South Coast Repertory’s willingness to take risks year in and year out—the new play’s the thing—is what sets them apart from the major players on the theatrical landscape. Carla Ching’s “Fast Company” (which plays at their venerated Costa Mesa venue through October 27) is, unfortunately, the latest evidence that the strategy doesn’t always pay off.
This seriocomic crime caper about a family of grifters is officially a world premiere, yet
plays like a rehash of something we’ve seen before. The dialogue is witty but the play is excessively talky and yawn-inducing.
The cast (Jackie Chung, Nelson Lee, Lawrence Kao and Emily Kuroda) makes the most of what they have to work with under Bart DeLorenzo’s direction but fails to transcend the mediocrity of the script, which comes across as an unsold screenplay. Keith Mitchell’s scenic design is clever and inventive, as are Jason H. Thompson’s mass media projections, but it’s all for naught. Call 714-708-5555.
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DeVito and Hirsch as Simon’s Sunshine Boys, Tijuana's cultural festival http://www.examiner.com/article/devito-and-hirsch-as-simon-s-sunshine-bo...
Margulies’ ‘Time Stands Still’ at The Chance, new paperback theatre anthology http://www.examiner.com/article/margulies-time-stands-still-at-the-chanc...
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More compelling than “Fast Company” are a number of recent DVD releases in more or less the same genre: “Jack Taylor” (available from Acorn Media), a 3-DVD crime noir series set in the west of Ireland, based on the crime novels of Ken Bruen and starring Iain Glen of “Downton Abbey” as the titular ex-cop turned private eye… John le Ca Carré’s “Smiley’s People” (on Blu-ray from Acorn), the sequel to “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” starring Alec Guinness as retired spymaster Smiley… “Ashes” (from Green Apple Entertainment), which features indie perennial Piper Perabo and concerns a struggling young Indo American who turns to crime to support himself and his mentally ill, big brother… and “Farewell” (from Synergetic/Neoclassics), an espionage thriller about the theft of Soviet information at the height of the Cold War.
Note to Bernadette Peters: After catching your act last week at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, I think it’s time to dump the orchestra backing you. Simple piano accompaniment and percussion would better enhance your still glorious voice and stage presence than the gifted but over-abundant ensemble surrounding you.
Hot tips: UC Irvine’s annual free Open House to celebrate the arts is November 7, 5:30-8 p.m… Theatre West’s ambitious WestFest 2013 offers four full weekends of shows, with a different presentation each week at its NoHo area venue. November 1-24; info: www.theatrewest.org.
More from Jordan:
Bernadette Peters at Segerstrom Center, Ragfest returns to Fullerton http://www.examiner.com/article/bernadette-peters-at-segerstrom-center-r...
Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’ on Blu-ray & 3D, Wellman doc, Maltin guide http://www.examiner.com/article/disney-s-little-mermaid-on-blu-ray-3d-we...
Miyazaki & son highlight new Asian DVDs, TCM debuts ‘Story of Film’ doc http://www.examiner.com/article/miyazaki-son-highlight-new-asian-dvds-tc... …
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