San Diego Theater Reviews

Bewitching trip though time and fantasy

Big Fish at Moonlight Stage is a magical winner

A new musical that has been compared to The Music Man and The Wizard of Oz — entitled simply, Big Fish — is currently bewitching audiences at the Moonlight Amphitheater. The story shifts between two ...

Shrill, grotesque love

Amazons and Their Men at Diversionary Theatre is good and could be great

Hitler called Leni Riefenstahl “my perfect German woman.” The first time she saw him, in 1932, she said “I feel very happy that such a man has come.” Riefenstahl opened the movie camera’s eye. In ...

Last Call: Violet

Catch the exceptional performances before the San Diego Rep show closes this Sunday

The perfect theatrical storm’s a seamless combination of a great production of a great play or musical. The audience goes to unforeseen places and becomes so attuned, as T. S. Eliot wrote, that they “are ...

The Rep plays Violet fast and loose and the Globe plays a thin Comedy of Errors

Bus ride to salvation

Violet studies faces. She even sketches their features in a book. For her own, she’d like a composite: Rita Hayworth’s skin, Ingrid Bergman’s cheekbones, and Grace Kelly’s petite nose. Violet’s obsessed with facial features. When ...

Bill Virchis knows what the theater community needs right now

San Diego theater needs an Incubator, says accomplished, devoted local

If there were a San Diego Theater Hall of Fame, William Virchis would be a first ballot honoree. He has acted, directed, and produced theater almost since his birth, in 1944. He’s also taught thousands ...

Last Call: West Side Story, Parlour Song

Two quality shows must close this Sunday. One enjoyed an extended run. The other deserved one.

West Side Story. “Here come the Jets like a bat out of hell, someone gets in our way, someone don’t feel so well!” Lamb’s Players excellent show has enjoyed an extended run with good reason: ...

Gigantic proportions

Shrek: The Musical is noisy, bright, and beautiful

Shrek: The Musical is part romance, part twisted fairy and all irreverent fun, and the large cast is currently strutting their stuff at the Moonlight Amphitheater. Based on the Oscar-winning film from Dreamworks, the show ...

No buffer zones

In Parlour Song at Backyard Renaissance, sea beasts lurk and rove below a mirror-still surface

Toward the end of Jez Butterworth’s eerie, Pinteresque Parlour Song, Dale ruminates. What if you find a door in your house you never knew was there before. “Would you open it?” Ned blows up buildings ...

My Acting Bucket List: Francis Gercke

The Craig Noel Award-winner puts a twist on his list and selects stories instead of roles

I’m asking veteran 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 that ...

Cirque du Chaotic

Too much crammed into too little at the Playhouse's Up Here

Long before the dancing cacti showed up or Audrey III flapped mastic jaws in a pile of laundry, I began to wonder if Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s romantic-comedy musical, Up Here, was actually a ...

Absurdist inquisition

The Birthday Party at New Fortune Theatre is funny, until it isn't.

When a young actor, Harold Pinter needed a place to stay at a rainy, seaside town. A man in a pub suggested a nearby boarding house, but couldn’t vouch for its cleanliness. Pinter lodged in ...

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