Audio Interview: The cast of “Bright Star” at GEM Theatre

This sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ‘40s unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances.*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “Bright Star at the GEM Theatre, playing through Oct 20th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: Cathy Rigby and the cast of "Grumpy Old Men" AT THE LA MIRADA THEATRE

Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a grumpy ride! TV legend & Tony winner HAL LINDEN, the beloved CATHY RIGBY and Broadway’s KEN PAGE star in this new musical-comedy based on the classic 1993 film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret.  Two aging neighbors, Max and John, have been feuding for more than 50 years until the beautiful and charming Ariel moves in across the street — raising the rivalry to new heights.  Don’t miss this laugh-out-loud story of family, friendship, love and romance in a fresh new musical that’s guaranteed to delight!*

Enjoy this interview with Cathy Rigby and the cast of “Grumpy Old Men at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, playing through Oct 13th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


"MEET THE PUBLICISTS" PANEL PODCAST

Better Lemons and Theatre West hosted “Meet the Publicists” featuring several of LA's premier publicists for a panel discussion of theatre publicity, marketing, and promotion.

The following publicists were on the panel:

Tim Choy (Davidson & Choy Publicity)
DAVIDSON & CHOY PUBLICITY (Press Representatives) resume includes the original Evita through The Book of Mormon and stints with American Ballet Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Clients include Actor's Gang, Broad Stage, El Capitan Theatre, Ford Theatres, Hollywood Bowl, Lythgoe Pantos, Pasadena Playhouse, Segerstrom Center, Shakespeare Center LA, The Soraya, and Walt Disney Imagineering.

Lucy Pollak (Lucy Pollak Public Relations)
Lucy Pollak has been providing publicity services to the Los Angeles arts community for the past 27 years for companies including 24th STreet Theatre, Antaeus Theatre Company, The Echo Theater Company, Fountain Theatre, International City Theatre, L.A. Theatre Works, Latino Theater Company at the LATC, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Padua Playwrights, Theatre Planners, Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum; numerous independent theater and dance productions; and large events and festivals such as the annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration at The Music Center.

From 1981 to 1990, she was production manager/staff producer at the Odyssey Theatre, where she co-produced over 100 productions with artistic director Ron Sossi.

She is the recipient of a Los Angeles Drama Critic's Circle Award (Master Class), an LA Weekly Award (Mary Barnes), four Drama-Logue Awards (Mary Barnes, Idioglossia, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, It's A Girl!), and a Women in Theatre Recognition Award. She has served on the boards of directors of the Los Angeles Theatre Alliance (now L.A. Stage Alliance), Women in Theatre and P.A.T.H. (Performing Arts Theatre for the Handicapped).

Philip Sokoloff
PHILIP SOKOLOFF has been a publicist for 24 years. He represents over 100 live attractions and several dozen feature films annually. His long-term clients include Theatre 40, Edgemar Center for the Arts, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Robey Theatre Company, Arena Cinelounge, Dean Productions and more.He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. He has also produced for stage and television and has been an actor for 49 years.

Lynn Tejada (Green Galactic)
For 25 years, Green Galactic Founder Lynn Tejada has been the go-to publicist in Los Angeles for alternative art and culture producers, representing clients on a local, regional, national, and international scale. Since 1994, her promotions and client-base has included music of all sorts, theatre, art, film, dance, and more.

Tejada is also drawn to helping charities and nonprofit clients – she currently sits on the board of Linda Carmella Sibio's Bezerk Productions, Dance Camera West and on the advisory board of Lauren Segal's Give A Beat. She is also on the Honorary Board of Flea's Silverlake Conservatory of Music and sat on the board of humanitarian nonprofit NextAid for many years.


A Dark, Disturbing but Relevant Film, A Classic Play, Music That Will Have You Up On Your Feet and Get Ready To Laugh

To quote the Joker, 'What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash?' 'You get what you f-ing deserve.' That about sums up the brilliant, dark, disturbing, profound film JOKER directed by Todd Phillips who also wrote it along with Scott Silver.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix who gives an astonishing performance as Arthur Fleck/Joker proving once again he may just be one of the top ten great actors of our generation. Phoenix lost a lot of weight to play the part. He looks thin, frail, hungry. Phoenix is in practically ever scene and he is absolutely mesmerizing.

Before he becomes the Joker, Arthur is one of societies freaks. He's beaten up, made fun of, a misunderstood loner. All Arthur wants to do is make people laugh. After all he's a clown and that's what he's paid to do.

Arthur tells us he 'just doesn't want to feel so bad anymore.' But that's not to be. We see the mental, moral, emotional and physical make up of the man who becomes the Joker. This is not a comic book movie. It's a devastating film about one of the most iconic villains in cinema history but at the same time, it comments on our society and what's happening in this country now. 'Joker' opens in theaters Friday, October 4th. Get your tickets now.

Speaking of powerful, Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS is just that. The play opened on Broadway on January 1947 and it's still relevant today. 'All My Sons' is based upon a true story. The Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use.

The Tony winning play starts in the middle of the action, abruptly in August 1947. Joe Keller, a self made businessman and his wife Kate are visited by a neighbor Frank. At Kate's request Frank is trying to figure out the horoscope of the Kellers' missing son Larry, who disappeared three years earlier while serving in the military during World War II.

The entire play takes place over one day in the yard of the Keller's. Secrets of the past expose who is family and how we justify the sacrifice we make for family. 'All My Sons' is directed by Elina de Santos and she does an excellent job.

Pacific Resident Theatre is located at 705 1/2 Venice Blvd in Venice. The play is presented by the Co-op of PRT. This is an electrifying drama of family conflict, patriotic duty and personal greed and even though it is set in the aftermath of WW II I'm sure it's very relatable for events occurring in 2019.

For tickets go to PacificResidentTheatre.com.

Now for something lighter. HARVELLS is a club that has been presenting Blues, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Burlesque and more since 1931. I've seen a lot of great acts there, but one of the best is called THE TOLEDO SHOW. It plays every Sundays at 9pm.

As quoted by the Los Angeles Times, Toledo is 'the coolest Cat working in Hollywood.' 'The show is top notch and really must be experienced. Toledo is considered on of the hottest acts in modern music.' Toledo is a Soul singer, Jazz man, poet, dancer, choreographer, connoisseur of haberdashery and probably one of the most dramatic and entertaining performers you will ever see.

He's toured all over the United States and Australia always getting rave reviews. His vocal styling's have been compared to Tom Waits, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Barry White. How could it be any better? I'm seeing him again this Sunday and I can't wait. Oh if Burlesque is your thing, you will definitely get to see that as well. It's part of the show and if you like sexy female dancers called 'Dames' in the show, you'll love watching them hanging from rods installed near the ceiling of Harvelle's during a song.

Harvells is located at 1432 4th Street in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-395-1676 or go to Harvelles.com

Lastly one of my favorite improv group takes place at the GROUNDLINGS. I've been going there for years and I've always laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair. Their new show entitled ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS opens this Friday, October 4th, and I promise you will love every minute of it.

For tickets call the box office 323-934-4747 or go to Groundlings.com/shows/all-the-leaves-are-groundlings. Some of our best comedians have come from The Groundlings School, including Kathy Griffith, Jon Lovitz and Laraine Newman just to name a few. ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS plays Fridays at 8pm and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm.

The theatre is located at 7307 Melrose in West LA.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend people, make it a fun one.


Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – September 23 - 29, 2019

Theatrical shows, Film Festivals, and Musicals NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Short & Sweet Film Festival

Share on social media.

The Outsider

Share on social media.

Operation Ajax

Share on social media.

Absolutely Halloween

Share on social media.

You Don't Know My Life!

Share on social media.

Do Us Part

Share on social media.

The Surveillance Triogy

Share on social media.

Mono/Poly

Share on social media.

Cock

Share on social media.

Living After

Share on social media.

My Favorite Suicide

Share on social media.

(IM)PERFEKT

Share on social media.

LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE

Share on social media.

The Italian in Me

Share on social media.


Audio Interview: The cast of “The Surveillance Trilogy” at Theatre 40

1953 Los Angeles. A couple returns home to discover they are being spied upon by government informants. 2017 Havana, a doctor and his patient grapple with the debilitating effects of espionage that have nearly shuttered the U.S. Embassy. 2019 Encino, a screenwriter discovers her artificial intelligence assistant is listening in with an agenda all its own. This play reveals the past and present ways our relationships, our electronic devices, and our very lives can be spied upon — and turned against us.*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “The Surveillance Trilogy” at Theatre 40, playing through Oct 14th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


JOAN OF ART: Never Is Now - A Powerful Play, A Must See Film About A True Legend and a Night of Magic

What makes a play memorable? For me it's one that moves me emotionally and one that makes me think. NEVER IS NOW is just such a play. There are some events in history that are very hard to visit, but at the same time, it's so important that we do just that, which brings me to this world premiere directed by Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera playing at the Skylight Theatre. I've seen numerous productions put on by this theatre company and have never been disappointed. They do excellent work and this production is no exception.

The play asks the question...What happens when people from diverse backgrounds experience the first hand accounts of ten survivors who were labeled 'undesirable' and thrust into Hitler's systematic genocide.?

Award winning playwright/producer Wendy Kout disturbingly links then and now so we may understand what breaks us apart and embrace what bonds us together. NEVER IS NOW according to Wendy is just the beginning of the conversation.

This is a theatre experience that you will be thinking about long after the curtain falls. I know I was. You can see this play Fridays at 8:30pm, Saturdays at 4pm & 8:30pm and Sundays at 2pm through October 27th.

Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N Vermont Ave in East Hollywood, 90027. To purchase tickets go to SkylightTheatre.org or call 213-761-7061.

When I was a little girl my grandmother told me that her favorite singer was a woman named Judy Garland. After watching her films over the years, she became one of my favorite singers as well.

On Friday, September 27th, the film JUDY starring the brilliant Renee Zellweger opens and having seen it, I predict she will win the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress. She absolutely nails the part. Not only is her portrayal of one of the world's greatest entertainers right on point, when Renee sings, she sounds just like Judy capturing Garland's emotional intensity.

JUDY takes place during the winter of 1968 when the singer arrived in London to perform a five week sold out run at The Talk of the Town. As she prepares for each show, we journey into her past and get to understand why the singer was so tormented and had to resort to drugs and alcohol to ease her pain.

The film features some of Judy's best known songs, celebrates her voice and shows the audience why she had such a desperate need for love and constant reassurance. Don't miss it!

Next to seeing great plays and films I love watching magic shows and that's exactly what I'll be doing this Saturday night. Ivan Amodei, one of my favorite magicians, will be performing at Janet & Ray Scherr Forum Theatre located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd in Thousand Oaks. Ivan is considered to be one of today's most gifted illusionists.

His show is entitled Secrets & Illusions and having seen it twice before, I promise you, it's one you won't forget.

Ivan could easily settle for just amazing people, but he does so much more. Whether it's his world class sleight of hand, fantastic storytelling or mind-blowing mentalism, every 'trick' embodies a powerful truth about empowerment and hope. He has won six People's Choice Awards for Best Entertainer and his long running show Intimate Illusions was a Top Pick by the Los Angeles Times.

If you love magic as much as I do, than Ivan Amodei is the magician to see. For tickets or more information go to IvanaModei.com, CivicArtsPlaza.com or call the Civic Arts Plaza box office at 805-449-2787.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one.


Audio Interview: The cast of “In Circles” at Odyssey Theatre

“Papa Dozes, Mama Blows Her Noses.” That’s just one of the delightfully quirky musical numbers from this Obie award-winning musical romp adapted by composer Al Carmines from A Circular Play by Gertrude Stein.*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “In Circles” at Odyssey Theatre, playing through Nov 10th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website

 


Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – September 16 - 22, 2019

Theatrical shows, Film Festivals, Fringe Festivals, Dance, and Shakespeare NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Rooftop Screams at the Montalban

The Addams Family

Share on social media.

Evil Dead

Share on social media.

Hocus Pocus

Share on social media.

Dawn of the Dead

Share on social media.

The Mummy

Share on social media.

Ghostbusters

Share on social media.

Beetlejuice

Share on social media.

Get Out

Share on social media.

Coco

Share on social media.

Theatrical Festivals, Shows, and Dance Performances

Gem of the Ocean

Share on social media.

Driving Wilde

Share on social media.

To Dad With Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen

Share on social media.

Charlotte Stay Close

Share on social media.

My Name is Mommy

Share on social media.

Jack and the Giant

Share on social media.

Fools

Share on social media.

Fertile

Share on social media.

Yoga Play

Share on social media.

Titus Andronicus

Share on social media.

Tonoccus McClain: Living A Why Not Life

Share on social media.

Buried Child

Share on social media.

The Chinese Lady

Share on social media.

Little Shop of Horrors

Share on social media.

Measure for Measure

Share on social media.

I Never Saw Another

Share on social media.

The Music Man

Share on social media.

Never is Now

Share on social media.

Miss Lilly Gets Boned

Share on social media.

The Dumb Waiter

Share on social media.

Barrymore

Share on social media.

Romeo and Juliet

Share on social media.

HalfTruths, Full Plate

Share on social media.

Milkcrate Monologues Vol. 1

Share on social media.

TST Sum Poetry

Share on social media.

Conversations 'Bout the Girls

Share on social media.

Art is Useless When You're Being Mauled by a Bear

Share on social media.

Fourth Annual Binge Fringe Festival of FREE Theatre

Share on social media.

Masoch and Desade

Share on social media.

4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane

Share on social media.

Peter & the Wolf Presented by LA Youth Ballet

Share on social media.


JOAN OF ART - A Cinematic Masterpiece starring Brad Pitt, A Swinging Good Time, and Surviving the Darkest Time in History

AD ASTRA is a film set in the near future about one man's physical as well as psychological journey into space. The film is, in one word...brilliant.

It stars Brad Pitt who gives one of his best performances of his career as Astronaut Major Roy McBride who is sent on a deeply classified mission to investigate a rash of solar surges coming from Neptune that threatens the existence of Earth's survival. Roy's father Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones) who has been presumed dead for years is being blamed for the occurrence.

Clifford McBride a renowned astronaut was sent to Neptune 29 years ago to search for intelligent life, but he never returned. Now U.S. intelligence believes that Clifford is alive and responsible for the calamities that are taken place on our planet.

As Roy travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet, his journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our own place in the cosmos.

The film co-written by James Gray and Ethan Gross has stunning visuals, great special effects, but in the end, it's all about Brad Pitt.

Brad is in every scene and he is absolutely mesmerizing. This is a sci-fi film like no other. There are no aliens...just a man exploring outer space and most importantly his own inner world. Come Oscar time, Brad is definitely going to get a nod for his fine work.

AD ASTRA which is a popular Latin phrase meaning 'to the stars' opens in theaters nationwide on Friday September 20th. Do not miss it!

After exploring the depths of our galaxy I think it would be fun to get up and dance and by dance I mean 'swing' to the sounds of the best big band group around today, BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY.

In case you're unfamiliar with the group, they are a contemporary swing revival band from Southern California that in 2018 marked their 25th anniversary. Since its formation in the early nineties in Ventura, the band has toured virtually nonstop, performing on average, over 150 shows a year with record sales of over two million to date.

Their notable singles include 'Go Daddy-O', 'You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight' and 'Mr. Pinstripe Suit.' I've seen them numerous times and can't wait to see them this Saturday evening, September 21st at The Canyon Club.

Doors open at 6pm and they go on at 9pm. The Canyon Club is located at 28912 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills CA 91301. For tickets or more information call 818-879-5016 or go to WhereMusicMeetsTheSoul.com.

Two weeks ago I saw a beautiful, sad, fascinating play entitled THE CHINESE LADY which actually was a fascinating history lesson. The play is at the Greenway Court Theatre located at 544 North Fairfax Avenue in LA and one that I highly recommend.

Inspired by the true story of America's first female Chinese immigrant, THE CHINESE LADY is a dark, poetic, yet whimsical portrait of America through the eyes of a young Chinese woman, Afong Moy (the excellent Amy Shu).

Afong is just 14 years old when she's brought to the United States from Canton in 1834. She is put on display for the American public as 'The Chinese Lady.' For the next half century she performs for curious museum goers showing them how she eats, what she wears and the highlight of the event, how she walks with bound feet.

As the decades wear on, her celebrated sideshow comes to define and challenge her very sense of identity. Sharing the stage with Amy is Trieu Tran, a powerful actor who plays The Chinese Lady's translator. This is definitely 'a must see play.'

For tickets and show times please go to GreenwayCourtTheatre.org.

Now there's another great music event going on this weekend and it's happening at the Shrine Auditorium. Lenny Kravitz, a four time GRAMMY award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist elevates the union of rock 'n roll, funk, blues and soul he patented in 1989 and will be performing for one night only on Saturday, September 21st.

He is all about raising vibration. In his own words, Lenny feels that 'we need to reach higher.' 'We need to be more thoughtful, spiritual, loving and open. He says 'we need to stop thinking of borders, boxes and imaginary forms of separation.' 'We're all on planet Earth together and we must do better.' After reading these words, I can promise you that this will be one amazing concert.

The Shrine is located at 665 West Jefferson Blvd in LA. To buy tickets or for more information call 213-748-5116 or go to ShrineAuditorium.com.


Audio Interview: The cast of “The Solid Life of Sugar Water” at Deaf West Theatre

Candid, uninhibited and visceral. A Deaf couple’s relationship is revealed through their lovemaking in a startlingly intimate portrait of a marriage — made even more intense by Deaf West Theatre’s signature performance style combining American Sign Language with spoken English.*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “The Solid Life of Sugar Water” at Deaf West Theatre, playing through Oct 13th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website

TRANSCRIPT BELOW: 

This is Ashton Marcus and I’m on location at Deaf West Theatre for the American premier of THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER.

Ashton: Hi, my name is Ashton Marcus. I’m with KUCI, 88.9 FM in Irvine. I’m here with…

Sandra: My name is Sandra Mae Frank and this is my interpreter Elli. So I’ve been involved with that bus for a long time, since Spring Awakening to this production and I’m a deaf actor and I believe in doing amazing things and doing plays in different ways and doing new shows. This is a new show, you know, and it’s a beautiful and amazing, mixed hearing and deaf cast. And it’s amazing what hearing and deaf people can do together once you get rid of that barrier.

My character’s name is Alice. Alice is a strong woman. She is blunt, she is not afraid to speak her mind. She can do anything. And she shows her vulnerability throughout the show. Especially as a woman and how women face different things. They have to do more work emotionally and what-have-you. And Alice finds a way through that.

Ashton: Great! If my viewers decide to come see this piece, what should they expect to see?

Sandra: Really, you don’t set any expectations. Don’t come in with any expectations. This is not the kind of show that people leave with the same mindset. It’s the kind of show that provokes people’s feelings. Some people have experienced this, and some people know people who experience this. Everyone has gone through relationships in their live and love. And the lovemaking process in this show just, really, the point is, don’t expect anything. Just show up and watch and see what happens.

Ashton: Well, I really loved the piece because, basically, whenever I see deaf theatre, I think this is my third deaf piece I have seen, I’m always fascinated by the other senses, that, whether it’s by facial expression, whether by movement, by just a gyration, which mimics the meter a person speaks of.

So again, all this is just an art form, which is under appreciated which I just enjoy. The same as some people enjoy, say, impressionist art, as opposed to, say, realism.

Sandra: Yeah, absolutely. I think, really, both hearing and deaf actors, there is no big difference there, but like you just mentioned, facial expressions, hearing people typically have their grammar in their voice. They change tone, they change timbre when they are changing emotion. Deaf people have to take that tone and put it all onto their face to deliver the emotion in a broad way. I open up the emotion a little bit more that way. So there are different ways and different perspectives. And it’s all put on the stage and when you get both sides together it’s amazing.

Ashton: Actually, I also must comment that basically this is not suitable for children. Do you think that this was too sexual? What do you think of the sexuality of the play?

Sandra: It really depends on the parents (laughs) with their children obviously. I learned about sex when I was seven, so, I don’t know, but really, it’s very deep. It’s very sexual, yes. So I think it’s for mature audiences and it’s important to check with the parents first.

Ashton: I also like the fact that it’s actually a very basic type of play in a sense. It’s about, about, how should I put it. You know, good vs. evil. It’s not a complex type thing. But it’s very interesting when I see a play where there is a, almost like The Brady Bunch, where there is a man and a woman and they just have a good time. I’ve seen them mix the cast, where the woman is African American and it suddenly opens the world. You see them in a different light. It’s the same thing about this. Even though the play was not about, you know, tragedies of Macbeth, it was actually about, you know, a simple piece, it actually opened your eyes when it was done in this form, with deaf actors.

Sandra: Right. Absolutely. This is the kind of show where it’s a couple that goes through a trauma and a traumatic event and they try to reconnect through love making. That’s it. That’s really the point of the show. There is bad moments, there is good moments, and each individual has equally good and bad moments. Both men and women are experiencing the same thing in that moment and I think that’s what makes the show amazing. There is no obvious evil person. You know. That’s, it’s just life.

Ashton: Well, I loved your performance. I connected with you for some strange reason because usually, I don’t know why, because I don’t meet that many deaf people. I meet a lot of handicapped people but I don’t meet a whole lot of deaf people, so when you connect with a person, at times I’m wondering, why do I connect with them? Why do I have a good feeling about them? Why do I like her? Why is that? I really enjoyed your piece tonight.

Sandra: Thank you! It’s probably because you aren’t looking at me as a deaf person. You know, I was just a human. A human person in that moment going through that experience. And that’s a good thing. Yeah!

Ashton: Once again, thank you very much for being on the show.

Sandra: Thank you! It was nice meeting you! Thank you so much!

Ashton: Hi, my name is Ashton Marcus. I’m with KUCI, 88.9 FM in Irvine. I’m here with…

Tad: Hi. I’m Tad Cooley. I’m from Texas. I just recently moved to LA in January and I’m just really happy to make this my first performance with Deaf West. I’m very excited.

Ashton: Great. And which character did you play tonight?

Tad: I played the character of Phil. He is very neurotic. He is very neurotic about making the right decisions. Making the right choices in his perspective. But what happens when he acts on instinct, he makes the best decisions. And the story is about two people trying to find the connection with each other. And it’s just something terrible has happened to them, so we try to find the connection back again. And that’s really the point.

Ashton: Great. If my viewers decide to see this piece, what should they expect to see?

Tad: They should expect to laugh, cry, laugh again, cry again, and then laugh, and then smile and then cry.

Ashton: Well, I really enjoyed the performance tonight. I really liked your performance, too. How do you connect with the audience. Because, you know, I’m a hearing person, that’s why.

Tad: I think the connection is found, I think like for deaf people, who watch TV, you have to use captions, and so the captions are for hearing people in this case. So, for example, after a while, you just get this instinctual knowledge of knowing that the sound is happening but you are following the person and watching the actor on stage. I mean, I’m not speaking. I’m signing in that moment but after the first few scenes, the first few moments, you feel like “Okay. All right. I understand that the person is talking, and now I can focus on the person on stage signing. You know, we are all humans. We are all humans.

Ashton: I feel this piece is kind of like, you know, if you go to art shows, you can see realist art, but you can also see impressionist art. There are two different forms of art. This is kind of like that. If you see deaf theater, you, it appeals to other senses. You see more movement. You see, almost like dancing. Like seeing ballet. You know what I mean?

Tad: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a very musical language. I mean it’s tricky for me even because I’m not ISL fluent. I’m part of hearing myself. I recently, actually, I had to learn a lot of sign for this play. It was a challenge. But now I feel like, starting to become almost in my bones. So now I can really tell the story effectively.

Ashton: You know I really loved the performance because it was about a very basic type of story. It wasn’t really complex, like there is a world war, like that. But something about changing it up a little bit. If I were to see something like The Brady Bunch, where there is this white woman and this white man together and all they did is nice things, I wouldn’t like it very much. But suddenly, if you put an African American woman in there, suddenly things would just open up. Now that I see this kind of basic story line, it’s amazing when you add a deaf cast to it.

Tad: Yeah, that’s a good point. I think, DJ (David J. Kurs) had a vision about this play. Originally it was not written for deaf actors, but now, well, DJ saw it, he read it, and he thought it would be perfect for Deaf Actors. You know, the story, it makes the story much more interesting. It tells it in a much more interesting way.

Ashton: I agree. I really loved your acting. It was very expressive. I felt your emotions. And even though, again, we are communicating almost like in two different languages, I still understood everything. I felt all the feelings you tried to convey. So I really enjoyed your performance tonight!

Tad: Thank you so much! It was very nice to meet you!

Ashton: Thank you very much for being on the show.

Tad: Thank you! Thank you!

Ashton: Hi, my name is Ashton Marcus. I’m with KUCI, 88.9 FM in Irvine. I’m here with…

Natalie: Hi. I’m Natalie Comunas. I’m born and raised in Los Angeles and I’ve been acting for the last 10 years or so and I mainly do regional theatre across the US.

Ashton: Great. And which character did you do tonight?

Natalie: I played the voice of Alice. I think that Alice is a really beautiful representation, an actual representation, of what I imagine a woman would be going through in this really traumatic event. I think she shows incredible strength and vulnerability and I think those two are really hard to portray.

Ashton: I always ask that question: what’s the actors take on their character. Because they are the only ones who can do it. Like if you do Romeo and Juliet, you have two different actors, two at two totally different plays. In this particular case, you and the deaf actors were playing the same character. How is that different? What are your thoughts on that?

Natalie: Well, I think we definitely started with different ideas of how to justify having two of us saying the same words, and it kind of evolved into in me being the type of like a protector, some sort of, like higher self that already knows the story. Kind of like when you want to tell yourself what to do but you don’t listen. Like I’m that voice. So I already know where I’m going. But we are helping usher her through it. So that was my choice and how I played the voice of Alice.

Ashton: If my viewers decide to come and see this piece, what should they expect to see?

Natalie: What should they expect to see. They should expect to see a really really really honest portrayal of a couple in the midst of an incredibly traumatic situation and there is no guide book on how to get out of it.

Ashton: And this is the third piece I’ve actually seen with deaf actors and basically I feel that, it’s kind of a different take on theatre. Different senses emphasizing on sound, on vocal characteristics. And even the meter. You see almost like a dance to the person’s body when they are talking. What are your thoughts on that?

Natalie: I don’t think that’s specific to this show. I think that that’s part of every show. I think that every play and every ensemble has its own dance and its own rhythms. And I think that this one is really specific, just because all four of us really have to be incredibly in sync to be able to tell the same story.

Ashton: Well, I really enjoyed your performance tonight. Because even though it was a, you know, how should I put it. The story wasn’t a tragedy, because I basically love soul crushing pieces, but this added a different artistic taste to it the way it was presented. You know what I mean?

Natalie: That’s really interesting that you don’t think it’s a tragedy. I think it’s a devastating tragedy. I think it’s incredibly human and I think, you know, I think especially women are often, really families are shamed for going through miscarriages and stillbirths. And I know there are a lot of women in a lot of countries that are imprisoned because they have a stillbirth. And it’s “their fault”. And I think that plays like this can really work to get this conversation going about how miscarriages are fairly normal and it’s okay. And I think the more you talk about it, the more it can help couples get through that process.

Ashton: I agree. Once again, I loved the performance, and I loved your performance also. Than you very much for being on the show.

Natalie: Thank you so much!

Ashton: Hi, my name is Ashton Marcus. I’m with KUCI, 88.9 FM in Irvine. I’m here with…

Nick: Nick Apostolina. It’s a cool play. I’m so happy to be part of this play. So happy to be part of Deaf West in an incredible way. It’s a company that I’ve admired for a long time and it’s exciting to get to be thrown into it. Hope I’m doing an okay job. (laughs)

Ashton: Great! And which character are you playing tonight?

Nick: I’m the voice of Phil. So Tad Cooley is playing Phil. And I’m also playing Phil. The voice of Phil. It’s very complicated. Phil is an interesting guy. If you spend any time…, he is the kind of guy that everybody knows of Phil, very planning, very meticulous, trying to get things right, and never really…, the more you try to get things right, the more you are getting things wrong. So, an endearing character, hopefully, and an interesting story, and a heartbreaking story to go on.

Ashton: I basically always ask the actors, you know, what’s the take on their character. Cause you know, like two guys, basically who play Romeo in two different plays. They would be totally different plays even though it’s the same story. Right? In this case, we have two actors playing this character, Phil. How is that different? How can it express that? How is that unique?

Nick: I think it’s a balancing act. We talked about it, whether we are the same person.  Whether I’m listening to a subconscious. What we ended up deciding was, as long as we saw the same thing, as long…, because it’s a very reflective play, so if you see the same thing, and you can talk about it, you can talk about it in slight nuances but the character comes through if you are saying the same thing.

Ashton: Great! If my viewers decide to come see this piece, what should they expect to see?

Nick: Hopefully something funny, something, maybe a bit hard to watch but ultimately worthwhile, I hope? (laughs) Something worthwhile and life affirming. That’s a good word. Right? Life affirming.

Ashton: Yeah. I really loved the piece. It was kind of like, first of all it talks about things that are uncomfortable, like, again, it’s not a tragedy where people die, but it is tragic. It’s not a comedy basically, you know what I mean?

Nick: No.

Ashton: But it’s also a different kind of art because it’s hard to… It would be really hard for me to communicate. I probably just wind up smashing lots of dishes. But that’s what its like. You communicate in a different way. Not through words but through memories, kind of through body movements, kind of through gyrations,… You know what I mean?

Nick: Yeah, you’re trying, you’re trying to express something that’s wholly, usually inexpressible, and I think theatres are an ideal medium to do that. Especially with the cast we got here, with the ASL  and spoken english going on at the same time. You get so many different layers to the story. So it’s a hard thing to express or explain in a lot of different ways at the same time. Hopefully something comes through.

Ashton: Well, I really loved the performance. I loved your performance. I love your voice. (laughs)

Nick: Thank you very much. Thank you!

Ashton: Thank you very much for being on the show!

Nick: I appreciate it!

End: The Solid Life of Sugar Water will be playing at Deaf West Theatre, from September 12th to October 13th. For more information, go to www.DeafWest.org.


Lights Change: A Conversation with Writer Jacqueline Wright

About 10 years ago when I was an intern-turned-associate literary manager at Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles, I encountered the brilliant dramaturgical mind of Jacqueline Wright. What excites me about her work is that she is a writer and performer who constantly expands our minds as witnesses of the art-making experience. For her, like me, audiences are not just passive consumers of creative work - they are collaborators and, as collaborators, we writers make them work: we don't always tell stories that are linear, cause and effect, character psychology driven, - you name the normative convention often on view in the mainstream. Jacqueline's background in experimentalism makes her a nimble dramatist who weaves into and out of narrative structures, point of views, modalities of storytelling, and genres.

This is no exception in her provocative work Driving Wilde, currently playing at Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. I caught the piece and engaged in a hearty conversation with Jacqueline afterwards amongst the seats which were just filled with enthusiastic patrons of the show. If you listen closely, you'll hear and feel the verve of the audience that exited the theatre a few moments prior, indubitably changed, challenged, and expanded by the experience they just received during Driving Wilde.

I would be remiss not to give you the tools to see this show yourself, for it is a must see. More information is available at TheatreOfNote.com

And now, Lights Change with my buddy Jacqueline and me:


Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – September 9 - 15, 2019

Theatrical shows and Staged Readings NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Through A Magicians Eyes: Starring Blaise
Serra

Share on social media.

House Of Me

Share on social media.

The Music Of Brian Gallagher

Share on social media.

Thelma Houston: From Sunshower To Motown

Share on social media.

In Trousers

Share on social media.

Sight Unseen

Share on social media.

Aleichem Sholom! The wit and wisdom of Sholom Aleichem

Share on social media.

The Pack

Share on social media.

The Three Musketeers At North Coast Rep Theater School

Sh

More Guns!

Share on social media.

Opening Night: The Improvised Musical

Share on social media.

The Really Awesome Improv Show

Share on social media.

Canuck As F*ck

Share on social media.

Life In Boobs

Share on social media.

All My Sons

Share on social media.

Omniscope: Dance And Architecture Show

Share on social media.

Supportive White Parents

Share on social media.

To T, Or Not To T

Share on social media.

Steve Grand: The Pink Champagne Tour

Share on social media.

The Nosotros 49th Annual Golden Eagle Awards at The Montalbán Theatre

Share on social media.