The National Comedy Theatre is San Diego is something of an anomaly. While the family friendly venue has had many sold out shows and earned a lot of praise, NCT is still under the radar.
Ordinary people bloomed into murderous evil in the world of pre-war pulp fiction which produced a minor masterpiece in the 1937 James M. Cain novel Double Indemnity, which became a landmark of film noir featuring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in 1944. Now the Old Globe Theatre has a steamy stage adaptation, directed by newcomer John Gould Rubin, which does its ancestors proud.
In 2011, The Book of Mormon swept the Tony Awards and overshadowed all the other shows it was up against. While I love that religious satire, other productions nominated for Best Musical that year deserve a little bit more recognition.
… this isn’t your Great Grandma’s Wizard of Oz. This one has more dancing (giant dancing bugs, crows, and apple trees with thick red lips right out of an acid trip, an edgy Emerald City gang in aviator glasses, and pyrotechnics that make your hair stand up.
Two buddies on a on a wine country road trip dogged by outside world complications and berserk appetites find not paradise but some peace in the Rex Pickett stage adaptation of his novel now at the La Jolla Playhouse in a lovely Des McAnuff production.
Desperate, drought-ridden ranchers pay a con-man to bring rain in N. Richard Nash’s romantic fantasy The Rainmaker, now at he Old Globe Theatre. But there’s just as much desperation surrounding the daughter of the family, who may be turning into an old maid. Magic comes in many forms during this sturdy but creaking revival.