San Diego Theater Reviews

Foxfire: Appalachian lore

Not a musical, a play with music

The title, Foxfire, refers to a project started in 1966 by an English teacher in Appalachia who encouraged his students to hone their writing skills by documenting their family histories and Appalachian lore. They christened ...

Romeo and Juliet with an eighties dance party

That’s the issue with this production. The first half doesn’t match the second

This tragedy starts out looking like a big party. Fair enough. Many big parties end in tragedy. It’s a great party until somebody dies. That’s what I guess director Barry Edelstein is going for with ...

Pablo Picasso: the King of Trash

Art, creativity, family, politics, and truth

One of the most charming scenes in this tri-lingual, one-man show comes when Picasso takes the audience on a tour of his cluttered studio, explaining his dumpster-dive art: his late dog crafted out of a ...

The Tale of Despereaux: A romping good tale well-told

“If a story doesn’t connect with a child — well, where’s the fun in that?”

“The world is dark, and light is precious,” writes Kate DiCamillo in her novel The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread. Where are ...

The Luckiest: Perfect propaganda

That’s not art. That’s an emotional cudgel.

During this production, Aleque Reid (as Lissette) jumps agilely back and forth along the timeline of her debilitating illness. In one scene, she is a vigorously physical, dynamic, healthy woman; in the next, she is ...

The Old Globe’s As You Like It: Shakespeare that everyone can like

The enchantment of the final scene redeemed the scenic barenness

As You Like It is perhaps the Bard’s most delightful play and a perennial crowd pleaser. Cousins and best friends Rosalind and Celia are caught in the middle of a feud between their fathers. They ...

Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods: the forging of a friendship under stressful, high-stakes circumstances

Who Knew a Convo between Two Diplomats Could Be So Compelling?

It defies imagination that two hours listening to two people talking about arms negotiations could be watchable, let alone highly engaging. But playwright Lee Blessing has a keen insight into human nature and a benevolence ...

Jane Austen and the eighties

Frenzy and anger are tens on a scale of one to ten, and tens are unsustainable.

This odd mash-up of Jane Austen, eighties dance numbers, and broad farce works. The script adheres closely to the book’s plot and uses a lot of Austen’s language — a smart choice by playwright Kate ...

A lot of speechifying in Lynn Nottage’s Sweat

The script calls for all the characters to be far too angry for far too long.

This should have been a good story. Writer Lynn Nottage went to Reading, Pennsylvania — one of the poorest cities in the country — to talk to people about the effects of de-industrialization on the ...

American cowboy band stand-ins who recall Rowan Atkinson

Four-part harmonies, acoustic guitar, upright bass, and toe-tapping beats in Lambs Player's Chaps!

It’s 1944. The war is on. What to do when the American cowboy band doesn’t show up for a live, highly-hyped variety show on BBC radio? You rustle up some stand-ins. But pickins are slim ...

Charles and Diana: the difference between Mstislav Rostropovich and Duran Duran

Like speed reading a tabloid

Editor: This week marks Jeff Smith’s last as the Reader’s theater critic. Smith is the longest-standing writer at the paper, having started in 1980. Before joining us, he got his Ph.D. in literature and critical ...