Non-Registered Critics: Hoyt Hilsman

Feb

SWEENEY TODD - THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Although a director's vision is clearly necessary, even when it comes to a highly accomplished Sondheim musical, what appears to be lacking here is a clear director's vision. The performers are all solid and skilled, but they seem too often to be pulling in opposite directions...

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Jan

1776 THE MUSICAL

...1776 is not simply a lesson in democracy; it is funny, engaging, entertaining, and ultimately memorable. Director Casale perfectly plumbs the humor of Stone's book, which debunks virtually every caricature of the Founding Fathers, from Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock.

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Oct

URBAN DEATH TOUR OF TERROR: Haunted Theatre Attraction

The brilliance of Urban Death is that it plumbs the theatrical dimensions of these fears, going beyond mere scare tactics to mine the fears that really scare us – those that live in our own minds. Urban Death is simply one more of this theater company's extraordinary accomplishments. ZJU, which is without a doubt the most accomplished avant-garde theater company in Los Angeles. an underground theater company in North Hollywood has re-interpreted the “horror night” genre into an anti-theme park performance piece that has resonance far beyond simple scare tactics.

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Aug

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

In the cavernous Ahmanson Theatre filled with flashing lights and cascading images, Christopher feels more like a tiny player in his own world, rather than a central character. One wonders if less might be more, and if a smaller, more intimate venue, and less reliance on special effects and more on the power of the text and performance might have a greater emotional resonance.

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Jul

HEISENBERG

Parker takes on the role with spirit and energy, and Arndt is the perfect foil for her whirling ferocity. Director Mark Brokaw sticks with the crispness of the text, keeping both the set and the tone of the play minimal and tight.

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