When the lights come up on Bearing Witness, Thomas Bird's one-man show at the Odyssey Theatre, Bird is standing near a bench which he informs us is outside the gates of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. This is where the Nazis sent their political prisoners and the educated classes, the intelligentsia, where they proceeded … Continue reading Thomas Bird Confronts Monsters of History - Both His and Ours
Writer: Stephen Fife
As 2017 winds down, I think it's inevitable that we ask ourselves: what was that all about? There were expectations we had - some were met, most weren't. There was money made - or not. Or maybe a windfall, who knows? There were a series of events... things that happened with parents, children, friends, lovers, … Continue reading THE Twisted Hipster BEST OF LOS ANGELES THEATER 2017
It's become a given that "you can't make a living in the theater," at least not in this country. And for the most part it's true, especially for playwrights. Playwrights typically receive 5% or 6% of ticket sales for a full-scale production, which in a six week run of 7-8 shows a week in a … Continue reading KEMP POWERS AND THE PLIGHT OF THE AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT (LA Version)
The Twisted Hipster is in his last few weeks of employment at Better-Lemons - yes, out with the old year, not coming back with the new. But, while I still have this platform, I want to let you know about two wonderful shows with just a few performances left. One is a new show, the … Continue reading Last Chance to Catch Two FUNNY and ENTERTAINING Shows!
SHANE GUFFOGG'S GROUP EXHIBITION: PORTRAITURE Portraiture curated by Shane Guffogg, featuring artwork by Don Bachardy, Xander Berkeley, Jeff Britton, Laura Hipke, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Doro Hofmann, Deborah Martin, Ed Ruscha, Paul Ruscha, Vonn Sumner, Alison Van Pelt as well as Guffogg himself, opened on November 11, 2017, at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. It closes … Continue reading SEX, LOVE, DEATH AND LEON RUSSOM
Quote of the week: "Trump said that Latinos are rapists and criminals. So when I meet him, I plan to rob him and fuck him." - George Lopez I saw something last night at a performance of Something Rotten at the Ahmanson Theatre that I'd never seen before in my 21 years in Los Angeles. … Continue reading LA STAGE: A Royal Dilemma and Lots of (Crazy) Comedy Tonite!
Going into the new year of 2018, has there ever been a more confusing and troubling time in our 21st Century lifetimes? Sure there have been, you say. Remember the Bush years? The 9/11 attack? The Iraq attack, ostensibly to find WMDs that never in fact existed? The financial meltdown in 2008? These were far … Continue reading TO ACCUSE OR NOT TO ACCUSE, PART 3: Something to Feel Good About
Hey, I was up writing Part 2 of this series until 6:30 AM, and, before getting to Part 3, I want to elaborate on something I wrote there: "This so-called populist champion [Trump] is actually there to roll back all of Obama's social reforms and consolidate a ruling class among the wealthy elite." In true … Continue reading TO ACCUSE OR NOT TO ACCUSE, PART 2a: Constitutional Predators
Another day and another one bites the dust. This time it's Charlie Rose, morning TV anchor and talk show host for the smart set. Several women who worked for him have come forward to report what was apparently another "open secret" - that this "toxic bachelor" liked to employ young women as his assistants and … Continue reading TO ACCUSE OR NOT TO ACCUSE? PART 2: How We Got Here
Accusations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct are all the rage right now, with new revelations coming at us faster than we're able to absorb and consider them. But why now? And what does it all really mean? And what are we supposed to think - or do - about it? I mean, all these … Continue reading TO ACCUSE OR NOT TO ACCUSE? Some Things to Think About. And Some Names. Part 1
Here is a twisted tale, a true story for all of you who believe in a world where good will triumph and evil will get the punishment it deserves. By now you have probably read that "Salvator Mundi," a painting currently attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, has been sold by Christie's for over $450 million, … Continue reading ME AND "SALVATOR MUNDI" DOWN BY THE SCHOOLYARD
Given how much "toxic" masculinity there is around these days - just this morning, some jerk in Northern Cali joined the growing list of lethal shooters, at a children's elementary school, no less - well, I thought I'd begin with a memoir from a non-toxic Hollywood male. BORN STANDING UP: a comic's life by Steve … Continue reading "TOXIC MASCULINITY" IN HOLLYWOOD (Onstage)
So the word is out on the street - THE BAND'S VISIT by Itamar Moses (adapted from an Israeli film), music by David Yazbek, directed by David Cromer is a great night in the theater and will be a huge hit! If you haven't read about it yet, it's because you can't be bothered to … Continue reading HIPSTER Tips for Musicals in NY and LA - from a Critic who is NOT Charles McNulty
BREAKING NEWS: The Sacred Fools production of MR BURNS: A Post-Electric Play has been extended to DEC. 9th!!! New York City. London. Los Angeles. All great cities, right? Two of the three are known as great theater (or theatre) cities. Which ones are they? "Duh," you say. London has the West End, New York has … Continue reading BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITIES - Don't Count Out LA Theater!
Okay, so, speaking of Jews and the theater - which I'm about to do - I recently posted the following photo on Facebook and described it as coming from the Bar Mitzvah of Robert Brustein-- --which it obviously isn't. First, Robert Brustein is 90 years old and in all likelihood had a bar mitzvah 77 … Continue reading THE WANDERING PLAY WANDERS BACK TO WHERE IT BEGAN (LA)
SO LONG BOULDER CITY by Jimmy Fowlie and Jordan Black, performed by Mr Fowlie and directed by Mr Black The title of this meta-comedy will be immediately recognizable to any avid fan of Damien Chazelle's film LA LA LAND. In the film, Mia Dolan, an aspiring actress played by Emma Stone (who won an Academy … Continue reading THIS IS NOT EMMA STONE'S "BOULDER CITY"
BONO AND THE EDGE WAITING FOR GODOMINO'S - two more shows at the Whitefire! This very funny show originated at the 2017 Fringe and has moved to the Whitefire Theatre on Ventura Blvd, where it has two more performances. Here is my coverage from last summer: "While a parody of Beckett's Waiting for Godot … Continue reading INTIMATE AND TWISTED - LOVE, THE STRINDBERG WAY
As usual, there's so much going on in the SoCal area this weekend, including a dangerous fire (try to avoid that). For those who want a memorable experience at the theater, here are 3 options - all have some humor in them, though only one is a laugh out-loud comedy. DAYTONA by Oliver Cotton, … Continue reading THREE QUICK HIPSTER TIPS FOR THE WEEKEND
UPDATE: NBC News had this story months ago but pulled the plug on reporter Ronan Farrow, who then went to the New Yorker. Lorne Michaels chose not to refer to the story on the latest SNL. Is NBC still scared of Harvey - or is it somehow in bed with him? It was at the … Continue reading "GOD" IS DEAD. OR IS HE?
HIPSTER TIPS MASTERCLASS by Terrence McNally, directed by Dimitri Toscas This is the first production of the Garry Marshall Theatre (formerly the Falcon), but I have to admit that I didn't have high expectations. The play Masterclass was first produced in 1995 - right here at the Ahmanson, then on Broadway - with Patti Lupone … Continue reading LOVE, ART, THOUGHT - Searching for the Magic Connection in the Sacred Space