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KCRW's longtime producer, host and cheerleader, Matt Holzman, who died Sunday, only texted me once about my reviews. Matt Holzman is the reason I'm at KCRW.
What do we do in the theatre when there is no theater?
At the most fundamental level, the theater connects artists with an audience at one time, in one space. That's about presence. You show up at eight o'clock, the lights come up, you see a show. We are together. Dig deeper and the connection gets vastly more rich and complicated. Connecting with an audience means understanding the moment in time we are living in; appreciating the particular place where you are making theater. What is happening here and now? Theater must do more than simply reflect our moment. It must care for its audience's soul through that moment.
‘Home’ review: domestic magic and the fleeting American dream
The show "Home" begins with a magic trick. When you walk into the theater, you see an empty stage. As the show begins, an unassuming man, played by the show’s creator Geoff Sobelle, walks from the audience to the stage to survey things.
Four Larks’ creepy and gorgeous ‘Frankenstein’ will punch you in the gut
"Frankenstein" is a major work and a major leap for Four Larks: it’s a dark and visually stunning play but it's also a concert, opera, musical and a dance piece all in one. “Frankenstein” will punch you in the gut.
‘Found’ Review: Finding a musical in scraps of paper
Every couple of years LA's intimate theaters produce a musical that gives the big theaters a run for their money. Right now it’s IAMA Theatre Company's "Found: A New Musical." It starts off a little awkwardly. We're in a bar in Chicago with some disgruntled 30 somethings. Denise, the bartender, went to art school but can't find a better gig than slinging shots. She's got a punk vibe and a bruised heart — so you can sense the setup there. Mikey doesn't have a job or a lover but he's got his old friend Davy who pays the rent and generally keeps him afloat. Davy's our protagonist and — at least at the top of the scene — he's got a job but not one he likes. Davy looks around the bar and beefs that everyone is on cell phones; no one is really connecting with one another. He makes a half-hearted attempt to get everyone in the bar to put down the devices and be together. It sort of flops.