Cygnet’s La Mancha: Faithful But No New Insights

By Bill Eadie | July 23, 2012 |
Sean Murray, Erika Beth Phillips, and Bryan Barbarin

Audiences dreamed the impossible dream when “Man of La Mancha” opened in 1965. Despite his recent assassination, John F. Kennedy’s Camelot era still ruled both the national mood and the Broadway stage. The cynicism that accompanied a prolonged war and battles for civil and other rights would not set in for a couple of years yet.  Memory of political repression during the post-World War II era was keen, however, so a musical about Miguel de Cervantes, aka Don Quixote, a cockeyed idealist set against the Spanish Inquisition resonated strongly and was widely cheered. That era came and went quickly and…

Stars Collide With Dull Thrump

By Welton Jones | July 21, 2012 |

If Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are arguing esthetics, we want to be there, right? Well, it really happened, apparently, in 16th Century Florence, just after Michelangelo had finished his David and Da Vinci was starting his Mona Lisa. All Florence was abuzz, it seems, with their rivalry. Too bad we have, not an eye-witness account, but only “Divine Rivalry,” a shambling play by Michael Kramer and D.S. Moynihan, now at the Old Globe Theatre in a production as gorgeous physically as it is soporific theatrically. The actors slouch and shout at each other. Their body language suggests confusion; their…

‘La Femme Tragique’ at Les Girls

By Kris Eitland | July 18, 2012 |

I am not a big fan of burlesque and rarely enjoy butoh – so many sad characters and powdered angst.  But Kata Pierce’s press release caught my attention:  Golden Corpse Butoh Ensemble presents “La Femme Tragique: The Story of Memorie” at Les Girls Theater. Les Girls is an all-nude strip club off Rosecrans. It’s hard to miss the giant sign. Goofy cabaret laws allow patrons over age 18 to watch naked women and sip soft drinks.  There is no alcohol.  A sign above the entrance warns of nudity inside, but I doubt many visitors run away after reading it. The theater will…

Globe’s Stale Wind

By Welton Jones | July 15, 2012 |
read your bible

The years have not been good to “Inherit the Wind,” the 1955 play in which Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee used a landmark evolution trial to comment on Sen. Joe McCarthy’s hunt for commies in government. The so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925 tested a state law against teaching Charles Darwin’s evolution theory. The sensational proceedings resulted in a verdict of guilty and a fine of $100 for the defendant. But it was the spectacle of William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense that caught the public imagination, proved to be a sold-out smash…

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