Times Like These...

As news was unfolding from Paris last week it occurred to me that it is precisely in times like these that I am most proud to be a theatre person. Why? Because it is in times of crisis when theatre really proves its worth.Civilized people have been gathering in theatres for 2500 years, laughing together, crying together, hoping together, feeling together. The ancient Greeks knew that if we had empathy for our fellow man, then we would not be trying to hurt him. And they understood that coming together to...

Bill Raden's Boldest in Los Angeles Theater 2015

I love how we come up with new ways to distinguish our lists, the “best”, the “highlights”, the “boldest,” but Bill “I’m Not Elvis” Raden is one of our better writers and so when he makes a list, we are required to check it twice.This year he’s rolling out his…well, let’s let him describe it:End-of-the-year theater roundups are not exactly computer science. Rather they are...

Critics Fuck Everybody

I spent the last two weeks free of my life in Los Angeles. Sojourning on the east coast, I wrote no journalism and attended only three artistic endeavors: I participated in a script reading, I moshed at a punk show, and I saw two short plays on one bill. But the two plays were...

Italian Actor Accidentally Hangs Himself

No, I know, but, this apparently is real. And I’m not going to comment on it too much because the poor guy, Raphael Schumacher, is fighting for his life but…Holy Shittzu!You want avant garde, here’s some avant garde. Visualize ...

KKK, Me Me Me, Wah Wah Wah

A couple of weeks ago, on Valentine’s Day, I was depositing a check at an ATM. A guy had his car pulled up next to the bank, its stereo blaring. I couldn’t hear the person I was talking to on the phone, so I told the guy his music was too fucking loud. His reaction was to threaten me with an ass kicking. He said there were no cops around, and asked whether I was going to take my beating like a man. Since he only had a few inches of height and reach advantage, I let him roll up and go t...

Virtue (a fiction)

I was at the hospital to visit a friend who had not long to live. He was a good friend in that we had at points hated each other. I knew terrible things about him, things that would have disgusted a stranger. We had shared triumph and remorse. He was young, but his death would consummate the misery of many who loved him. And since it was not I who had to die, I hoped it would come soon.I had visited with him and was leaving, leaving the trembly...

The Wit of George Bernard Shaw & Winston Churchill

Oh Jesus I miss wit like this.These days it’s all about turning Trump’s lips into his eyes…Groan.Carry on....

Rohrer Joins Faculty at Trump University

I’ve had to keep this under wraps, but today I can announce that I have accepted a full-time teaching position and will no longer be critiquing theater. Tony, Colin, I’m sorry you had to find out like this, but my new boss is adamant that nobody know anything before he does, and I got the word this morning.I’m leaving Los Angeles for Atlantic City, New Jersey, to teach dialectics, logic and critical analysis at the new Trump University, no long...

One Man's Ceiling

By the time I faced the Technicolor riot of a Maryland spring, the birdhouse on the writing balcony had been occupied by carpenter bees the size of your thumb. I’d go out and start typing and one at a time they’d come down and give me a chest bump and say,“I’m here.”I said, “I know.”Every few minutes they’d bang into my face and say it again....

Cancer Lobby

8:30 a.m. The lobby of an oncology facility. It’s cloudy and oppressive outside the glass doors, the 20th day of rain in mid-May after a long winter.The crowded room is almost silent. Patients, some in wheelchairs, and their families study floor maps at the elevator. HMO employees move around them, occasionally consulting the maps too.A small coffee kiosk near the elevators. A well-fed middle-aged WOMAN orde...

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