call it an exercise in theatrical scaling-down, as if the piece were literally
and figuratively constricting itself and its characters as it moves along, tightening
its grip until at last, nearly out of breath, it culminates in a final claustrophobic
moment. Shakespeare’s Othello, playing
now at A Noise Within, is yet another example of the bard’s brilliance for
metaphor and symbolism and is one of his more accessible tragedies.
By Patrick Hurley
Nearly twenty years after its premiere, Matthew Bourne’s dazzling production
of Cinderella once again graces the
stage of the Ahmanson theatre. The piece, like the choreographer/director
himself, is still going strong, and is a great testament to the power of
The responsibility that we all have as human beings toward our fellow human beings is illuminated and exaggerated into the dark parable An Inspector Calls playing now at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
J.B. Priestley in 1945, and set in a fictional British town in 1912, the story takes
place in real time as the wealthy Birling family is visited by a mysterious
inspector who informs them that a young woman has committed suicide and they
all may have had a role to play in it.
By Patrick Hurley There is a continuing theatrical narrative of patriarchal and hegemonic representation. A plethora of American stories that deal with the lower to middle class American family through a very traditional lens, highlighting struggle. For the last decade or so, the surge of identity politics, awareness of a need to be more inclusive … Continue reading
By Patrick Hurley
In today’s volatile and divisive political climate, where lines are being drawn separating ideology from humanity, it’s heartening to see a work of art that not only demonstrates how small the divide actually is between all of us, but also shows how kindness and benevolence, charity and goodwill are indeed still a thing to which we can all aspire. Come From Away, on its first National Tour, playing now at the Ahmanson Theatre, is a high spirited, evocative and fascinating true story about the capacity of human kindness and the indelible spirit that we all long for in times of crisis. (more…)
By Patrick Hurley Hughie and Krapp’s Last Tape, playing now at the Geffen Playhouse, prove to be a contrasting but thematically compatible pair starring two time Tony Award Winning actor Brian Dennehy in a double bill that showcases not only his gravitas as an actor, but the disappointments and disillusionments of life as perceived by … Continue reading
By Patrick Hurley
Agitprop theatre is a highly politicized liberal leaning style that came out of Europe in the 1920s. The plays of Bertolt Brecht are still the most notable examples of this particular movement. With his sudden shifts and lack of theatricality, Brecht wanted the audience to be witness to how theatre was made, to the artificiality of it so they could ignore everything but the message of the play. The Bitter Game, written and performed by Keith A. Wallace, playing for a limited engagement on the terrace of the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills is an exciting reminder that highly charged political pieces of art have the ability to stir and surprise while inciting you to some kind of political action. (more…)
By Patrick Hurley Stories of teenage turmoil have been being told for centuries. The misunderstood youth trope nearly always serves a narrative wherein a moral dilemma serves as edification to an ignorant, older audience. Shakespeare killed his young star-crossed lovers. The adults in their lives had driven them to suicide because of their inability to … Continue reading
By Patrick Hurley Free will and the sheer randomness of the universe as two men wander a theatrical wilderness in desperate search for understanding makes Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, playing now at A Noise Within, a thought-provoking modern masterpiece that is as deeply profound as it is hilarious.
By Patrick Hurley There doesn’t seem to be a good place to start to discuss the inscrutable and confounding play that is Jose Rivera’s The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona, playing now at the Geffen playhouse.