courageous and life-affirming. Tuesday, June 20 at 7:30pm on the Lyceum Stage.
IN THE NEWS
TONY ŰBER ALLES — San Diego scored big at the 60th annual Tony Awards on Sunday. Jersey Boys, which originated at the La Jolla Playhouse, under the crafty direction of Des McAnuff, walked in with eight nominations and walked out with four awards. John Lloyd Young, whose meteoric rise is already a Broadway fable, was a shoo-in for Outstanding Performance in a Musical. Here’s his success story: He auditioned for the role of Frankie Valli and didn’t get it, losing out to David Noroña. Noroña had a terrible time with his voice during the repeatedly extended run in La Jolla , and opted out of the Broadway transfer. (I can’t say how many times I’ve thought of him, and just hope he’s at peace with the choice he made. The show was killing his voice, he didn’t want to disrupt his family; he had a new young son whom he couldn’t even talk or sing to, because he had to save his voice for performance. And he figured he had a regular gig in “Six Feet Under,” which was, unfortunately, cancelled shortly after his fateful decision. But according to the Jersey Boys who are still in touch with David, he’s happy for them and he has no regrets. Whatta mensch!).
Meanwhile, during the San Diego run, Young had been fine-tuning his falsetto, while he was working on Broadway – as an usher! By the time the Frankie Valli role became available again, he was ready and by all accounts, he totally nailed it in audition. Then he took New York by storm, winning just about all the theater awards this season. Lighting designer Howell Binkley (who also lit The Who’s Tommy and Zhivago at LJP) won for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Jersey Boyl. Des McAnuff, nominated as Best Director of a Musical, lost out to John Doyle, for his incredible, wildly inventive re-imagining of Sweeney Todd. But the Playhouse pulled some other rabbits out of its Tony top-hat. In a surprise upset, adorable, lovable Christian Hoff (who also appeared here in 1992 and the next year on Broadway, in The Who’s Tommy) won for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, for his knockout portrayal of Tommy DeVito. The real Tommy D was there, up onstage, with Frankie and Bob Gaudio, for the big bombshell of the evening – Jersey Boys winning Best Musical. What a triumph! What an upset (The Drowsy Chaperone was expected to win). What excitement for San Diego ! When he was up onstage, the emotional and ever-gracious Christian Hoff thanked his beautiful and equally talented wife, Melissa Hoff, who’s currently appearing in Zhivago at the Playhouse. Maybe they’ll both be on Broadway soon…. though they’re about to give a starring role to the upcoming addition to their family of four.
Another winning San Diego connection this year was Gregg Barnes, who snagged a Tony for Best Costume Design of a Musical for The Drowsy Chaperone, which was JB’s big competition. Barnes got his start here with the homegrown musical Suds, which debuted at the San Diego Rep in 1987, then went on to the Old Globe and Off Broadway. Two of his original partners in crime, Steve Gunderson and Melinda Gilb, are opening soon in Back to Bacharach and David at North Coast Rep.
So, San Diego is prominent on the national theater map yet again. This is the third year in a row that the Playhouse has scored big – the last two mega-wins were for Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays (feted as Special Theatrical Event), also directed by McAnuff, and the Best Play/Leading Actor Tonys, as well as the Pulitzer Prize, for I Am My Own Wife, starring that stellar UCSD alumnus, Jefferson Mays. Last year, the Old Globe’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels got nine nominations and won one award: Best Performance in a Musical for Norbert Leo Butz. Wow! Are we hot, or what?
.. LOCAL WRITER MAKES GOOD
David Wiener , whom I named a Promising Playwright in 2001, after the premiere of his intriguing Van Meegeren, Master Forger, has won an award for Best Play at last month’s 12th annual New York City 15-Minute Play Festival. And this week, that winning one-act, An Honest Arrangement, was selected out of 180 contenders as one of the plays to be produced at the Off Broadway Center Stage Theatre for the “Mercy Plays” event, October 18-22. The piece premiered at the Actors Festival last summer, and went on to Playwrights Express ( Hollywood ), BareStage Theatre (Red Bluff, CA) and Willow Theatre ( Boca Raton , FL ). It’ll be produced at Cedar Lane Stage in Bethesda , MD in the fall. In addition to The Master Forger, which went on to London and also received Honorable Mention in the Writers Digest competition, Wiener’s Louis and Irving, which also premiered in San Diego, won 2nd prize at the 2004 Palm Springs International Playwriting Competition, and is slated for a staged reading in the Los Angeles Celebrity Playreading Series (Jan. 2007). Look for Wiener’s latest creation, Bride on the Rocks, at the Actors Festival (to be performed 7/26 and 7/29).
.. and ending on a tragically somber note… IN MEMORIAM
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN… JOHN CHRISTOPHER GUTH, 1966-2006
I still can’t quite believe it. He was just 40 years old. He’d just begun a new chapter of his life, falling madly in love and moving up north with his new beloved. He was happier than he’d ever been. What a cruel twist of Fate. Last year, John was courted by Rob King, whom he met on a vacation in Puerto Vallarta , the way every male and female alive dreams of being courted. And he was swept off his feet. Enough to leave his job of 17 years at North Coast Repertory Theatre, which he also dearly loved. Over nearly half his life, he served the theater in multiple roles, starting at age 22 and ending as PR/communications director, an excellent and delightful liaison to the press. It was always such fun dealing with him – personally and professionally. Every time he called me, he literally sang my name (with a tune of his invention). I loved those calls. He was always a joy to work with – fast, efficient, eternally upbeat and optimistic. His sly, wry sense of humor was delicious.
From time to time, to everyone’s delight, he’d step onstage at NCRT. Who’ll ever forget his stalwart Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha (2001), or his heartbreaking portrayal of the intellectually challenged Mickey in Greetings (1992)? Over the years, he played a raft of gentle men, which was precisely what he was. A loving, caring friend, ever-cheerful, ever-helpful, ever-efficient, ever-musical and gleefully comical. He was one of a kind.
In 1997, he offered to be on the planning committee of the first Patté Awards, and he was an active behind-the-scenes participant from the beginning. He even flew in this past January (see photo) so he wouldn’t ruin his 9-year record. He offered countless creative ideas for the event, and he was always willing to assist in any way possible. When he went to Paris a few years ago, he was tickled to bring me back a tin of pâté (or is that Patté?). And just to highlight the kind of man he attracted, I have to report that Rob called me the other day to offer to stand in for John on the Patté committee if I needed the help. The vacancy John left behind will not be easily filled. He was so loving and fun-loving, giving and forgiving. He had a bottomless heart and a beautiful soul. Like so many others, I am devastated. The whole theater community laments this irreplaceable loss.
The memorial celebration of John’s life will be held on Monday, June 19 at 4pm at North Coast Repertory Theatre, his home away from home. After a program and reception, there will be an open mic. In lieu of flowers, the family hopes you’ll honor John’s love of the theater with a donation to The Theatre School @ NCRT.
‘NOT TO BE MISSED!’ (Critic’s Picks)
(For full text of all past reviews, use the Search engine at www.patteproductions.com)
Krapp’s Last Tape – beautifully crafted, intensely precise performance by Claudio Raygoza
Ion theatre at the new downtown theater space, New World Stage, through July 9.
Amadeus – it’s talky and prolix and beats you over the head with its messages, but it’s a great story (whatever part of it is actually factual) and it’s very well presented by a fine, committed cast
At Lamb’s Players Theatre, through July 23
Christmas on Mars –wacky and wildly over the top; well performed, but not for everyone
On the Globe’s Cassius Carter Centre Stage, through July 9
Atwater Fixin’ to Die – unsatisfying play, unsavory man, but tour de force performance by Jeffrey Jones
At Cygnet Theatre, through June 18
The Violet Hour – lovely production of a flawed but thought-provoking play by the Time-obsessed Richard Greenberg
At the Old Globe Theatre, through June 25
Zhivago – the world premiere musical has all the romance and extravagance you anticipated. You’re sure to get caught up in the legendary Russian romance
At the La Jolla Playhouse, EXTENDED through July 9.
We’ve lost three beloved, devoted theater supporters in the past month — Kurt Reichert, Judith Munk, and now John Guth. We grieve, but we also know that the best way to honor their memories… is at the theater.
©2006 Patté Productions Inc.