Theater antireviews

Intimate Apparel: sewing your life savings into a quilt

When we tell our own personal histories, they’re more reflective of how we wish to see ourselves

There are inherent tensions between how we are documented and how we view ourselves. We can hear this any time we listen to our own voices in an audio recording. Is that what I really ...

Noura need not be compared to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

The tale is replete with familial conflict, and the way those conflicts play out

The Old Globe website describes Noura as, “A riveting West Coast premiere loosely inspired by Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.” I agree, it is loosely related to A Doll’s House. Very loosely.So loosely, in fact, that ...

The way Lester Bangs loved it

Bangs, vis a vis Cameron Crowe, claimed that rock would cease to be real when it ceased to be “gloriously and righteously dumb.”

“It’s just a shame you missed out on rock ’n’ roll,” a 1973 Lester Bangs tells an emerging music writer he’s taken under his wing, “It’s over. You got here just in time for the ...

Amadeus: The victor is Mozart’s music

Putting Salieri in charge of the narrative relieves us of any controversy regarding the depiction of Mozart

If a show is only as good as its villain, then Amadeus is a great show. The title might refer to Mozart, but the show opens and closes with Salieri, the villain. The play, by ...

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little: never-marrieds unite! Or don’t

Generations of married folks were trained to think something must be wrong with anyone who remained unmarried late in life

What does society feel about unmarried people over the age 45? For most of our nation’s history, the majority of the population has been married, so the democratic question has typically been: how do married ...

Romeo and Juliet re-imagined with choreography

Because dance is a tribal language

The Romeo and Juliet I saw at The Old Globe recently tried to “re-imagine” the classic tale. Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story actually does it. The success of West Side Story lies in the fact ...

The Coast Starlight: journey over destination

Amtrak still tries to sell us on the idea of romance of the journey

Few modes of travel better exemplify the aphorism, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” than a train ride. America’s interstate rail system is neither faster nor cheaper than air travel, and if you take ...

Romeo and Juliet: Who were the Capulets and Montagues during Shakespeare’s day?

Democrats and Republicans are two feuding groups

“Wherefore art thou Romeo?” I’m assuming that’s a line you’ve heard before. For the purposes of this article, I’d like to change it to “Who-fore art thou Romeo?” Who were the Capulets and the Montagues? ...

Is Dogfight harmless after Tailhook scandal?

It is the symptom of a mindset which is the complete opposite of the Marine Corps motto

The musical Dogfight at Coronado Playhouse is set in the early 1960s at the start of the Vietnam War. In this show, we follow a cast of characters who participate in a competition to find ...

The scandalization of Steve Martin’s The Underpants

Merely invoking the word was deemed too suggestive for public consumption in the Berlin of a century ago.

The German satire Die Hose, by Carl Sternheim, depicts the aftermath of a Dusseldorf hullabaloo surrounding a lady’s undergarments having fallen down, in public. Predictably, some men are scandalized by the perceived immorality of it. ...

Whitesnake’s lonely street of dreams

Hardly great poetry, and barely good songwriting

“Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday,” the verse goes, “I know what it means / To walk along the lonely street of dreams.” "Lonely street of dreams" is hardly great poetry, and it’s ...

Dorothy’s alluring journey in the Wizard of Oz

The message to children of the American Midwest: stay on the farm

Over the past century plus, a number of bright minds have interpreted Wizard of Oz through the lens of late 19th-century politics, suggesting Frank L. Baum’s 1900 book (along with its subsequent stage and film ...

The villain’s journey in The Tale of Despereaux

The big question isn’t how the hero will end up, but how will the villain end up?

PigPen Theatre Co., which previously produced The Old Man and the Old Moon at the Old Globe, has now adapted the award-winning children’s novel The Tale of Despereaux into a musical stage production extraordinaire. (The ...

Summer showers with Shakespeare’s As You Like It at the Old Globe

What happens during one of these outdoor Shakespeare productions when it rains?

The Old Globe Theatre should probably be called the Old Globe Theatres. Three different venues make up the complex, two of them indoor. It’s the outdoor stage, the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, that hosts the ...

Mel Brooks’ The Producers: a parodic and skewed risk-reward scenario

Today’s Bialystock and Bloom

“Creative accounting” sets up the premise of the Mel Brooks movie turned musical The Producers, the story of two men who stage a Broadway musical designed to fail. The parodic idea is that the risk-reward ...