The Without Walls Festival is one of San Diego theater's premier recurring events. Photo by Daniel Norwood.
This should be ultra-cool: La Jolla Playhouse has announced that its third Without Walls Festival (aka the WoW Festival), due this October, will be mounted not on its UCSD Theatre District grounds but around downtown San Diego. For those who already dig the WoW Festival – count me most enthusiastically among them – this only makes the return of this site-specific-theater adventure more exciting. Nothing wrong with the festivals staged, for the most part, at UCSD, but downtown would seem to offer greater and even more experimental site choices. All credit to the Playhouse for not standing pat. If downtown is a hit, and I’d be surprised if it isn’t, it might become a tradition, or, and this is equally fun to contemplate, it might betoken WoW Festivals in other parts of the city as well. Further details to come as we get closer to fall.
Jennifer Eve Thorn is Moxie Theatre's new artistic director.
Its 13th season of existence is bringing change at the top at always-adventurous Moxie Theatre. One of Moxie's original co-founders (along with Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, Jo Anne Glover and Liv Kellgren), Jennifer Eve Thorn has been named the theater company's new artistic director and will assume her responsibilities in July. She succeeds founding artistic director Turner Sonnenberg, who along with Glover, the company says, will take roles on the Moxie Advisory Board. Both will be involved, either directing or performing, during Moxie's 13th season. From the very beginning, Moxie has been producing some of the most thoughtful and provocative theater in San Diego, of which Thorn has been an integral part both on stage and as a director. I expect she will continue with distinction the high degree of excellence built by Turner Sonnenberg. Good luck, Jen!
Ian Merrill Peakes in "Timon of Athens" at Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C. Photo by Teresa Wood.
Timing is everything. I was fortunate enough to be in Washington, D.C. last week just in time to catch one of the closing performances of Shakespeare’s rarely produced “Timon of Athens” at the Folger Theatre, which regularly does some of the best realizations of The Bard’s work in the country. This “Timon,” directed by Robert Richmond, took a daring, techy approach to the play about an Athenian’s misguided generosity and the wrenching consequences that follow. In the title role, Ian Merrill Peakes is insouciant, desperate, manic and haunted in all the appropriate moments, and his steady Act 2 disintegration makes a potent point about the thin line between money and madness. Next up at the Folger: Richmond directs “Antony and Cleopatra,” Oct 10-Nov. 19. If you’re in D.C. this fall, check it out.
Join me on Saturday evening, June 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hessian Global Goods Coffee & Tea in Hillcrest. I'll be signing copies of "The Romancer" and (at 7 p.m.) doing a brief reading from the novel.
So "Escape to Margaritaville," which features favorite songs (and a little new music) by Jimmy Buffett, opened last night at La Jolla Playhouse, much to the delight of all the Parrotheads in the audience. They weren't too difficult to spot: aloha shirts, sippy cups of booze in hand, and primed to sing along. You could also spot the non-aficionados, like myself: overdressed for the occasion, sans sippy cup, lost during the sing-alongs.
So what's the verdict on "Escape to Margaritaville?" Check out the review on San Diego CityBeat's website (www.sdcitybeat.com) or in the magazine itself when it hits news racks on Wednesday, May 31.
By the by, Jimmy Buffett himself WAS in the house on opening night. He came out on stage during the curtain calls and proceeded to lead the cast in "Margaritaville," which sent the Parrotheads into a frenzy. Good for JB: At 70 he still looks like he's having a helluva good time!
Alison Luff and Paul Alexander Nolan in "Escape to Margaritaville" Credit: Matthew Murphy
It hasn’t even opened yet, but “Escape to Margaritaville” has already been extended a week at La Jolla Playhouse. This world-premiere show that includes music and and new by Jimmy Buffett, will now run May 9 through June 25.
It’s a year away, but Dr. Seuss fans will be delighted to hear that another of Ted Geisel’s beloved characters is coming to the stage of the Old Globe Theatre. “Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax,” which is based on the book “The Lorax,” has been announced as part of the Globe’s 2018 summer season. It’ll run July 3-Aug. 12. The musical, adapted by David Greig, features music and lyrics by Charlie Fink. It was originally produced at London’s famous Old Vic, and will be presented in San Diego in association with the Children’s Theatre Company. Max Webster will direct.