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Theater Reviews

‘Bad Jews’ good

By Charlene Baldridge

Joshua Harmon’s “Bad Jews,” seen in its opening performance Jan. 21 at Cygnet Theatre, is set in a present day studio apartment on New York’s Upper West Side.

Billed as 90 minutes in length, it is played without interval, causing one to opine that if there were an interval, some in the audience might flee because the play’s invective, however hilarious, is sometimes challenging, especially to those who spend a lot of time and energy avoiding confrontation.

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Looking back at San Diego’s theater highlights of 2016

Posted: January 13th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Featured, Theater Reviews | No Comments

By Charlene Baldridge Theater critics are usually given complimentary tickets for a performance near the opening of each production. A ticket to see another performance is ordinarily at the critic’s expense. The Dec. 21 deluge did not matter. I had purchased a ticket to see ion theatre’s “The Normal Heart” again before it closed and nothing would dissuade me.

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It’s a ‘Miracle’

Posted: December 16th, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Theater Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

In anticipation of yet another Christmas musical in radio-show format, the spirit flagged. Nonetheless, the critic dutifully attended San Diego Musical Theatre’s (SDMT) first outing at the Horton Grand Theatre in the Gaslamp District, to see “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Play.” What a splendid surprise!

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Cygnet’s ‘Christmas Carol’

Posted: December 2nd, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Theater Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas” originally began as a novella published in 1843, and then, almost immediately, it was adapted for the theater.

The uplifting story recounts the redemption of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge through the Christmas Eve visitations of his decidedly dead partner, Jacob Marley, and three Ghosts of Christmas — Past, Present and Yet to Come.

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An unusual new musical

Posted: November 18th, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Theater Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere of a musical titled “Miss You Like Hell” is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, unless you’ve seen the work of and are a fan of plays and musicals by bookwriter/lyricist Quiara Alegría Hudes — among them ”Water by the Spoonful” (Pulitzer Prize for drama), “Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue” and “In the Heights” (Tony Award for best musical).

Hudes wrote the book and lyrics of “Miss You Like Hell.”

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Pulitzer Prize winner ‘Disgraced’ does not disappoint

Posted: November 4th, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Theater Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

Around the time Ayad Akhtar’s “The Who & the What” received its premiere at La Jolla Playhouse, it was announced that his earlier play, “Disgraced” would receive the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

This season, the Playhouse premiered Akhtar’s latest play, “Junk: the History of Debt,” and now, at last, San Diegans have the opportunity to see “Disgraced” in a fine, hard-hitting production that opened Oct. 26 at San Diego Repertory Theatre.

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Two by Wilson

Posted: October 21st, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Theater Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

Cygnet Theatre opened its repertory of two plays by August Wilson, “Seven Guitars” and “King Hedley II,” respectively, on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9.

Neither play has had full production in San Diego until now. The two plays are connected in that “Hedley” revisits the interactions and dependencies of some characters from “Guitars” and their descendants. The plays alternate performances through Nov. 6.

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