Despite the exploitive potential of conjoined twins born into sleazy show business, the reworked Bill Ryssell-Henry Krieger musical Side Show delivers a poignant, dignified and surprisingly romantic package to the La Jolla Playhouse.
La Jolla Playhouse
Mr. Beaty’s subject is Paul Robeson, the singer and actor who rose to the heights of his profession prior to and during World War II and then plummeted to the depths by his open admiration for equal treatment of people of color within the Soviet Union, an admiration that soured once Stalin came to power. Nevertheless, Mr. Robeson was called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, and like so many artists so called, he lost his prestige and his ability to work as an entertainer for years to come.
Over the years, various performance series here have billed themselves as festivals, but none in my experience compared to arts fests in other countries, in which the festival (from the Latin for “happy”) atmosphere extends beyond the theater and transforms public space. Here are some of the most magical WoW Festival offerings.
Seeing a festival is a lot like the old story of the blind people describing an elephant. Each person will get a certain impression depending on what part of the elephant is explored, and it is also dangerous to make sweeping statements before doing a complete exploration.
But, with that caveat, I will plunge ahead nevertheless.
The long-anticipated La Jolla Playhouse WoW Festival has arrived, and it looks like fun indeed. Bill Eadie will be providing impressions of the festival by attending each day.