Writer: Ernest Kearney

Ernest Kearney, an award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note, has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist three times in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His play Peddle was selected by the Midwest Theatre Network as one of the best plays of 1997. His most recent work 'The Salt Prince' was awarded honors from the Nathan Miller History Play Contest as well as the Fremont Center Theatre Play Contest. A passionate theatre and history buff, Mr. Kearney's reviews can be found on workingauthor.com and TheTVolution.com. Hang with him on Facebook. Comments welcome.
Jun

Fort Huachuca

Badly structured, predictable and amateurish, it takes a Bronze Medal only because even if poorly told it is a part of our history that needs telling.

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Jun

Let There Be Thistles

There is a definite shade of Beckett to Thomas' concept, so much so that at times you can't help but wonder if somewhere by a road with a limp tree nearby there aren't two tramps anxiously awaiting his arrival.

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Jun

A Very Die Hard Christmas

A Very Die Hard Christmas is a rough little laugh-fest and delivers on what it promises quite nicely.

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Jun

The Craftlesque

This year's offering Craftlesque, written by Alli Miller with Sarah Hayworth taking on the director's duties, is a burlesque lampooning of the 1996 horror fantasy film The Craft and is exactly what it ought to be: a sexy, silly songfest.

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Jun

Easy Targets: Artists and Heroes

Easy targets: Artists and Heroes doesn't quite reach the same heady heights as the Burglars of Hamm's HHF17 offering, but it is still massively inspired nonsense.

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Jun

American Conspiracy

Benjamin Schwartz has crafted a deft little piece that begins like a Zen Koan and concludes like a bear trap. The operation and engagement of such a paradoxical Rube Goldberg would be the undoing of a lesser director but Matt Ritchey enjoys the fortunate fusion of skill and clarity called for.

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Jun

My Own Private River Phoenix

Now to be fair, I did see this show during previews, still it felt to me unready to be seen. Yoshihara was delightfully funny and had a unique view to share, but the show seems too unsteady to serve as a platform for her talents.

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Jun

The Bitch Is Back: An Elton John Cabaret

The group cavorts and croons about the stage of the Three Clubs with grand abandon and high camp treating the audience to such standards as “Tiny Dancer” from the album Madman Across the Water, Honky Château's “Rocket Man” and other classics such as “Sad Songs (Say So Much)”, “Bennie and the Jets”, and of course “The Bitch is Back.”

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Jun

Jack Benny (A Ménage En Train)

Jack Benny (A Ménage En Train) is the first perfect Fringe show of 2018. What does that entail? It is superbly performed, excellently staged, intelligently conceived and was so entirely unexpected that I left The Three Clubs feeling very much like a goose that had been caught aside of the head with a hard-swung two-by-four.

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Jun

House of Tales

Are there ideas and thoughts here? Undoubtedly – a surfeit of them. Dangling before the audience like – if you'll pardon the cultural cross-referencing – a defiant piñata daring you to take a swing. Overall the presentation was one of a tightly-controlled structure, a precisely-chiseled artistry that felt unnervingly constrained.

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Jun

Balls' ON

Writer/Performer Katt Balsan is a force of a singular nature. You can catch her through the end of June in her one-woman show, "Balls' ON," at The Broadwater Studio during Fringe 2018. Any theatre-goer thirsting for entertainment, inhabiting an even mix of candor, fun, simplicity and drama, should put a check mark next to this title on their “Definitely See” Fringe show list.

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Jun

Henry V

Henry V has long been considered one of Shakespeare's problem plays; called a “stirring piece of drum-beating and flag-waving” by one critic.  But Henry Voffers more buried ore to be mined than nearly any other work of the Bard.

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Jun

Blind Spots

Freedman is playing, it seems, with the political tensions of the day, and the “blind spots” liberals and conservatives suffer from in regards to the logic the opposition operates on. Undoubtedly there is a point that Freedman is making, unfortunately, for me it came across as slightly less convoluted than an octopus in bondage. Be that as it may, there are some excellent performances here.

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Jun

Matthew Marcum - Pollock: A Frequency Parable

Marcum's overall effect does capture the sharp alacrity with which Pollock assaulted the canvas. While one may or may not care for his attempt or may argue his success in achieving what he purposed, there's no denying Pollock: A Frequency Parable is the essence of “Fringe.”

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Jun

MIME TIME with James Direct Presents: Get Out of Your Head!!!!

James Royce is an okay mime and his show, Mime Time with James Direct Presents: Get Out of Your Head!, is an okay show.

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Jun

Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair

Meanwhile Back at the Super Lair… by Greg Kalleres can't seem to decide whether it's a Mad Magazine parody or a film by Robert Downy Sr., and Director Jack Stehlin hasn't addressed that issue either.

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Jun

Wood Boy Dog Fish

The Rogue Artists Ensemble has a rather checkered history. They are an imaginative group that integrates grand theatrics and excellent puppetry into their productions; sometimes with great success as in The Gogol Project, sometimes less so as in D is for Dog. As is almost always the case, what accounts for a satisfying experience — or not — comes down to script.

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Jun

An Odyssey

An Odyssey by Patrick Denney is a solid piece of writing that's well directed by Turner Munch and well acted by Julia Davis, Joe DeSoto and Carolina Montenegro. It is a re-working of the story of Homer's epic tale of Ulysses' journey home without the character of Ulysses.

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Jun

An Odyssey

It is a re-working of the story of Homer's epic tale of Ulysses' journey home without the character of Ulysses. Here the emphasis is on those he left behind, Penelope (Davis), his son Telemachus (DeSoto) and his dog (Montenegro) and ancient Greece has been transformed to any American military base in the world.

sweet-sour

May

Debussy: His Letters and Music

Please believe me when I tell you that Julia Migenes is an amazingly talented performer. She originated the role of Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof playing opposite the legendary Zero Mostel. She sang in La Bohème. Mahagonny and other classics at the Metropolitan Opera, and starred in the film Carmen by Francesco Rosi, with Plácido Domingo the soundtrack of which won a Grammy. Her one woman show currently at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Debussy: His Letters and His Music, is directed by Peter Medak, who was nominated for a Best Director Academy for The Ruling Class (1972), based on the comic masterpiece by playwright Peter Barnes and staring Peter O'Toole in one of the greatest (albeit odd) film performances of all time. ◊ What I'm trying to say is that this show has a lot going for it. Unfortunately wherever it's gone, it wasn't to the Odyssey. The trouble with this production can be summed up as too many letters, not enough music.

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