Saturday, April 12, 2014

Editorial: Los Angeles Theatre is Not Dead

If you have to do the following to argue for the virtues of one theatrical show in Los Angeles, perhaps you shouldn't:
  • Begin the article, claiming that Los Angeles Theatre is bad.
  • Heavily suggest that the following ingredients of this one show, might  "save" LA Theatre -
    • Hollywood starlets (a number of whom are children of more established stars)
    • film-based stories
    • famous Hollywood director
  • Close the article, by now claiming that Los Angeles Theatre is dead, but the show you just reviewed is not and might even establish people's careers (assuming they're an actor) 
These are the focal points of one Jimmy Im article on Vanity Fair regarding For the Record.   I haven't seen this show, so I won't go into any details on how entertaining it might be.  A cabaret show based on a mash-up of one director's Hollywood films sounds entertaining enough by itself, so I don't quite understand why Im thought it necessary to be a flamethrower toward the community where that show resides.

Let me throw down some facts about Los Angeles Theatre that debunk these ideas of "dead" and "celebrity":
  • "On any given night, there's more live theater to choose from in Los Angeles than in New York City..." (Frommers)
  • Actors of celebrity status frequently work in Los Angeles theatre productions, often in stories that don't require homages to film (LA Weekly)
As a frequent blogger of Los Angeles arts and culture, I've had the pleasure of experiencing many of LA's theatre offerings.  This scene in Los Angeles runs the gamut of small and large shows - of intimate spaces and intricate venues.  Some stories are familiar tales, others are brand-new and intriguingly experimental.  Actors can easily be unknown and well-known, but that doesn't define the great theatre that emerges from this area.  It's the brilliant stories and performances that arise from talented casts and crews and companies, the kind of stuff that often make these players and stories emerge elsewhere around the nation and the world. 

I'm not saying it's all great, but it's certainly not all bad and definitely not dead.  I think the LA theatre scene is one of the most beautiful things about Los Angeles.  I firmly believe that there's something worthwhile for everyone embedded in it.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Editor

Experience Los Angeles Theatre with 1/2 price tickets from LA Stage Alliance Tix  and checking out the ExperienceLA calendar for our theatre offerings.

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