Figure 8, Boom, The Treatment and More New Reviews ...
Our critics were in good spirits this week, with good notices for Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's relationship drama Boom, presented by Alive Theatre, in residence at the Long Beach Playhouse; Katori Hall's Hoodoo Love at The Complex/Ruby Theatre; Theatre Movement Bazaar's adaptation of a Chekhov short story, The Treatment, at Theatre @ Boston Court; Lee Tonouchi's drama Three Year Swim Club at East West Players; and Classical Theatre Lab's rendition of Ionesco's tragicomedy Exit the King at Plummer Park's Fiesta Hall. Click here for all the latest New Theater Reviews, or go to the jump.
Late Wednesday, check out this coming week's Stage Features: a review of Ian MacKinnon's salacious one-man Gay Hist-Orgy! Part 1 and 2 at Moving Arts in Silver Lake; and one key to Pacific Resident Theater's kingdom, according to artistic director Marilyn Fox.
NEW THEATER REVIEWS, scheduled for publication March 1, 2012
GO BOOM So a girl (Jo, played by Julie Civiello) responds to an online ad from a guy (Jules, played by Angel Correa) and they meet at his place for their first date. The ad is for a casual encounter rather than a relationship, a fact that Jo reveals when she accosts Jules with the demand of "Sex, now!" The tiny difference between this carnal encounter and any other, however, is the fact that Jules' "place" is his marine biology lab, which he has rigged up as an underground bunker. The other tiny difference is that a comet crashes into the Earth, destroying everyone but Jo and Jules. If you're looking for a play with high stakes, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb has concocted a scenario that's hard to top. He's also concocted a clever third character in Barbara (a wryly hilarious Michelle Holmes), who lives outside the frame of Jo and Jules' existence and is part docent, part deus ex machina and part sound-effects machine. Director Caitlin Sullivan Hart successfully weaves disparate elements into an eventually coherent whole, aided by the incredible energies and bold choices of Correa and Civiello. Capping off the tale is a twist that not only organically connects Barbara to the story but also serves as clever commentary on evolution and theology. Alive Theatre at the Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through March 10. (562) 494-1014, lbplayhouse.org. (Mayank Keshaviah)
The late Martha Graham liked to say that the body does not lie, that movement does not lie. With writer-partner Richard Alger, director-choreographer Tina Kronis and her Theatre Movement Bazaar company have developed Graham's ethos into a strikingly original and expressive form of physical theater whose thrilling lyricism and cool élan have powered an impressive cycle of playfully probing adaptations of Chekhov. The pair's latest entry in the series does not disappoint. This time out, Kronis and Alger use Chekhov's wryly satirical short story "Ward No. 6" as inspiration for a captivating, Brechtian parable of cupidity, solipsism and self-deceptive illusion. After years of pining away for intellectually stimulating company, Dr. Ragin (Mark Doerr), the impotent director of a pestilential provincial hospital, believes he has met his match in Gromov (the fine Mark Skeens), an articulate but hopelessly paranoid psychotic condemned to the institution's infamous lunatic wing, Ward 6. Ragin actually taking an interest in a patient only sets off an ironic chain reaction of his undoing. Alger peppers the play with enough anachronisms and contemporary cultural references to drive home the parallel to our own perilous times, while Kronis stirs the pot with exhilarating dance sequences executed by her precision-perfect ensemble and given added lift by a polished, poetic production design. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through March 25. (626) 683-6883, www.bostoncourt.com. (Bill Raden)
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