Posts Tagged ‘Bootleg’

Thomas Hampton Reviews LEIRIS/PICASSO: WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE HOME OF MICHEL LEIRIS A READING OF THE PLAY ‘DESIRE CAUGHT BY THE TAIL’ BY THE PAINTER PABLO PICASSO

June 27, 2010

“This is the most retarded piece of rubbish I have ever been a part of.”

Photo Credit:  Michael Lamont

Brimmer Street Theatre Company, a local troupe consisting of Emerson graduates, has focused its attention on a little known meeting between Pablo Picasso and leading French existentialists in Vichy France.  They gathered in secret, past curfew, to stage a reading of a new play Picasso had written, DESIRE CAUGHT BY THE TAIL.

In an attempt to pump some life in to Picasso’s dreadful play- and it is truly horrible- writer and director David Jette has composed a classic farce around the events of this evening.  Resistance fighters, Sartre, Picasso, Leiris, Camus, de Beauvoir, the ladies in their lives, and even an SS officer slam doors, swap partners, berate each other physically and emotionally; all under the watchful gaze of a six foot tall bronze swastika, our reminder of the ever present occupational forces of the Third Reich.

LEIRIS/PICASSO:  WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE HOME OF MICHEL LEIRIS A READING OF THE PLAY ‘DESIRE CAUGHT BY THE TAIL’ BY THE PAINTER PABLO PICASSO wants desperately to escape the black hole of the source material, as well the gravity of it’s own title, but is never able to take off.  And like passengers on a commercial airliner stalled on the tarmac for hours, the audience is left completely in the dark, asking one question over and over; “Why?”

Why are the costumes in no way accurate for the period?  Why is there no fire in the belly of the show?  Why are the actors having such a good time while the audience suffers?  Why do Picasso and the SS officer have accents, but the Frenchies do not?  Why am I thinking about any of this while I should be engrossed in this show?

Brimmer Street’s stated mission is, “…to develop original theatre artists whose work challenges established forms and expectations…”  Yet LEIRIS/PICASSO challenges no established forms, and the only expectations it challenges are those of it’s audience to experience a fresh evening of entertainment.  Merely throwing artists, trust fund babes, resistance fighters, and a Nazi into the ‘farce machine’ does not cut it.

The audience slogging through LEIRIS/PICASSO is bored into submission.  Yet there was so much action to put on stage, which all occurred off of it:  resistance fighters stealing a larger than life swastika from the Eiffel Tower, Picasso’s mistress de-robing, arousing, and teasing her scene partner, “hidden” homosexual lust, the gourmet preparations of a pigeon in the kitchen.

At some point in its development, someone should have pulled the plug.  It is very possible that LEIRIS/PICASSO reads very well.  Like Cirque’s insistent fall on its own BANANA SHPEEL, were the decision makers too emotionally invested in the success of the show, blinding them to its mediocrity?

Each performer on stage tore in to their roles, showing the marks of a fine tuned ensemble comfortable with each other after years of work.  Lets hope that Brimmer Street harnesses its talents in the cause of a more vibrant experience moving forward.  They are most certainly capable of it.

Thematic content includes:  Love, Adultery, Sex, Violence, Self Destruction, Highbrow, Lowbrow, Humor.

LIERS/PICASSO
6/12 to 7/24 $24
Th,F,Sa 8pm
Purchase tickets
Map of Bootleg
Visit the Brimmer Street Theatre Company web site
Visit Bootleg’s web site

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Production stills from LEIRIS/PICASSO Brimmer Street Theatre Company at Bootleg

June 26, 2010










Photo Credit:  Michael Lamont

LEIRIS/PICASSO:  WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE HOME OF MICHEL LEIRIS, A READING OF THE PLAY ‘DESIRE CAUGHT BY THE TAIL’ BY THE PAINTER PABLO PICASSO

LEIRIS/PICASSO twists the true story of an underground meeting between Picasso and French existentialists in to a sex farce, complete with slamming doors, trysts, Nazis, and more words in the play’s complete title than you can shake a stick at.

LIERS/PICASSO
6/12 to 7/24 $24
Th,F,Sa 8pm
Purchase tickets
Map of Bootleg
Visit the Brimmer Street Theatre Company web site
Visit Bootleg’s web site

LEIRIS/PICASSO a new farce from the Brimmer Street Theatre Company opens at Bootleg 6/12

June 10, 2010

Enduring hunger, the Nazis, and each other, the greatest thinkers of the 20th century risk their lives to find that the master has written a play so unwatchable that even they cannot stomach the pretension.


The Brimmer Street Theatre Company in association with Bootleg Theater presents the World Premiere of LEIRIS/PICASSO:  WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE HOME OF MICHEL LEIRIS, A READING OF THE PLAY ‘DESIRE CAUGHT BY THE TAIL’ BY THE PAINTER PABLO PICASSO.  Saturday, June 12th, includes a reception catered by the Gastrobus Roadside Bistro.

LEIRIS/PICASSO twists the true story of an underground meeting between Picasso and French existentialists in to a sex farce, complete with slamming doors, trysts, Nazis, and more words in the play’s complete title than you can shake a stick at.

The Gastrobus will also be serving up their extraordinary snacks, sandwiches, and sweets every Thursday night of the run, from their family owned-and-operated restaurant on wheels!  Theater patrons will be able to pick up a nosh pre-show and during intermission on June 17, 24 and July 1, 8, 15, 22.

LIERS/PICASSO
6/12 to 7/24 $24
Th,F,Sa 8pm
Purchase tickets
Map of Bootleg
Visit the Brimmer Street Theatre Company web site
Visit Bootleg’s web site

Thomas Hampton Reviews ABOVE THE LINE at Bootleg/ Indecent Exposure

March 23, 2010

“The world is a bright and shiny apple that’s mine, all MINE.”
Frank Sinatra, Pocketfull of Miracles

Playwright Susan Rubin continues her trilogy (that started with BITCH a couple of years ago,) with ABOVE THE LINE (Below the Belt: A Comic Play About the Making of a Hollywood Movie) presented by Indecent Exposure at Bootleg.  Ms. Rubin has once again partnered with director Mark Bringelson to bring us a Hollywood tale dealing mostly with the pre-production of a movie musical, “TEA!” yet sharply focused on the sexual lives and gamesmanship of the players behind the scenes.

For anyone “making it” in Hollywood, or struggling while trying (or struggling whilst making it, even making it while struggling,) it is always a wonderful schadenfreude-istic experience to see your worst fears/ firsthand knowledge of the duplicity and dunce-ocracy that is the sausage grinder of the “real work” of the producers who get pictures green lit and thrown up on the screen- with their names attached, of course.

It is easy to feel contempt for Jeremy, the mama’s boy producer who epitomizes the worst of a never-ending nepotistic line of Hollywood royalty, and Angela, the studio exec frantically swimming up river to keep her job and social station while barely able to juggle her once a month custodial weekend with the only remnant of a failed marriage.  Neither are familiar with the events of, or leading to, the Boston Tea Party.  Each exude ignorance by equating all of Silverlake to a Homeless Shelter, and mistaking the underlying tenets of Judo for Kung Fu.

The inside baseball Hollywood dramedy is nothing new.  Perhaps best brought to life on film by Altman’s The Player, sometimes these stories don’t have much resonance outside of our LA bubble, or even East of La Brea.  Does anyone remember what became of Action, on Fox?  Fortunately for the team behind and in ABOVE THE LINE, they are playing to a crowd who enjoys seeing their own foibles laid bare on stage (or at least those of their bosses.)

What truly lies at the core of ABOVE THE LINE, however, are sexual politics and power plays.  Even though they may seem to be powerful players in the business, and acclaimed successes in their chosen professions, the uber producers and A-list screenwriter are not satisfied to merely be in charge.  They have to dominate, emasculate, and completely eviscerate the intellect and challenging natures of anyone before they jump in to bed with them (literally or figuratively.)  And in this town, it is this ability to lord over others, to fulfill wishes and crush dreams, that creates the opiate like lull of invincibility that drives each of Rubin’s characters to their ultimate comeuppance.

Like an episode of Law & Order, the plot moves, the performances are steady and worthwhile, and the audience is afforded it’s fair share of red herrings.   ABOVE THE LINE, as whole, does not disappoint… that is if it is your cup of tea.

Thematic content includes:  Sex, Singing, Humor, Violence, Love

ABOVE THE LINE runs from 3/19 to 4/24
Th,F,S 8pm $12 to $20
Map of Bootleg
Buy Tickets
Visit the Bootleg website
Visit the Indecent Exposure Theater Company website

Press Photos of ABOVE THE LINE -Bootleg/ Indecent Exposure

March 19, 2010

Press Photos of ABOVE THE LINE, opening this weekend at Bootleg.


See and download the full gallery on posterous

Photo by Piper Ferguson

Produced by Indecent Exposure Theater Company in association with Bootleg, ABOVE THE LINE is the second part of a trilogy by playwright Susan Rubin.  Director Mark Bringelson and Rubin collaborated on BITCH, the first play in the trilogy, which premiered at Bootleg in June 2007.

Thematic content includes:  Sex, Singing, Humor, Violence, Love

ABOVE THE LINE runs from 3/19 to 4/24
Th,F,S 8pm $12 to $20
Map of Bootleg
Buy Tickets
Visit the Bootleg website
Visit the Indecent Exposure Theater Company website

Production Stills of PROJECT WONDERLAND at Bootleg

January 20, 2010

Production Stills from PROJECT WONDERLAND at Bootleg.  We saw it opening weekend.  This show runs Thursdays through Sundays!





All photos by Ashley West Leonard

Thematic content includes: Bring Kids, Redemption, Puppets, Singing, Live Music, Dance/ Movement, Highbrow, Humor, Drug Use

PROJECT WONDERLAND runs from 1/15 to 2/7
Th,F,Sa at 8pm Sn at 3pm, $15-$25.
Map of Bootleg
Purchase Tickets
Visit the Bootleg Website
(Free parking available to Bootleg customers behind the Praise Christian Fellowship Church across the street at 2235 Beverly Blvd. Turn North on Roselake Ave. off of Beverly and the parking lot entrance will be on your left.)

Thomas Hampton Reviews PROJECT WONDERLAND, at Bootleg

January 20, 2010

PROJECT WONDERLAND

Fifteen years ago, director/ adaptor Robert Prior’s Fabulous Monsters created Project:Alice; a piece based on the classic Alice in Wonderland.  Faced with an open spot in their calendar due to the delay of the newest $.99 show, Bootleg’s Alicia Hoge-Adams, Corbett Barklie, and Jessica Hanna have produced a re-tooled, revved up version, making great use of talent already lined up for the delayed $.99 show (including Ken Roht, John Ballinger, and innumerable members of the cast and crew.)

The show begins conventionally enough, in the real world of Reverend Charles Dodgeson, aka Lewis Carrol.  Soon enough, his doctor delivers some high grade opiates, and we follow the Reverend down his (and our) personal rabbit hole.

Just as PROJECT WONDERLAND is itself a telling of the Reverend’s personal journey/ hallucination; it truly excels at opening our (the audience’s) eyes to personal issues and questions we face in our own journeys through life.

Not that it is “all serious.”  The show is far from it.  It keeps the pacing light and fluffy with interludes and incorporation of shadow (and non-shadow) puppets, fantastical movement, costume, lighting, and song.

Early in the show, the ensemble rolls out a large mirror facing the audience.  A subtle reminder of our actual location IN a theater, as theatergoers, as we are able to spy the dark outlines of the audience (many other shows are employing self-reflexive techniques currently, including Twenty-Two at Knightsbridge that seats the audience on stage inside the set, and last season’s Family Planning by the Chalk Repertory which played INSIDE actual living rooms around the city.)

And as the Reverend makes his way (and takes us with him) deep within his priss and prim, and loosens the “proper” self-restraint, what are we to think?
I found myself questioning and affirming a tremendous sense of self… Who am I?  And who am I as I change, grow, and learn- emotionally, mentally, physically…

The caterpillar asks the Reverend/ Alice, “What size do you want to be?”
And I know that whatever size I am, or become; well, that is the perfect size.  Because as I learn to accept myself, fully accept who I am and what I desire; this acceptance allows me to find beauty in the most unexpected of places:  a neon garden, an over sized, outstretched leg of a Hatter, an undersea dance troupe… even an old bra factory on Beverly Boulevard.

Thematic content includes: Bring Kids, Redemption, Puppets, Singing, Live Music, Dance/ Movement, Highbrow, Humor, Drug Use

PROJECT WONDERLAND runs from 1/15 to 2/7
Th,F,Sa at 8pm Sn at 3pm, $15-$25.
Map of Bootleg
Purchase Tickets
Visit the Bootleg Website
(Free parking available to Bootleg customers behind the Praise Christian Fellowship Church across the street at 2235 Beverly Blvd. Turn North on Roselake Ave. off of Beverly and the parking lot entrance will be on your left.)

Lara Nall is excited about PROJECT WONDERLAND at Bootleg Theater

January 16, 2010

Lara Nall is excited about PROJECT WONDERLAND at Bootleg.

Thematic content includes: Bring Kids, Redemption, Puppets, Singing, Live Music, Dance/ Movement, Highbrow, Humor, Drug Use

PROJECT WONDERLAND runs from 1/15 to 2/7
Th,F,Sa at 8pm Sn at 3pm, $15-$25.
Map of Bootleg
Purchase Tickets
Visit the Bootleg Website
(Free parking available to Bootleg customers behind the Praise Christian Fellowship Church across the street at 2235 Beverly Blvd. Turn North on Roselake Ave. off of Beverly and the parking lot entrance will be on your left.)