Pat Launer on San Diego Theater
By Pat Launer , SDNN
April 9, 2010
The loss of Craig Noel, at age 94, marks the end of an era for San Diego theater. Craig was a beloved local treasure, a visionary whose influence extended far beyond the Old Globe, where he spent seven decades, shepherding the place from a community theater to a three-stage professional complex with a high national/international profile.
I adored Craig; he was smart, funny, knowledgeable, opinionated. He had amazing stories and memories, of stars and productions, snafus and successes. And up until recently, he recalled all the years and names and details. To spend time with him was a joy; he was modest and unpretentious, but you still felt like you were in the presence of San Diego theater royalty.
In 2000, I gave a Patté Award to Craig, the first annual Shiley Award for Lifetime Achievement, for his 60 years of indefatigable, inventive, nurturing and life-affirming contributions to San Diego theater. For his 75th birthday, I spent a good deal of time talking to and writing about him –- for On Air magazine and the Los Angeles Times. We shared a concern for cultivating new young audiences, what he called developing a “theater habit.” I often quote his wise words: “Give me a child till he’s 6 years old, and I’ll give you a theatergoer for life.”
I’d like to share the piece I wrote about him in 1996, when he was 75. I think it captures the delightful man he was, and the prophetic thinker we’ll miss.
The drugstore soda jerk watched the actors come in from the theater in the park. They reminded him of his own first experience on a stage: as a deep-voiced troll in a kindergarten play. The kid grew up, but he never lost sight of that park or that theater. This month, as Craig Noel turns 75, he celebrates a 53-year association with the Old Globe Theatre, and a lifetime in Balboa Park .
“My playground has always been Balboa Park ,” Noel says with a crinkly smile, stroking Bijou, his golden retriever and constant companion. He grew up right near the Park, and attended Jefferson Grammar School , San Diego High School and San Diego State College (now SDSU). What was his life like before the Globe? “I didn’t have any,” he deadpans, nestling into his office full of theater memorabilia, awards and photographs.
During the California Pacific International Exposition at the Park (1935-6), he worked as a camera-rental clerk, and whenever he had time off, he caught the 50-minute versions of Shakespeare plays performed at the Old Globe. When the Exposition closed and the Globe became a community theater, Noel acted in its very first production (“The Distaff Side,” 1937). His last performance was in 1975, in Jack O’Brien’s production of “Our Town” (eerie coincidences: that was ’75, now he’s 75, and the Globe is doing “Our Town” again this summer — sans Noel). He became resident director in 1939, and, some 200+ plays later, he has barely slowed down. His most recent directorial efforts, including “And a Nightingale Sang,” were highly praised by local critics. There was the distinctive signature of Craig Noel — a warm, lush, detailed production highlighting the work of a lesser-known playwright, in this case, the Scottish-born C.P. Taylor.
Noel has always enjoyed bringing new names and styles to San Diego audiences. In the early ‘60s, he extended the Globe’s spring seasons into the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, introducing the works of Beckett, Ionesco, Pirandello, Brecht and Albee. This experiment continued at the Falstaff Tavern (remodeled and renamed, in 1969, the Cassius Carter Centre Stage). In 1974, Noel set into motion the Play Discovery Program and the Globe Educational Tour, and in 1983 he launched Teatro Meta, the Old Globe’s bilingual theater division. Much earlier, in 1949, he had established the world-renowned Shakespeare Festival at the Globe, and ten years later he guided the theater’s transformation to professional status. (It remains the oldest continuing professional not-for-profit theater in the state).
Noel’s influence has been profoundly felt, not only at the Globe, but also within the local and national theater community. In 1984, to celebrate his 50th anniversary in professional theater, he was honored by governments and regional theaters nationwide. And three years later, a San Diego Mayoral Proclamation declared 1987 “The Year of Craig Noel,” a tribute to his 50-year association with the Old Globe. [2010 update: In 2007, he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts].
And now we come to another milestone. Seventy-five. Craig Noel waves the matter away. He is still spritely and impish, and he still has big plans. “I wish we could devise some way to cover the Festival Stage so we could have it year round. It’s our largest revenue-maker, because of its seating capacity (he rattles off the numbers: 637 seats in the outdoor Festival Stage, 420 at the Globe, 245 in the Carter), but we can only use it for half the season.
“But my biggest irritation is the ravaging of the Park.” (He’s still concerned about his playground). “When I was a boy, 1400 acres was all park. The hospital, the schools and the freeways have kept nibbling away at it. Now there’s this incredible parking problem…” Noel reaches behind the sofa (next to which Bijou has surreptitiously managed to find and finish my glass of water), and he whips out a full-color artist’s rendering of the Official Craig Noel Balboa Park Solution (my title), an elaborate depiction of what he calls “parcades,” three stories of under-bridge parking with a pedestrian mall. He looks at it wistfully; “It’s a wonderful plan, but who’s gonna pay?” He always worries about the finances, though he claims “It’s the stuff I don’t like to do. The fun part of the job is directing.” And Noel has no plans to curtail that. “I think I’ll know when I shouldn’t direct any more,” he says thoughtfully but with confidence. That time, judging by his recent reviews, has obviously not arrived.
What has arrived is this inescapable birthday, and for once, the Executive Producer is allowing the Theatre to make something of it. This year’s major fundraising event, the Globe Gala ’90, is billed as “A Birthday Fantasy” — ‘the biggest, grandest birthday celebration ever to hit San Diego.’ “Everything will be larger than life,” bubbles Gala Manager Bridget Cantu Wear, the Globe’s Associate Director of Development. “There’ll be big balloons, blowups, walk-throughs, klieg lights. Color, confetti, and fog and streamers. Everything to make someone feel like a kid again.”
There’s definitely something of the kid still evident in this shy, unassuming septuagenarian. Craig Noel pauses and says it’s time to get back to work. Bijou is immediately at his side. They saunter off together, a boy and his dog. ~PBL, 1996
I am Woman, Hear Me Roar (or not)
THE SHOW: “ The Heidi Chronicles, ” winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play by Wendy Wasserstein, at New Village Arts
Heidi Holland isn’t exactly your Everywoman. She isn’t someone you’d like to be, or maybe even know. Sure, she’s smart, witty and well educated; an excellent art historian and perhaps a pretty good friend. But she’s perpetually unhappy and unfulfilled, “bored, depressed and anxious,” as her friend Peter says.
In Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1988 play, she’s searching for her identity, for her place in the world. She may be the titular centerpiece, but she’s always on the sidelines of the seminal events happening around her, as she stumbles through three tumultuous decades, from the 1960s to the ‘80s. She chronicles an era, from the flirtations of high school through consciousness-raising groups and feminist demonstrations to Baby Boomer females’ wanting to have it all and falling far short, settling, compromising and descending from idealism into disillusionment.
What’s most annoying about Heidi, in addition to her ineffectual nature and her tendency to instruct by means of art history lectures, is her supremely non-feminist need for a man to define her identity and her happiness. At the end, she settles for a baby, without a man. This is, in fact, the same trajectory of the life of Wendy Wasserstein, loved by all who knew her, but always single, searching and lonely. In the end, she, too, settled for a child sans husband. In 1999, at age 48, she gave birth to Lucy Jane Wasserstein, the result of a very difficult premature delivery which Wendy chronicled in an essay collection, “Shiksa Goddess.” Seven years later, Wendy was dead, a victim of lymphoma. The lights were dimmed on Broadway in her honor.
Most of her plays were frankly autobiographical. And they all bear her distinctly New York, Jewish, Boomer sensibility. Which is exactly what’s missing from the New Village Arts production. For a very period-specific play, helmed by a first-time director ( Amanda Sitton ), a dramaturge was surely in order. There were no Boomers involved, no Jews, no native New Yorkers. And it showed. Many words were mispronounced, from “Heidele,” the Yiddish term of endearment and, one might argue, infantilization, repeatedly used by Heidi’s on-again/off-again boyfriend, Scoop Rosenbaum (okay, two errors in pronunciation there. ‘Heidele’ has the accent on the first syllable. Second, in New York, the last syllable in Rosenbaum has the same vowel as ‘down’ or ‘renown’). Further, an art historian should know how to pronounce the name of the 17th century Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi. And any New York Boomer who went to summer camp (which was just about all of us) or was in Girl Scouts or Brownies would know the melody of the swaying-in-a-circle song “Friends, Friends, Friends,” which bears no resemblance to the made-up melody used in this production.
Okay, maybe these are picky points. There are, unfortunately, more serious missteps. One of the more enjoyable and entertaining aspects of this walk down memory lane is the wild fluctuations in clothes and hairstyles. None of that is reflected here. As Heidi, Kristianne Kurner wears the same Heidi-inappropriate low-cut dress throughout — for a high school dance, a professional lecture, a midnight trip to a hospital. Makes no sense. The other characters don’t vary much, either (costumes by Renetta Lloyd).
Music is intrinsic to the piece. Throughout the play, Wasserstein specifies the songs that trigger emotions and memories, from “The Shoop Shoop Song” to Sam Cook and the Beatles. Here, the decision was made to have Linda Libby, a fine singer and talented musician, to sit stage-left with two guitars and sing all the songs herself. But that robs us of the very nostalgic familiarity of the very voices that recall our bittersweet experience of the eras depicted in the play.
Kurner plays Heidi fairly flat, without sufficiently highlighting her quick-thinking, razor-sharp humor. DeCarlo is not as charismatic or irresistible or Jewish or obnoxious as Scoop needs to be. Heidi’s long-term friend Susan (Jacque Wilke) is the one who changes the most in the play -– from boy-crazed teen to Midwest shepherdess to high-octane Hollywood type, but we don’t see or feel those changes. Same for the rest of the cast (Kelly Iversen, Frances Regal, Sunny Smith, Anthony Phifer) in various roles. They all seem like cardboard cartoon characters, though Regal totally nails the shallow, distracted TV interviewer. The only one who creates a multi-layered personality is Brian Mackey as Peter Patrone, the gay pediatrician and Heidi’s closest friend (the role played, in life, by playwright Christopher Durang, who was Wendy Wasserstein’s best-bud from their Yale days to her death). Everyone else is playing the surface; there’s no shading or subtext, which keeps us from engaging or caring.
The serviceable set (Tim Wallace), one wall of brick and one of empty painting frames, is pleasantly lit ( Jason Bieber ). The play is admittedly flawed; of the many times I’ve seen it, only once was it a moving experience, and that was shortly after Wasserstein’s death. But this production does it no favors, and makes it feel like a musty period piece that has little relevance to who or where we are today. Pity, because young women have little sense of the struggles and battles that came before them.
THE LOCATION: New Village Arts , 2787 State St., Carlsbad. (760) 433-3245; www.newvillagearts.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $22-30. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., through April 25
Talking, but not Understanding
THE SHOW: “ The Language Archive ,” a world premiere comic/romantic fantasy, at South Coast Repertory
If language is your love, your interest or your obsession, “The Language Archive” is your kind of play. It’s smart, witty, fanciful, and filled with the vagaries of living and dying languages, and the crushing difficulty of truly being understood. The premise of this world premiere romantic comedy is something of an exercise in irony.
George (Leo Marks, zhlubbily, cluelessly appealing) is a brilliant linguist who has an extensive archive (stunningly detailed set by Neil Patel, gorgeously lit by Mark McCullough, all in bookish browns) filled, floor-to-ceiling, with books, records and tapes of languages that are dying out. His professional passion is communication (“every two weeks, a language dies”), but in his personal life, he’s dreadful at the task. He can’t figure out why his wife, Mary (Betsy Brandt, intriguingly offbeat), weeps all the time, just “slumps over” in tears, even while she’s washing the dishes or paying the bills. He’s talking to us, the audience, or maybe to himself, but Mary gives us an immediate sense of the whimsical tone and tenor of the piece when she says, right up at the top, “George, I’m right here. I can hear everything you’re saying.” George accuses her of leaving “bad poetry” all over the house; she denies it. She does, in fact, plant cryptic, sometime haiku-like pronouncements that he fails to comprehend. And then, she leaves him. He’s bereft, but also silent. He can’t begin to express his true feelings.
Meanwhile, in two parallel plots, there’s his lab assistant, Emma (Laura Heisler, mousily effective), who’s told she’s blocked up because she doesn’t tell George she loves him. The only way she can do that is to learn Esperanto to impress him. And then there’s Alta and Resten (Linda Gehringer and Tony Amendola, wonderful as a quirky array of characters, living and dead), the last two speakers of the Elloway language, who are flown in to George’s lab so he can record something unique: the last vestiges of conversation, not just monologues from the sole, no-longer-fluent survivor of a culture or way of life. But when the aged Alta and Resten, who look like bundled-up, babushkaed Eastern European refugees (costumes by Rachel Myers), arrive, they’re in the midst of a fight. And they only argue in English.
“Our language is too sacred for that kind of angry talk,” they say. “It is the language of our hearts. Mean, ugly things are what English is perfect for.” Their ongoing argument is about “who takes the window-seat” — on the plane and in life.
The play is not just about the vagaries of language and life; it’s very much about love, and how painfully difficult that is to communicate, in any tongue.
Things don’t progress the way you’d think. Julia Cho’s clever writing keeps the action unpredictable; she repeatedly throws absurd characters and situations into the mix, keeping us amusingly off-balance. It’s a delightful piece of work, but it doesn’t seem quite finished, doesn’t break enough new philosophical ground, though the potential is clearly there. The ending, with each character telling the audience how s/he wound up, feels trite and unsatisfying. But there are many comical and instructive moments and hopefully, the play is still evolving. Commissioned by the Roundabout Theatre in New York, it’s already been honored with this year’s Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a prestigious award that recognizes “women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.”
South Coast Rep has always had an excellent eye for new work. Mark Brokaw is an inventive director. Steven Cahill’s enchanting original music features a fascinating range of percussive sounds and instruments. Cho has already developed a following; she’s the creator of a number of plays, most of which have been produced on the East coast, though this is her fifth production at South Coast. Her work has yet to be seen in San Diego (though almost all the cast members have performed here); hopefully, that state of affairs will be rectified soon.
THE LOCATION: South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. ( 714) 708-5555 ; www.scr.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $28-65; Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., through April 25
THE BOTTOM LINE: Best Bet
THE SHOW: “ The Pirates of Penzance , ” the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta classic, at Lyric Opera San Diego
If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between operetta and musical theater, this is your opportunity to conduct a personal experiment. There are two current productions of “The Pirates of Penzance” on San Diego stages, and they each take a decidedly different slant on the same material.
I’ve already reported on the production at the Welk ( http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-03-24/things-to-do/theater-things-to-do/american-duet-boeing-boeing-plus-more-theater-reviews-news ), a big, brash, over-the-top musical theater extravaganza in the vein of the acclaimed 1982 New York revival (the show hasn’t been seen on Broadway since), which starred a swashbucklingly spectacular Kevin Kline and a stiff but vocally brilliant Linda Ronstadt.
In distinguishing the two forms, Stephen Sondheim once said, “I really think that when something plays Broadway it’s a musical, and when it plays in an opera house, it’s opera. That’s it. It’s the terrain, the countryside, the expectations of the audience that make it one thing or another.”
Lyric opera straddles the two genres, and might produce musicals, operas and operettas, but typically employs operatic performers, who are usually singers first and actors secondarily. Musical theatre performers are often actors first and then singers and dancers. Someone skilled at all three is called a “triple threat.” So, there’s your primer.
At the Welk, there’s quite a bit of movement and dancing, and some really skilled dancers at that. At LOSD, the choreography (uncredited) is rudimentary and far from expertly executed. The singing is excellent (though as Mabel, the wonderful soprano Megan Weston can rarely be clearly understood – a much more common occurrence in opera than in musical theater).
The Lyric Opera production has far less humor than the Welk’s (though the Police are bumblingly amusing) and there’s considerably less swash being buckled by the pirates. In fact, there’s an odd conceit here. Riffing on the final-act comment that these pirates “are all noblemen who have gone wrong”), this production, under the direction of conductor Leon Natker , opens with the pirates as gentlemen. They’re in the Penzance Beach and Tennis Club, all dressed in white — shorts and knee socks, suits, tails or tennis togs — singing “Happy Birthday” to Frederic, who has just attained majority and completes his indenture to the band of (soft-hearted) rogues. That idea doesn’t work. There they are, singing about their piratical exploits with undertones of machismo, dressed like fops. Then, when Frederic (charming lyric tenor Ben jamin Robinson) wanders off on his own, has his first encounter with young ladies and falls in love with the aforementioned Mabel, he’s inexplicably clothed in traditional pirate garb. How/when did that come about?
Once the pirates (headed by robust bass-baritone Ashraf Sewailam) are appropriately geared-up, they’re much more credible. Fran Hartshorn is engaging as Frederic’s nurse Ruth; she displays some excellent vocal flourishes and considerable panache when she turns piratical. Jack Montgomery does his typically droll comic turn as the Major General. Instead of the hyped-up, hyper-fast repetition of his signature patter-song, which is executed to perfection at the Welk, he adds his own topical verses, that mention Sarah Palin, Tina Fey, bloggers and tweeters, Schwartzenegger and Dancing with the Stars. Cute, and unique.
Overall, though, the staging is static and traditional, with unimaginative lineups for most group scenes. The impressive, 24-piece orchestra is in fine form, especially the strings (the percussion sections sound a bit spare).
So, do your own musical genre research. You decide how you like your operettas – and your entertainment.
THE LOCATION: The Birch North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave. ( 619) 239-8836 ; www.lyricoperasandiego.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $32-52. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m., through April 11
THE SHOW: “ Legally Blonde, The Musical , ” the touring production, at the Civic Theatre (Broadway San Diego)
I hate to sound sexist, but the premise of “Legally Blonde,” the movie or the musical, is highly unlikely. Ditsy, clothes-obsessed, Malibu sorority girl, terminally blonde and addicted to pink, gets dumped by boyfriend and vows to follow him to Harvard. She’s never cracked a book, but thanks to a boffo musical performance in front of the stodgy, startled (but not untitillated) admissions committee, she gets in, snags the coveted internship, rebuffs a harassing professor, scores big at the Important Trial, walks away from the guy she came for and gets a much better guy at the end. Oh yeah, that’s gonna happen.
But this is musical theater, and fantasyland, and a great big ball of cotton candy fun. No further thinking or analysis required.
The touring production, which parked itself briefly at the Civic Theatre, courtesy of Broadway San Diego, was mindless, silly, irresistible entertainment. Becky Gulsvig has a bit of Kristen Chenoweth about her, but she’s cute, pert, blonde (duh!), funny and impressively talented at acting, singing and dancing. Jeff McLean has just the right handsome, small-minded arrogance as her first beau, the supercilious and self-serving Warner Huntington III; and D.B. Bonds is perfect as his antithesis, the smart, good-hearted and unprepossessing Emmett, who gets a Total Fashion Makeover by Elle, natch. Tiffany Engen showed fine comic and vocal chops as the lonely hairdresser Paulette, and Ven Daniel was a hoot as the man of her dreams, a hunky, amusingly robotic UPS guy. Speaking of hunks, some of those chorus guys, with their washboard abs prominently displayed, were nothing short of jaw-dropping – in looks and athletic/acrobatic dance moves.
This was a first-rate production in every way, except that the orchestra (which included ten locals plus four touring musicians), sounded surprisingly tinny and distant. The acoustics in the Civic are so unpredictable. But the hordes of little pink-clad girls didn’t mind, and neither, apparently, did their parents. What was really surprising was how many adults came without kids. Well, you know how it goes: tough times call for empty calories. And sometimes, that’s nourishment enough.
NEWS AND VIEWS
… Another Globe passing. The premature death of Raúl Moncada, who dedicated a good part of his life to the Old Globe, was eclipsed by the passing of Craig Noel this week. Born and raised in Cuba, Moncada attended high school in Massachusetts and went on to major in Speech and Theatre at the University of Illinois. He was a soloist for The Synthetic Theatre dance company, and acted and stage managed in theaters around the country. He was a personal speechwriter for Ricardo Mantalban. Arriving at the Globe in 1983, he stage managed more than 50 productions, and also served as Multicultural Program Associate, Literary Associate, Education associate and director of Teatro Meta, the bicultural outreach program. He wrote the Globe’s first “Pastorela” (1991) and translated more than 20 Spanish-language plays, several of which were produced at the Globe. He established a playreading program in Buenos Aires and produced the Latino Play Discovery Series in San Diego. He spoke a multitude of languages, was passionate about international photography and original art, and brought a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and cross-cultural connections to San Diego. RIP.
… From New York to San Diego and Back: “Yank!,” the delightful musical story of forbidden (read: gay) love during WWII, that was presented at Diversionary Theatre in 2008, is moving on to Broadway after its extended Off Broadway run. Citing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy as an inspiration, the producers of the tuner by Joe Zellnik (music) and his brother David Zellnik (book and lyrics), plan to bring the show to the Great White Way during the 2010-2011 season. One of the leading roles was played by Ivan Hernandez, now a busy Broadway performer, who’s a graduate of the MFA program in musical theatre at SDSU. No details yet on the cast, director, dates or theater.
… Getting your musical theater fix: Sony Masterworks has launched a new site, masterworksbroadway.com, which preserves and documents the history of Broadway musicals, including a catalogue of more than 400 cast recordings, from 1947 to the present. There are also hundreds of never-before-seen recording session photos, a weekly blog by noted theater journalist/author Peter Filichia, a streaming library of cast recordings and podcasts with Broadway notables including Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters and others. The month of April, there will be a “You Gotta Get a Gimmick” sweepstakes, with a prize given away every day. The prize offerings include a trip for two to see a Broadway show and the entire masterworks Broadway catalog (over 275 CDs). So stop hoofin’ and start clickin’.
… Strindberg and Ibsen, together again: After several attempts to stage the steamy August Strindberg classic, “Miss Julie,” Stone Soup Theatre has finally found a home for its production. The searing 1888 drama of class, lust and the battle of the sexes will be presented as a companion piece to North Coast Repertory Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s “Ghosts,” which opens this weekend. Two Scandinavians, back to back. Stone Soup’s 90-minute production of “Miss Julie,” based on a translation by SDSU professor emeritus A.C. Harvey, who also translated the Ibsen work, will be directed by Lisa Berger and Carrie Klewin, and features Rebecca Johanssen in the title role, along with Jason Maddy and Erika Beth Phillips. The show plays on off-nights for five performances only, April 26-May 5. Information and reservations are at (858) 481-1055; www.northcoastrep.org
… Up close and personal: Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company is inaugurating its new Tuesdays at The 10thprogram, a series of monthly events designed to connect artists and audience. First up is “Wine, Cheese and Wisdom with actor Robert Foxworth ,” on April 13. The veteran of Broadway, Tv and film will talk about his career, his thoughts on American theater, and why he’s made San Diego his new home. 6-8 p.m. Reservations/information at (619) 342-7395 or www.moolelo.net
… Sanskrit drama: Chronos Theatre Group is presenting the epic Indian love story, “Shakuntala” by Kalidasa, translated in 1912 by Arthur W. Ryder. The cast of ten, directed by Celeste Innocenti , performs from April 24-May 2 at Swedenborg Hall in Normal Heights. (619) 615-8928; www.chronostheatre.com
PAT’S PICKS: BEST BETS
v “The Language Archive” – clever new work, excellently produced
South Coast Rep, through 4/25
v “Sweeney Todd” – a glorious production of Sondheim’s goriest (and most lyrical) musical
Cygnet Theatre, extended through 5/9
Read Review here: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-03-31/things-to-do/theater-things-to-do/sweeney-todd-plus-more-theater-reviews-news
v “Speech and Debate” – hip, young, and very well done
Diversionary Theatre, through 4/11
Read Review here: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-03-31/things-to-do/theater-things-to-do/sweeney-todd-plus-more-theater-reviews-news
v “An American Duet” – two provocative plays in repertory, both excellently executed
ion theatre, through 4/17
Read the Review here: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-03-24/things-to-do/theater-things-to-do/american-duet-boeing-boeing-plus-more-theater-reviews-news
v “The Pirates of Penzance” – overblown and over-the-top, with over-the-moon singing
The Welk Resorts Theatre, through 5/2
Read the Review here: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-03-17/things-to-do/theater-things-to-do/romeo-and-juliet-pirates-of-penzance-theater-reviews-news
Pat Launer is the SDNN theater critic.
To read any of her prior reviews, type ‘Pat Launer,’ and the name of the play of interest, in the SDNN Search box.