All entries by this author

Review: ‘Farragut North’ at the Odyssey Theatre

April 24, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

Things being what they are in Washington right now, politics has been a subject on everyone’s mind lately. While it’s still early after the seismic election results of last fall, it seems likely that playwrights will, after a certain amount of cogitation and fermentation, inevitably get around to sharpening their pencils about it. For now, [...]



Review: LA Opera’s ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’

April 3, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Quick — name three opéras fantastiques. That’s a tough one. About the only one that comes to mind is The Tales of Hoffmann. LA Opera’s enchanting production — playing through April 15 — offers a delightful mix of lilting romantic music, beautiful sets and eye-catching costumes.  It is also an unusual family collaboration, celebrating [...]



Review: ‘Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny’ from Not Man Apart Physical Theater Ensemble

March 16, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Theater and Dance

How do you boil down the 10,000 lines of verse in Paradise Lost to absolutely nothing and still have it be meaningful? Simple: give it to Jones (Welsh) Talmadge of the Not Man Apart Physical Theater Ensemble and have him do a movement-only adaptation. John Milton’s epic 17th-century poem expanded upon the biblical story of [...]



Review: ‘Plasticity’ at Hudson Theatres

March 15, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

Plasticity is ostensibly a one-man show, yet with some half a dozen distinctly different characters that emerge, fade and reappear at various points within the show, you would be forgiven for thinking multiple actors were on stage. Credit goes to performer and co-writer Alex Lyras, who gives a tour de force performance that inhabits [...]



Review: Echo Theater Company Presents ‘The Found Dog Ribbon Dance’

March 1, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Theater and Dance

Weird title, huh? But it is certainly fitting considering the oddballs who inhabit this world-premiere play from Dominic Finocchiaro. It’s the first play of the season by the Echo Theater Company, which specializes in new plays. For 90 minutes (without intermission) we are treated to a panoply of individuals, most of whom seem somewhat lost [...]



Review: Pacific Opera Project’s ‘The Elixir of Love’

February 18, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Call me a reactionary, but I love Donizetti operas. While he composed nearly 70 operas in a variety of genres, he is best known for his comic operas. In this genre, both in music and story, it seems his only aim is to entertain. He mixes lighthearted banter with broad comic bravado and just a [...]



Review: LA Opera’s ‘Abduction From the Seraglio’

January 29, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Classical Music and Opera

When Wolfgang Mozart was born in 1756, there would still have been many old-timers who remembered the great siege of Vienna by Ottoman Turkish hordes in 1683. While the threat of Muslim aggression grew ever less worrisome with succeeding years, Mozart, like most Europeans, remained fascinated by the strange, impenetrable world of the sultans in [...]



Review: ‘The Last Vig’ at the Zephyr Theatre

January 21, 2017 | By David Maurer | Category: Featured Articles, Theater and Dance

“The Last Vig” has an intriguing premise: How does an aging, faded Italian mob boss cope with the changes modern society hath wrought? Applied to this premise in the lead role at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood is the familiar and respected character actor Burt Young, known for his work in such films as [...]



Review: Bernstein’s ‘Wonderful Town’ at LA Opera

December 3, 2016 | By David Maurer | Category: Theater and Dance

Watching Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, I couldn’t help thinking about Saul Steinberg’s famous 1976 cover for The New Yorker, “View of the World from 9th Avenue.” Taking up the lower two-thirds of the page are the streets and buildings of the West Side of Manhattan. Across the Hudson River to the West is a small, [...]



Review: ‘Other People’s Money’ at the Pico Playhouse

November 28, 2016 | By David Maurer | Category: Theater and Dance

Donald Trump said, “‘Other People’s Money’ is an extraordinarily insightful, timely and witty play.” Yes, that is an actual quote from the new President-elect, who saw this play when it first opened in New York in 1989. The producers of this revival at the Pico Playhouse somehow dug up this quote and now use it, [...]