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“THE CAT LADY” at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center

“THE CAT LADY” at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center

New play, great expectations. The collaboration between Markuz Rodriguez and Davig Vaughn was 15 years in the making (they met while performing in a theater production at Mt. Carmel High School). Once they re-connected, “The Cat Lady” had a two-year gestation, and it’s now premiering at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center. There are many good ideas here. Too many, in fact. The production also has a problem of excess: too many characters, too many extraneous stories, too many Read More →

NOTES FROM THE FRINGE 2017: FINAL EDITION AND CRITIC’S PICKS

NOTES FROM THE FRINGE 2017: FINAL EDITION AND CRITIC’S PICKS

NOTES FROM THE FRINGE 2017: FINAL EDITION AND CRITIC'S PICKS 7/3/17 The last day of the 5th Annual San Diego International Fringe Festival ended as strongly as it started for me. First, I caught the last performance of "THE BANZA," a totally delightful musical created by three of last year's graduates of Canyon Crest Academy (CCA), under the banner of Ellipsoid Players: Jacob Surovsky wrote the book and (often clever) lyrics, and Zane Alexander and Kion Heidari (who Read More →

NOTES FROM THE FRINGE, Part 3

NOTES FROM THE FRINGE, Part 3

Saturday, 7/1/17, the penultimate day of Fringeing, was filled with drama and comedy and immersion. The drama came with "73 SECONDS," a poignant tribute to the seven astronauts aboard The Challenger in 1986. That was the time they had together in the Space Shuttle before it burst into flames. Through the skilled performances of Oregon actors Nathaniel Dunaway and Sarah Cotter, we learn about the astronauts’ pasts and their pastimes, their families and the heart-rending personal Read More →

6/30/17 Notes from The Fringe, Part II

6/30/17 Notes from The Fringe, Part II

Well, we're almost through the final days of the 5th Annual San Diego International Fringe Festival, and I'm ready for my latest update. As always at the Fringe, some things were good, some not-so-good, some pretty great. In the Great category (with a slight caveat) is "HIP HOP CAB-HOORAY" (see photo) presented and choreographed by Melissa Adao (an enthusiastic little fireball), featuring urban hip hop that's energetic and energizing. In the first piece, 'We Came to Dance," Read More →

“JC SUPERSTAR” at SDSU: Pretty Super

“JC SUPERSTAR” at SDSU: Pretty Super

Calling all devotees of Andrew Lloyd Webber and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” SDSU has mounted another of its mega-concerts of a musical… with a cast of thousands (well, nearly). The School of Theatre, Television and Film has once again hooked up with the SDSU Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choirs for this mammoth production (two years ago they knocked everyone’s socks off with their concert version of “Les Miz”). The orchestra (under the direction of Michael Gerdes, with Read More →

6/26/16 NOTES FROM THE FRINGE

6/26/16 NOTES FROM THE FRINGE

6/26/16 NOTES FROM THE FRINGE The San Diego International Fringe Festival keeps making its mark, expanding, and offering an ever-widening array of acts: musical, comical, dramatic, dancerly and uncharacterizable. In this 4th Fringe year, there are more than 500 performances, with participants from 10 states and 9 countries (Australia to Ireland, Italy to Japan), over the course of 11 days (or, 11 “eyeball-busting days,” as the yellow-shirted ‘Fringeneers’ put it). Tickets remain affordable (0-$10 per show, less Read More →