TAGGED WITH JASON ROHRER

2411676

The Wildcat

The inaugural Los Angeles Theater Festival is underway at The Complex’s Ruby Theatre, just a few months after the Hollywood Fringe Festival bowed at that venue (among many others along Santa Monica Boulevard). While the HFF lasted just two and a half weeks and the LATF stretches from September 4 through October 11, the latter is actually a much smaller affair, comprising 62 performances of 16 titles (plus a closing-night “Variety Show”). The LATF is also different in that its 16 offerings incl...
7259667

Become a Part of the Arts-Lit Network Here at Bitter Lemons

Much of what is written here at Bitter Lemons, even if its news-related, often takes the form of a sort of Arts-Lit hybrid, embracing aspects of both literature and journalism, creating a kind of mutant that sometimes succeeds in merging the best of each of these disciplines and sometimes just leaves author and audience divinely disgruntled. This “style,” for want of a better word, has mostly been born of two parents; our ability to continue to allow ourselves to evolve as a medi...
8038701

The Los Angeles Theater Festival

Well, I tried.There was a new theater festival in town. The 16-show Los Angeles Theater Festival opened at the Complex on September 4 with little fanfare; I didn’t know any of the associated names, and the first participant I talked to told a story that made me vaguely suspicious. I thought Hey, maybe I can Upton Sinclair my way into a scintillating expose of Hollywood corruption. If I can Yellow Journalize this thing, protect the community, strengthen a rep for doing good, I can get back some of the 99-seat l...
1892474

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...
4137148

The Saturday Saying

“The unsubtle sermon called Appropriate is one of two 2014 shows from Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins to win, jointly, an Obie award for best new play. This may explain something about New York no longer being the center of American theater.”Jason Rohrer – from his review of “Appropriate” (Stage and Cinema)...
150464

Equity @ Boston Court

THE ELEPHANT Since December last, when Actors’ Equity Association began quiet overtures regarding its sweeping new plan for the small theaters of Los Angeles to pay their actors minimum wage, the Theatre @ Boston Court has been the elephant in the room. Equity shored up its position in the following months with statements to the effect that LA was a flashpoint for predatory producers who ran roughshod over the rights of actors. Local Equity membership responded that such exploitation largely did not exist...
7361674

The Saturday Saying

“On the same day the LA Times declared Bitter Lemons’ theater review initiative had “fallen flat,” we got another client. A practice that didn’t exist in April is now a going concern, despite the power structure’s active trolling, denunciation, sabotage, and pretense that we don’t exist. A half-dozen critics have gotten paying work, and almost fifty productions that otherwise wouldn’t have got any coverage at all have been reviewed by the best-read theater web sit...
5712224

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...
3687063

A Trial of Some Scope

This week I read a piece of dialogue from a missionary in a Robert Louis Stevenson story: “I never argue with young atheists or habitual drunkards.” I recognize the sentiment as one close to my heart; it’s been several years since I swore off arguing with Dawkinites, those monkeys who chatter about science as if it were a religion, taking as gospel any proffered pie chart or research paper regardless of reason or sense. On my own Twitter-fight scale of personal experience, Dawkinites are even worse...
4868832

Cats and Dogs

Lanford Wilson’s The Gingham Dog appeared on Broadway in 1969, almost too late to shock audiences with its portrayal of a dissolving marriage between a black woman and a white man who casually use words like “fuck,” “nigger” and “spic.” The racial epithets may be more powerful now, after 45 years of language-parsing, than at its premiere. And while it has not the vigor of Balm in Gilead, the humor of The Hot l Baltimore, or the easy literacy of Burn This, Gingham still works...