Non-Registered Critics: Patrick Hurley

Feb

ALL PERFORMANCES CANCELED BY CTG - THE BOOK OF MORMON

This Production, the sixth I’ve seen, has moments that feel slightly less relevant than they may have nine years ago when the show originally opened, but the cast infuses so much energy and enthusiasm that it felt really fresh. The musical itself, shouldn’t be as wonderful as it is. It seems a gimmicky thirty-minute idea at best, but it deftly handles the broad over-the-top crass humor by offering easy jokes alongside bigger ideas of faith, friendship, and the power of belief. And the music is flat-out great.

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Jan

VOLTA

The show is infused with highly dramatic music, which adds a cinematic element to the acts. Singer and violin player Camilla Bäckman and singer Eric DeShan layer each act with evocative songs, punctuating the drama, emotion and awe-inspiring beauty of what the human body is capable of. Every aspect of the show play into the theme of urban, contemporary transformation- while in true Cirque form still manage a dreamlike quality.

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Dec

MATTHEW BOURNE'S SWAN LAKE

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake: The Legend Returns, playing now at the Ahmanson, is a work of such beauty that its exquisiteness lies in the sheer audacity of its own existence. The re-telling of the classic ballet through the ingenious queer lens of a master storyteller is awe-inspiring.

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Sep

ON BECKETT

What Mr. Irwin has cleverly tapped into, I think, is the malleable nature of the language and through a lens of a clown is attempting to reconcile his own hopeful, haunted relationship with it. Watching an actor intellectualize and then embody language that he loves, that has shaped and informed him is truly, genuinely joyful to watch.

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Sep

A PLAY IS A POEM

Featuring a wonderful ensemble cast, clever Coen-esque dialogue, and a scene-stealing musician, some of the moments find true theatrical footing, while others meander, and stall- enraptured, but static in eloquent language that sometimes overwhelms the dramatic action, even so much as to leave us bereft of conflict or any trackable character arc.

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Sep

Witch

...author Jen Silverman has a writing style that keeps the humor present for most of it, which is a saving grace from the underdeveloped puerile statement the script seems to be building toward.

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Sep

LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS

This ninety-minute show is fueled by a zany, high-octane, and passionate performance from John Leguizamo. As the author and performer, he has infused this piece with broad humor, snippets of his personal life, and of course several hilarious impressions of the people in his life as well as historical figures and celebrities.

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Sep

Handjob

In the end, this play just doesn’t work. It lacks stakes; it lacks clarity, specificity, wants, needs, catharsis and plausibility.

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Aug

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

The entire cast is impressive. There are almost as many physical feats as you would find in a Cirque show. And director Matt DiCarlo does a beautiful job of crafting the kind of chaotic choreography that seems impossible to be rehearsed. It’s so bad, it’s almost ingenious. Unfortunately it’s a hit and miss show that goes on way too long. But still, it’s the kind of show you should have a few drinks with, or before, and enjoy the escape it provides.

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Aug

Fefu and Her Friends

The play is more than feminist, it’s more than realistic, it’s a solid deconstruction of ideas that propel feminine archetypes, behaviors and relationships from the perspective of a woman. There is a sense of empowerment in the collection of these women. A sense of tribal identity, that theater sorely needed when this play was written. And sadly, as I write this in 2019, a thing that is still sadly lacking in Hollywood. When it’s all said and done, there are plenty of effective and provocative moments, and this production is definitely worth your while.

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Feb

Hir

Director Bart DeLorenzo allows the actors to interpret the world instead of creating a stylistic foundation that the actors would then have to be a part of, and the result minimizes effect. Sometimes on-the-nose doesn't come close enough to the intention of the writer, and here we have a play where the playwright has faltered the director and actors.

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Jun

Lysistrata Unbound

It's almost impossible to contextualize what life in 411 BCE was like, almost as impossible as it is to believe that nearly 2500 years later, that message resonates the same. And while this production doesn't hold up the true intention of Aristophanes' comedy, it does make the same argument. The argument that we are nowadays all too familiar with, but one that needs to finally be heard…Time is indeed up.

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Oct

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

This is a highly entertaining and noteworthy production of a complex and beautifully written play. It stays the course, slowly sinks its teeth in, and makes an impression... It's solid theatrical entertainment.

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Oct

Fixed

Director Rodney To does a fantastic job with this piece. He sets it in an arena style, where parallel scenes take place one at a time on opposite sides, creating a nice rhythm. He also allows his actors enough freedom to go to the places they need to.

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Feb

Beckett5

The idea of putting together these rarely produced Beckett plays is great for the sole purpose of bringing new audiences to these pieces. The evening feels less significant than it should. Minimalist doesn't have to mean minor, and Beckett is a major player in the world of dramatic literature, but unfortunately these pieces don't feel weighted enough to create a unique theatrical experience. As it is, this production serves as an exposure to important dramatic literature and not the exciting theater it should be.

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