Pat Launer on San Diego Theater
By Pat Launer , SDNN
January 21, 2010
THE SHOW: “boom ! , ” a 2008 doomsday comedy, at San Diego Repertory Theatre
The Big One is on its way. Not a bomb or tsunami, earthquake or nuclear accident. A giant comet is headed toward us, guaranteeing the earth’s total annihilation. Jules (named for Jules Verne), a nerdy marine biologist, is so convinced of the accuracy of his prediction (after all, he confirmed it by studying the altered sleeping patterns of tropical fish!), that he’s built an underground shelter and stocked it with two years’ worth of supplies (ranging from bourbon to diapers). And he’s done what any red-blooded American male would do in such a dire circumstance: he put an ad on Craigslist, in a pointed search for the ideal woman to help him re-populate the planet. He doesn’t actually say that, though. What he says he’s looking for is “intensely significant coupling… sex to change the course of the world.”
What he gets is an angry, nihilistic, filthy-mouthed journalism undergrad who detests him on sight, finds his inadvertent kiss repulsive and wouldn’t touch him sexually with a 20-foot pole – and that’s before she finds out he’s gay. She just answered the ad to fulfill a class assignment: Find a story that makes you find honest, genuine hope. She thinks that “random sex is the last glimmer of hope in a decaying society.” But before seven minutes go by, the Big One hits.
Welcome to the wacky world of “boom,” by young, San Francisco-based playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb . According to the Theatre Communications Group, this is the most produced modern play of the year. Nachtrieb actually has a degree in Biology from Brown University , so his sci-fi, post-apocalyptic comic fantasy is grounded in some sort of real-world knowledge. Though the smart, witty script unfolds in surprising mystery-twists and unexpected turns, at heart it’s a social satire, riffing on the creationist/evolution debate. The production tips its hand in that direction, with a bumper sticker affixed to the formula-scrawled fridge that says “Intelligent Design is Neither .”
Trapped in the inescapable reality of total devastation and a “freezing, endless night” outside the mega-locked door, there’s plenty of time, Jules says. “We could actually finish a Thomas Pynchon novel!” There are other clever, topical (and dated) cultural references – to “Halliburton shale,” Cormac McCarthy, Verizon reception, Jake Gyllenhall and “Road Warrior.”
“I am not some experiment,” Jo exclaims, while insisting that she hates babies: “they bother me philosophically.” “You don’t want eggs from this basket,” she asserts, pointing in the direction of her womb. “They’re cracked. I’m not meant to be a creator of spawn .“ She also has a little affliction; she passes out when she perceives danger. She’s been dubbed a “human canary,” because any time she senses impending doom, she is immediately rendered unconscious. Needless to say, she’s knocked out a number of times, especially whenever she tries to escape.
Before Jules’ planned survival strategies kick in, their food storage is destroyed, and things begin to look genuinely dire, even for the fish in the tank center-stage. Periodically, the action is summarily halted, by an odd wizardly woman who introduces herself as Barbara, the disaffected tour guide at a museum millions of years hence. She tells us her own personal genesis story, and she pulls levers to control the lights, sound and animation of this historical re-enactment, punctuating the onstage action with her “passion, finesse and percussion.” And so we’re watching a play within a play, and a story within a story.
In 90 fast-paced minutes, director Sam Woodhouse gives our thoughts and preconceptions a serious shakeup, even as the Boom rattles the stage, with high-powered sound and lights and projections and slow-motion, quick action and fierce pitching and tossing of actors. The physicality of the production is frighteningly terrific. As the naysayer Jo, Rachael Van Wormer is stunningly agile, banging against walls and furniture, jumping all over the set and her fellow ‘prisoner.’ Steven Lone has a delightful geekiness about him, which provides a wonderful energy complement to Van Wormer’s angry, spitting virago. And up above them, banging on the kettle drums, whacking the cymbals, offering a dramatic soundscape to the evolution below, is Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson, quirky, ethereal and enigmatic.
Wonderful performances all around, and excellent direction. The costumes (Jennifer Brawn Gittings) are wild and whimsical, from the pert little outfit on Jo to the weird-shaped headpiece on Barbara. The provocative sound (Tom Jones) complements the superb scenic, lighting and projection design (David Lee Cuthbert, making a very welcome return from the north; he’s currently chair of UC Santa Cruz’s Theater Arts Department. His wife, former Sledgehammer Theatre artistic director Kirsten Brandt , is here to direct “Little Women” at North Coast Repertory Theatre).
Long before the ending, my husband figured out exactly where the piece was headed. I’m no sci-fi fan or aficionado, so I just floated along with it, you might say. Both of us were intrigued, but not totally satisfied with the play. But it was a kick watching it all unfold before us.
THE LOCATION: San Diego Repertory Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza . ( 619) 544-1000 ; www.sdrep.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $18-47. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., through February 7.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Best Bet
THE SHOW: “Glorious, The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins – The Worst Singer in the World” – a wild story, based in fact; at North Coast Repertory Theatre
If this were fiction, you’d never buy it. “Glorious” is loosely, creatively based on the unbelievable but true story of Florence Foster Jenkins (Flo- Fo in the current vernacular), who died in 1944 at age 76. The incredible part is , she was a performing soprano who had a complete lack of ability to sing. By all accounts, she had a tin ear, no sense of pitch, erratic diction, erratic tempo and rhythm, and she couldn’t sustain a note to save her life. One brief bio I found said “ Jenkins’ voice was high, scrawny, and seemed to have a mind of its own, warbling its way through difficult coloratura arias with the grace and control of an upright piano pushed down a spiral staircase.”
But in her mind, she was virtuosic.
Her passion and outrageous costumes catapulted her to fame in New York in the 1930s and ‘40s. Her inheritance didn’t hurt, either. Her parents had forbidden her to sing publicly; she even ran off and married – briefly – in protest. But after her parents were gone, she could freely indulge her passion, pre-screen her audiences, and pay for the rental of Carnegie Hall, which she played to a packed house (3000 seats!), fulfilling a lifelong fantasy just a month or two before she died.
She was undoubtedly part novelty act, and she definitely had her detractors (one of whom, probably fictional, appears in the play). But people were startlingly loyal to her. And that includes her long-time accompanist, Cosme McMoon , a prodigy pianist whom she rescued from a dead-end piano-playing job (at least that’s how the play tells it; other accounts say he was gainfully employed as a piano teacher and composer at the time). A flamboyant eccentric, well known in New York ’s underground gay community, McMoon seemed to be the perfect foil for Jenkins, and he stayed with her for some two decades.
He’s the narrator of the play, and he tries to be honest about her personality and skills, though (in the person of funnyman David McBean ) he frequently rolls his eyes and makes drolly sarcastic remarks.
The story is so irresistible that it’s actually been the inspiration for three plays: one created by Chris Balance, that had a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; “Souvenir,” by Stephen Temperley , which opened on Broadway in 2005, starring Judy Kaye (who’s currently in San Diego to star in the Old Globe production of “Lost in Yonkers”); and Peter Quilter’s “Glorious,” which premiered in London in 2005 and has since been performed in more than 20 countries.
Since Jenkins created her own image and perpetuated her own myths, it’s hard to know exactly which parts of the story are fact or fiction. But she did leave behind a recording (the session at the Melotone Studios is briefly re-created in the play), posthumously released. It was called “The Glory (????) of the Human Voice.” The liner notes refer to her as “the first lady of the sliding scale.” A subsequent record, containing all nine of her signature arias, was called “Murder on the High Cs.”
It isn’t easy to intentionally sing that terribly, especially if you’re a good singer. As Judy Kaye, who spent years in “Souvenir,” once said, “ It’s hard work to sing badly well. You could sing badly badly for awhile, but you’ll hurt yourself if you do it for long.”
At North Coast Repertory Theatre, Susan Denaker sings badly very well. She has affected an amusingly fluty speaking voice, too, which is most convincing. And her various attempts at the arias (Adele’s “Laughing Song” from Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus ” and the “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”) are cringingly excellent. Denaker credibly conveys the passion, optimism, ebullience and unshakable conviction of the reportedly upbeat but apparently delusional performer.
McBean is a delight as Cosme , and Annie Hinton is funny in all three of her roles: a surly Mexican maid, one of Jenkins’ cheerful devotees, and a haughty fellow socialite who disdains every note the ‘diva’ produced.
Director Rosina Reynolds keeps the pace, humor and energy high. Marty Burnett has created a beautiful, elegant set, all cream walls, red drapes and gilt trim. The costumes (Renetta Lloyd) are period-perfect; and her creations for Jenkins’ performances are wonderfully whimsical. The archival projections aren’t really necessary, but they do ground the proceedings in reality. The sound design ( Chris Luessmann ) helpfully includes Jenkins’ arias sung flawlessly by genuine coloraturas (just so the audience has a clear sense of what they should sound like).
The characters make for amusing company, and the story is undeniably compelling. But the conceit wears out its welcome before two acts are over. Still, the cast is outstanding, and a marvel to watch.
THE LOCATION: North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987D Lomas Santa Fe Dr. , Solana Beach . ( 858) 481-1055 ; www.northcoastrep.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $30-47. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m., with selected Saturday matinee and Wednesday evening performances, through February 7.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Good Bet
Singin ’ the Baby Blues
THE SHOW: “Expecting Isabel,” a 1998 comedy by Lisa Loomer , presented by Moxie Theatre
Art imitates life (more or less), once again. As the malleable cast of “Expecting Isabel” worked out their various characters, they were confronted daily with the specter of their very pregnant director, who was hoping she’d hold out long enough to make it to opening night! The play is about infertility, and Jennifer Eve Thorn presented a constant reminder of what was at stake for the lead characters.
Miranda ( Jo Anne Glover ) and Nick ( Stephen Elton ) are nearing 40 and their biological clock is beginning to tick. But the baby thing just isn’t happening naturally. So they embark on a whirlwind of interventions, from drugs to counseling to support groups to New Age weirdnesses , from bizarre sexual positions to multiple in vitro fertilization attempts. It frustrates them and their more fertile families, racks up $50,000 in debt and wreaks havoc on their formerly rock-solid marriage. By the end of the first act, they’ve separated, and gone ‘home’ to their parents to lick their respective wounds and decide on a strategy for moving forward in some way.
That turns out to be adoption. So, in the second act, they go through all the comparable machinations of this hellish path to parenthood: no normal babies available, wacko preggos who ‘interview’ them, take their money and then change their minds. It’s another harrowing series of experiences, narrated by Miranda, the pessimist in the family, with comments/arguments inserted by Nick, an eternal optimist. He’s a sculptor who sees beauty in everything; she’s a greeting card writer who gets too maudlin and emotional as her unsuccessful efforts begin to wear her down, and she loses her job.
It’s a 1998 play that feels fresh in its ideas, but not fully satisfying in its execution. Loomer is a fascinating playwright who often brings a feminist slant to her work, most conspicuously in her outstanding 1994 creation, “The Waiting Room,” which brought together three women from different time periods, each suffering from the effects of their society’s vision of beauty and the cosmetic body modifications aimed at achieving it (only performed in San Diego by the Theatre students of SDSU, 2005). Both plays won Loomer the American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award. But that one was more deeply provocative than this one.
Still, it does give a glimpse, however comically framed, of a harrowing experience for many couples these days, who wait too long or change their minds, or are otherwise unable to conceive in the usual way.
The Moxie Theatre production is delightful. Glover and Elton, a real-life couple offstage, have excellent energy, chemistry and credibility. And the rest of the ensemble is a hoot, each creating multiple characters – from Nick’s wild, over-the-top Bronx Italian family ( Rhona Gold , Mark Petrich and hilarious Justin Lang and Sandra Ruiz) to Miranda’s uptown, boozed up mother ( Robin Christ , elegantly bitchy), to an array of professional wackos and ambivalent birth mothers (Ruiz and Amanda Cooley Davis really score as the latter). Thorn has directed with care and comic flair, and her ensemble goes gleefully along for the ride.
The bright design (set by Mia Bane Jacobs; costumes by Corey Johnston; lighting by Ashley Jenks; sound by Matt Lescault -Wood) maintain the colorful simplicity of the story that masks something much more dark and painful underneath. There’s a warm conclusion but the play feels a tad forced and underdeveloped. No complains with the production, though. It’s a bubbly, bouncing baby, for sure.
THE LOCATION: Moxie Theatre at their new Rolando Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. ( 858) 598-7620 ; www.moxietheatre.com
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $20-35. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., through February 7.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Good Bet
Bad Boys Behaving Badly
THE SHOW: “ Hurlyburly ,” a dark 1998 comedy, presented by ion theatre
The title comes from Shakespeare (“Macbeth,” to be precise) but the characters come from Hell. That would be Hollywood in the 1980s, a time of extreme excess and endless abuse of illicit substances, self-indulgence, women , whatever. Over three long acts (3+hours), we follow a quartet of foul-mouthed, narcissistic, misogynistic men, and the women who, for some unfathomable reason, keep coming back to them. These aren’t ‘their’ women, mind you. Each of these loathsome, libido-driven, would-be lotharios has had a wife and children, with whom he maintains minimal to no contact.
David Rabe’s “ Hurlyburly ” is strictly a man’s world, a dog-eat-dog, competitive place of ball-busting betrayal and pseudo-friendship, a coked-up, booze-fueled search for meaning in repulsively, reprehensibly meaningless lives. This is a place where one guy brings over a “gift” of a young teenage runaway he found in a hotel elevator; they pass her around like a hash pipe.
Eddie is the most hyperverbal – and in the hands of Francis Gercke, the most hyperactive – of the four. He practically ricochets off the walls, imbibing any mind-bending substance he can get his hands on, trying to engage his terminally sarcastic, detached and cruelly manipulative roommate, Mickey ( Matt Scott , nicely modulated). Eddie’s empty philosophical disquisitions are fast-paced, convoluted, paranoid, repetitive and endless. Ever on-the-verge screenwriter Artie ( Walter Ritter , who could be a lot sleazier) is terminally insecure (aren’t they all?) and envious of Eddie’s preference for the menacing Phil ( Tom Hall , truly sinister and scary).
The volatility and violence quotient rises significantly when Phil, the ex-con wannabe actor, is around. He’s a loudly ticking bomb, who takes out his frustrations and failures on whatever female is at hand: his current wife (he punches her in the face) or any other “bimbo,” “broad” or “bitch” (the only way these pigs refer to women), especially the one his buddies call in to calm him down after a hard night (he pushes her out of a moving car).
Phil also kidnaps his baby from his estranged wife, which oddly enough, provides the play’s only tender-hearted moment. As each man in turn holds the tiny infant, he reveals a genuinely soft-hearted side. But then, in a flash, one of them reminds them that this little thing will just grow up into another ‘broad.’
The females who swim around these bottom-dwellers have a few scruples and a bit of spine, but not much, and not enough to steer them clear of these creeps. Sara Beth Morgan plays a wide-eyed, delusional photographer; Morgan Trant doesn’t quite look like a teenager, but she has the right devil-may-care, feed-me-and-put-me-up-and-I’ll-sleep-with-you survival mentality. Karson St. John steals every scene she’s in. The recent Patté Award winner for one of the Outstanding Performances of 2009 (in “The Little Dog Laughed” at Diversionary) is just terrific as a drug-loving stripper who’s up for just about anything.
ion theatre co-founder and producing artistic director Glenn Paris directs with a sure hand, and his design team has given him a great little playpen: a grungy, trashed Hollywood rental (set by Claudio Raygoza and Matt Scott ), underscored by a pumping ‘80s beat (sound by Raygoza, who’s also credited with the era- and personality-defining costumes). But despite the slick wit and rapid-fire intelligence of Rabe’s script, these scabrous sleazebags wear out their welcome long before the third act, when someone finally dies (only one, alas, and not soon enough).
THE LOCATION: ion theatre at diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. , in University Hts. ( 619) 600-5020 ; www.iontheatre.com
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $10-25. Thursday-Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 and 9 p.m., through January 31.
NEWS AND VIEWS
… Street Lights Go Out: The Old Globe’s premiere production of “Street Lights,” the latest hip hop musical that was set to open at Lincoln High School February 20 and transfer to the Globe (like last year’s “Kingdom”) has been put on indefinite hold. Surprising, since the Sneak Preview, presented for the press and invited guests as part of a weeklong workshop, suggested that the show was in very promising condition. All the young creators, including composer/lyricist Joe Drymala , a former Howard Dean speechwriter, were present and energetic; everyone seemed very pleased with how things were going. The Globe’s announcement noted that “the musical will continue to be developed to better accommodate the addition of new material and other desired changes by the creative team discovered through the workshop process.” More info here as it becomes available.
… Jason Does San Diego: Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, whose mind-blowing “Parade” was recently presented magnificently at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. (only his musicals “Songs for a New World” and “The Last Five Years” have been produced locally), made a freeway trip down south to San Diego to work with the cast of his musical, “13,” which is currently receiving its local premiere. The California Youth Conservatory (CYC Theatre) snagged first local rights to the show, about a 13 year-old who, on the cusp of his bar mitzvah, moves from New York to Indiana . The musical premiered in L.A. in 2007 and moved to Broadway in 2008. It was a real treat to watch Brown work with the kids and display his signature hard-driving piano-playing, urging them, both playfully and forecefully , to listen to the lyrics, follow the music and take dramatic risks. Tickets to the production, running at the Lyceum Theatre through January 30, are available at http://cyctheatre.webs.com/showschedule.htm
… Harvey Rules!: The SDSU production of “Dear Harvey” has been selected to participate in the Southwest Regional Finals for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival in St. George, Utah. If the show does well there, the production will move on to the Kennedy Center in Washington , D.C. in April. Originally commissioned by Diversionary Theatre, and based on interviews with those who knew gay and human rights activist Harvey Milk, the play, by Patricia Loughrey, had its world premiere last April at Diversionary, and was produced at SDSU in October, with a cast of 14 directed by Peter Cirino . Loughrey’s script has been entered in the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards Program and is under consideration for the David Mark Cohen Award, the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award and the Paula Vogel Award. Undergraduate composer Thomas Hodges , who just won a Patté Award for his Outstanding Sound Design for both 2009 productions of “Dear Harvey,” is one of three members of the production team who have received Meritorious Achievement Awards. In addition, three performers in the show are up for Irene Ryan acting awards: Anthony Simone, Derek Smith and Diahann McCrary.
…Shakespeare in Action: The San Diego Shakespeare Society is launching the year-long celebration of its 10th anniversary with “A Shakespeare Sampler,” an afternoon featuring Student Shakespeare Festival performances (from Carlsbad High School and Project Vanguard Youth); celebrity sonnet presentations; and the madrigal singers Vox Nobili . Admission is FREE. Saturday, January 23, 12:45-2 p.m., at the Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway . For information and a schedule of upcoming events: (619) 602-8806; www.sandiegoshakespearesociety.org
… Bardomania : The recently formed Intrepid Shakespeare Company, which is dedicated to “bringing the classics to life for a modern audience,” is launching a school program called “Shakespeare for a New Generation.” The education tour, which will run from April to June, features 50-minute versions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (grades 3-8) and “Romeo and Juliet” (high school). In their “Day of Shakespeare” presentations, students receive six in-class workshops during the course of one day, culminating in one of the two age-appropriate performances. “ Playshops ” will also be offered; these are hour-long workshops focusing an any one specific play requested by the school or teacher. Intrepid, founded by Sean Cox and Christy Yael , already has multiple bookings for each of these programs. www.intrepidshakespeare.com
… Feverish!: Compass Theatre, which is about to close its doors after nine years, is presenting a reprise of a magnificent solo performance: Bryan Bevell, former artistic director of the Fritz Theatre, in Wallace Shawn’s haunting, harrowing politically edgy drama, “The Fever.” Bevell, who currently lives in Minnesota , will fly in to re-create the role he presented under the banner of the Fritz in 1999, a performance and play I called “intellectually bone-chilling.” Don’t miss it. Six performances only, February 6-9. (619) 688-9210; www.compasstheatre.com
… Dancing to Kurt Weill: Mojalet Dance Collective is presenting a concert of music and dance, with its artistic director Faith Jensen-Ismay dancing to the stylings of soprano Stacey Fraser and pianist Josh Tuburan , playing the songs of the highly influential composer Kurt Weill. February 6 (8 p.m.) and 7 (2 p.m.) in the SDSU Studio Theatre. Info at (858) 243-1402; box office: (619) 594-1696.
… Isadora is Back !: Speaking of dance, the California Center for the Arts, Escondid o , is presenting two performances of “ Isadora Duncan: A Unique Recital,” starring actor Kres Mersky . This one-woman show offers a dramatic portrait of the groundbreaking, early 20th century dancer/choreographer whose provocative views on art, women’s rights, education, marriage and love are still impressive and inspiring. Tickets for the FREE performances are available on a first-come, first-served basis one hour prior to curtain. Wednesday, February 3 at 4 and 7 p.m.
… And more dance: Just two more weekends of Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater’s “Cabaret Dances,” an intimate, up-close performance at Dance Place San Diego on the NTC Promenade at Liberty Station, Point Loma. Two shows each Saturday night, at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets/info at: (619) 225-1803; www.sandiegodancetheater.org
…The Stages of Black History Month: Common Ground Theatre, in conjunction with the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players, San Diego Black Ensemble Theatre and Vagabond Theatre, is presenting “On the Horizon,” a playwright reading series featuring new plays by writers of diversity, as a celebration of Black History Month. Performances will take place at the Lyceum Underground in Horton Plaza , at 7 p.m. every Monday in February. Plays to be read include: “Trane: A Noble Journey,” an intimate look at the life of John Coltrane, by local musician Anthony Smith; “ Ain’t You Heard,” a comic creation by Charmen Jackson, based on the writings of Langston Hughes (charmingly presented by the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players in 2006); “The Strangest Fruit,” a hauntingly beautiful work about a historical and a modern-day lynching, by Patté Award-winning UC San Diego MFA playwright Ronald McCants; and “Lick O’ the Knife” by Jackie Roberts, concerning a fanciful meeting between Alexander Dumas and Alexandre Pushkin. For information about the series, call (619) 263-7911.
… Tyler Perry Hits the Stage – and the road: Actor, writer, director and producer Tyler Perry has had success with his movies, including “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “ Madea’s Family Reunion.” He also served as an executive producer for the recent film, “Precious.” Now he’s returning to the stage with a new play showcasing the tribulations of his most famous character. “ Madea’s Big Happy Family” began a national tour in Texas at the beginning of January, and continues visiting cities around the country through early May. On his website, Perry said, “In the movies, I’m limited, but on stage… FREEEEDDOMMMM!!! LOL.” San Diego isn’t on the tour schedule, but the show is at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles through January 24. www.tylerperry.com
… Judy, Judy, Judy: Veteran Broadway actor/singer Judy Kaye, in town to star in the Old Globe production of “Lost in Yonkers ,” will present a one-night cabaret show of songs from the American songbook. Kaye starred on Broadway in the original productions of “Ragtime” (Emma Goldman), “Phantom of the Opera” (Carlota), and “Mamma Mia,” and was Tony-nominated for her performance in “Souvenir,” the story of Florence Foster Jenkins (see “Glorious,” above). She’s also internationally renowned for her opera and concert presentations. She’s appeared with symphony orchestras around the world and has performed twice at the White House. She’ll appear in the Globe’s new Hattox Hall on Monday, February 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets at (619) 23-GLOBE or www.theoldglobe.org
… Mimi Replacement: Soprano Ellie Dehn has replaced Anja Harteros in the San Diego Opera’s season-opener, “La Bohème .” According to the company, Harteros withdrew for “private and personal reasons.” She is expected to be back in San Diego for the 2011 production of “ Der Rosenkavalier.” Dehn , who will assume the role of Mimi, has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and the Bayerishce Staatsoper in Munich . www.sdopera.com
… Patté Fever ! : The 13th Annual Patté Awards for Theater Excellence was a huge success, with a wildly enthusiastic sellout crowd at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter. Watch the video interview with SDNN arts/entertainment editor Valerie Scher , for info about the history and evolution of the event (http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-01-12/lifestyle/patte-awards-to-honor-san-diego-theater-standouts) and read her report on the gala, which includes a full listing of all the winners: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-01-19/things-to-do/patte-awards-honor-16-san-diego-theater-companies . The TV broadcast of the Patté Awards will air on Channel 4 on Friday, 2/12 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, 2/13 at 7 p.m. Congratulations to all the winners! You help maintain San Diego ’s prominent place on the national theater map.
PAT’S PICKS: BEST BETS
v “Expecting Isabel” – comedy on a serious theme (infertility); lightweight but well done
Moxie Theatre, through 2/7
v “Glorious” – crazy story, based in fact, wonderfully performed
North Coast Repertory Theatre, through 2/7
v “boom” – wacky, sci-fi comedy, excellently acted and directed
San Diego Repertory Theatre, through 1/31
v “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” – rich, deep, funny, provocative (in concepts and language)
Triad Productions at the 10th Avenue Theatre, through 1/30
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, into the SDNN Search box.