Pat Launer on San Diego Theater
By Pat Launer , SDNN
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The Lion Leaps Tonight
THE SHOW: “The Lion King,” the multi-award-winning mega-musical (adapted from the 1994 Disney film), at the Civic Theatre
The King of Beasts is back. After a short, sellout San Diego run in 2005, “The Lion King” returns for a longer engagement. “LK” virgins: this is the time to scramble for tickets. Because truly, you won’t see anything like this for a long time to come. Julie Taymor’s brilliant creation is incomparable and inimitable. The stage pictures, the magnificent African orange- earthtone lighting, the lively, supple, leap-happy choreography: no wonder it snagged six Tony Awards when it premiered on Broadway in 1997, where it’s still running (the London production, which opened in 1999, is also still going strong). Among the well-deserved Tonys : Best Scenic and Lighting Design (Richard Hudson, Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan), Best Direction ( Taymor ) and Best Musical.
But amid a mass of visual beauty and sensational imagination, the most breathtaking element is the costumes (designed primarily by Taymor , with Michael Curry collaborating on masks and puppets). The genius behind those creations was in revealing both the actor and the workings of the sometimes huge contraptions that perfectly re-create the look and moves of Savannah animals. With the heavy headpieces and back-breaking moves there’s good reason for the “Forbidden Broadway” satire of the show – a crutches-and-canes spoof called “Can You Feel the Pain Tonight?” ( a hilarious riff on the Elton Jon/Tim Rice number, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”). This is the third time I’ve seen the show, and the thrill of the spectacle is undiminished. The touring production is just a little pared down from the Broadway original (the stampede was absolutely incredible in its first incarnation), but all the excitement and ingenuity remain.
On the night I was there, sound balance problems interfered with the experience. Rafiki (engaging, click-speaking South African native Phindile Mkhize ), the oracular, butt-waving baboon who opens the show, was overmiked and sounded shrieky , as did her in-the-balcony sidekicks. Loudness and clarity imbalances among the singers persisted. Presumably, the production has settled into the space by now, though intelligibility is often a problem at the Civic; never for opera, frequently for musical theater. It didn’t affect the potency of the orchestra (ten touring, seven local musicians), under the spirited direction of energetic, pony-tailed Ricky Snyder.
Unless you’ve been living under Pride Rock, you probably know the “Lion King” story. A cub is born to Mufasa (regal, mellow-voiced Dionne Randolph), beloved king of the Pridelands . Curious/adventurous little Simba (Jerome Stephens, Jr.) grows up very much in his father’s shadow, though he’s unfortunately unwary of his evil and jealous uncle Scar (Timothy Carter, whose deep voice is wonderful in dialogue, less so in his songs, which seem to be tax his musical range). Despite the close oversight of the hornbill Zazu (amusing Tony Freeman), Scar manages to get rid of both Simba and his father, arranging Mufasa’s death and then blaming it on the young cub, who runs off in shame. Simba grows up under the devil-may-care ‘ Hakuna Metata ’ guidance of the amiable but odoriferous warthog, Pumbaa (comical Bob Amaral ) and his meerkat sidekick, Timon ( quippy funnyman Tyler Murree ). After Scar assumes the throne with the doltish hyenas as his deadly sidekicks, things take a serious turn for the worse in Prideland ; the water dries up and the animals are starving.
Meanwhile, Nala , Simba’s childhood chum (11 year-old Sadé Louann Murray ), has also blossomed. She and Rafiki help bring Simba home to assume his rightful place as King, restoring the natural order (this is, after all, a cautionary tale of Social Darwinism; everyone has a place in society, and should stay there).
The older Simba and Nala (André Jackson, Marja Harmon) really make the story congeal. Their lovely voices, compelling stage presence and credible connection bring heart to the story. Though the African numbers (by Hans Zimmer and Lebo M) are colorful and evocative, they seem to be outside the plot, featuring the only humans in the mix. Now, dancers as undulating grasses; that’s pretty amazing. The 40-member company is wonderfully agile; the dancing is superb.
The aisles added in for the extravagant, astonishing “Circle of Life,” the eye-popping parade of animals that starts the show, provide welcome access to the long-rowed Civic Theatre; too bad it’s only for this production.
Grab the kids and go. “The Lion King” is as stunning as ever. Prepare to be dazzled.
THE LOCATION: The Civic Theatre, brought to us by Broadway San Diego; 3704 6th Avenue . www.broadwaysd.com
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $20-79. Tuesday-Wednesday at 7 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday- Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Special Weekday Matinee: Thursday, November 5 at 1 p.m.; no evening performance Nov. 8, through November 8
THE BOTTOM LINE: BEST BET
A Lot to Handel
THE SHOW: “A Joyful Noise,” a historical drama, at Lamb’s Players Theatre
The triumph of art. It’s always a thrill when art overcomes the naysayers, duplicitous do-gooders, envious competitors and hidebound, hypocritical religious fanatics to conquer the hearts and minds of the populace, transcending its time and place. That’s the story of “Amadeus,” and it forms the gripping narrative of “A Joyful Noise,” which is making a return visit to Lamb’s Players Theatre.
A decade ago, Lamb’s presented the world premiere of the drama by former BYU faculty member Tim Slover , who currently directs the playwriting program at the University of Utah . (Interesting side-note: Slover was, at one time, a teacher to that other nationally known Mormon playwright, the ex-communicated theatrical ‘Bad Boy,’ Neil LaBute . The two remain good friends).
The Lambs took their gorgeous production to New York , where it had an extended run on Broadway and spawned stagings around the country. Meantime, Slover went on to write other plays, but he kept being drawn back to this historical gem of a tale. In 2007, he published a book inspired by his drama: “Messiah: The Little-Known Story of Handel’s Beloved Oratorio” ( Silverleaf Press). And then he wrote a screenplay, “Despised,” which has been optioned by Slickrock Films.
The story remains irresistible to the Lamb’s Players, too. They’ve remounted the play, with a shuffling of cast members and a bright new sheen.
Here’s the tale that keeps everyone so captivated:
1741. Handel, age 56, is in debt and despair. London audiences are no longer drawn to his Italian operas. His most ardent patron, Queen Caroline, wife of the Austrian-born English King, George II, has just died. Handel is ready to give up and return to Leipzig , sarcastically quipping, in the play, that maybe Bach would let him turn pages for him while he plays. And then, Charles Jennens , who had written the libretto for Handel’s “Saul,” brings him a new project, with “No story. No named characters. All scripture. No overture!” Handel was unmoved at first, and then he recognized that the narrative resonated. “Christ was despised and rejected,” he says. “This is like me… and I want to pour out my resentment. Then I realized, ‘It’s not your little life, Handel. It’s everyone’s. Everyone has had their hearts broken.’”
So, like “Amadeus” did for Mozart, “A Joyful Noise” gives us a glimpse, however fact-based, at the creative process of a genius, and the motivations and tribulations behind great art. But that isn’t the whole story. The London premiere of Handel’s masterpiece, “The Messiah,” was nearly sabotaged by the slanderous, vituperative opposition of the church, compounded by political conspiracy, dueling divas and a sex scandal.
The play has a little bit of sexual titillation (including excerpts from the diva’s trial, a dramatic re-enactment of the stripping-away of the woman’s honor, rights and respect — and descriptions of the scandalous book written about her exploits). There’s also a great deal of music, both live and recorded. The spiteful soprano, Kitty Clive, is played by Teressa Byrne, who has opera experience and a glorious voice. Colleen Kollar Smith holds her own vocally, and is wonderful as the defamed and dejected Susannah Cibber, a victim of two men and a society that castigated her for the acts that were actually forced upon her. Her husband left her with syphilis, her lover bars her from seeing her daughter, and the public won’t allow her to return to the stage. But Handel takes to her, and feels for her, and relates to her, a hapless person similarly “despised and rejected.”
Robert Smyth , who co-directed with his wife, Deborah Gilmour Smyth (excellent as forceful music-lover Mary Pendarves ) was outstanding as the King in the first production (Gilmour Smyth played Ms. Clive). This time, he does a marvelous job as the Great Man himself. His Handel is irascible but also teasing and funny, frustrated, angry and explosive, but also tolerant and compassionate. It’s a first-rate performance. Jason Heil is noteworthy as the sanctimonious bishop who’ll do anything to stop the performance of the oratorio.
The action is heightened by the gorgeous, elaborate costumes ( Jeanne Reith ), beautifully colored, intricately adorned. The set (David Thayer) is simple but effective: towering columns and arch, highlighted by excellent lighting (Nathan Peirson ), including a stained glass rosette. And after all the drama and melodrama you’ve been through with the characters, the final moments of the play, featuring the magnificent “Hallelujah Chorus,” are guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes.
THE LOCATION: Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave. , Coronado . ( 619) 437-0600 . www.lambsplayers.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $22-58. Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., through November 22.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BEST BET
Dog Eat Dog World
THE SHOW: “Dog Act,” a reprise production by Moxie Theatre
Enter the world of “Dog Act” at your own risk. The Apocalypse has passed. Seasons change willy-nilly. Literacy is limited. Language is a fluid, mutable thing. Boundaries and borders are disrupted, disturbed. People wander in tribes, each speaking its own language, each struggling to survive. We first encounter Rozetta Stone ( Liv Kellgren ) and her companion, Dog ( Jason Connors ). She’s one of the Vaudevillians, the only group that is off limits to the Scavengers, because they entertain — and they preserve the stories. Rozetta speaks in a spectacular hodgepodge of cultural references and twisted vernacular. Dog, once a young man who self-imposed a species demotion, sings and performs (Connors wrote and arranged the music). The ruthless, foraging Scavengers are out for blood (and meat). Hostile, violent, overgrown Lost Boys looking for their Wendy, their speech is crammed with F-bombs, dropped in such profusion that the output becomes meaningless and hilarious. Add to the mix the compulsive truth-teller, Vera Similitude (Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson), speaking in pseudo-erudite, polysyllabic claptrap, and her angry companion, Jo-Jo the Bald-Faced Liar ( Jo Anne Glover ), who stands and delivers high-speed, monotonal recitations of fables and fractured fairy tales.
It’s all something of a fairy tale, a survival manual, a story of shifting allegiances, subterfuge and trickery, dumb acts and smart moves. With a bit of revelation and redemption at the end.
This is one breathtaking piece of theater, written by the wildly imaginative Liz Duffy Adams. It’s the show that put Moxie Theatre on the map, when the fledgling group produced it just four years ago. The award-winning production left an indelible mark, defined what ‘moxie’ really means, and showed the talent pool this theater company could amass. In the interim, Moxie has produced season after successful season (including a residency at the La Jolla Playhouse), featuring two other plays by Adams : the otherworldly “The Listener,” and the somewhat less fully realized “Wet, or Isabella the Pirate Queen Enters the Horse Latitudes.” The playwright’s latest work, “Or,” premieres Off Broadway next month. And this show inaugurates Moxie’s new space: the Rolando Theatre recently vacated by Cygnet Theatre Company.
The new production of “Dog Act”, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (who co-directed the earlier airing, with Jennifer Eve Kraus) maintains almost all the original, incredible cast. Each has only grown dramatically since. Connors and Kellgren (who hasn’t been onstage for a while), are more forceful, convincing, self-assured. Glover gets better with every performance. Thompson is always rock-solid. New to the piece are Rob Kirk and Justin Lang as Bud and Coke (each wearing a ragged costumethat features crushed cans of their namesake). They are more bumbling than frightening, but their dim-witted machismo makes for comic relief.
The set design (Beeb Salzer) includes the same imaginative gypsy wagon as before, but new walls and moving screens of scrawny, bare trees – real and projected – beautifully lit (lighting design by Ashley Jenks and Chelsea Whitmore; projection design by Jesse Allen Moore and Christopher Allen Francis). The sound (Matt Lescault -Wood) is excellent. The costumes (Michelle Hunt-Souza) are delightfully off-the-wall.
You have got to see this show – even if you saw it before. It is so inventive, so distinctive, so whimsical, and so wonderfully well done, it’s absolutely irresistible – and unforgettable. You gotta love a play that describes the sea like this: “It smell like a come-on meeting a want-to, a knife-edge meeting a peach.” Let this play wash over you; you’ll be refreshed, replenished, re-convinced of the power of theater.
THE LOCATION: Moxie at their new home, the Rolando Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd . ( 858) 598-7620; www.moxietheatre.com
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $25. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., through November 22.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BEST BET
At Last, Love
THE SHOW: “Talley’s Folly,” a comic drama, at North Coast Repertory Theatre
One could certainly say there’s folly in a 42 year-old man pursuing a standoffish 31 year-old almost-spinster. But in “Talley’s Folly,” Matt is relentless; he pleads his case to Sally Talley unremittingly, within a ‘folly,’ which is to say, a garden edifice built for visual effect, carved and decorated with classical motifs. They’re often useless structures. And that’s kind of a metaphor for these two haunted, lonely lives.
They are vastly dissimilar people; she’s a reticent WASP, a liberal-minded farm-girl, a nurse’s aide with a semi-violent, bigoted family. He’s a Jewish, Eastern European immigrant, a city-dwelling, nose-to-the-grindstone accountant. It’s 1944 and the war is raging overseas. She tends to the wounded; he’s seen too much in his native land. Last summer, they had a brief connection, and ever since, Matt has written her nearly every day. Now he’s driven down from St. Louis to her family farm in redneck Lebanon , Missouri , fighting off the dogs and a gun-toting brother to spend some time with Sally, try to get through to her. He talks incessantly, he jokes insistently. But she remains brittle, evasive and aloof. She wants no part of whatever he’s asking or offering.
Gradually, over the course of one moonlit night, she softens, she comes around, and each of them reveals the traumatizing secret that’s kept them apart from life and love. It’s a touching, moving journey of 97 minutes, which is just what Matt promises us at the outset, when he comes out and talks directly to us, ordering up a moon, and a background of water, crickets, dog, frogs and a 4th of July band, the ideal setting for what he hopes will wind up “a waltz.” He sets the stage and he wins our hearts – and ultimately, Sally’s too, which was his intent from the outset – as well as to entertain us. He’s completely successful at all his endeavors.
North Coast Rep first presented “Talley’s Folly” in 1998. It was a fine production. But three years ago, when I saw these two accomplished and engaging performers in a reading of the play, I sincerely hoped they would mount a fully staged production; my expectations have been more than fulfilled.
The design team has provided a charming locale for this tender, late-love story. The ramshackle boathouse (designed by Marty Burnett ) is a magical mix of rotted wood and eccentric ornamentation, buried in a mass of real and artificial foliage, filled with a terrific array of artifacts (propmistress/set dresser Annie Bornhurst ). The lighting ( Jason Bieber ) is exquisite, with creamy moonlight and the rippling effect of reflected water (I did miss the lightning bugs of the first production). Chris Luessman’s sound design puts us right there in that place, tucked away, with only the faint sounds of the outside world reminding us that there are any other people besides the ones who have drawn us into their tight little circle. The intimacy of the theater is a boon to this play.
David Ellenstein , artistic director of North Coast Repertory Theatre, performs the masterful task of directing and starring in this sweet and moving drama, a Pulitzer Prize-winning part of a trilogy by Lanford Wilson (this is the second segment, written in 1980). Ellenstein is a marvel in both his capacities. He’s warm, funny, his accent is just right, his delivery is superb and his humor is endearing, if sometimes corny. He’s the kind of guy you would want to bring home to Mom – but maybe not to that trigger-happy brother. Sally’s aunts are rooting for her, surreptitiously feeding Matt info and encouragement. Amy Biedel makes her a captivating character, not too angry, not too introverted, just smart and resourceful and secretive. Slowly, she uncoils, and it’s a lovely thing to behold. That final hug and kiss feel like a forgiving unburdening for us all.
THE LOCATION: North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Dr. , Solana Beach . (858) 481-1055; www.northcoastrep.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $30-41. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m.; select Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and select Saturday matinees at 2 p.m., through November 8.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BEST BET
THE SHOW: “Frozen,” an intense drama, produced by ion theatre
Nancy Shirley is trying to go about her daily life, taking care of her chores, her house and her obstreperous teenage daughter. But nothing is right. And it won’t be for 20 years. Nancy ’s other daughter, her beloved 10 year-old Rhona , went out to visit her grandma and never came back. Nancy hopes against hope. But finally, she’s forced to face the facts: Rhona was kidnapped, raped and murdered. She cannot get over it, cannot move on.
In another part of London , Ralph Wantage sits alone and plans. His existence, and his pedophilic acts of murder, are orderly, organized, mundane for him. He greets each little girl with a friendly, repeated “Hello.” Innocent, kindly. He’s an ordinary man, not a monster, though he does monstrous things. Only one thing is a bit extraordinary; he has no sense of conscience or remorse.
And that’s where Agnetha comes in. She’s an American, a forensic neurologist, studying the brains of serial killers. We witness part of her lecture, expounding her theory that many of these murderers had suffered physical abuse that affected them neurologically and altered their ability to know right from wrong. She argues that they should be considered ill, not evil. Her dissertation is entitled, ”Serial Killing . . . A Forgivable Act?” From her extreme emotional breakdown in the first moments of the play, we come to see that she has her own secret need for forgiveness.
In a series of 31 short scenes, we gradually narrow in, circling toward some semblance of understanding. The first scenes are straight monologue. Each of the three characters reveals a little at a time. It’s not until they come together, until Agnetha begins to meet with Ralph, until Nancy finally has the courage to face Ralph head-on, that we really see inside these three damaged souls. The results of these confrontations are both liberating and devastating.
Bryony Lavery’s dark, disturbing drama is distressing for a good deal of the time, both in its structure and its content. When it premiered in London in 1998, it won numerous, prestigious Best Play awards. But it didn’t come to New York until 2004, first Off Broadway and then on, which allowed it to be nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play. Despite its challenging subject matter, it was the fourth most-produced play in the country in the 2005-2006 theater season (that’s not counting Shakespeare or Dickens).
ion theatre has a penchant for deep, dark, probing theater. Artistic director Claudio Raygoza makes excellent use of the cavernous Sushi Space downtown, situating different scenes in different parts of the expansive room, so the audience has to turn and crane and rotate to watch the various scenes. This just adds to the intrigue, matching the distinctive form with its presentation. It isn’t always wholly successful; at times, it underscores the weaknesses of the play: the droning lecture and monologues, the withholding of significant information.
But the performances are strong. Dana Hooley is unassuming as Nancy , underplaying the emotion to effect. Matt Scott is outstanding as Ralph, a disturbed man who doesn’t even realize what he’s done, until he’s confronted by Nancy , with her direct, unblinking ways and her casual presentation of family photos. Sunny Smith has the hardest task, portraying the least-developed character, Agnetha . She’s excellent with her emotional outbursts, less convincing in her interactions with Ralph (a doctor would never touch the face of a prisoner without asking). The doctor’s final meeting with the mother is a seminal moment for both, but it isn’t given the full power of Nancy ’s pronouncement.
There are searing and superb moments in this production of a singular, thought-provoking play. It deserves to be seen.
THE LOCATION: ion theatre at Sushi Space, 390 Eleventh Ave. , downtown. (619) 600-5020; www.iontheatre.com
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $10-25. Thursday-Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 6 and 9 p.m., through Oct. 31
THE BOTTOM LINE: BEST BET
NEWS AND VIEWS
… FREE THEATER!: The 5th annual, national Free Night of Theater is currently taking place in more than 120 cities, with 750 participating theater companies and 75,000 tickets being offered gratis. The ticket giveaway, which is spearheaded by the Theatre Communications Group in New York , is locally organized by the San Diego Performing Arts League. Tickets are available from such organizations as the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Symphony, Diversionary Theatre, ion theatre, Cygnet Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Project, Orchestra Nova, San Diego Ballet, and more. The free tickets are good for performances through November 8. Visit www.sdwhatsplaying.com and click on “Free Night of Theater 2009” to select and claim your tickets.
… Power Players: Breoadwayspace.com posed the question, “Who are Broadway’s most powerful people?” to industry insiders who, on condition of anonymity, ranked the movers and shakers of the Great White Way for a “decidedly unscientific list of 50.” Two San Diego connections made the list. Weighing it at number 45 is director Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific,” “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “The Light in the Piazza,” “Awake and Sing”), who got his profes sional theater start in San Diego in the early ‘80s, serving as dramaturge for the La Jolla Playhouse production of “A Man’s a Man” and co-founding the San Diego Public Theatre. His entry reads: “ Equally brilliant with plays and musicals, this respected and well-liked director is ‘4 for 4 with artistic successes on Broadway,’ as one insider noted.” Another said Sher would be even more powerful ‘if he didn’t hide in non-profit land.’” Further up the list, at number 25, is our own Jack O’Brien, artistic director emeritus of the Old Globe. Here’s what his entry said: “’Impressionism’ may not have been a masterpiece, but the popular, versatile director whose credits are a study in contrasts (“Hairspray” and “The Coast of Utopia”) remains one of the go-to guys for class, professionalism, and prestige. ‘With O’Brien at the helm,’ said one insider, ‘The ‘Phantom’ sequel might actually be good.’” The complete, annotated list of the Powerful is at www.broadwayspace.com/page/broadways-50-most-powerful
… Sunshine and Clouds in Memphis : The new musical, “ Memphis ,” which had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse last fall, under the direction of LJP artistic director Christopher Ashley, opened on Broadway this week. The reviews were decidedly mixed, from the virtual pan by USA Today (“well-intentioned hokum-fest”) to the tepid comments of the New York Times ( “the Michael Bolton of musicals”) to the unqualified raves of the AP (“exhilarating”) and the often-acerbic John Simon (“triumphant”) and Newsday’s Linda Winer (“arguably the best black musical written by white guys since ‘ Dreamgirls ’… The remarkably rich and raucous character-driven songs, by Bon Jovi co-founder David Bryan, lovingly capture the insinuating, earthy authenticity of rhythm and blues, gospel and early rock and roll, without sounding derivative”). “Exuberant” shows up in almost all reports of the show, which has undergone significant changes (though not in casting) from its debut here. A large contingent of San Diegans was there to cheer on Ashley et al. Time will tell how the public takes to the show; they’re the ultimate deciders.
… Return to Vienna : A book of poetry, written by Kurt Reichert, a beloved local actor/writer who’d immigrated from Austria , has been published posthumously by his daughter, Julie Reichert. Kurt died in 2006, shortly before his 90th birthday. “The Vienna Poems: 1938,” a touching and heart-rending presentation in two languages – English and German — is available at amazon.com.
… Radio Daze: Thanks to the media partnership of SDNN, I am making regular weekday appearances with “ Madison in the Morning” at KPRI-FM. Every Thursday and Friday morning, we chat about a new local theater production. Check out – or subscribe to – the podcasts on the Arts and Entertainment page (under Events/Stuff) at kprifm.com/pages/arts
PAT’S PICKS: BEST BETS
“The Lion King” – the king of beasts is back; a true spectacle, marvelously imaginative
Civic Theatre, through 11/8
“Dog Act” – inventive, amusing, linguistically brilliant and magnificently performed
Moxie Theatre, through 10/31
“A Joyful Noise” – joyful, indeed! outstanding presentation of a historical drama
Lamb’s Players Theatre, through 11/22
“Talley’s Folly” – lovely performances of a sweet, gentle, touching late-life romance
North Coast Repertory Theatre, through 11/8
“Frozen” – dark, intense and very well done
ion theatre, through 10/31
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” – up-close, personal and intense; superbly acted and directed
Compass Theatre, through 10/28
“Nine Parts of Desire” – heart-rending stories of Iraqi women, wonderfully told
Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, through 11/1
“Man from Nebraska ” – beautifully nuanced production of a quietly provocative play
Cygnet Theatre, through 11/1
“Creditors” – a brutal ménage à trois , excellently executed
La Jolla Playhouse, through 11/1
“Sammy” – a promising world premiere musical, in its earliest incarnation
Old Globe Theatre, through 11/8
“ Godspell ” – energetic, inspiring
Lamb’s Players Theatre at the Horton Grand Theatre, open-ended
Pat Launer is the SDNN theater critic.
To read any of her prior reviews, type ‘Pat Launer’ into the SDNN Search box.