Loading...

Theater Reviews: Bury the Dead, Coriolanus, Inherit the Wind 

Also, Abigail's Party, The Bones of Lesser Men, and more

Wednesday, Aug 27 2008
Comments

Page 3 of 3

 

SISSYSTRATA After last year’s scintillating gay version of The Bacchae, the same production team set to work on this adaptation of Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ ancient Greek antiwar comedy, in which the women of Athens withhold sex from their men until peace is declared. Playwright Allain Rochel and director Michael Matthews leap headlong into a politically incorrect fantasy in which West Hollywood musclemen are called in to help the Iraq war effort, leaving their sissy boyfriends home to whine, bicker and complain — fabulously. Lip-synching drag numbers and lisping limp-wristed stereotypes, worthy of Fred Phelps’ slogan “God hates fags,” abound in this self-mocking production. Unfortunately, under Matthews’ staging, the caricatures emerge as merely embarrassing rather than hilarious. Only Michael Taylor Gray, in the title role, possesses the needed physical and vocal prowess, yet his character becomes absurdly strident rather than satirical. The butch men are even weaker than the sissies as the whole adventure turns flat and tedious. Marjorie Lockwood’s unflattering costumes, especially for the femmes, would shock any snapping queen, who need only swish into any Out of the Closet for better drag. The cartoon set design representing West Hollywood’s enormously popular bar-restaurant The Abbey (substituting for Aristophanes’ Acropolis) provides a bit of visual amusement. Celebration Theater, ­7051-B Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 28. (323) 957-1884 or www.tix.com. (Tom Provenzano)

 

click to flip through (7) ENCI - Abigail's Party
  • Enci
  • Abigail's Party
 

Related Stories

  • Henry Rollins: War, Continued 3

    This morning, I woke up in a small hotel room in Gordonsville, Tennessee. Outside my door: Taco Bell, Subway, McDonald's and Waffle House. I packed my gear and headed down to the lobby for another day of shooting 10 Things You Don't Know About. Scheduled for today was a tour...
  • Ajax in Iraq Merges Greek Mythology With Sexual Assault in the Military (GO!)

    The Los Angeles premiere of Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble's Ajax in Iraq, directed and choreographed by John Farmanesh-Bocca, relies on an unusual conceit. Its framework is the classical tale of Ajax, the ancient Greek warrior overlooked by his commander who slaughtered a field of cattle and then turned...
  • Great Smoked Fish 5

    Varieties of lox, smoked sturgeon, whitefish and sable, among others, are all important cultural delicacies which date back generations to European countries, specifically Russia. Immigrants brought with them their methods of smoking food and made a huge culinary impact that can still be tasted today in many trendy brunch spots around...
  • Today's Monuments Men Are on the Internet

    That "greatest art heist in history" tagline on posters and in trailers for The Monuments Men, George Clooney's new war movie, makes World War II sound like a caper. It also frames wartime art conservation efforts, often a bureaucratic mess of miscommunications, as a story in which clear-cut good guys triumph. ...
  • James Beard Semifinalists Announced

    The beginning of the big food awards season has started. Yesterday, the International Association of Culinary Professionals announced the finalists for their cookbook and food writing awards, and today the James Beard Association has announced the semifinalists for their restaurant and chef awards.  This James Beard list always causes a bit of...

GO  YOU WILL MOST LIKELY DIE When not romping through whirlwind comedy nights, the three-man, two-woman sketch group Dynamite Kablammo have been marshaling video hits online to showcase their brash and off-kilter humor. With new member Meredith Rensa — a fearless brunette with the face of Vivien Leigh — the ensemble of Greg Kaczynski (who directs), Dane Biren, Dana DeRuyck and Matt DeNoto blitz the audience with skits that build in momentum as they shake off their SNL roots with premises that splinter off in clever and unexpected directions. An unhinged blood-donor recruit offers reluctant volunteers cocaine; ancient Greek sirens are reimagined as gruff Jersey grandmas, luring Odysseus with soup and sweaters; and when a frozen man’s testicles climb into his brain, the gang doesn’t go for easy horn-dog jokes but the primal fun of his hapless balls lurching him around like a broken puppet. Though the room feels too small for big laughs, everyone’s chuckling quietly as DeNoto motors through a monologue in which he plays a losing coach confessing to running over his rival’s dog (“I’m not saying I was drunk ... because you can’t be drunk on meth”); then there’s the go-for-broke sound effects of a XXX old-time radio show called “Commie Dearest,” on which a cuckolded husband dismisses his wife’s Soviet seducer with “Your sexual ideas are just as underdeveloped as your political ones.” ZJU Theater Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Tues., 8:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 2. (818) 202-4120 or www.­zombiejoes.com. (Amy Nicholson)

Related Content

Now Trending

  • A Sex Play That's Not Really About Sex

    Oh, sex: Can we ever get over it? And if we do, what will there be to write about? What would the state of the world be if it weren't largely defined by overt and subliminal sexual impulses? Ian MacAllister-McDonald's new play, The Sexual Lives of Savages, presented by Skylight...

Slideshows

  • 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.