"Westworld," Open Worlds & The Future of Theater

Is it commonplace, a fact of human existence, to look to the future with absolutely equal parts terror and exhilaration? Like, does it always exist at polar opposites? Like, was there ever a time when people looked to the future with only half-hearted interest and lukewarm emotional investment? Because...

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The Dramaturg: The Increasingly Awesome Omnipresence of Hamilton

I find it easy catchin diabetes from fly sweeties

Sit back and wait to hear a slammin track

Rockin jams by popular demand, I'm back

 

-Rakim, “Guess Who’s Back”

 

Awwwwww yeah, guess who’s back?! That’s right, I’m back at Bitter Lemons and quoting rap lyrics in honor of Hamilton, the mega-hit Broadway show...

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Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for the 99-Seat War

I’m coming in with my hands over my head, okay? I’m not wearing a wire. I’m not carrying a weapon. I have credentials: I ran a nonprofit theater company here in Los Angeles for several years, one that survived and thrived in large part because of the 99 Seat...

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The Dramaturg: "Birdman," Bubbles and The End of a Company

I think Birdman might end up as my all-time favorite theater movie (not to mention my 17th favorite rapper). I know, I know. Cool your jets. I don't take such pronouncements lightly and I'm prepared to spend a great deal of future time considering this designation before I make...

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Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for Live TV, Cable Edition

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that NBC has chosen to draw their water from this particular, theatrical well. In conceiving of these live, musical broadcasts of theirs, the network has chosen The Sound of Music and Peter Pan as source material, two pieces of theater that long ago...

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Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays For 5 Theme Parks

Los Angeles theater is currently lost in a messy argument about how exactly it should divide up its income, an argument I couldn't dive into even if I wanted and, really, if you spend any amount time on this site then you've already heard all about it. What interests...

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Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for 5 Comebacks

Among the many reasons to find Variety a reliably goofy read is its decision to group its theatre reviews and news under the header, “Legit.” This never ceases to amuse me. It feels like part of some worn and lovable Hollywood tradition, like Musso & Frank’s, like theatre is...

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Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays For Our Virtual Reality Future

Conceptually at least, virtual reality has been around for a long time. I myself grew up on the mid-90s vision of it best depicted in Aerosmith’s “Amazing” music video and the Denzel/Russell classic Virtuosity. It’s gained a major head of steam in recent years though as the technology needed...

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Dramaturgy Playlist: 5 Plays for Burning Man

Breaking news, guys. I don't know what finally gave it away—the giant, elaborately designed pieces of mechanized art or the thousands of people walking around dressed primarily in LEDs—but I'm here to confirm that Burning Man is a theatrically rich environment. It comes full of everything we expect from...

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The Dramaturg: Wrestlemania!

On April Fool’s Day, 1990, 67,678 people paid to enter Toronto’s brand-new Skydome stadium to watch a succession of men in their underwear pretend to fight. Even more stupendously, a half million more had already purchased the right to watch a descrambled, live broadcast of this gargantuan spectacle, called...

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The Dramaturg: America's Most Relevant Play, The Finals!

The most popular form of live performance in this country is professional sports. This means that our conception of performance is shaped around competition, and the notion that an enacted story involves some representation of a fight; someone simultaneously fighting against something and for something. Consider boxing, which is...

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The Dramaturg: America's Most Relevant Play, The Final Four

A behind-the-scenes factoid to open up our Final Four coverage: I initially planned for How I Learned To Drive to win this tournament. I know!! Whoa!!! This passed quickly though once I realized that, to its credit, that play had already moved through immediate relevancy and into a kind...

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