THE CHINESE WALL

Critics

LemonMeter

58 %

Reviews: 12

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

The Chinese Wall (Die Chinesische Mauer)

The Trump administration is satirized in an update of Max Frisch's 1946 anti-fascist fable.

18+; brief nudity

The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 11. General Admission: $25. Seniors/Students w/ID: $20. Groups 10+: $15. www.thegrouprep.com or (818) 763-5990.

Reviews

Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

Written with an eye to history, satire, tragedy, comedy, and farce, THE CHINESE WALL is again “timely,” assuming the role of a morality play of absurd proportions. Even though the playwright was initially writing an anti-fascist play about the insidious dangers of war and the real danger of the atomic bomb, he ended up transcending the barriers of time.

sweet - Elaine L Mura - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

The production is, as I've tried to indicate, timely and admirably well intentioned. Like the IWW's Little Red Book of songs, it aims to “fan the flames of discontent” with wit and righteous anger, and move a mute audience toward action. Yet integrating the crazy-quilt of characters into a Julius Caesar-type of story already laden down with obvious and somewhat repetitive satire, was a challenge this version of the play does not fully meet. All these unnaturalistic roles are difficult to imbue with feeling. Much of the humor is forced and heavy, the acting stiff and flat.

sweet-sour - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Avatar

There's wacky humor, some nudity and pointed observations about our current state of the union and the clowns running the White House, referencing "fake news" and the #metoo movement and sometimes breaking the fourth wall. It's an illuminating snapshot of where we are and where we're going in Trump's America with his hubris and stupidity clinging proudly to ignorance.

sweet - Harker Jones - LA Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar

It is a comedy, tragedy, satire, and farce, with historical references. It is rather messy...The lines relating to current political issues, although bitingly satirical sometimes, could have been a little less explicit and repetitious. What saved it and makes it worth experiencing is the visual experience...Also, there is plenty of acting talent on the stage, 20+ characters handled by a very capable cast, and I look forward to seeing many of them in future productions.

sweet - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses

Something of a mixed bag, to be honest. For one thing, its style is dreamlike, with figures from history meeting out of sync with one another. One of the central characters is simply known as The Contemporary (Patrick Skelton), a visitor from our time trying to...I'm not sure. Persuade figures from history to change their ways? Try and understand them? Such a lack of linear story need not wreck a theatrical experience. Many wonderful such remain equally "dreamlike" with all the weird logic inherent in dreams. But to make it work, just as in any production of Alice in Wonderland, the cast and director need laser-like focus. Sadly, only a handful of this quite large cast show such. Fortunately those handful have pretty much the major roles, but the rest of the cast create a muddle, often a series of jokes that aren't funny.

sweet-sour - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

THE CHINESE WALL is intriguing and sometimes engrossing. At the same time, however, it is often confusing as time folds in on itself. Portraying the current commander-in-chief as a lascivious buffoon seemed to go overboard, regardless of one's political affiliations. At times, it felt that the playwright used a bat rather than a feather to put his point across. THE CHINESE WALL is bound to be controversial – perhaps a necessary evil at this point in history. At the same time, the audience must remain aware that this play has a very definite opinion and is not afraid to express it.

sweet-sour - Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Larry Eisenberg creates a dynamic with the use of staging, blocking and clever teleprompts, updating the storyline with current headlines and tweets. The use of multi-media adds an undeniable edge.

sweet - M. Jarrett Christensen - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

Frisch's The Chinese Wall begins with the impulse to wall off a country from enemies, and concludes with the fear that grows as a result of such protectionism. Familiar? Director Larry Eisenberg has taken this allegorical play and literalized it by equating many of the characters with the Trump administration, beginning with the emperor portrayed as Trump himself.

sour - Leigh Kennicott - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

The play is overly long and very messy. The point of the original script is clear almost immediately, with nothing much new or exciting added during the slog.

sour - Vanessa Kate - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Don Grigware

Well directed and acted play that is too long and too repetitious. Thank heavens for a splendid cast that includes a standout performance by Mark Atha.

sweet-sour - Don Grigware - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Avatar

The cast members are great, all thoroughly enjoying their strange and illuminating meanderings. The set is beautifully handled, all multi-media video and cleverly manipulated staging. This really is a director's piece, and director Larry Eisenberg performs the miracle of making this all make sense and maybe even change a few minds about our current political crises!

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Avatar

Watch Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon and you will see that virtually every one of their monologues has abundant slaps at President Trump but in their monologues it is also nearly always funny, so much so that even Trump might laugh while watching it. However, what I saw on stage during the performance of The Chinese Wall lacked all but the most minor amount of any real humor.

sour - Ron Irvin - LA Post Examiner - ...read full review


Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

Written with an eye to history, satire, tragedy, comedy, and farce, THE CHINESE WALL is again “timely,” assuming the role of a morality play of absurd proportions. Even though the playwright was initially writing an anti-fascist play about the insidious dangers of war and the real danger of the atomic bomb, he ended up transcending the barriers of time.

sweet - Elaine L Mura - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

The production is, as I've tried to indicate, timely and admirably well intentioned. Like the IWW's Little Red Book of songs, it aims to “fan the flames of discontent” with wit and righteous anger, and move a mute audience toward action. Yet integrating the crazy-quilt of characters into a Julius Caesar-type of story already laden down with obvious and somewhat repetitive satire, was a challenge this version of the play does not fully meet. All these unnaturalistic roles are difficult to imbue with feeling. Much of the humor is forced and heavy, the acting stiff and flat.

sweet-sour - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Avatar

There's wacky humor, some nudity and pointed observations about our current state of the union and the clowns running the White House, referencing "fake news" and the #metoo movement and sometimes breaking the fourth wall. It's an illuminating snapshot of where we are and where we're going in Trump's America with his hubris and stupidity clinging proudly to ignorance.

sweet - Harker Jones - LA Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar

It is a comedy, tragedy, satire, and farce, with historical references. It is rather messy...The lines relating to current political issues, although bitingly satirical sometimes, could have been a little less explicit and repetitious. What saved it and makes it worth experiencing is the visual experience...Also, there is plenty of acting talent on the stage, 20+ characters handled by a very capable cast, and I look forward to seeing many of them in future productions.

sweet - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses

Something of a mixed bag, to be honest. For one thing, its style is dreamlike, with figures from history meeting out of sync with one another. One of the central characters is simply known as The Contemporary (Patrick Skelton), a visitor from our time trying to...I'm not sure. Persuade figures from history to change their ways? Try and understand them? Such a lack of linear story need not wreck a theatrical experience. Many wonderful such remain equally "dreamlike" with all the weird logic inherent in dreams. But to make it work, just as in any production of Alice in Wonderland, the cast and director need laser-like focus. Sadly, only a handful of this quite large cast show such. Fortunately those handful have pretty much the major roles, but the rest of the cast create a muddle, often a series of jokes that aren't funny.

sweet-sour - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

THE CHINESE WALL is intriguing and sometimes engrossing. At the same time, however, it is often confusing as time folds in on itself. Portraying the current commander-in-chief as a lascivious buffoon seemed to go overboard, regardless of one's political affiliations. At times, it felt that the playwright used a bat rather than a feather to put his point across. THE CHINESE WALL is bound to be controversial – perhaps a necessary evil at this point in history. At the same time, the audience must remain aware that this play has a very definite opinion and is not afraid to express it.

sweet-sour - Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Larry Eisenberg creates a dynamic with the use of staging, blocking and clever teleprompts, updating the storyline with current headlines and tweets. The use of multi-media adds an undeniable edge.

sweet - M. Jarrett Christensen - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

Frisch's The Chinese Wall begins with the impulse to wall off a country from enemies, and concludes with the fear that grows as a result of such protectionism. Familiar? Director Larry Eisenberg has taken this allegorical play and literalized it by equating many of the characters with the Trump administration, beginning with the emperor portrayed as Trump himself.

sour - Leigh Kennicott - Show Mag - ...read full review


Avatar

The play is overly long and very messy. The point of the original script is clear almost immediately, with nothing much new or exciting added during the slog.

sour - Vanessa Kate - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Don Grigware

Well directed and acted play that is too long and too repetitious. Thank heavens for a splendid cast that includes a standout performance by Mark Atha.

sweet-sour - Don Grigware - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Avatar

The cast members are great, all thoroughly enjoying their strange and illuminating meanderings. The set is beautifully handled, all multi-media video and cleverly manipulated staging. This really is a director's piece, and director Larry Eisenberg performs the miracle of making this all make sense and maybe even change a few minds about our current political crises!

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Avatar

Watch Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon and you will see that virtually every one of their monologues has abundant slaps at President Trump but in their monologues it is also nearly always funny, so much so that even Trump might laugh while watching it. However, what I saw on stage during the performance of The Chinese Wall lacked all but the most minor amount of any real humor.

sour - Ron Irvin - LA Post Examiner - ...read full review