Weekend Theater Reviews 

Reviews of Bukowsical, Loose and Ubu Roi

Monday, Mar 20 2006
{mosimage} GO BUKOWSICAL Spencer Green and Gary Stockdale’s musical is a comedic exploration into the life of the late poet, short-story writer and cultural gadfly Charles Bukowski. In this play within a play, the audience receives a behind-the-scenes look as an “idealistic theater company mounts a backers’ audition for an improbable show.” Steven Memel hosts as we follow Bukowski (the bald-pated, corpulent David Lawrence) from his boyhood in Andernach, Germany, along his rise to literary prominence in America by way of 10 musical numbers. Not surprisingly, Green and Stockdale’s lyrics are saturated with bawdy sexuality, disgusting imagery and gutter language, all the things that Chuck was admired for. Some of it is riotously funny, such as “School Song,” where we learn of Bukowski’s tormented childhood and his abuse at the hands of his schoolmates, teacher and father, and “Take Me,” where sweet lady booze (Chrissie Byron) steps in and seduces him. Dean Cameron capably directs a spirited cast of seven, although at times the show is clearly straining for laughs. Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hlywd; Fri., 11 p.m.; thru May 26 (no perfs April 7 & May 5). (310) 281-8337 (Lovell Estell III)

GO LOOSE Tommy Tiernan is a scruffy imp of a man, spewing his filthy comedy (which is a compliment, really) at a high pitch and fast pace while grinning frequently with an expression that borders on idiocy through barrages of curses and stories that crap all over revered symbols — priests, Catholicism, the dignity of women, the dignity of men, of Africans, of Prince Charles, and just about everyone in between. He’s really a Celtic Lenny Bruce, which is no easy task, but it would probably be more striking had we not already had Lenny Bruce. Tiernan’s act falls somewhere between a reprise of Bruce’s strategic offensiveness — that features obsessions with life’s absurdity in general, and anal sex in particular — and Tiernan’s quite remarkable gifts as a dissident storyteller, which makes his act worth the trek to Westwood. Some people walked out, but I had no desire to join them. Nor, however, would I want to join Tiernan for a drink after the show, even though I’d probably watch it again were I in the neighborhood. UCLA Live! and WestBeth Entertainment at UCLA, Macgowan Little Theater, Wstwd.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru April 2. (310) 825-2101. (Steven Leigh Morris)

GO UBU ROI gorges and farts his way through insurrection and revolution, but he’s no less disgusting than the world. Alfred Jarry’s vaudeville, set in some mythic Poland, is about revolution, gluttony and greed. This is among the most spirited, manic productions I’ve seen by this normally staid company — finely crafted by director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and supplemented by composer/musical director David O’s beautifully slovenly accompaniment on a rinky-dink spinet, all manner of percussion and an ensemble chorus on kazoos. Leon Wiebers' costumes feature a Polish army looking like little Uma Thurmans, sporting air filter collars. Some musical theater parodies start to wear as thin as some of the voices, and the Brit translation (Cyril Connolly and Simon Watson Taylor) creates a small, unnecessary barrier, but who cares. The evening is more than redeemed by Alan Blumenfeld and Deborah Strang’s bloated Pa and Ma Ubu, as well as this production’s lucid vision of a world, like a boulder, careening towards a cliff’s edge. See Stage feature next week. A Noise Within, 234 Brand Blvd., Glendale; call for schedule; thru May 7. (818) 240-0910, Ext. 1. (Steven Leigh Morris)

Related Stories

  • UCLA Flooded 6

    Tons of water flooded the UCLA campus in Westwood after a gusher of a water main break sent tons of H20 down the hill from the Sunset Boulevard. The break at 10630 Sunset Boulevard was reported at 3:24 p.m., according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Sunset...
  • Water Disaster 5

    The L.A. Department of Water and Power said that gusher of a "trunk line" break that caused massive flooding on the UCLA campus cost Angelenos 20 million gallons of perfectly good drinking water. See also: UCLA Flooded by Tons of Water (PHOTOS) What's perhaps more amazing than that figure is that...
  • Poor Losers

    In one recent year 8,000 legs, feet and toes had to be amputated, doctors say, to save the lives of diabetic Californians. But if you live in Beverly Hills or Malibu, you were far less likely to be one of these folks, even if you have diabetes. If you live...
  • On-Campus Attack 2

    It has been a rough week at UCLA. First 20 million gallons of drinking water flooded campus Tuesday, damaging Pauley Pavilion, athletic facilities and some offices. See also: UCLA Flooded by Tons of Water (PHOTOS) Now an unheard of nighttime attack has been reported on campus. A woman who attends UCLA...
  • No. 1 Rental Ripoff 15

    Los Angeles is one of the expensive places in America, alongside New York and San Francisco, for renters. No surprise there. See also: Why Is Rent So High in the Great Recession? But UCLA researchers crunched the numbers and concluded that we're number one in the United States when it comes...

Related Content

Now Trending

  • REDCAT's New Original Works Festival: From a Table-Puppet Show to a Hip-Hop Ballet

    There is no discernible guiding principle for the selection of the New Original Works Festival's compilation of choreography, spoken word, song and enveloping visual images. The minute you might say, "Ah, these are works that look at the world through symbols," along comes Overtone Industries' Iceland with its old-fashioned love...
  • Neil LaBute Plays Take Over L.A.

    The coldblooded rogues' gallery of antiheroes that inhabits playwright Neil LaBute's universe demands a new word to adequately describe it: La•Bu•tean (lah-byoo'-tyen): adj., of, pertaining to or suggestive of the perfidious cruelty, moral cowardice and emotional retrogression displayed by otherwise average guys, especially when goaded by the manipulative camaraderie of...


  • A Day in Griffith Park
    Pack a picnic basket and escape the hustle and bustle of L.A. by spending the day in beautiful Griffith Park.Stop and grab a cold drink at Trails, then go hike. Stroll around the Observatory. Cruise past The Greek Theater to the Bird Sanctuary, or practice golf and grab a snack at the Roosevelt Cafe. Just remember, you don't need to be a tourist to enjoy what Griffith Park has to offer. All photos by Michele McManmon.
  • FANFARE-LA: Fine Art Nude, Fetish, and Risque Exhibition (NSFW)
    FANFARE-LA, the Fine Art Nude, Fetish, and Risque Exhibition was held Jan. 31st to Feb. 2nd at the Hamilton Galleries in Santa Monica. Here is a peek of the sexually-charged, fetish-fine art that is featured in the show. More info at fanfare-la.com.
  • Gloryhole 2013 @ The Pleasure Chest
    The Pleasure Chest's annual anniversary party, Gloryhole, took place Thursday night, transforming the popular West Hollywood sex shop into a pleasure den filled opportunities to get spanked, tied up and dominated. For those of a more voyeuristic nature, the live XXX Gloryhole installation offered a glimpse of erotic play and sexuality. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.