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KCRW's Theatre Talk: Episodes

<p>It?s no surprise that awards?and awards shows?are more arbitrary and less official than they would have you believe, but this year?s two biggest theater awards have shown just how imperfect and devalued these awards can be.</p><div class="feedflare">
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Today we're going to talk about the future of theater ? and how you may be watching it at movie theaters or even on your laptop...</p><div class="feedflare">
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<p>Last week and this week have been a festival of riches for fans of big, innovative operatic work. The main event that kicked off one week ago was Los Angeles Opera's Ring Festival LA. The centerpiece of this two-and-a-half month celebration is of course is the four part, 17-hour tetrology, <em>The ...
<p>A big, ambitious, and rough new drama is currently receiving its World Premiere in Culver City. It's called <em>The Wake</em> and it's a must-see before it moves north to Berkeley Rep and inevitably east to New York...</p><div class="feedflare">
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<p>One of the best Off-Broadway plays of last year ? one that hasn't made it to Los Angeles yet ? was titled <em>Becky Shaw</em>. Written by veteran <em>Law &amp; Order</em> writer Gina Gionfriddo, <em>Becky Shaw</em> was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and it offered a wonderful, dark look ...
<p>In the world of theatrical American music two men stand out. In
musicals, it's Stephen Sondheim and in opera, it's John Adams. This
week, here in Los Angeles, both men are receiving faithful and lively
revivals of the first works they composed in these forms they are most
famous for...</p><div class="feedflare">
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<p>There are some subjects that just feel right for musicals ? a singing
family in the Alps, for example, or a backstage look at dancer's
audition. And then there are subjects that don't feel so right for
musicals ? like lynch mobs or electric chairs. Los Angeles saw one such
musical last year: Jason ...
<p>Okay, we have to talk about Shakespeare. Last week I was in New York to see this year's installment of the Bridge Project, an ambitious, imperfect but exciting endeavor that attempts to stage repertory theater at a high, international level of quality...</p><div class="feedflare">
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<p>The lives of artists, especially painters, are very tempting to put on stage. Not only do you have the inherent conflict that comes with tempestuous artistic personalities, but you also have a singular visual element to give the show...</p><div class="feedflare">
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<p>Theatergoers today are living through the downsizing of the American musical. When Rodgers &amp; Hammerstein's <em>Carousel</em> premiered on Broadway in 1945 it boasted over 60 actors, singers and dancers on the stage of the Majestic Theatre; the recent Reprise Theatre Company production in Westwood, ...
<p>Those are the triumphant opening bars of Lerner and Loewe's musical <em>Camelot </em>? a show that opened less than a month after JFK was elected president. To hear its music today (even in the tasteful, scaled-down version recently heard at the Pasadena Playhouse) is to think back to the mythical ...
<p>Each week in this town, brave performers mount tiny shows in tiny theaters hoping that someone will spot their talent. In 1980, Paul Reubens was one of those brave souls. He gathered some friends and used as much money as he could muster to stage something at the Roxy Theatre called <em>The Pee-Wee ...
<p>Last week, the New Year kicked in with almost different 30 productions opening in Southern California. Sadly, I didn't see a single one of them, as I've been on assignment in New York, interviewing the actor/comedian Eddie Izzard who performs his stand up show next weekend at the Nokia Theatre downtown. ...
<p>Hosting the world premiere of a new work is a big deal for a theater. It gives the company a boost of publicity plus lasting bona fides if the play goes on to better things?it also helps the theater attract talent, as top actors and directors like to be able to say they were there first...</p><div ...
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<em>The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof</em>, and <em>A Streetcar Named Desire</em> are perhaps the most well-known American plays in the modern theatrical repertoire. Revivals of these three Tennessee Williams classics are frequent and often noteworthy, as big stars are attracted to the ...
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What's more difficult: making a movie out of a well-known Broadway
musical or making a Broadway musical out of a well-known movie? Audiences here in Los Angeles have a great chance to contemplate this question over the next few weeks...</p><div class="feedflare">
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<p>A less subtle title for Bill Cain's new play <em>Equivocation</em> would be "Shakespeare in War." Just as <em>Shakespeare in Love</em> (the Oscar-winning 1998 film, written by Marc Norman with help from Tom
Stoppard) implies that a love affair inspired the Bard's greatest
comedy, <em>Twelfth Night</em>, ...
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The big news in the Southern California performing arts world this week was Los Angeles Opera received an emergency loan from the County on Tuesday to the tune of $14 million. In the last few years LA Opera has become one of the most important and innovative opera companies in the country, attracting ...
<p>Before Harold Pinter passed away last December, the final production the playwright was involved with was a West End revival of his 1975 drama <em>No Man's Land</em>. Pinter was at the opening night of Rupert Goold's staging last fall, which was polished if not particularly probing. Michael Gambon ...
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