Oh, and there’s another show in town…

There are several popular mythologies about theater audiences. Some people say that big splashy tours build general excitement for in theater, theoretically increasing interest in events like RADAR L.A. and Hollywood Fringe. But a quick poll of people attending “Les Miserables” at the Ahmanson Theater on Sunday paints a different picture. Or maybe it’s just a marketing issue…

Spring Awakening: What’s in a Song? Or The Franzen Factor

Back when the musical version of Spring Awakening was still finding it’s footing on Broadway, author Jonathan Franzen published a new translation of Frank Wedekind’s original 1891 German play. In his introduction to the 2007 volume, Franzen excoriates the musical adaptation, calling it “insipid,” “overpraised,” and sullied by “a dense modern fog of sentimentality and […]

Engine28 Quiz: Comedy or Theatre?

Peruse the Hollywood Fringe Festival program and you’ll find productions organized into categories like “Cabaret and Variety,” Musicals and Operas,” and “Events.” They seem self-evident until you consider some of the descriptions in the “Comedy” and “Theatre” sections. Headscarf and the Angry Bitch is described as a “…hilarious hour of story and song.” How Did […]

Shut up and do the work

A panel of very smart and talented theater professionals asked — and very quickly answered — the question, “Is LA a theater town?” last night. The very idea of this panel apparently spurred an insistent murmur of discontent among the great unwashed of the LA theater world, sentiments that didn’t raise to the surface at […]