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.
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.
LINKS TO REVIEWS
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