Friday, June 3, 2011

God of Carnage - Super Funny - Super Expensive

The recent Center Theater Group mounting of the critically acclaimed God of Carnage was, in my opinion, a fantastically funny, incredibly enjoyable evening in the theater. But I can only wonder - who can pay $200 bucks for the orchestra seats? Only the type of white collar wannabe sophisticates the brilliant Yasmina Reza serves up on stage. I admit, I sat up in the Lodge for $75 bucks a pop.

I have always considered the Center Theater Group to be reasonably priced - but God of Carnage has established a new price structure for them - with many orchestra seats now demanding $200 bucks from your wallet before you can have the right to sit on it there. I know I am not the first to cry wolf here, but if we continue to escalate prices to see live theater, we will continue to diminish the audiences that come to see this vital form of entertainment. I'll say it plainly here, the night I saw the show, the audience was 95% white and over 50 years old - probably most over 60. Did anyone read the census numbers from 2010? 51% of all babies born in California are now Hispanic - and I would be hard pressed to say there was anywhere near 5% of anyone of Hispanic decent sitting in the audience.

It is no wonder that every subscription based theater out there (from Center Theater Group, to The Old Globe, to La Jolla) has put into place ways for their supporters to contribute to their favorite theaters in their wills. That's right, be sure to designate some of your estate to the shrinking endowments of these theaters. I hope everyone does, but the theaters better get big chunks 'cause that audience ain't gonna be around a whole lot longer... And once they're gone - so is the chance to get $200 bucks a seat.

I guess I wouldn't mind so much if every time I went to the theater I was guaranteed to laugh as much as I did at God of Carnage - or think as much as I did when I saw Parade at the Taper last year - but for every wonderful production, there are far more not so successful versions of The Color Purple, 9 to 5, Minsky's and the like. But that is the way of theater. For if it were easy to create, write, and produce a hit - how would we know how special the rare occurrences are when actors, writers, directors, designers, musicians, and all the others that contribute to live performances - are all working in tandem and striving to hit the same creative goal and message - and NAIL IT.

Maybe there is nothing to be concerned about at all. Perhaps theater will struggle as it always has - only to be saved by investing angels and the creative spirit to hold a mirror up to our world and demand everyone take a look. Perhaps theater is an acquired taste... Perhaps we just haven't yet figured out how to do live theater written in computer code... Or incorporate live tweeting with live theater in an enlivening, and engaging way. Perhaps we will. Until then, I guess my seats will just get further and further back from the orchestra.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

For all of those in NYC May 17th, join Bruce Lazarus' networking event for his LinkedIn Group:

Particulars are below:

Can you tell a compelling story that will touch, move and inspire your audience to take action? To give you the stage rights? To work in your organization? to invest in your show? To give you referrals? To tell your story forward? To buy tickets?

Here is your chance to polish up your case for action and let it shine.

Please come prepared to tell us a story that calls us into action for your cause (please limit to 2 minutes).

(Recommended reading “TELL TO WIN” by Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment).
Remember to bring your business cards.

Broadway Producers and Investors-Networking Event May 17th, 5pm - 7:30pm in NYC (Sardi's 2nd Floor, 234 W. 44th Street)



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prisoner of 2nd Avenue at El Portal

The Prisoner of Second Avenue at El Portal is quite enjoyable and worth checking out. It is the second show I have seen in the last few years that takes us back to the early 70's. It is amazing how many parallels come up with our current times:

  1. Long standing unpopular wars

  2. High gas prices

  3. Energy concerns

  4. Unemployment

It is fascinating to watch how relevant this play is to today. Jason Alexander is terrific and very funny. And I always love going to the theater and being surprised when you see a colleague up on the stage that you had no idea was in the cast. Ray Wills did Wonderful Town on BWay with my wife and he was a great surprise to see in the show - and very funny in his own right. He's made the move out to LA now and I wish him much luck! Glenn Casale, as aways, kept the pacing just right in his direction of this Neil Simon comedy. The show closes this weekend, so hurry on over!


Monday, February 14, 2011

The Next Fairy Tale

I'm hearing great things about this show... It will be at the Celebration Theater which won this year's LA Ovation award for their production of The Women of Brewster Place.

THE NEXT FAIRY TALE is the first world premiere production that was work-shopped, developed and produced fully in-house at the Celebration Theatre. THE NEXT FAIRY TALE will begin previews on Wednesday, March 2 and will open on Friday, March 11 and run through Sunday, April 24 at Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Read more:

You can check out a few videos of the show here:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brian Christopher Williams Wins the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins

And the winner is... Brian Christopher Williams, Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins, West Coast Ensemble at the El Centro Theatre!
Congrats to Brian! His play is wonderful, touching and very funny! Next stop is a production in the Bay Area late this summer.

For the full list of winners go here:



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

LA Drama Critic's Nominations - ANTIA BRYANT DIED FOR YOUR SINS - Brian Christopher Williams (writing) and Heather Lee for Featured Performance

Two shout outs to Brian and Heather for their nominations from LA Drama Critics Circle. Two very derserving artists!

For the full list go here:




Monday, February 1, 2010

New Year - New Networking Opportunities - LA Version

In Los Angeles this time! Join Bruce Lazarus' networking event for his LinkedIn Group:

Particulars are below:
Broadway Producers and Investors-Networking Event this Wednesday 6pm in North Hollywood.

Please join Bruce and other members of Broadway Producers and Investors LINKEDIN Group for the quarterly networking event on:

Wednesday February 3rd
from 6pm to 8pm

Interested guests welcome. Don’t forget to bring your business cards.

Happy New Year to all.