San Diego Theater Reviews

Tuna casserole made funny in Manifest Destinitis

Yankee flu symptoms include “a deep, abiding terror of losing one’s land, family, language, and Spanish culture.”

San Diego sees many world premieres in various stages of readiness. The San Diego Rep’s opening night for Manifest Destinitis didn’t feel new at all. To a person the cast and designers performed as if ...

Steve Martin has no point

Who needs clarity when you have charm and humor?

Why do we say what we say? It’s not always a clear choice. Sometimes we just say stuff. Where do the words come from? Who’s in there calling the shots? It could be a single ...

Act two, scene five alone is worth the money

Humor turns things inside out in The Producers at San Diego Musical Theatre

After he screened a rough cut of A History of the World, Part One to friends, Mel Brooks ran down the aisle yelling, “I can fix it! I can fix it!” He didn’t fix The ...

Comic joys and boy-toys

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Scripps Ranch Theatre

According to Christopher Durang, author of Vanya and Sonia and Masha, and Spike, “My play is not a Chekhov parody. I take Chekhov scenes and characters and put them in a blender.” Although his characters ...

Chinese achievers, American idiots — La Jolla Playhouse stages Tiger Style!

What pants are and how they work

Mike Lew’s Tiger Style! is a kind of 21st-century bildungsroman for sibling protagonists, Jennifer (Jackie Chung) and Albert Chen (Raymond J. Lee), and it tells its story largely by holding popular stereotypes up to the ...

Professional rookies

“Why didn’t you tell me life would be hard because I’m Asian?”

Jennifer Chen sees a therapist for the first time. And she comes prepared: a list of her phobias, one of her shortcomings, another with her attributes. She can’t simply explore personal issues. She must be ...

Instead of floating daggers...

peerless at Moxie Theatre

Mike Lew’s Tiger Style! at La Jolla Playhouse shows the effects of super-strict parenting on two Chinese-Americans. Jennifer and Albert dove through every academic hoop cum laude but find themselves a few years later without ...

Ascending Mt. Bard

On directing Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

Carla Nell, artistic director of InnerMission Productions, directed Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, performed last month. It was her initial attempt at the Bard. I asked her how it feels to climb that mountain for ...

Last Call: Love's Labor's Lost at Old Globe

A comeuppance for the imagined heirs of all eternity

One of the year’s better productions must close this Sunday. Even with the play’s disturbing, though fully justified, un-comic ending, the Old Globe’s Love’s Labor’s Lost is a keeper. Two things: 1) People watch the ...

Fiddler jumps off the roof

Loudness is not passion and energy is not conviction.

I saw a Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof on Thursday, August 18. The set and lighting were perfect. The orchestra glimmered with the polish of a thousand and one performances. Dancers executed modern ...

Sacred Brahmins

The Cocktail Hour at North Coast Repertory Theatre

A dying tradition. Like the old New England dining rooms, which A. R. Gurney, Jr., also wrote about, the cocktail hour was a special time for East Coast Brahmins at day’s end. They could unwind, ...

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