TAGGED WITH THEATER CRITICISM

8444935

Adam and Eve and the Meth-Lab Fire

Allegory is tough. Musicals are tough. And soft rock should burn in hell. So with The Songs of the Fall Ben Boquist is putting himself to a lot of trouble to show off a handful of musically interesting, lyrically simplistic songs that you’ll like if you liked 1990s show tunes that really wanted to be 1980s show tunes. There are complex progressions, surprising extensions, and idiosyncratic declensions (get it? The fall of the songs? No? Sorry). Unfortunately, few in this Hollywood Fringe Festival cast are read...
5531142

Listen to the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Bitter Lemons' Critics Panel

The beauty of recording something is that you can then compare it to those that reported on that something and see how well that reportage turned out. Apparently, Paul Birchall’s reportage was a bit off and he’s made several corrections since the original publication. I never asked for any of these corrections, but I appreciate Paul, his editor Rob Kendt and the crew at AT doing their best to be as fair as possible.Nevertheless, there is always bias involved in these situations, something I exp...
8341297

The Ethics and the Ecstasy

Now that the Hollywood Fringe Festival is over, the good news: people are still buying reviews, and I’m still writing them. The bad news: all the damage I’m causing to the art of criticism.In the past couple of weeks Bitter Lemons has been taken to task by a coast-to-coast Old Boy Network for taking money from theater companies to publicly critique their work. It’s a new idea. You know how that goes.One common alarm is that money will spur “the bypassing of editorial judgment in dec...
507574

An Open Letter to American Theatre Magazine - by Ernest Kearney

Ernest sent this letter to the folks over at American Theatre, but received no response and therefore, no satisfaction. I asked if he might want to publish it here at the Lemon as an open letter to AT, reminding him, of course, that we rarely get any satisfaction here either. He agreed. So here it is. CMAn Open Letter to American Theatre Magazine Concerning Their Coverage of the Bitter Lemons’ Critics Panel at the 2015 Hollywood FringeBy Ernest KearneyForgive me for not getting this in sooner, but I&rsquo...
4369014

The Bitter Lemons Imperative Remains Open for Business

In business 3 months. 40 reviews published so far. A couple more in the chute. All paid for by the companies making the theater. All the critics doing the work being paid a reasonable wage for the work. Steven Stanley being hailed as the bastion of Los Angeles Theater Criticism by the Torch and Pitchfork Crowd (if that just raised some hackles on the back of your neck then yes that’s you). International controversy. Armageddon.So far so good.As you may have heard, there’s been a lot of tal...
2312710

Phantoms

Everyone outside a nightclub on a Tuesday looks like they’re in line to get an abortion.It’s 11:00 and I’m driving through Hollywood, away from Phantom. Phantom sucked. It sucked so bad my ex-girlfriend who’d bought the tickets for her birthday left at halftime. We ate at the W and went our ways. My way went for awhile past marquees and sleek-lettered walls behind which you can spend $300 not to sit down, $5000 not to impress anybody. Nightclubs. They’re like bars, but for people who do...
2276337

The Perilous Vocation of the Critic

You’ve probably already read about this lunatic. His name’s Douglas Gordon. That’s his picture up there. In case you run into him in a dark alley, or something. All this because he got poor reviews. Good thing he didn’t decide to take that pick axe to one of the disparaging critics.It’s a perilous vocation, those who have dedicated their lives to honesty and integrity in writing about theater deserve to be treated like professionals. Hell, they should be getting life insurance as w...
9277263

Friday

Friday was good.Thursday was a day I’d planned to spend in bed, where I had spent most of the week in a depressive state. I spend a fair amount of time this way. I used to take drugs about it but I have learned not to. Could I be happier on drugs? Shit, man, I was the happiest of all possible Jasons when I was on drugs, and drunk, and stuff. When that went, the big pharma shit went, too, for related reasons. So every couple of months I get down and sleep for a week. Usually it happens after I’ve been ver...
366936

Playhouse Fantasy Boy-Land

I’d been feeling down and I hadn’t seen him in a few months so when Timmy called, I went over there. He was very excited about something he called “Playhouse Fantasy Boy-Land,” which was a place he really wanted me to go with him.I stood on the outskirts, smoking a cigarette. I can’t describe it. It didn’t make any sense to me and it didn’t look promising. I wanted to go home.I said, “This looks like another one of your late-night cartoon shows with ultra-hip...
9784055

LA Weekly Officially Drops all "Long Form Theater Criticism"

This according to Uncle Steven over at Stage Raw:The L.A. Weekly has finally dropped all long-form theater criticism – long form being 800 words, or one page in the new, reduce-sized book. (This word count shrank from 1200 words about two and half years ago to accommodate the diminished acreage.) This recent decision is part of what I’d guess you could call a trajectory. This isn’t to say stories about local theater have been dropped, or capsule theater reviews (now about two per week, in prin...