Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith is the senior writer at the Reader; he began reviewing theater in 1980. He also writes a local history column. He has a Ph.D. in literature and critical theory from the University of California, Irvine, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Shakespeare. He was the original writing director of two University of California freshman composition programs: the Humanities Core Course, at Irvine, and the Revelle Humanities/Writing Program at UCSD. Over the years, Jeff has dramaturged dozens of shows. Favorites include Sam Shepard’s Tooth of Crime, Peter Barnes’s Red Noses (both at the San Diego Rep), Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (North Coast Rep), Things May Disimprove: Samuel Becket One-Acts (L&L Productions), and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (New Village Arts).

Latest Articles

More about surfaces than depths

Gutenberg! The Musical at Backyard Renaissance

With their new musical, Doug and Bud can’t see the forest or the trees. They only see a long Broadway run, a sweep of all the awards, eternal fame, the usual... Somehow they’ve arranged a ...

End of the road, which began in California

Airline Highway at Ion Theatre

Miss Ruby, erstwhile burlesque diva and longtime resident of the Hummingbird Hotel, is dying. Instead of friends paying tribute to her coffin, Ruby wants her funeral now, while she can still appreciate them. In Lisa ...

Last Call: Junk: The Golden Age of Debt and Free Speech (While Supplies Last)

Two performances indicating the cause and effect of where we are today

Two shows at La Jolla Playhouse must close this Sunday. Taken together, they’re practically a cause and effect of where we are today. Junk: The Golden Age of Debt. It's 1985, and Robert Merkin’s on ...

Meteor Shower — this is a play by Steve Martin, after all

One night in Ojai...

Laura suffers from “Exploding Head Syndrome.” A mere soupçon of stress and — ka-bloooey!

The Golden Age of Debt takes the La Jolla Playhouse stage

Spin, euphemism, glittering generalities — ah, yes, the language of today.

David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross takes place in 1983. His desperate real estate salesmen will do anything to put their name on the board with a big sale. That would validate their worth, literally prove ...

Hungry for sass

My acting bucket list: Cashae Monya

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 ...

Last Call: Four noteworthy musicals must close

Go see Jesus, Fats, Sylvia, and/or Buddy soon

Musicals hath charms to soothe the most savage of beasts. Four must close this weekend. Jesus Christ Superstar One of the tightest, most balanced shows I’ve seen at the Welk in some time. Ray Limon’s ...

The hits often direct, the misses by a mile

Free Speech (While Supplies Last) at La Jolla Playhouse

According to Second City’s Free Speech, there’s a store in Brooklyn called Bang. It’s an Artisanal Firearms Boutique. They make shopping for munitions a New Age experience. They do criminal background and past-lives regression checks, ...

Creatin' "Ain't Misbehavin'"

Song of the rabbit and the duck

“I don’t stay out late/ Don’t care to go I’m home about eight/ Just me and my radio/ Ain’t misbehavin’ I’m savin’ my love for you.” The singer of Fats Waller and Andy Razef’s classic ...

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