Los Angeles Theater Review: DIFFERENT WORDS FOR THE SAME THING (Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City)

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by Tony Frankel on May 15, 2014

in Theater-Los Angeles

a poem about a play

This critic, this poet
this pinch faced sailor
Blueblack eyes like wet rocks
icy sharp nose like a dagger screams
I AM A PLAGIARIST
this poem
MY poem
paraphrased from actual script of
different words for the same thing
The same thing
by Kimber Lee
The same thing
Playing at Kirk Douglas Theatre

I
I like poetry
But to read
Poetry in the theater
Poetry in the theater can be
Taxing
When it’s not
Yes
Like Tennessee Williams
He intertwines poetry with his dialogue while telling a story
Not so different words for the same thing
(Center Theatre Group like passing dark clouds over Los Angeles)

Stephen Ellis, Malcolm Madera and Rebecca Larsen in different words for the same thing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
It’s on the west side of town
The west side Culver City
It’s far away from the Valley
They tell you not to go Be sure not to go
And if
By chance
You should take a bum turn on that side of the Helms Bakery Building
Rush to the beach and drive fast faster
until you leave those words behind
Words being a loosely applied term for sentences
cast off bits of sentences
(but to be fair complete sentences too)
Nouns
Adjectives
Adverbs
Hollow wordy bones of scripts that went to the Kirk Douglas Theatre to die
Unsalvageable even with keen staging by Neel Keller
who tried to make sense with this dream-like script
Impenetrable dialogue Cinematic acting
scene change music sounds like
Paul James Pendergast
like my so-called life teen soap
many playing areas delineated by Geoff Korf’s lighting
Light
Dark
Light
Dark

Jackie Chung, Devin Kelley and the cast in different words for the same thing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

A new millennium of multicultural playwrights experiment
Somehow given grants
And you’re left like an animal
(Animal in a bear trap)
Chewing his leg off to get out of the theater
But escaping is a thought as fleeting as the unpunctuated dialogue
The intermission is as nonexistent as the dramatic arc
Floating for 40 days and 40 nights
Floating floating sleeping

Hector Atreyu Ruiz, Jackie Chung and Savannah Lathem in different words for the same thing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

And
Waste of money
Money is nice
I don’t know what’s going on
So many scenes
I can’t see the plot if it’s not here and it’s not going to be here so I won’t see it
A ghost there’s a ghost
Everything comes together in the end
But the real problem with the play is
The problem is
Why can’t anyone finish a sentence
And why are so many talking directly to me
Huge 12-member cast, but nobody finishes a
Every character sounds alike
But with different words
different words for the same thing
Pretention
Center Theatre Group can afford 12 actors for this
Why not an already-proven homegrown production
Produce
artistic director Michael Ritchie are you listening
yes please please produce
Antaeus Theatre Company’s Cousin Bette next time

Hector Atreyu Ruiz and Erick Lopez in different words for the same thing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

You know now
Won’t know until you go
When you’re inside for about two hours
The audience is made up of people who
Yes?
People who
Afraid if they don’t get it
Call it brilliant profound because it confuses
You will be bored and and
Maybe not shifting in your seat
You what
You will be
Did I say shit
No
Oh
Don’t swear
What else are you gonna do
Watch Antiques Roadshow
modern references tossed in
a priest mentions “Costco” and the audience chuckles
as if to say
Thank God I get something

Devin Kelley and Jose Zuniga in different words for the same thing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

How did this script ever get
Watch it
Why
Why can’t I say the truth
Because
Because why
You know why
I don’t get it
Show a little respect for god’s sake
Mm
Well
Mm
Why is it not respectful to say what is passing for playwriting
They should be encouraged
Yeah so
They imitate
(Don’t get me started on Sarah Ruhl et al)
Stop it
Poetry masquerading as dialogue
I wish
(Pause)

Alyson Reed and Sam Anderson in different words for the same thing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Do you remember how Pinter could
(Pause)
Will America ever produce a Pinter?
(Silence)
A cloud passes across the critic, dimming the light in his brain for a moment
Light
Dark
Light
Dark
I guess we’ll have to wait for him someplace else
I think that’s a good choice
Do you
Yes you do

Monica Horan and Savannah Lathem in different words for the same thing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

photos by Craig Schwartz

different words for the same thing
Center Theatre Group
Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City
scheduled to end on June 1, 2014
for tickets, call 213.628.2772
or visit www.centertheatregroup.org

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