By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
In order to address this and other question inherent in the play, the ensemble all faces the audiences, snaps their fingers and moves synchronistically to rhumbas.
Alger's text takes lines from Williams' play and spins them into new rhythms, so that the word "click," for example, is used to mean both the moment when alcohol kicks in and makes life bearable, and a moment of epiphany. The word recurs, as though in a poem.
In many ways the style of presentation matches that of The Royale: staccato rhythms, actors talking to/at each other while facing the audience, musicality framing the event.
9820 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Region: Culver City
Yet Hot Cat is as ironic as The Royale is earnest — until the finale, a moving pas de deux between the estranged Maggie and Brick, set to the laconic sounds of a piano, in which the entire lunatic tragedy settles into a poignant tenderness.
A similar tenderness comes at the end of The Royale, where the agony of a painful decision is set in an almost tragic counterpoint to the rage underlying it. Both works contain the brutality of survival, and though one is a story of success and the other of failure, each comes shrouded in compassion — so much more moving than the glibness that has punctuated our theater for the past decade.
THE ROYALE | By Marco Ramirez | Presented by Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City | Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m. (no mat. May 11; no perfs May 14 & 15); through June 2 | (213) 628-2772 | centertheatregroup.org
HOT CAT | Directed and choreographed by Tina Kronis, text by Richard Alger | Presented by Theatre Movement Bazaar at Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd. | Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; through June 1 | (323) 856-8611 | theatreofnote.com