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19
Nov

Beckett Demonstrates Longevity In Double Bill With Weaker O’Neill

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 perhaps the two greatest dramatists of the twentieth century. Read more »

15
Nov

Game is Highly Charged and Relevant

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. Read more »

22
Oct

Dear Evan Hansen Flashes its Way into History

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 reconcile differences with each other, thus preaching the dictum of embracing each other’s differences. Dear Evan Hansen, the Broadway phenomenon, which is currently on its first national tour, playing at the Ahmanson Theatre, is the most recent iteration of the misunderstood youth narrative, and this time, as is the custom with today’s YA fiction, it wants to feel like an inside job. Read more »

15
Oct

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is Dead on!

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. Read more »

15
Sep

Nikki Corona Proves Not Only Untranslatable, But Un-Developed and Nearly Un-Watchable.

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.   Read more »

13
Sep

‘Sweat’ Still The Standard

By Patrick Hurley

The lingering racial tensions of an ever shifting America takes center stage in Sweat, the 2017 Pulitzer-Prize winning play by Lynn Nottage, playing now at the Mark Taper Forum.  Read more »

10
Sep

School Girls Will be Mean Girls

By Patrick Hurley

Borrowing tropes and devices from teen clique films such as Mean Girls and Heathers, School Girls or, The African Mean Girls Play, playing now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, is a story of assimilation as much as it is a comedy about the universal struggle of fitting in. Read more »

30
Jul

Shakespeare’s Measure Proves All Too Timely

By Patrick Hurley

Method and Madness theatre Co. is presenting Measure for Measure, at the Mid-City Arts Center. The staging of this lesser produced Shakespeare Comedy as directed by Margaret Starbuck is in a cabaret-style.  The seating is meant to immerse the audience into the action as it happens around us. And while the staging of an episodic comedy comes with its own set of challenges, the use of audience interaction at least gives the somewhat problematic text a feel of novelty and relevance.  Read more »

30
Jun

More of the Same: An Examination of Relevance in Contemporary Theatre.

By Patrick Hurley

I set out to write a review of The Geffen Playhouse’s world premiere production of Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, written by Amanda Peet, who is probably known to most from her film and television work as an actress. I grappled with the same questions that accompany most of my theatre experiences in Los Angeles, the largest of these being why.  I decided after dozens and dozens  of reviews, and years of patronage in the theatre, to voice an honest response about my experience with this play.  And that turned into a much bigger exploration. I don’t usually make personal statements when writing on this blog.

That changes today. As this may very well be my last review.  Read more »

24
Jun

Lysistrata Update Removes Comedy

By Patrick Hurley

It was 411 BCE, comedic playwright Aristophanes presented to the people of Athens his new comedy Lysistrata, a radical and uproarious account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian war by getting all women to refuse to have sex with their husbands until they all agree to stop fighting. Read more »

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Patrick Hurley

Writes. Plays. TV. Film.

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