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.
Oct

LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE

I have to admit that when reading in the program I was in store for a show lasting 2 hours and 40 minutes did have me somewhat apprehensive, but once Davis and cast set to work a faster two hours plus I’ve never known.

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Oct

Our Man in Santiago

Now when sitting through plays by successful television writers I generally find myself trying to figure out which of my many past sins karma is forcing me to atone for. Happily, this is not the case with Our Man in Santiago.

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Sep

Dirty chai

You can call it fate, you can call it serendipity, you can call it karma; I’m calling it incredibly derivative and formulaic writing.

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Sep

Samson and the Burning Bush

In reacting to Ralph Brunson’ s crucifixion of musical theatre (Samson and the Burning Bush currently playing the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood) I could fill about ten pages just restating the same question – why?

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Sep

TOSHANISHA - The New Normals

Founded by Aroji Otieno at the onset of the Covid crisis, Bold Theatre Kenya undertook to maintain a creative connection to their community through workshops and performances.

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Sep

Sugar and Sh*t

Sugar and Sh*t , at the Hollywood Fringe Festival ’21, is full of moments that clash and tumble and deprive both the actresses and their audience of the show that could have been.

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Sep

(It’s Been 76 Years and We’re) Still Waiting for Lefty

It is admirable of Crafts, seeking to fan the flame for social justice that once burned like a conflagration in this nation and is now barely a spark from an over-flicked Bic.
However this effort should have begun and ended as a writer’s exercise.

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Sep

Welcome to the Neighborhood

A time warped backyard BBQ where the hot dogs and burgers come with extra strangeness and squirt of inanity to go along with the mustard and pickles.

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Sep

Lies, Anger and Forgiveness

Saba takes us down the rabbit hole of the American dream in her HFF21 presentation of Lies, Anger and Forgiveness, and it is a thoroughly enjoyable trip.

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Sep

Vice

Vice is a futuristic, dystopian drama, chock full of revolution, the dominance of virtual reality to keep populations docile, a matriarchal dictatorship, families torn apart, techno-enforced totalitarianism, and an ever-present “Big Sister” to assure compliance.

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Sep

Son of a Bitch

Playwright Lucy Gillespie’s play, Son Of A Bitch while insightful, is also great fun throughout. There are consistent laughs punctuated with the hardness of Atwater.

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Sep

La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas

Contributing to Cooper being able to pull off her vocal homage to Callas is the fact that she has a pretty impressive set of pipes herself and manages to quiver the walls of the Hudson Theatre, and probably a good portion of Santa Monica Boulevard, quite nicely with her singing.

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Sep

DISROBED - The Virtual Event

The cast gives their all to this undertaking with Peterson as the “clothed-minded” Boston-bound boyfriend meeting the liberated and very nude family (Ian Hayes, Shaley Gunther, Dave McClain and Karen Lasater) of his beloved, (played by the show’s highpoint Eloise Gordon). Unfortunately the power conveyed by a live stage is not there on the Zoom screen: Has anyone ever been transformed by a Tweet?

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Sep

Squeeze My Cans

I highly recommend you catch her straight show, Squeeze My Cans, which is a disturbing recounting of how she was seduced into a cult that consumed twenty years of her life, nearly a million dollars of her earnings and was reaching out towards her young daughter with its tentacles before she finally broke free. For honesty and drama it beats out Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath hands down.

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Sep

Klingon Tamburlaine

For this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival that is currently on stage at The Complex in Hollywood, the School has taken on another piece adapted from the pen of Marlow. And it needs to be stated at the outset of this review, most of the faults of Klingon Tamburlaine, lie with the original play.

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Sep

FIVE PIECES OF PAPER: STORIES MY HUNGARIAN GRANDMOTHER REFUSED TO TELL ME AND OTHER FAMILY TALES

Buchboot has a lovely voice, and his singing of some seldom heard Yiddish classics was a joy, but he has buried both his talents and his grandmother’s poignant tale in a tomb of the unessential.

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Sep

Black Woman in Deep Water

Black Woman in Deep Water written and performed by Makena Hammond, under Jane Fleiss Brogger’s, direction is a pearl whose value is reflected not in its size but in its perfection.

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Sep

GATSBY an Immersive Illumination

I don’t know if my experience of The Great Gatsby’s first chapter was any deeper or more profound due to its configuration as an immersive production, but the time I spent as a guest of the Buchanan’s was hands down the classiest forty-five minutes I’ve enjoyed at the Fringe and among the most fun.

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Aug

Authenticity: The Musical

But if Authenticity: The Musical lacks clarification and a capable cast, what it doesn’t lack is a bounty of promise.
John Cassidy’s script, while in need of work, is strong and scattered with insights. The score by Michael Vanbodegom-Smith (with contributions by Garritano and Jimena Ochoa), is impressive in addressing the crucial demands of any musical.

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Aug

Japanese Love Story - Shizuka - 静

Regrettably, I feel this show was strangled by a ligature woven from Tomoko Karina’s hyphens, the writer-director-lead actress of the play. Now whether Ms. Karina is a master of all these skills, one or none, I cannot determine and will not guess. However, I can state that in attempting to exercise this trio of disciplines simultaneously she has defeated herself.

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