San Diego Theater Reviews

Cygnet's Animal Crackers full of dad jokes

Songs, tap dancing, and the wacky antics of the Marx Brothers

Every now and then I hear someone yearning for the days of Vaudeville. Yearn no more. Animal Crackers at Cygnet Theatre, while not technically Vaudeville, is close enough to satiate the nostalgia of even the ...

At the Old Place makes Chekhov seem operatic

La Jolla Playhouse's string of premieres

The La Jolla Playhouse is doing whole seasons with only world premieres. From musicals (artistic director Christopher Ashley won a Tony Award for his direction of the Playhouse’s Come From Away) to drama (Rebecca Taichman ...

Guys and Dolls — high-brow and low-brow

Old Globe takes over from colleges and high schools

Frank Loesser (1910–1969) grew up in such a refined household, he had to rebel. His family spoke elegant sentences, and his older brother was a classical pianist. So Loesser chose the wilder side. He cultivated ...

Young studs and dowager duchesses

Why are we still dismayed by trophy spouses?

If you’re feeling charitable: Loves and Hours opens with a May-December marriage. If you’re feeling more cynical: rich, egotistical old man, Harold (Paul Maley) gets himself a smokin’ hot gold digger of a trophy wife, ...

Breath of kings

No gaudy excesses or cartooned foppery in this King Richard

"Not all the water in the rough rude sea/ Can wash the balm from an anointed king./ The breath of worldly men cannot depose/ The deputy elected by the Lord.” Richard of Bordeaux became King ...

Infantile America

Sexy Baby Voice under fire

Early on in O.B. Playhouse’s production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Tara Sampson, playing one of many, interchangeable female characters in this musical revue of love and dating, leans heavy on the ...

The Old Man and the Old Moon, distracted by its own cleverness

A mash-up of Paul Bunyan, Jonah and the Whale, The Odyssey, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” So spoke William Butler Yeats. I’m going to repurpose this poem to discuss PigPen Theatre ...

Songs appear like far-off islands in Escape to Margaritaville

Rachel slams the same door on Tully that he’s been slamming on his conquests.

Times change. When Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” came out in 1977, the singer couldn’t find his salt shaker for said beverage. One might have thought, Poor dude, it won’t be the same. Today, the health-conscious would ...

Opposing views of American history, from Jim Crow to the Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights

The Delaney Sisters don’t like to be called “African-Americans.”

New Village Arts’ Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years is one of that company’s best shows in its 16 seasons. Sarah L. “Sadie” and Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany don’t like to be called ...

PigPen’s doozy about the end of the world

Chaos or wife?

The Old Globe’s multileveled set for The Old Man and the Old Moon — pilings, planks, and wooden boxes — suggests an ancient wharf. Downstage footlights and roughhewn boards say a 19th-century theater. As the ...

Silent Sky: Henrietta Leavitt goes beyond the Milky Way

Harvard Observatory at Lamb's Players

Sean Fanning has done it again. The Designer of the Year for 2016 converted Lamb’s Players’ stage into the Harvard Observatory. Laura Gunderson’s Silent Sky begins early in the 20th Century. Harvard has the state-of-the-art ...

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