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…

Globe Goes Gloomy for Shakespeare

By Welton Jones | July 3, 2012 |

The Old Globe’s summer Shakespeare repertory is set in a drab, Eastern European world of bullies and bloodshed. “As You Like It” manages to detach and float free, spreading its serene glories as a unique theatrical masterpiece. But “Richard III” remains bogged down in the loathsome blight of its hypnotic title character. That one genius could have created, four centuries ago, both this Rosalind and this Richard celebrates again the mysteries of art. Lindsay Posner’s staging of “Richard III” concentrates exclusively on  the title role, a part that always has fascinated audiences with its ranting malevolence. There are a few…

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