San Diego Theater Reviews

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Last call: Oedipus El Rey, You Can't Take It with You, Baby with the Bathwater

Three very different, beautifully performed shows must end their runs this Sunday.

Oedipus El Rey, San Diego Rep. This isn’t Sophocles’ Oedipus, its playwright Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus Gomez. He rises from prison to become a Scarface-like, L.A. drug lord who has faith only in himself (“God’s ego’s ...

Infectious exuberance

Wonderful My Fair Lady enthralls at Cygnet

“I could’ve donced all night, I could’ve donced all night” — at least half the audience at intermission, it seemed, bounced up the aisles at Cygnet Theatre singing this song, including the accent! And when ...

Divided, disconnected

Made and missed connections in story and on stage in Kin at Ion Theatre

Anna didn’t get her wish. She wanted to write her doctoral dissertation on punctuation in Emily Dickenson’s poems but couldn’t. So she wrote on how John Keats punctuated his. Bathsheba Doran’s Kin begins with Anna’s ...

Not for all their wealth

Pay-to-play stage roles for rich women — but would the manager ever let one play a lead?

I found this in the San Diego Union, July 8, 1887, a reprint from the New York Mail and Daily Express. The best dressed character in the show spoke only ten lines. “Her costume was ...

Unfolding fatality

SD Rep presents marvelous, tragic version of Oedipus El Rey

A young man and an older woman, both naked, make tender love in silk sheets amid a roseate aura. They haven’t known each other long, but found common goals and dreams. A blazing sense they ...

Humor in the tolerance of grief

Dark material and problematic tempo don't derail comedy in Chapter Two at North Coast Repertory Theatre

(When I began this job in 1980, pickings were slim, and I dreamed of a thriving, nationally-acclaimed theater community. Now we have one, and there’s much more theater than one critic can cover. So I ...

Harsh and tender

Passion & Honey's choreo-poems share deep feeling at Ira Aldridge Repertory Players

Artistic director Calvin Manson opens the Ira Aldridge Repertory Players 31st season with its 199th production, a choreo-poem, based on his poetry, that begins in innocence and concludes in tragedy — and hope. Ntozsake Shange ...

Jacque Wilke's acting bucket list

Dream roles include characters who run the gamut — quirky, bold, meaty, powerful, and hated

I’m asking veteran local actors to name five dream roles and say why. The answers not only reveal aspirations, they may put an idea in the minds of artistic directors and producers — even choices ...

Life’s kind of beautiful

Lamb’s Players ensemble takes on Moss Hart’s eccentric Vanderhofs

Mr. De Pinna delivered ice to the Vanderhof home eight years ago, and stayed. When Mr. De Pinna isn’t modeling for one of Penny Sycamore’s paintings, he and her husband Paul experiment with explosives in ...

Genuine horror

Inferior superiors are a scream in Diversionary's Baby with the Bathwater

White bassinet, spot-lit center stage. Surrounding darkness makes it seem whiter, even more innocent. John and Helen, the parents howling over the child, couldn’t be more menacing if they sucked on crack-pipes and wielded chainsaws. ...

Lasting impermanence

3 Plays in a Tattoo Shop a little too lax but not lacking electric moments

The set, Full Circle Tattoo at 2312 30th Street in South Park, couldn’t be more authentic. Maybe 100 pictorial choices are framed on the walls, along with rows of knickknacks suggesting other possible “skin illustrations.” ...

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