TAGGED WITH THEATER CRITICISM

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LA Weekly Theater Critic Katie Buenneke Doesn't Believe Deaf West's "Spring Awakening" Move to Broadway is a Good Thing

But that’s not what I want to talk about.Katie is of course entitled to her opinion and she makes some interesting points in her LA Weekly article, points like this:I love seeing unexpected takes on familiar stories, and that’s something that’s unique to theater: different groups of people performing the same show over and over again in different places, bringing something new to it each time. And that freedom to explore a show comes with distance from the “definitive” product...
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Critic Tweets and the Art of Giving it Away for Free

Just a heads up, folks. I know it’s a tough marketing world out there and we all certainly need to get our wares and wherefores out to the public in any way we can, but if you consider yourself a legitimate theater critic in this town, someone whose work we should take seriously,  and you are  putting “wow” and “go see this show” and “congratulations” in your 140 character tweets and then also offering a link for me to go read your review on your site, guess what&#...
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A 9/11

By 2001 I hadn’t had a television for several years, and like a lot of those people I mentioned the fact with frequency. I was living with a girl in L.A., and after we woke up on September 11 our only way to interface with the events on the east coast was via radio and an AOL dial-up connection. I’d taken a train directly underneath the World Trade Center every day for years in the 90s, and I still had many many friends in New York, but that didn’t matter. What I wanted was to see the atrocity.The ...
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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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LA Times' Charles McNulty on the State of Theater Criticism: "The individual voice has been drowned out in the digital din."

The latest from the LA Times’ top dog, Charles McNulty, is, well, mostly more of the same, a combination of well written idealism and cluelessness, with an actual splash of vision here and there. Yes, I have to admit there are nuggets here, it just so happens that some of them are Chicken McNuggets, but let’s try and focus on the good stuff, the vision, the passion, the gold. I’m going to pay Chuck the respect he seems unable or unwilling to do for others and I’m going to try a...
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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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Breaking News: Bitter Lemons Mentioned at Staged Raw Supposed Symposium (In Other News: Hell Partners with Alaska Airlines)

I wasn’t there, and won’t be at the next one either – actually I was at the NoHo Fringe Awards ceremony last night which though a bit of a slapdash affair (not unlike the “festival” itself) was a really fun time – but apparently, according to the Staged Raw Facebook page, the ungodly words that were forbidden at their last Supposed Symposium have been spoken: Bitter Lemons. I’m sure people fell writhing to the ground and started speaking in tongues as soon as ...
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Message and Delivery

To stand at a microphone reading a personal anecdote is maybe not to enter the most sophisticated performing arts arena. Opera certainly has more component parts than a Moth true-stories show. Dance is more physically demanding. But commanding attention with no tool but your self, with little element of spectacle, is an essential challenge. It’s artist and audience in direct confrontation. It’s as close to the fine art of stand-up comedy as I’ve come. I haven’t done very much.This year I...
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The War in Heaven

War, famine, Antichrist – with the exception of John the Revelator, who seems to have relished the idea, everybody has depicted Apocalypse as a big downer. Sure, there’s black comedy in the Francis Ford Coppola version, but technically the Vietnam War was only an apocalypse for those involved, and their families, and their friends…sundry proxy nations…anyway there’s no Antichrist there unless you count Robert Strange McNamara, and he’s not in that movie.Antichrist is the most inte...