DAN BERKOWITZ is a member of the Council of The Dramatists Guild of America, the professional association of playwrights, composers, and lyricists; and Co-Chair of The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, the service and support organization for playwrights in Southern California. His writing for the stage has been produced off-Broadway, at major regionals, and in other venues across the US and Canada, and includes the popular revue A… My Name Is Still Alice; There’s No Place Like Hollywood!, nominated for LA’s Ovation Award for Best Musical; and more short plays than he can remember. Dan also produces, directs, and is a script and production consultant. http://danberkowitz.com.

The Cake

That [Debra Jo Rupp] is here now in Los Angeles, and appearing onstage in Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake through August 6, is proof that God indeed loves the world, smiles on California, and wishes our civilization to flourish.

..read full review...

Crimes of the Heart

Ms Henley’s delightful play – sharply funny yet profoundly moving – and Mr. Yankee’s fluid direction celebrate women and sisterhood, and make for a fine (and slightly mad) night at the theatre.

..read full review...

KISS

The whole thing is all very earnest. But a little bit of earnestness goes a long way, and too much quickly devolves into pretentiousness. And while many plays start obliquely, then clear things up by the end, \"Kiss\" is a play which starts confusingly, then spirals down into aggressive incoherence. It’s full of sound and fury, signifying… well, if you can figure it out, I wish you’d tell me.

..read full review...

Farragut North

The characters talk a lot, but we never get a sense of what they’re thinking or feeling underneath the words. It’s “what you see is what you get” – in this case, an engrossing (if nasty) story with some interesting (if nasty) characters, but with no hint of where they came from, or what propels them to do what they do the way they do it. It’s an attractive and polished surface, but I wish we had occasionally gone a little deeper.

..read full review...

Of Mice and Men

\"Of Mice and Men\" is about dreams, and how difficult – and often impossible – they are to fulfill. In their striving for peace and happiness, for companionship if not love, and for at least a bit of security, these characters are timeless.

..read full review...

Pure Confidence

\"Pure Confidence\" is a dynamic and challenging work by Carlyle Brown, being given a splendid production by the Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble. Like Lower Depth’s previous production \"Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea,\" \"Pure Confidence\" shows us another facet of the African-American life experience. It does so with confidence, talent, and compassion, and is thoroughly engaging. Go.

..read full review...

DIE, MOMMIE, DIE!

Die, Mommie, Die! is a curiosity, an old-fashioned example of gay theatre on the cusp of change. It’s arch, it’s stylish, and though it relies on the same camp sensibility as shows such as Women Behind Bars, its carefully-constructed artifice reminds one more of Oscar Wilde than Tom Eyen. If the reaction of the opening night audience is any indication, it should have a wilde-ly successful run at Celebration Theatre.

..read full review...

The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Mean Gurlz

A few confessions right off the bat: 1. I have never seen the movie "Mean Girls," which, not surprisingly, is the basis for "The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Mean Gurlz" – which means virtually everyone else in the audience probably got about 100,000 more in-jokes than I did; and 2. I’m not a follower of popular music, which means when virtually everyone else in the audience was singing along with the score to the show, I was sitting there dumb (in more ways than one). So you’d think I wouldn’t like it, right? Wrong. The good news is that "The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Mean Gurlz" – one of a series of musical takeoffs of popular films – is ferociously entertaining, even for someone as clueless as I am.

..read full review...

CANNIBALS ALONE

Okay, the bad news right up front: no one eats anyone in "Cannibals Alone." Which was a real disappointment. Not because I’m particularly bloodthirsty, but because I was really looking forward to seeing how cannibalism would be done onstage. On TV or in the movies, sure – but a real live version of "Santa Clarita Diet" on the tiny Belfry Stage in NoHo? Now that I was looking forward to! The good news is that if you’re a fan of mayhem, chaos, violence, gunshots, characters manhandling each other – actually, since it’s an all-female cast, I suppose it should be womanhandling each other – "Cannibals Alone" is for you. So there’s no flesh-eating? Feh!

..read full review...

King Hedley II

In these days of short attention spans, when the “ideal play” is described as being 70 minutes with no intermission, the very idea of a three-hour evening in the theatre is enough to make some audiences cringe. “How will I stay awake that long? How can anything be interesting for three hours?!?” Well, if the play is by the great August Wilson, and is in the hands of a group of superlative actors working under an assured director, it can be interesting and then some. In Michele Shay’s production of King Hedley II at the Matrix Theatre, the three hours fly by.

..read full review...