TAGGED WITH BITTER LEMONS

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FALLING ACTION

A play advertising itself as emulating two filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie) raises questions about the value the creative team places on plays, as opposed to, let’s say, movies. It also makes one wonder whether these folks know that each medium has its own language and its own shorthand. When the marketing materials describe the team’s favorite entertainment elements as “tough-guy banter, cool suits, blood, and guns,” one is left to wonder how they feel about character developme...
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Stage Raw Symposium Celebrates Bitter Lemons' Contribution to Los Angeles Theater Criticism

Oh, it was a glorious night indeed! All the best and brightest minds of LA Theater – or “revolutionaries” as Steven Leigh Morris rightfully knighted them – were in full formation: the LA Times’ Margaret Gray, desperately in need of a hair clip, moderating, Charles McNulty from the LA Times, expounding, John Flynn from Rogue Machine, being sage-like, Steven Leigh Morris from Stage Raw and LA Weekly, wistfully musing, Tracey Paleo from Gia on the Move, making sense, Bill Raden f...
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Devil's Advocate: Shakespeare 2.0? - by Robert Toombs

A few weeks ago the Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced a new program called “Play On!,” in which 36 playwrights will tackle the unenviable task of “translat[ing] 39 plays attributed to Shakespeare into contemporary modern English.” One such translation, Kenneth Cavender’s take on Timon of Athens, already premiered at Alabama Shakespeare Festival last year. But reactions to the overall program were swift and, predictably, all over the map. In the New York Times, Co...
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Outrage and Owies

A Phoenix, Arizona theater critic who spells his name Robrt Pela decided this month to stop being just a Phoenix, Arizona theater critic and go national. He wrote an effete, languidly angry essay about the editor of the Seattle outlet The Stranger, and that editor’s habit of leaving plays at intermission and then reviewing the half he did see. Over the last two weeks, Pela’s essay has as of this writing garnered 241 Facebook shares and 11 Tweets. It’s not quite viral, and it did take four...
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The Saturday Saying(s): The Jubilee Edition

“You cannot call your attempts at creating parity and diversity in American Theatre and in your community inclusive when the very language of your pledge explicitly excludes a portion of that community.”-Colin Mitchell – in response to the ridiculously wrongheaded Jubilee pledge sponsored by Howlround“In order to address parity in the American Theatre and in my community I promise to support a vision of every theatre in the United States of America producing only work by women, people of...
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Who Could They Possibly Be Talking About?

Stage Raw’s continued media blackout on all things Bitter Lemons continues. Barely.Here’s the latest from Paul I Stand By My Reporting Birchall:Except, this year, for the LA theater community, Halloween is every day.  I mean, it never ends, and the one thing that has emerged this week in the absence of actual stories is the fact that there is plenty of sniping.  Was there ever a time when civility among the writers and journalists in our community was at quite this low an ebb? &n...
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The Los Angeles Post Interviews Bitter Lemons' Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder Colin Mitchell

Yes, I know I just referred to myself in the third person. It’s something we sometimes do in this odd media world of ours, especially when you’re a staff of one. Now don’t get excited, but this interview conducted by the tireless Dan Berkowitz over at The Los Angeles Post actually refers to me as “one of LA’s most fascinating theatre figures”.Now I don’t know how “fascinating my figure” is, but at least I ain’t boring.Here’s a little snippet from...
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Merry Christmas, LemonHeads!

Hope everyone is with their family and feeling the tidings of comfort and joy. I sure did. That’s my boy up there in the picture, Max. Yup. He’s a Master Builder. No big deal, cranks out age 18 plus sets all by himself. Yawn.Ever noticed how often people without kids hate Christmas? It’s because it was made for children. So if you’re feeling the blahs either kidnap a child now or get to work immediately with someone fertile and you’ll be all set for next year.I will be vanishing for a w...
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The Tyranny of Wordsmiths

You’re not supposed to review the Wooster Group show at REDCAT. Yes, you. Harold Pinter says so, from the grave.It’s not REDCAT’s fault; that excellent venue may benefit from the controversy, but it didn’t cause it. And it’s not licensing agency Samuel French’s fault, either, for placing bizarre restrictions on the production – including the unenforceable edict, quite outside the control of the company or the venue, that no criticism of the show be published. And it’s ...
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LGBTQklahoma!

An Oklahoma State University professor and her students are accusing their theater department of censorship. The kids say that because the play they wrote was pushed from a mainstage production to a black box, their freedom of speech has been infringed upon.But the show played as the kids wrote it. They performed it themselves. Their professor directed it. It wasn’t finished, possibly a result of juggled performance dates, but it went up. One student participant said, after the fact, “...