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BWW Review: RICHARD III by Lit Moon Theatre Company BWW Review: RICHARD III by Lit Moon Theatre Company
by Maggie Yates - March 24, 2017

Lit Moon's highly stylized version of 'Richard III' is strangely appealing (albeit disjointed and inaccessible—especially for those without a fairly thorough grasp of the narrative). This envisioning of the play tends more toward a performance-art installation than overtly representational theatre.... (more...)
BWW Review: MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY at UCSB Department Of Theater And Dance BWW Review: MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY at UCSB Department Of Theater And Dance
by Maggie Yates - March 10, 2017

In the UCSB Department of Theatre and Dance's production of Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, The Simpsons is not only significant, it's a currency that determines characters' livelihoods--and potentially their survival. Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, written by Anne Washburn and directed by Tom Wh... (more...)
BWW Review: BLOOD WEDDING at Westmont Theatre Department BWW Review: BLOOD WEDDING at Westmont Theatre Department
by Maggie Yates - March 08, 2017

The earthy aesthetic of this production suits the pastoral lifeblood of the play. The set, designed by Yuri Okahana and built in layers of depth, gives the feeling of expanse and isolation. Performers create a slowly shifting backdrop of gentle choreography. In this setting, Lorca's tale of a love t... (more...)
BWW Review: LYDIA at UCSB Department Of Theater And Dance BWW Review: LYDIA at UCSB Department Of Theater And Dance
by Maggie Yates - February 24, 2017

Lydia, a soothsaying stranger, is an immigrant from Mexico who works as a live-in maid for the Flores family. Her influence propels the family, already in massive disrepair, toward the inevitable pain of sudden truths revealed.... (more...)
BWW Review: HARD RAIN: A THEATRICAL PROTEST Presents Thoughts on the Election BWW Review: HARD RAIN: A THEATRICAL PROTEST Presents Thoughts on the Election
by Maggie Yates - December 28, 2016

'Hard Rain: A Theatrical Protest' offered a workshop view of six new dramatic renderings of the American experience in this time of political turbulence. Commissioned and curated by John Blondell, this festival included short works inspired by the recent election. These early drafts functioned well ... (more...)
BWW Review: CHAPTER TWO Shows the Happy Heartbreak of Starting Over BWW Review: CHAPTER TWO Shows the Happy Heartbreak of Starting Over
by Maggie Yates - December 09, 2016

Ensemble's production of Chapter Two, Neil Simon's 1977 living-room comedy about a second marriage, tackles the problems that come with an obsession with the past.... (more...)
SINNER/SAINT Gives History and Future of LGBTQ SINNER/SAINT Gives History and Future of LGBTQ
by Maggie Yates - October 25, 2016

Sinner/Saint is not an indictment of the Christian community--it's a bittersweet and genuine storytelling experience that offers the most vulnerable aspects of the Christian-LGBTQ reconciliation movement: anxiety, denial, desperation for approval, sadness, forgiveness, and healing. ... (more...)
BWW Review: MACBETH Brings Smoke and Mirrors and Projections to the Nightmare in Scotland BWW Review: MACBETH Brings Smoke and Mirrors and Projections to the Nightmare in Scotland
by Maggie Yates - October 07, 2016

MACBETH Brings Smoke and Mirrors and Projections to the Nightmare in Scotland.... (more...)
BWW REVIEW: IN A WORD In a Mortuary BWW REVIEW: IN A WORD In a Mortuary
by Maggie Yates - September 30, 2016

Elements Theatre Collective Presents: 'In a Word' Since the disappearance of her son two years ago, Fiona has created a narrative of her version of events born from grief, regret, and the guilt of unspoken relief of being freed from the burden of a special needs child she was not equipped to handle... (more...)
BWW Review: Sultry Tango and Sly Humor Make MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING a Fun Shakespearian Frolic BWW Review: Sultry Tango and Sly Humor Make MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING a Fun Shakespearian Frolic
by Maggie Yates - September 29, 2016

'Much Ado About Nothing' is a Shakespearian comedy that plays, essentially, on the idea that gossip is a bitch. With sultry tango, occasional jovial singing, and slapstick stalking throughout the playing space, 'Much Ado About Nothing' is a natural, entertaining Shakespearian experience.... (more...)
BWW Review: LitMoon's THE GLASS MENAGERIE Shows Life After the Bough Breaks BWW Review: LitMoon's THE GLASS MENAGERIE Shows Life After the Bough Breaks
by Maggie Yates - September 15, 2016

Litmoon's production captures the resounding void of the Wingfields' desperation. 'The Glass Menagerie's' characters, flawed past self-awareness, anxiously grasp at a lifestyle unavailable to them. The audience champions their hopes while simultaneously recognizing the folly of their untenable desir... (more...)
BWW Review: VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Aren't Enough of a Party BWW Review: VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Aren't Enough of a Party
by Maggie Yates - July 26, 2016

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a play with enjoyable moments and talented performers. Unfortunately, the production simply has too limited a range of emotion to be memorable.... (more...)
BWW Review: The Hollywood Fringe Festival in SB BWW Review: The Hollywood Fringe Festival in SB
by Maggie Yates - July 16, 2016

Devised, written, directed, and performed by Jeff Mills, Erica Flor, and Madelyn Robinson: Proboscis Theatre's recent efforts, 'Bloody Beautiful' and 'Strap-On,' are intimate and provocative works that delve into personality manifestation.... (more...)
BWW Review: Campfire Tales and Mythic Origins Made Modern in SECOND SKIN BWW Review: Campfire Tales and Mythic Origins Made Modern in SECOND SKIN
by Maggie Yates - May 06, 2016

Interesting, overlapping personal narratives tell slightly different stories, making the whole story strong, but mysterious in the little places of ambguity. The mythic nature of the story and the characters leaves some magical unreliability that makes the story mystifying in it's fairy-tale qualiti... (more...)
BWW Review: Enthralling Performances and Smart Writing Make BAD JEWS a Comedic Success BWW Review: Enthralling Performances and Smart Writing Make BAD JEWS a Comedic Success
by Maggie Yates - April 22, 2016

Based on the title, one might assume that Joshua Harmon's 'Bad Jews' is a play more specifically rooted in Judaism that it actually is. While Harmon's play does revolve around several characters vying for a relic from their recently deceased grandfather, the play is actually not about what makes som... (more...)
BWW Review: Bottoms and Coleman Make PROOF a Must-See BWW Review: Bottoms and Coleman Make PROOF a Must-See
by Maggie Yates - April 20, 2016

A provocative, modern, and intimate play about the processes of troubled, magnificent minds, 'Proof' provides the sweet relief of calm moments amongst a hailstorm barrage of trauma.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE WOMEN OF CEDAR CREEK Dismantle with Great Care BWW Review: THE WOMEN OF CEDAR CREEK Dismantle with Great Care
by Maggie Yates - April 14, 2016

Deep in Texas, the Montgomery women of Cedar Creek come together to empty their ancestral home of their ailing mother's belongings before selling the property to developers. In Catherine Ann Jones's play about the family dynamics of mourning, the three daughters of Cedar Creek, each with a unique re... (more...)
BWW Review: SBCC Reveals the Mysteries IN THE NEXT ROOM BWW Review: SBCC Reveals the Mysteries IN THE NEXT ROOM
by Maggie Yates - March 16, 2016

“In The Next Room,” illustrates how the mass availability of technology paves the way for social change. Yet at it's core, Ruhl's play is about the personal details of her characters' private lives and desires; and how the availability of electricity changes their lifestyle—from the physician's offi... (more...)
BWW Review: Let Us Sit and Tell Sad Stories of THE DEATH OF KINGS BWW Review: Let Us Sit and Tell Sad Stories of THE DEATH OF KINGS
by Maggie Yates - March 04, 2016

Death of Kings weaves Richard II, Henry IV (parts 1 and 2), Henry V, Henry VI (parts 1, 2, and 3), and Richard III, into a fast-moving onslaught of conflict and mayhem that ceaselessly emphasizes the play's theme and title: the succession of royal lineage via death, murder, and dethronement.... (more...)
BWW Review: Ventura College Heads INTO THE WOODS in Stylish Fashion BWW Review: Ventura College Heads INTO THE WOODS in Stylish Fashion
by Maggie Yates - March 02, 2016

'Into the Woods' reframes well-known fairy tales into a single narrative that brings characters from beloved stories together in an inclusive universe for a re-envisioned adventure.... (more...)
BWW Review: I AM MY OWN WIFE - An Eccentric, Wondrous (Auto)Biography BWW Review: I AM MY OWN WIFE - An Eccentric, Wondrous (Auto)Biography
by Maggie Yates - February 12, 2016

In Ensemble's presentation of Doug Wright's 'I Am My Own Wife,' actor John Tufts does an impressive job of personifying the history of cultural and political crisis and evolution in Germany and East Berlin by telling the story of eccentric transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, who lived publicly as ... (more...)
BWW Review: BLACK COMEDY at Ojai Art Center Theater BWW Review: BLACK COMEDY at Ojai Art Center Theater
by Cary Ginell - February 01, 2016

For the first ten minutes of Peter Shaffer's knockabout farce, Black Comedy, the stage is dark, as engaged Londoneers Brindsley Miller and Carol Melkett get ready to receive wealthy German art collector Georg Bamberger, who they hope will purchase Brindlsey's latest modern sculpture. But a blown fus... (more...)
BWW Review: Ensemble's WOMEN IN JEOPARDY Brings the Sitcom to the Stage BWW Review: Ensemble's WOMEN IN JEOPARDY Brings the Sitcom to the Stage
by Maggie Yates - December 14, 2015

MacLeod's play points out the lack of representation of middle-aged, middle-class women in entertainment; and then reinforces the idea by using the very stereotypes about this group that generally prevent these women from being utilized more dramatically.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE 39 STEPS at OYES Theatre BWW Review: THE 39 STEPS at OYES Theatre
by Cary Ginell - December 14, 2015

What do you get when you combine Alfred Hitchcock with Monty Python? The 39 Steps, a riotous adaptation of Hitchcock's memorable 1935 comic suspense film that features a cast of four actors and a minimum of everything else. The play made its debut last weekend at the OYES Theatre in Ojai and despite... (more...)
BWW Review: PRISM PRODUCTIONS Presents the Most Bizarre Christmas Carol of All Time BWW Review: PRISM PRODUCTIONS Presents the Most Bizarre Christmas Carol of All Time
by Maggie Yates - December 11, 2015

Prism Productions, a.k.a. The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society, presents 'A Christmas Carol' in a true, meta display of 'Waiting For Guffman' bizarreness.... (more...)