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Drew Martorella
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THE TASTE AND SMELLS OF CHRISTMAS by Kevin Landis A couple of years ago I wrote an article for a journal on dining that argued for a deeper look at the similarities between cuisine culture and theatre. Obviously, the research... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2016 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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It’s the one story we all want to see and hear over and over again, even though most of our neighborhoods are no longer blighted with poverty and smoke. Why is this so? One reason may be that A Christmas Carol fills our continuing need for communal ritual, at a time when we don’t do rituals very well (Bronco games excepted). We’ve gotten rather out of touch with ritual, living in a time where technology has liberated us from nature, and where much of our social experience is isolated and virtual. That may be why this story seems more popular, more vital and even more necessary than ever, especially in the theater. You might think A Christmas Carol is just the holiday story that brings a smile to your face. I’m here to tell you it’s all that and something more—it’s a ritual service of communal healing. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2016 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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My title is borrowed from a former teacher of mine, Stephen Booth, who gave a talk about the beautiful, using the classic children's book Go, Dog, Go! as his unlikely example. He pointed out there is not a lot of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2016 at Murray Ross
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Pierre Carlet de Chamberlain is likely not a name you often drop in conversation. Nor is Pierre’s nom de plume, Marivaux. But had you the good fortune to have moved in the fashionable circles of Paris around 1730, Marivaux would... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2016 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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Let’s say you happen to be a slightly nerdy guy and meet what might be an interesting woman at a barbeque party. Or maybe you are a young woman, brilliant but awkward, and you meet a nice guy at a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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Now here’s a play. It has everything: passion, power and beauty. It was written, as Coleridge said, with “angelic strength” and “fiery force.” It burns grandly across the wide range of an empire, finally coming to rest in a hushed and monumental stillness. Epic in size and scope, Antony and Cleopatra is in every way an astonishing achievement. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2016 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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The Girl of the Golden West is a play with no names. Or a play where the names are all made up. As the girl says of all the miners and everyone passing through the Polka Saloon, "Not one of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2016 at Murray Ross
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He’s on nobody’s list of great playwrights, and it’s unlikely you’ve ever seen a play of his in performance. Yet David Belasco is perhaps the most prolific playwright in our history. He claimed to have had a hand in 374 productions, most of which he wrote or adapted himself. He was famous for introducing new technologies into the playhouse and making stars out of unknown actors. His name appeared on theaters built in New York, Los Angeles and Washington. He was the first producer whose name alone attracted audiences. Between 1890-1930 he utterly dominated American theatre. He was the man, the celebrated “Bishop of Broadway.” Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2016 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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John Douglas Thompson is that rare bird, a genuine stage actor who has not crossed over to movies or television, and most of the time you’d have to get to New York see him at work. Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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Billie Dawn has come to Washington. She’s landed in Suite 67D, a large part of the best hotel in town and a masterpiece of offensive good taste. She’s brought along a couple of minks and some hot lingerie. According to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2015 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
We're happy to report that 40% of the people who saw Ghosts and filled out the audience surveys thought our production was exceptionally well done, and another 40% thought it was quite good. But never before in our history has... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2015 at Murray Ross
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From thousands of miles away he could hear it coming, the great howl of outrage that would greet his new play. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2015 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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The play was an instant hit when it opened in London in 1930. Noël Coward was already a celebrity entertainer in his prime, and his cast was sensational. Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2015 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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The burden of my song is: Kids Get Shakespeare. I speak not only of myself, who first saw Shakespeare in a small city park in Altadena a hundred years ago (how I wish I could thank those players bursting from... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2015 at Murray Ross
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The Liar is a dazzling creation, layered with brilliant rhyme, infused with puns and pomegranates, spread with love and raspberry jam, spun with sugar and espresso, topped with tiny violets and hints of lace. It is a work of great precision and skill, both luxurious and whimsical, not unlike those mille feuilles you’ll find on the left bank. You’ll fall in love at first sight, and once tasted the whole airy nothing will disappear and leave not a trace behind-- except possibly in a sweet small bulge near your tummy. The Liar might not be on any cardiologist’s list of dietary recommendations, but please! It’s spring, it’s Paris, it’s romance, and this contemporary classic is a masterpiece of delicious, delectable fun. One won’t hurt you. In fact it’s just what you need to burst into blossom. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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The ingredients are simple, practical, and strange. One woman, Winnie, half buried in a low mound in an empty landscape. A husband, Willie, nearby, mostly out of sight, reading a newspaper. A large bag of little things to help Winnie get through her day: toothbrush, spectacles, magnifying glass, lipstick and a revolver she calls “Brownie.” When the image of a person irretrievably stuck in the ground under a blazing sun came to the playwright, he told a friend, “And I thought who could cope with that and go down singing, only a woman.” Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
“When you lose your glasses, it’s, of course, unpleasant. But at the same time it’s wonderful, too — in the twilight, my whole room seems different from usual. This plaid blanket, thrown over the armchair, now seems to me a very sweet and kind princess.” Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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It has come to my attention some of our audience members have been unhappy about the profanity in some of the plays we've chosen this season. In truth, when we chose our plays this was not a consideration; I discerned... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
A decade ago our London theatregoers went to see a new holiday play called The Lying Kind. I had my doubts about this: the production had mixed reviews from London critics and had been branded a black comedy. It was playing at the Royal Court in Sloane Square, a famous temple of provocative and sometimes revolutionary work for the theatre. Would it all be just too much for our innocents abroad, especially at Christmas, “the most wonderful time of the year”? Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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This weekend I checked in on four theatre productions in town---four! That's a personal record, and I'm proud of it, but I'm writing to say they were all quite different, and each had a whole lot going for it. On... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Murray Ross
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Everyone remembers paradise, the idyllic garden where we were happy once and can never reclaim except through the golden lens of memory. Mine was Malibu Beach in 1957, the same year a screenwriter noticed his daughter was spending a lot of time with boys who rode surfboards – surfing was then a boys only sport, and she was dying to join. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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Don’t call Charles Busch a drag queen. “We share a certain DNA,” he says, “but we are a very different species.” A drag queen is a persona, and one that he admires. Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
The next time you drive south to the Santa Fe Opera or a fl ying saucer rendezvous in Roswell, you might get off the interstate 12 miles north of Trinidad and have a look at the Ludlow historical memorial. It’s easy to miss; I had missed it for decades. Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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OK, everyone, who is America’s greatest playwright? Some would say Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill or August Wilson. They would all be wrong. Worthy as this gang is, they are all running far behind Mr. William Shakespeare. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2014 at THEATREWORKS Newsletter
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I have been working on our own adaptation of Carlo Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters. I'm not the first to have attempted this. I've looked at 5 different English ranslations of the play, and each is much more distinct than... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at Murray Ross