Theater antireviews

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 ...

Bad stereotypes in Vantage Theatre's Color of Light

Playwright fails to answer the most interesting questions

My atheist friend and I had a long conversation about bad writing after seeingThe Color of Light: Story of Henri Matisse’s Final Masterpiece at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center. The premise for the play is ...

Vietgone at San Diego Rep offers a fresh take on boy meets girl

A good story is a good story regardless of its fiction to nonfiction ratio

There will always be boy-meets-girl and girl-meets-boy stories. However, I think it's safe to say that the genre is experiencing some fatigue. What better way to shake it up then to put the boy and ...

Beheading for treason was fashionable at the time

The Last Wife at Cygnet

The Last Wife is playing at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town through February 11. Who is the last wife? She is Katherine Parr the only woman to survive being married to King Henry VIII. Parr ...

Monsters that prowl the shadowy corners of memory

Tarrytown in University Heights

I like that Ichabod Crane believes in ghosts. Tom Zohar plays Ichabod in Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company’s debut production of Adam Wachter’s Tarrytown — with Katrina (Kay Marian McNellen) and Brom (Bryan Branville) similarly borrowed ...

Reindeer Monologues at OB Playhouse

The dark, unlovely picture painted by this play

We get the conceit of Santa’s eight reindeer from the reindeer husbandry practiced by the indigenous people of Fennoscandia. In Siberia, the locals shave curlicues of meat from frozen reindeer steaks, which they eat raw ...

Fly by Night: almost a metaphysical musical.

The "I don't know bro" of all things

When I see a title which includes “metaphysical musical” I’m expecting souls connecting on the astral plane based on the residue of previous lives which then stains future iterations of the same souls. You might ...