Even with only a sampling of Southern California productions, one could justify calling 2014 a good theater, with some a couple repeat performances that earn second takes in the rearview.

Among these were an institution, a writer and an actor.

Theatertimes Rearview Trophy

My first visit to the Rogue Machine Theater company, operating in its Theater Theatre space on Pico, was to see Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph. This was in a dorm-room size that might be uncomfortably close for painful experiences but was exhilarating here. Intimate is the common description these days to spin a space that is claustrophobically confining. Here, with plenty of room between you and the person next to you, it's with only enough seats to accommodate billionaire fans of cock fighting.

The introduction was made more memorable by that rare theater experience of having a two-person cast's understudies getting their token performance and running away with it. Read the review.

I was apprehensive that lightening could strike twice successfully, but was encouraged to see Walsh's Penelope and was rewarded with another unique afternoon, enhanced by the presence of a large group there to see an actor who is on TV's Scandal. Rabid TV fans coming for a television star can make for disappointment, especially with a play that sets Greek myth in an empty swimming pool. But credit all around, the women were completely absorbed. Read the review.

The final trip was to see Cock. The review offered the seldom-used "award-worthy" as praise for the lead performance, and the recent L.A. Drama Circle Awards managed to echo that thought. Read the review.

Please, note: Reviews are being imported from previous Theatertimes design. If the link at right is broken, and for any other information, send an email to the editor.


Abe Lincoln's Piano / Geffen Playhouse

Bill and Joan / Sacred Fools Theater Company

Bird Lives! / Chromolume Theatre Company

Buyer & Cellar / Mark Taper Forum

Cinnamon Girl / Playwright's Arena

Cock / Rogue Machine Theatre

The Country House / Geffen Playhouse

The Curse of Oedipus / Antaeus Theater Company

Death of the Author / Geffen Playhouse

different words for the same thing / Kirk Douglas Theatre

Five Mile Lake / South Coast Repertory

Gruesome Playground Injuries / Rogue Machine Theatre

In The Heights / Chance Theater Company

L.A. Deli / Strasberg Center (Marilyn Monroe Theatre)

Paul Robeson / Ebony Repertory Theatre

Passion Play / Chance Theatre

Penelope / Rogue Machine Theater

The Pianist of Willesden Lane / Geffen Playhouse

Pray to Ball / Skylight Theatre

The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois / South Coast Repertory

Race / Kirk Douglas Theatre

Reasons to be Pretty / Geffen Playhouse

Rest / South Coast Repertory

Reunion / South Coast Repertory

Stoneface / Pasadena Playhouse

Stupid Fucking Bird / Theatre @ Boston Court

The Tallest Tree in the Forest / Mark Taper Forum

Tartuffe / A Noise Within

Tartuffe / South Coast Repertory

The Tempest / South Coast Repertory

Top Girls / Antaeus Theatre Company

Trudy and Max in Love / South Coast Repertory