Theater antireviews

Embarrassed by tragedy

The actors indeed had to soldier on through the titters and giggles of the audience

“The most certain sign of decadence in a nation is the fact that it cannot witness the performance of tragedy but must ever be titillated by comic entertainments.” –St. John G. Ervine, author of John ...

Fight the empathy shortage

A Thousand Splendid Suns and the plight of The Afghan Girl

Afghanistan’s most famous face belongs to a name few have ever heard: Sharbat Gula. Mainly, she’s famous for enduring a very, very difficult life. As a child, she trekked fifty mountainous miles to escape the ...

Bless your little heart

Southern women shine in Steel Magnolias

I went to college in Dallas, which is not really in the South, but is a sort of first cousin. We had our share of Southern Belles on campus, including one of my roommates. One ...

Creation vs. consumption

Rothko believes his paintings are living, pulsing, communicating beings

“I wonder if they will forgive me?” painter Mark Rothko asks towards the end of Red. “They” are his paintings, and what he needs forgiveness for is hanging them in the posh Four Seasons restaurant ...

Sixth-level drama geek

With its back to us, the set conjures a mirror universe.

Stage backdrops exist in the same way Newton’s Laws exist. They establish which direction is up, and remind us two solid objects cannot occupy the same space. However, once we understand the basic framework, they’re ...

The tragedy of Peter Pan

Wendy chose the better part

Peter and the Starcatcher! was inspired by Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, a narrative that has inspired 25 fiction books, 22 plays, 16 movies, 11 television shows, 9 comics, 7 video games, and a radio ...

Making Men on Boats read as comedy

A good time was had by all, laughing at the man-spreading and chest-beating.

While watching Men On Boats, I hearkened back to a production of Julius Caesar at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. The atmosphere before the show was electric: this is actually Shakespeare’s Globe! We were thrilled: London ...

American Mariachi at the Old Globe

Our most accomplished musicians don’t show up in mainstream culture

Occasionally, an experience forces me to reflect on just how much American culture has twisted around what we pay attention to in music. And I don’t know whether to be proud or disturbed. Manufactured pop ...

Listen to the kebab guy

Charles III, folk wisdom, and the survival of England

Shakespeare is universally acknowledged to be the greatest English playwright, yet very few playwrights have the audacity to leap the cultural and historical chasm and try to imitate him. I get it. First, there’s the ...

The joys of groan-inducing dad jokes

There is no doubt that Finest City Improv is a better experience than watching improv on your phone or a TV

I admit that it was with some trepidation that I went to Finest City Improv. The location was a small theater on Louisiana Street just behind the Lafayette Hotel and its notorious Red Fox Room. ...

Lamb's Players goes Camping with Henry and Tom

Loving is hard. Being flattered is easy

“I am not your friend!” Thomas Edison tells Henry Ford early on in Camping with Henry and Tom “Of course we’re friends,” Ford protests. “Why else would we spend time together?” “Because we each enjoy ...

The Old Globe's Uncle Vanya should make you appreciate the internet

Vanya could have used the handle @oldmanregretful

Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov runs through March 11 at The Old Globe in Balboa Park. It is a devastating story based on not having an iPhone. You think I jest? I am as serious ...

The jokes hold up in Old Globe's Importance of Being Earnest

Superiority to Hot Shots: Part Deux is the least of its accomplishments.

I laughed myself into a coughing fit after only fifteen minutes of the Old Globe’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest. In fairness, I also cracked up over the film version where Reese Witherspoon ...

My 14-year-old niece is the reason I saw Hamilton?

“Did you know Hamilton started the New York Post to badmouth his political enemies?”

Sitting in a sold out Civic Theater, 15 minutes til showtime of the undisputed theatrical event of the season, and as the seats begin to fill it dawns on me: I’m not the only one ...

Plays and actors to look out for in San Diego

Not overwhelmed, but definitely whelmed

Director in demand — Christopher Ashley The La Jolla Playhouse’s artistic director Christopher Ashley won the 2017 Tony Award for best director of a musical, the playhouse’s Broadway hit Come From Away. So, what’s he ...

Get $5 off any Reader event

Sign up for our email list to get your promo code

Close