TAGGED WITH STAGE RAW

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Critique of the Week (On a Monday)

Deborah Klugman is fast becoming one of my favorite theater critics in LA. Her work at Stage Raw and the LA Weekly, is brusque, to the point and succinct. She is reaching Bill Raden-esque levels with her ability to say much in a short period of time. As she does in this week’s COW below. Would love to see what she could do with a freer platform and more room to really explore her subject matter in more depth. Then again, some shows only deserve 300 words, for better or for worse, case in point…BIG SHOT: ...
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A Few Things You May Not Know about Steven Leigh Morris

On Monday, grand old man of LA theater critics Steven Leigh Morris published a screed in the LA Weekly damning Bitter Lemons, one of the websites for which I write criticism. Steven Leigh Morris had some harsh words for our policy, known as the Bitter Lemons Imperative, of charging productions to review their work. It may be that Steven Leigh Morris found last week’s equivocal LA Times article insufficiently condemnatory, or it may be that Steven Leigh Morris is actually so incensed that he has to do his ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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What Exactly Is Los Angeles Theatre Fighting FOR? - by Douglas Clayton

He’s back! LA Theater’s most notorious “villain,” Doug Clayton, now plying his dastardly ways in the Windy City, just can’t keep his mind off the artistic community that he loves. Once again he’s chiming in and challenging the leaders of LA Theater to get specific about what exactly they are fighting for and what they’d like our artistic community to look like in 2022.We here at the Lemon are of course happy to accommodate Doug’s request for a public forum. A...
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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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Third Eye Blind: Re-visualizing The Status Quo - By Ezra Buzzington

To successfully visualize, one must first imagine. To fully imagine, one must work from a place of fearlessness. To work from a place of fearlessness, one must be confident in one’s willingness to face anything: personal dark places; other people’s motivations; the existence/non-existence of a higher being (of course, there is/are a god/gods, we just don’t know who/what he/she/it/they is/are), etc. Thoughts are things. Change is fact. Fear of change, though, that is a different matter. That is a co...
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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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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...