Can LA handle the “greatness thrust upon it”?

"Brewsie and Willie" presented by CALARTS Center for New Performance / Poor Dog Group (Photo: Scott Groller)

The rap on LA theater is that there isn’t much. And what there is just serves as a vehicle for film actors trying to get their big break. Not so, argues LA Weekly’s Steven Leigh Morris.  He soundly refutes that assumption with a short history of LA theater (a must-read for all out-of-towners squatting here for the week) and a case for the home-grown scene — with local playwrights and experimental works cultivated for decades.

Now, a trifecta of festivals simultaneously hits the city (TCG, RADAR LA, Hollywood Fringe — make that a quandfecta with National Asian American Theater Fest next week), and it’s poised to turn the town legit.  But we’ve seen this before, Morris says, in 1984 when the city was thrust into the national spotlight by Olympic Arts Festival of 1984, only to fall back into the regional shadows.
“As for achieving greatness, which is entirely in our hands, what remains possible? And when exposed in the national spotlight, will that suggestion be taken seriously, or reduced to a joke of Shakespearean mirth?”