Registered Critic: Deborah Klugman

Deborah Klugman is a freelance arts journalist living in Los Angeles. She has been writing about L.A. theater since 1986.
Feb

America Adjacent

….while America Adjacent may be on track as a group portrait and cultural beacon, it misses the mark as a cogent drama. Some of the story threads are under-developed, even as the more prominent ones are too steeped in melodrama.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Feb

LINDA VISTA

While the writing is astute, the production would not be the success it is without Barford, who seems born to play this beleaguered character with a nimble tongue. – RECOMMENDED

sweet - ...read full review

Feb

Accidental Death Of An Anarchist

In a play that soars or sinks on the strength of the lead, Turton turns in a crackerjack comic performance, while McFadden’s direction, relative to the Actors’ Gang predilection for broad and boisterous shenanigans, is accomplished with skill and relative restraint. – RECOMMENDED

sweet - ...read full review

Feb

Paradise

…..the play features multidimensional characters, fluid dialogue and meaty conflicts involving culture, science and religion, but a one-note portrayal by Rahimi under Bulluck’s lax direction sabotages what might have been an intriguing production.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Jan

A Misunderstanding

….lacking a sound story and interesting believable characters, the play quickly morphs into an extended and quite literal back-and-forth polemic between a fervent defender of biological determinism and a former colleague who challenges those beliefs…

sour - ...read full review

Dec

Sisters Three

….the play is mildly amusing and provides meaty roles for women performers, which is all to the good. But it offers few insights, nor does it seem to have much of a point.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Dec

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Brilliant and arresting the stagecraft surely is, yet it’s the power emanating from the performer that makes the story coalesce into an emotional experience for the viewer. Behind the booming voice and the quicksilver transformations is an interpretive master, translating the most elemental human stirrings into a fine art.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

A Mile In My Shoes

Directed by Zadia Ife, Smith’s presentation is swift-paced and energetic, but her narrative meanders and the distinction among the multiple characters needs to be refined.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Dec

Hughie & Krapp’s Last Tape

….. Dennehy’s rendering is the work of a crackerjack craftsman, in a performance that runs the gamut from outrageous to poignant.

sweet - ...read full review

Nov

Cleo, Theo & Wu

Commendable for its support of female empowerment and its flashes of wit, Cleo, Theo and Wu can be a frustrating experience if you’re a theatergoer who prefers a coherent story to a chaotic one.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Nov

Finks

Leavened with humor, with a strong intuitive performer in the pivotal role, it’s a harsh reminder of what can happen when unscrupulous people acquire control of the workings of government and words become instrumental in destroying innocent lives.

sweet - ...read full review

Nov

BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

…..the play’s satiric targets are familiar ones, and the comic riffs surrounding them aren’t particularly fresh. The most novel aspect of the piece is the effort to line the characters up with famous literary figures, but even here the parallels drawn by the playwright are rough and random.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Nov

QUACK

Eliza Clark’s new play directed by Neel Keller at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, disappoints at the top but broadens and deepens as the story develops……the production transforms into a relevant drama that examines people’s responsibility for the consequences of their actions and the ongoing backlash against professional women from angry and insecure men. – RECOMMENDED

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

ROPE

Though Grinstead invests his enormous reserves of energy and skill into this supercilious villain, and elsewhere there are able supporting performances, these efforts aren’t enough to compensate for Hamilton’s cliched, outdated dialogue and wooden characters.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Oct

EVERYTHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED

Everything That Never Happened builds around two vibrant, likable characters: both possess humor and a strong moral sense but are compelled by emotion to abandon their best instincts and act badly. It’s an intense story with universal themes: youth versus age, and the impulse to honor and duty versus the desire for a life worth living for oneself.

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

Rag Head

….the humor-etched monologues are effectively and affectingly executed, with Liza Elaine Stegall’s sound design and choice of music creating an apt aural backdrop for this writer/performer’s pressing message.

sweet - ...read full review

Sep

Gloria

Although the publishing world serves as the framework for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ scathing dramedy, his story is less about the decimation of a once flourishing profession as it is about the impoverishment of our lives and our relationships with others, or lack thereof.

sweet - ...read full review

Sep

SWANSONG

…Swansong is the kind of drama you go to anticipating an unsettling journey into the psyche of another human being — hopefully one that illuminates the fundamental humanity we all share….This reviewer, however, found much sameness in the character’s repeated descriptions of his wrangles and brawls;

sweet-sour

Aug

YELLOW FACE

Yellow Face packs a lot of ideas and information into its near two-hour running time but there’s little dramatic action. So the onus falls on the actors — most heavily on Sun as DHH — to provide the drama through their reaction to events. Under Robert Zimmerman’s direction, Sun’s laidback performance is serviceable but without the crisp ironical edge to make him interesting.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Aug

Shining City

Irish playwright Colin McPherson explores the dark hollows of the human psyche in this penetrating drama. A sad, intensely human story, the play speaks knowingly to the guilt, regret and unfulfilled desires that dwell within many of us. Regrettably, the current production at the Hudson Guild Theatre is a miss — an explicit example (despite a skilled pivotal performance) of the pitfalls of do-it-yourself direction….

sweet-sour - ...read full review

ADS
  • Too Many Bodies, Artists United to Make America Safe Again!
  • Marsha Hunt - Go Fund Me campaign
  • Thymele Arts in Hollywood - Rehearsal Space, Meeting Room, Events
  • Media Delux Video Services
  • SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS AND TRICKS FOR CREATIVES