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.
La Jolla Playhouse
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.
The Pied Piper’s tune was so irresistible that rats followed it to their deaths, and the children of Hamelin skipped after the Piper into a mountain tomb. Kamchàtka exercises a similarly spellbinding – though, thankfully, not fatal – allure. Eight members of the Barcelona-based theater troupe are here for La Jolla Playhouse’s WithOut Walls (WoW) Festival. Last night, where Kamchàtka led, I followed. And the journey raised juicy questions about dissolving the fourth or possibly the fifth wall and turning theater into life.
Unlike the warm and fuzzy Wizard of Oz that broke all attendance records at Moonlight this summer, the rock opera Tommy about a “deaf, dumb, and blind” pinball wizard is an adult show and smacks of grim realities.