Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A glorious glut of riches in San Diego's theater offerings

Trio of venues about relationships offers home run for buffs of the boards  

San Diego's gorgeous location between sea and mountains is fertile ground for cutting edge theater.


SAN DIEGO THEATER's March offerings are as fresh, varied and welcome as our recent weather.
Translate coastal sun, imposing skyline and rejuvenating breezes to the stage. You have a hint of the pleasures awaiting theater buffs.
Our theaters deliver -- from one end of San Diego to the other. A modern spin on restoration comedy, a look at an immigrant family in change and a story about neighbors all challenge and provoke, as good art should.
AT NORTH Coast Repertory Theater, "The School for Lies"  takes clever if naughty aim at the mores and hypocrisies of contemporary life. The energetic action unfolds in a 17th Century French drawing room, a la Moliere.   David Ives adapted the great Frenchman's play, "The Misanthrope," to write his contemporary work, replete with
Clever word play and terrific acting
mark North Coast Rep's latest.
  rhyming couplets. The opening night audience was weak from laughter.
San Diego Rep's  searing"Detroit"
was a Pulitzer prize finalist. 
A VERY DIFFERENT look at relationships unfolds at San Diego Repertory Theater, where "Detroit" puts a new spin on the "good neighbor" ethic of our youth.  Sam Woodhouse, a Rep founder, directs the show with his usual wit and daring, in the Lyceum at Horton Plaza.  Hold on to your hat for an emotional roller coaster into suburban life.
La JOLLA PLAYHOUSE's world premiere, "The Who & the What," is a tale of family challenged by changing times, the pull of conscience, tradition and relationships. It is an elegantly written, wonderfully acted and directed piece which runs through March 9.
Meera Rohit Kumbhani, Monika Jolly: "The Who and the What."
 Ayah Akhtar doesn't shy from controversial issues surrounding religion, sex and culture.
Fabulous acting  (here Kai Lennox
and Bernard White) marks 
the current LaJolla Playhouse work.
All three productions are imbued with humor and all encourage thoughtful discussion and contemplation.

LaJolla Playhouse hosts a savvy world premiere: "The Who and The What."
*LaJOLLA PLAYHOUSE brings us "Chasing the Song" in May and in June, a new musical from the "Memphis" creators.  It's set in the early 1960s when American rock 'n' roll was challenged by the British invasion.  The Playhouse's artistic director directs this, as he did "Memphis."  I can't wait for BD Wong in "The Orphan of Zhao."  He knocked my socks off in "M Butterfly" and this tale is described as "the Chinese 'Hamlet'." Other delights await -- the west coast premiere of "Ether Dome," Eugene Ionesco's "The Bald Soprano," by the high-powered Schwartz-Menken team and an intriguing play titled "Kingdom City," by Sheri Wilner. LaJollaPlayhouse.org

The San Diego Repertory at the Lyceum has another hit in "Detroit." 
*North Coast Repertory Theatre's season continues with  two world premieres: "Mandate Memories" opening April 9, a two-person exploration of a relationship between two unusual aging people, and "Faded Glory," telling the real-life story of a colorful 19th-century congressman and Civil War general. THE SEASON continues with the upbeat musical, "Romance, Romance'' and the Rep's yuletide homage, "The Humbug's Holiday Spectacular." School for Lies" plays through March 16. The Rep's artistic director David Ellenstein  directs both world premieres. northcoastrep.org
Now that we're between Mardi Gras
and St. Patrick's Day, a look at celebration.
*SAN DIEGO Repertory Theatre's season continues its intellectual adventures with Obie award-winning "Detroit," also running through March 16.  This well-acted, smartly directed production is a twisted suburban saga about two couples, secrets, excess,  loyalties and loneliness. The four-person ensemble -- beautifully cast -- carried out the high-energy play to the delight of opening nighters.  We laughed, pondered, enjoyed! Thoughtful, opinionated theater is the hallmark of SD Rep, whose season continues with a world premiere, "Mandate Memories," an original story of friendship, culture and loyalties.
CONSIDER subscribing to your community's  theater seasons.

COMING NEXT: We look at the legacy of Mardi Gras and visit a few of the celebrations Cookie and Keller have enjoyed worldwide. Remember to explore, learn and live, and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at:
Upcoming posts take a look at shipboard penthouses, the love of St. Patrick's Day and majestic Oak Alley Plantation. Please share the link if you think we're worthy!

1 comment:

  1. The downside of moving back to MT is that we don't have as many museums, theatres, etc as the big cities.