San Diego Theater Reviews

Last Call: Rocky Horror, Way Downriver

Explorations of the satisfaction in time-warping and doing time

The Rocky Horror Show at Cygnet “It’s astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll…” Riffraff sings these lines as he invites Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, innocents both, to do the “Time Warp” in ...

Rogue river

North Coast Rep's Way Downriver, set in Louisiana, 1927

Though most had "lived within the shadow of the levee," some "had never even seen the river."

Adultery, incest, through a lens of dark humor

Jesus Hates Me at Ion Theatre

A low-budget New Testament–themed miniature golf course, complete with a life-sized mannequin of Jesus hanging by a cross with duct tape. Sound a little crazy? That’s what the people of a small town in West ...

The pain that connects us

Big River at New Village Arts

The 1985 musical, based on Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, follows Huck and his companion Jim as they search for freedom on the Mississippi River. Huck escapes an abusive father. Jim escapes the bonds ...

Estranged from the darkness

Where will you be when the world ends?

Where will you be when the world as we know it ends? What will you be doing? Will you be at home, tucked in bed and sleeping soundly with your beloved at your side? Or, ...

Beekeeper meets physicist

Constellations at Old Globe Theatre

Beekeeper meets physicist at a party. Neither is adept at romance. Roland (the beekeeper) says the wrong thing. Marianne (the physicist who studies “theoretical early universe cosmology”) backs out. Blackout. Lights up — same scenario: ...

The takeout junkie trope

Odd to hold such merciless opinions on something so innocuous as takeout food

In Scripps Ranch Theatre’s production of Skin Deep, female lead, Maureen Mulligan — played to the Irish Catholic spinster extreme by Brenda Adelman — seems to survive on a steady diet of takeout food, the ...

When Victorian propriety fell apart

Notes for The Elephant Man

I won’t be able to review, and therefore shouldn’t comment, on Backyard Renaissance/Oceanside Theatre Company’s production of The Elephant Man. I dramaturged the play twice before and, when asked, did a talk for the cast ...

Tropical Maugham

Better served not to mention Somerset Maugham

The Old Globe has created a new musical based on the short story, Rain, by Somerset Maugham. Transferring the stark characters of Maugham’s story into a musical theater setting is a daunting task. Maugham’s characters ...

Rain falls on the Old Globe stage

We all want new lives

“She’ll be starved and tortured...I want her to accept the punishment of man as a sacrifice to God.”

Wallow in the awkwardness

Skin Deep at Scripps Ranch Theatre

Jon Lonoff’s comedy is scoring many laughs at Scripps Ranch. The play has one of the simplest plots ever. An overweight, insecure woman meets a rough-cut but sweet guy. They fall for each other. Then ...

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