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.
Mar

Frankenstein

Clocking in at just over 60 minutes, Sweeney, Rasmussen and Peters-Lazaro’s production feels undersized, for both the right and wrong reasons. To their credit, the staging is so engaging that time is fleeting for the audience in its grip.

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Feb

Frida - Stroke of Passion

The rich soil of Frida Kahlo’s life has, spreading just beneath its surface, the roots of a dozen plays merely awaiting the sun and nurturing of the right playwright’s shining creativity. With Frida – Stroke of Passion at Casa 0101 Theater, the wait continues.

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Feb

Huckleberry Towers

Playwright Stanley Brown has written some clever dialogue, and constructed some promising situations, but none of them have achieved the development needed and for this the fault falls on Director Stanley Brown.

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Feb

DEAR YOKO

Solidly written by Lawson and Joerg Stoeffel, Dear Yoko is both moving and entertaining, in addition to being a superb showcase for Lawson’s talents. And there is a great deal worthy of showcasing.

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Jan

"The Unseen Hand" and "Killer's Head"

Director Darrell Larson was a seminal figure in the development of L.A. as a first-rate theatre community and his return to our city after a long absence is in itself reason to celebrate.
He commits himself to wrangling Shepard’s room full of meth-out cats with both intelligence and passion, and while he can’t make the play accessible he certainly does make it very entertaining.

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Dec

A Christmas Carol

David Mynne’s one-man show of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations knocked me off my feet last year. Sadly, his solo rendering of A Christmas Carol, also by Dickens, merely shoved me a little. This was not the fault of Mynne himself, who is a consummate performer and thoroughly entertaining.

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Dec

Between Riverside and Crazy

Things happen, conflicts occur, characters evolve, but overall, for me at least, there was nothing organic or surprising about any of those happenings, occurrences or evolutions.

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Dec

Unraveled

In Unraveled, Blackmer writes of what is unquestionably one of the most agonizing experiences a person is ever faced with enduring: the loss of a loved one to disease and dementia.

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Dec

AUGUST WILSON'S JITNEY

One doesn’t leave a performance of Wilson’s plays imbued with the tale told, one leaves with a brimming sense of the humanity he celebrates and intoxicated by the beauty of his language.

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Nov

Defenders

Defenders by Cailin Maureen Harrison is an odd little hybrid, that comes across like M. Night Shyamalan had usurped from Steven Spielberg the direction of Saving Private Ryan. Currently running at The Broadwater in Hollywood, the play is well-packed with strong characters, an exotic setting and an ambitious fusing of gritty war drama and supernatural thriller.

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Nov

Romeo and Juliet in Hell

Sinful silliness, a helluva lot of Shakespearian in-jokes, a bunch of theatrical wisecracking and a great deal of fun all in the vein of Christopher Durang’s 1981 snicker-fest The Actor’s Nightmare.

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Oct

Deadly

Playwright Vanessa Claire Stewart has taken the story of Holmes and treated it to a musical rendering ala Sweeney Todd.Deadly, staged by Sacred Fools Theatre Company, has songs, mayhem and a vicious murderer. What it doesn’t have is a Sondheim, or a workable structure.

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Oct

Handjob

Director Fields seems at his best when presented with a work that is devised less along the dictates of Aristotle’s dramatic unities, and more like a theatrical Rubik’s cube. His staging is solid, top to bottom, and his cast inhabit the caliber that has made the Echo Theater Company one of L.A.’s most respected theatrical bodies.

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Oct

Sisters In Law

Shapiro has an impressive background as a television writer with credits extending over such notable series as The Firm, The Practice, and Boston Legal earning Emmys and other prestigious awards along the way.
But Sisters In Law is his first play, and frankly, it shows.

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Oct

Never Ever Land

In their theatrical variation of the Three Card Monty scam entitled Never Ever Land on the stage of Theatre Unleashed, Playwright Rider Strong and Director Michael A. Shepperd have deployed all the needed dramatic elements – dynamic characters, absorbing mystery, family conflict, interpersonal deception, sex, money, fame, betrayal, more sex, star power, court room discord, suicide, cereal commercials and the romantic English poet Thomas Chatterton.

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Sep

ON BECKETT

If you share a reverence for the author of Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, Waiting for Godot, and Murphy this could be an enlightening evening in the theater.
If, however, you’re unacquainted with the works of Beckett or the immense influence he exerted on the theatre of today, you might want to give some consideration to attending this production. You probably couldn’t ask for a better introduction to the artist or his art than that offered by Irwin.

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Sep

To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen

Stretching the show, which already whimpers for tightening, to a second act should probably be reconsidered, and a bit more history of her father’s adventures during Broadway’s heyday and the Golden Age of Hollywood wouldn’t hurt either.
But as it stands, one would be hard pressed to totter out of Theatre West grumbling about either the show or Ebsen’s performance.

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Aug

Scraps

Now if this review sounds harsh to you, good!

I want it to sound harsh, because I am tired to my bones of that unholy cabal of pretentious East Coast theaters and dim West Coast TV writers and producers foisting on L.A. audiences drivel such as this.

Stevie Walker-Webb is accredited with directing. I’m curious as to how he did it with a straight face.

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Aug

Beyond Glory

Scott’s presence on stage was a study of clarity as he shifted from one recipient to the next carving the distinction of each individual with the understated dynamics that attests to an actor’s mastery of his craft. His was a performance of the highest caliber.

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Jul

Let's Write a Musical

A work that celebrates life in defiance of death; skews the coronach’s keening into toe tapping tunes; tells an anguished tale of what’s lost in life’s twilight that echoes with promise of what the future brings. To escape what tomorrow holds a couple turns to the past and finds, there, salvation for their tomorrows to come.

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