Jan 31, 2006

In Stichic

Another gem from the Onion.

Upper West Side or Westside?

Another one-woman show, this one Off-Broadway, reminded me of L.A. I guess it's because, despite Judy Gold's New York address, "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother" is the kind of New York show that would play well in L.A. It works pretty well here, too.

Jan 26, 2006

Jan 23, 2006

Moved In, Unmoved

He starred in one of my favorite movies, he learned his craft under the tutelage of Lanford Wilson and Mike Nichols and Woody Allen, and in general he just seems like good folks. So I wish I had liked Jeff Daniels' play Apartment 3A a bit better. Alas not.

Rome If You Want To

My review of a new play about Ovid and Augustus is here.

Jan 17, 2006

A New Stage Beat

Well, this didn't take long. Yesterday was his last day at the L.A. Times, and already Don Shirley has a new gig:
Beginning next week, I’ll write a weekly theater column for Los Angeles CityBeat/ValleyBeat, the alternative newspaper and web site now in its third year, with a circulation of 100,000 throughout the L.A. area and in some adjacent counties. CityBeat currently has no regular theater coverage, so I’m excited to open a new weekly arena for discussion of Southern California theater. Besides the column, I’ll also contribute brief capsule reviews to the theater listings.

That strikes me as good news, both for Don and for the L.A. theater community.
Meanwhile, McNulty debuts a little drily, if I may say so (here and here). "Throat-clearing" does seem to be the operative word.

P.S.: I can't believe I scooped Kevin on this.

Jan 13, 2006

Score One for Tom

I'm no fan of Phantom, which I saw eons ago in L.A. And I'm a dissenter on Lion King. But I've got to second the broad-minded wisdom of Disney's theatrical impresario Tom Schumacher, quoted in this LA Times' piece on Phantom's landmark Cats-scratching performance:
"There's one myopic thing on Broadway, and that's 'if it didn't happen on Broadway, it didn't happen.' It's not just this eight-block radius we're talking about tonight...Right now there is great work being done all over this country, from the West Coast to the East Coast, that could lead to the next record-breaking hit. And it won't be the marketing, or the critics, or the producers, who'll make it that. It'll be the audience."

PS: As I wrote this, this song by my late colleague Joel Hirschhorn came up on my iPod. 2006 looks better already.

Jan 12, 2006

Northern Highlights

Had a fine old time at John Cariani's new play Almost, Maine—fine enough that I'm actually considering a trip to the home of Stephen King, Ed Muskie, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. It's just too warm here in New York.

We'll Always Have Sarris

I've never been a big fan of the Observer's film critic, Andrew Sarris — full disclosure, I tend to come down on the Pauline Kael side of the auteur theory debate — but it's hard to take too much relish in this.

Jan 11, 2006

So I'm not crazy, after all: The Times' Charles Isherwood more or less agrees with me about Nilo Cruz's middling new play Beauty of the Father.

Jan 10, 2006

Times Contraire

Well, the year is off to a shaky start, at least by my lights. I got a few laughs but little else from Douglas Carter Beane's new The Little Dog Laughed, but Mr. Brantley gushed over it. And I found the two-man school theater piece The Stones pretty uninspired, but Miriam Horn, a stringer for the Times, loved it. Either I got off the on the wrong side of 2006 or there's something funny in the water coolers over on 43rd Street. Go figure.

Jan 4, 2006


The Color Purple at the Broadway Theatre
Company at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre
The Fantasticks at the Snapple Theatre
Frost/Nixon at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre
Grey Gardens at the Walter Kerr Theatre
In the Heights at 37 Arts
Legally Blonde at the Palace Theatre
No Child... at the Barrow Street Theatre
Spring Awakening at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre

On the page:
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright
Resistance, Rebellion, and Death by Albert Camus
The Beatles-Complete Scores

For the ears:
Calexico Garden Ruin
Midlake The Trials of Van Occupanther
Lily Allen Alright Still
Andrew Bird The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Maria Bachmann Fratres