Between Riverside and Crazy

Critics

LemonMeter

79 %

Reviews: 19

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Fri Dec 13, 8:00pm
Sat Dec 14, 2:00pm
Sat Dec 14, 8:00pm
Sun Dec 15, 2:00pm
Mon Dec 16, 8:00pm
Fri Dec 20, 8:00pm
Sat Dec 21, 2:00pm
Sat Dec 21, 8:00pm
Sun Dec 22, 2:00pm
Sat Jan 04, 2:00pm
Sat Jan 04, 8:00pm
Mon Jan 06, 8:00pm
Fri Jan 10, 8:00pm
Sat Jan 11, 2:00pm
Sat Jan 11, 8:00pm
Sun Jan 12, 2:00pm
Fri Jan 17, 8:00pm
Sat Jan 18, 2:00pm
Sat Jan 18, 8:00pm
Sun Jan 19, 2:00pm
Mon Jan 20, 8:00pm
Fri Jan 24, 8:00pm
Sat Jan 25, 2:00pm
Sat Jan 25, 8:00pm
Sun Jan 26, 2:00pm

You can’t beat City Hall, but you can try. In this Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy-drama by Stephen Adly Guirgis, ex-cop and recent widower Walter ‘Pops’ Washington has made a home for his newly paroled son in his sprawling, rent-controlled New York City apartment on Riverside Drive. But now the NYPD is demanding his signature to close an outstanding lawsuit, the landlord wants him out, the liquor store is closed, and the church is on his back — leaving Pops somewhere between Riverside… and crazy. Oct. 19 – Jan. 26; Fridays @ 8 p.m. / Saturdays @ 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. / Sundays at 2 p.m. / Mondays at 8 p.m.; $25-$45; In addition to regular seating, Pay-What-You-Want tickets are available on Monday nights (subject to availability). Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave. (at Normandie), Los Angeles, CA 90029; (323) 663-1525; www.FountainTheatre.com.

Reviews

Avatar

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.

sour - Ernest Kearney- The TVolution - ...read full review


Avatar

One can pretty much count on outstanding theatrical presentations at the award-winning Fountain Theatre. The latest production to grace its busy stage is the Los Angeles premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy, his multi-award winning play, including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The storyline in this talented playwright’s tightly-written script, which is skillfully directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos, revolves around the central character of recent widower and retired cop Walter ‘Pops’ Washington, brilliantly played by Montae Russell, who gives a highly actualized sub-textual performance as a man beset with almost an unmanageable set of life’s circumstances.

sweet - Beverly Cohn - Santa Monica Mirror - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron

This apartment on Riverside Drive in a relatively classy section of New York's West Side was given to Pops in compensation for having had six bullets pumped into his leg and groin eight years earlier by a white rookie cop. This has left Pops lame, alcoholic, and celibate.

sour - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar

Remarkably, Guirgis’s weak, deeply-disappointing play was beautifully acted and directed. Don’t know how they did it, but the actors and the director somehow managed to keep me in my seat for two-and-a-half hours.

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

With brilliant direction by Guillermo Cienfuegos, the superb cast is headed by Montae Russell, enigmatic and yet straightforward, as the beleaguered retired cop everyone calls Pops. Matthew Hancock as his rebellious son, and Victor Anthony his quixotic ward, both personify today's troubled youth searching for meaning. Joshua Bitton as an ambitious yet honest cop, and Lesley Fera as Pops loyal former partner, bring the outer world and its brutal realities into this sheltered home. Liza Fernandez is licentiously daring as a church lady on a mission, and Marisol Miranda is delightful as a seemingly tempestuous temptress.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ script deserves its accolades and in the sure hands of director Guillermo Cienfuegos, Between Riverside and Crazy is an exciting, engrossing piece of theatre with cast of seasoned pros, and that definitely includes Liza Fernandez as the mysterious Church Lady who shows up in the second act. I can say no more.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar

There’s humor and wordplay and fantastic music – even a touch of Rudy Giuliani. The theme of fatherhood is attacked from land, sea and air but somehow manages to hold up.

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis wrote the 2011 play The MotherF-er with the Hat, so the language, while rough, isn’t unexpected. We’re left feeling like voyeurs looking in on but unable to advise a group of people making bad choices who somehow win us over. Director Guillermo Cienfuegos does the script proud in a set decorated to rundown Riverside Drive perfection by Shen Heckel.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Guillermo Cienfuegos brings out strong, natural performances from the cast...

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis keeps this all accessible and relatable by constructing the story like a 1970s Norman Lear sitcom, albeit dramatically-heightened and four times the length. There are lots of jokes, profanities, hugs, and "I love yous." I would have liked to see the play take a deeper dive into the personal damage that the issues have caused.

sweet - Bill Garry - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Avatar

It is a seductive and unpredictable ending made all the more satisfying by the gentle pacing of Guillermo Cienfuegos’ direction that lightly strikes all the necessary notes. The play could shave some of the ramble of the early meandering conversations, but once it starts to fly, it refuses to be kept down. Russell’s performance as Walter is the action’s fulcrum, especially since he makes it look so much easier than it is. He is the anchor, kept in place by an able and carefully selected supporting company and creative team that delivers with energy and precision.

In the end it isn’t just that Guirgis can write. Of course he can. It’s that the conflicted emotions comingle so fruitfully among his characters, and the complicated plots and subplots they generate, reward us with the rarest of gifts: the pleasure of a raffish grace where you least expect to find it.

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Erin Conley

It is certainly easy to see why this play has garnered so much attention and acclaim. Police shootings are a hot-button issue, perhaps even more now than in 2015 when it premiered, and Walter is a deeply interesting character, a seemingly reluctant father figure who in actuality savors those relationships.

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Contemporary play-writing at its most original and Los Angeles theater at its finest, Between Riverside And Crazy is Between Something Else And Sensational.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

The role of Pops fits Montae Russell as though it were written for him. He bears his suffering like a lead character in an August Wilson play—and indeed he is a noted Wilsonian, having performed in the entire cycle of his ten plays about African-American life decade-by-decade throughout the 20th century. His suffering has sharpened Pops’s character. What he cannot squeeze out of the city in a final payoff he will secure by any means necessary, in a form of “reparations” for the white man’s mistreatment of him and his family. He also pays back the grace he receives in an entirely unexpected way that will have students of the drama debating and discussing for decades to come.

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

As Walter, Russell emanates strong presence, but his rendering focuses heavily on the character’s embitterment at the expense of his kindness and vulnerability. This makes for a less shaded portrayal than one might wish for. In a drama so clearly powered by a central performance, this counts for a lot — in this case, to the show’s detriment.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Unlike his hero Tennessee Williams, Stephen Adly Guirgis is a master at writing hilariously outrageous and delightfully off-kilter dialogue to lessen the pain of his characters’ challenging, life-crushing existence. Yes, there’s surely a lot of Williams-spawned inspiration in the LA debut of this 2015 Pulitzer winner, but there’s also a little O’Neill, a little Odets, a little McDonough, and even a dollop of early Mamet—you know, reminiscent of that time when he could still write a good play. In Guirgis, we have found one of the most important and most insightful, sharp-witted, and observant new voices to energize modern theatrical literature. The point of awarding the Pulitzer Prize for Drama is to recognize work that examines the nature of our existence, particularly of our existence in our complex and badly wounded country. This time out, the Pulitzer committee could not have been more on the money in their choice of a play to honor and make part of our history.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2015, the play features all that one expects from playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis: incisive dialogue, complex characterizations and relationships that are unique but also relatable. The cast and director Guillermo Cienfuegos serve the play well...

As the poster for Wes Anderson's THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS proclaims "Family is not a word, it's a sentence," BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY sees family (both blood and chosen) as the weight to pull us down and the rope to lift us out of the muck. It's a double-edged sword, but one that can provide solace if you allow it.

sweet - Jonas Schwartz-Owen - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis hits each pressure point with just the right amount of force, meanwhile eliciting laughs as Pops fights the world...

Skilled director Guillermo Cienfuegos knows just which buttons to push as the merry septet explodes into fun and fancy. Lots of black humor peppers the proceedings, so get ready to chuckle – and maybe even guffaw. Comments about New York’s mayor in 2015 are especially hilarious.

...If only to celebrate a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY is a must-see – but this production offers much more. It is a superbly directed, acted, and produced must-see show.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

“Between Riverside and Crazy” has twists that are best not revealed in a review. The surprises that happen are genuinely startling. But what grounds the play is the credible interior journey Walter undertakes. His gruffness can’t conceal his compassionate heart for underdogs, as the movingly acted reckoning between Russell’s Walter and Hancock’s Junior makes clear with every resonant paternal stop and filial start.

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Guillermo Cienfuegos, seems to have set fire to his cast as the old addage "Bigger, Faster, Louder, Funnier (or more Dramatic)" calls the tune for the show.

Sit-com dialogue interspersed with shouting matches involving almost every member of the cast tries our patience.

sour - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review


Avatar

Overlooking the Hudson River, in a spacious apartment on Manhattan’s posh Riverside Drive, a collection of broken souls has gathered to seek refuge if not redemption in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ dark comedy, “Between Riverside and Crazy.”

sweet - Dick and Sharon Price - LA Progressive - ...read full review


Avatar

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.

sour - Ernest Kearney- The TVolution - ...read full review


Avatar

One can pretty much count on outstanding theatrical presentations at the award-winning Fountain Theatre. The latest production to grace its busy stage is the Los Angeles premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy, his multi-award winning play, including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The storyline in this talented playwright’s tightly-written script, which is skillfully directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos, revolves around the central character of recent widower and retired cop Walter ‘Pops’ Washington, brilliantly played by Montae Russell, who gives a highly actualized sub-textual performance as a man beset with almost an unmanageable set of life’s circumstances.

sweet - Beverly Cohn - Santa Monica Mirror - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron

This apartment on Riverside Drive in a relatively classy section of New York's West Side was given to Pops in compensation for having had six bullets pumped into his leg and groin eight years earlier by a white rookie cop. This has left Pops lame, alcoholic, and celibate.

sour - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar

Remarkably, Guirgis’s weak, deeply-disappointing play was beautifully acted and directed. Don’t know how they did it, but the actors and the director somehow managed to keep me in my seat for two-and-a-half hours.

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

With brilliant direction by Guillermo Cienfuegos, the superb cast is headed by Montae Russell, enigmatic and yet straightforward, as the beleaguered retired cop everyone calls Pops. Matthew Hancock as his rebellious son, and Victor Anthony his quixotic ward, both personify today's troubled youth searching for meaning. Joshua Bitton as an ambitious yet honest cop, and Lesley Fera as Pops loyal former partner, bring the outer world and its brutal realities into this sheltered home. Liza Fernandez is licentiously daring as a church lady on a mission, and Marisol Miranda is delightful as a seemingly tempestuous temptress.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ script deserves its accolades and in the sure hands of director Guillermo Cienfuegos, Between Riverside and Crazy is an exciting, engrossing piece of theatre with cast of seasoned pros, and that definitely includes Liza Fernandez as the mysterious Church Lady who shows up in the second act. I can say no more.

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar

There’s humor and wordplay and fantastic music – even a touch of Rudy Giuliani. The theme of fatherhood is attacked from land, sea and air but somehow manages to hold up.

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis wrote the 2011 play The MotherF-er with the Hat, so the language, while rough, isn’t unexpected. We’re left feeling like voyeurs looking in on but unable to advise a group of people making bad choices who somehow win us over. Director Guillermo Cienfuegos does the script proud in a set decorated to rundown Riverside Drive perfection by Shen Heckel.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Guillermo Cienfuegos brings out strong, natural performances from the cast...

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis keeps this all accessible and relatable by constructing the story like a 1970s Norman Lear sitcom, albeit dramatically-heightened and four times the length. There are lots of jokes, profanities, hugs, and "I love yous." I would have liked to see the play take a deeper dive into the personal damage that the issues have caused.

sweet - Bill Garry - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


Avatar

It is a seductive and unpredictable ending made all the more satisfying by the gentle pacing of Guillermo Cienfuegos’ direction that lightly strikes all the necessary notes. The play could shave some of the ramble of the early meandering conversations, but once it starts to fly, it refuses to be kept down. Russell’s performance as Walter is the action’s fulcrum, especially since he makes it look so much easier than it is. He is the anchor, kept in place by an able and carefully selected supporting company and creative team that delivers with energy and precision.

In the end it isn’t just that Guirgis can write. Of course he can. It’s that the conflicted emotions comingle so fruitfully among his characters, and the complicated plots and subplots they generate, reward us with the rarest of gifts: the pleasure of a raffish grace where you least expect to find it.

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Erin Conley

It is certainly easy to see why this play has garnered so much attention and acclaim. Police shootings are a hot-button issue, perhaps even more now than in 2015 when it premiered, and Walter is a deeply interesting character, a seemingly reluctant father figure who in actuality savors those relationships.

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Contemporary play-writing at its most original and Los Angeles theater at its finest, Between Riverside And Crazy is Between Something Else And Sensational.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

The role of Pops fits Montae Russell as though it were written for him. He bears his suffering like a lead character in an August Wilson play—and indeed he is a noted Wilsonian, having performed in the entire cycle of his ten plays about African-American life decade-by-decade throughout the 20th century. His suffering has sharpened Pops’s character. What he cannot squeeze out of the city in a final payoff he will secure by any means necessary, in a form of “reparations” for the white man’s mistreatment of him and his family. He also pays back the grace he receives in an entirely unexpected way that will have students of the drama debating and discussing for decades to come.

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman

As Walter, Russell emanates strong presence, but his rendering focuses heavily on the character’s embitterment at the expense of his kindness and vulnerability. This makes for a less shaded portrayal than one might wish for. In a drama so clearly powered by a central performance, this counts for a lot — in this case, to the show’s detriment.

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA

Unlike his hero Tennessee Williams, Stephen Adly Guirgis is a master at writing hilariously outrageous and delightfully off-kilter dialogue to lessen the pain of his characters’ challenging, life-crushing existence. Yes, there’s surely a lot of Williams-spawned inspiration in the LA debut of this 2015 Pulitzer winner, but there’s also a little O’Neill, a little Odets, a little McDonough, and even a dollop of early Mamet—you know, reminiscent of that time when he could still write a good play. In Guirgis, we have found one of the most important and most insightful, sharp-witted, and observant new voices to energize modern theatrical literature. The point of awarding the Pulitzer Prize for Drama is to recognize work that examines the nature of our existence, particularly of our existence in our complex and badly wounded country. This time out, the Pulitzer committee could not have been more on the money in their choice of a play to honor and make part of our history.

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - Ticket Holders LA - ...read full review


Avatar

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2015, the play features all that one expects from playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis: incisive dialogue, complex characterizations and relationships that are unique but also relatable. The cast and director Guillermo Cienfuegos serve the play well...

As the poster for Wes Anderson's THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS proclaims "Family is not a word, it's a sentence," BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY sees family (both blood and chosen) as the weight to pull us down and the rope to lift us out of the muck. It's a double-edged sword, but one that can provide solace if you allow it.

sweet - Jonas Schwartz-Owen - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis hits each pressure point with just the right amount of force, meanwhile eliciting laughs as Pops fights the world...

Skilled director Guillermo Cienfuegos knows just which buttons to push as the merry septet explodes into fun and fancy. Lots of black humor peppers the proceedings, so get ready to chuckle – and maybe even guffaw. Comments about New York’s mayor in 2015 are especially hilarious.

...If only to celebrate a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY is a must-see – but this production offers much more. It is a superbly directed, acted, and produced must-see show.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

“Between Riverside and Crazy” has twists that are best not revealed in a review. The surprises that happen are genuinely startling. But what grounds the play is the credible interior journey Walter undertakes. His gruffness can’t conceal his compassionate heart for underdogs, as the movingly acted reckoning between Russell’s Walter and Hancock’s Junior makes clear with every resonant paternal stop and filial start.

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Guillermo Cienfuegos, seems to have set fire to his cast as the old addage "Bigger, Faster, Louder, Funnier (or more Dramatic)" calls the tune for the show.

Sit-com dialogue interspersed with shouting matches involving almost every member of the cast tries our patience.

sour - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review


Avatar

Overlooking the Hudson River, in a spacious apartment on Manhattan’s posh Riverside Drive, a collection of broken souls has gathered to seek refuge if not redemption in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ dark comedy, “Between Riverside and Crazy.”

sweet - Dick and Sharon Price - LA Progressive - ...read full review