The Golden Dragon: Production photos

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

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The Golden Dragon: Review Rundown

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CRITIC’S CHOICE “Michetti’s production, incorporating Sara Ryung Clement’s abstract set design of metal scaffolding, projects onto the harsh narrative backdrop a Mary Zimmerman-esque whimsicality. The gushing blood from the young man’s tooth is illustrated with a red ribbon, and the cricket’s dance for the ant is conveyed through a suggestive gestural choreography with chopsticks that has a minimalist beauty all its own.

One sign of Michetti’s masterly direction is the tonal control his actors maintain over the material. They work majestically in unison, transforming as effortless as figures in Ovid to reveal to us the fractured nature of a universe contained in a steaming hot little white carton.”

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StageRawSometimes a play registers as up front and personal; one’s immediately drawn into the experience of its characters, heartrending or comic or both as the case may be…. Other times you’ll view a drama from a palpable distance as events unfold, on an expansive terrain or canvas. It’s the latter experience you’re likely to have at the Theatre at Boston Court in its production of German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig’s The Golden Dragon, a collection of fanciful but compelling tales that poses fundamental questions about otherness and identity.

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the stage struck reviewGo and see “The Golden Dragon”. There are levels of empathy which will stay with you long after you leave, though some of it proves disturbing the more one thinks about it. And there is an amazingly smooth, well articulated piece of performance to revel in. Finally is a theatrical magic which only a live theater can make you believe.

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SoPasReviewLogoMichael Michetti’s direction is as quick and sharp as a master chef’s knife and at 80 minutes without intermission, the subtle magic of this darkly comic tale stays with you as it aims to shine a light into the dark corners of our global, migratory world. Within the banality of getting through the day, we find the beautiful and the tragic. Forget the American dream, they are just trying to get through the next hour.

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htp_header2Boston Court should be applauded for bringing meaningful, socially relevant drama to Pasadena. With The Golden Dragon, Michael Michetti delivers a top-notch production that works seamlessly to examine the social disparity and moral decay in contemporary society.

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onstagelosangelesBoston Court is a bold little theater that puts every ounce of energy into every production I’ve ever seen there. Boston  Court  CoArtistic  Director  Michael Michetti’s direction takes The Golden Dragon on a fast paced journey with side trips into Aesop’s Fables as well as fulfilling hopes and dreams in fantastic ways.

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awesometheaterblogThe cast is exceptional. With every actor taking on several roles, and every one of them completely distinct. We are able to track the journey of each different character even though the actors never leave the stage, never change their costumes, and sometimes barely move from where they were in a previous scene.

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paulmyrvoldIn a season of outstanding, innovative drama, Boston Court’s production of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s The Golden Dragon (translated by David Tushingham) stands out with boldness of concept and excellence of production. The playwright creates a universal piece that calls for actors to slip seamlessly across lines of race, gender, age and ethnicity. Women play men, men play women, but not always. Older actors play younger people, younger play older. All are Asian cooks in a Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese fast food restaurant called The Golden Dragon.

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stagesceneladotcom2RECOMMENDED
Five exceptional performances, Michael Michetti’s highly imaginative direction, and a breathtaking Theatre @ Boston Court production design add up to reason enough to check out Roland Schimmelpfennig’s The Golden Dragon despite a script more pretentious than profound.

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talkin_broadwayThe Golden Dragon, by Roland Schimmelpfennig, is one of those unusual plays in which your reaction to the play is actually more interesting than the play itself. You can immediately tell why The Theatre @ Boston Court chose to present it in its Southern California premiere—Boston Court has never been one to shy away from pieces that challenge an audience to question its own thought processes.

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wpid-x9.png.pagespeed.ic_.ijr6gp7skw.pngThe Southern California premiere of playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig’sTHE GOLDEN DRAGON benefits from the sturdy, first-rate technical production values The Theatre @ Boston Court has earned their deserved reputation for. Sara Ryung Clement has cleanly designed a bare-staged set filled only with a two-level scaffolding, complemented by Elizabeth Harper‘s intriguing string LED/fluorescent tube lighting for a variety of landmark silhouettes on the scaffolding.

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Colony Collapse: Production photos

Photo credit: Ed Kriegerprod1website prod2website prod3website prod4website prod5website prod6website prod7website prod8website prod9website prod10website prod11website prod12website prod13website

Review rundown: Colony Collapse

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wpid-latimes.gifCRITIC’S CHOICE “In Kubzansky’s hands, the complex storytelling finds the seamlessness, emotional resonance and magic that are characteristic of her work at Boston Court, where she is co-artistic director, and elsewhere. Set designer Susan Gratch uses curtains of camouflage net to suggest tree trunks. In what would typically be a bucolic place, mystery deepens, foreboding builds. Yet the story is luminescent as well. This cautionary tale about a wounded America never quite gives up hope.”

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pasadena_star_logo“Take this as metaphor in the aptly named “Colony Collapse” by Stefanie Zadravec, now in a world premiere production at The Theatre at Boston Court in Pasadena. The play examines manifestations of tragedy and loss, and the human resilience that often kicks in, at least eventually, unless the people it happens to are too weakened for that to occur. Beautifully constructed to juxtapose several stories of parents whose children have disappeared against the tale of a teen whose parents are unable to parent him, it proves intense and absorbing from start to finish.”

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StageRaw“The complex and brutal dynamics of this highly dysfunctional yet entirely relatable family unfold beautifully. The realism of the main characters’ strife finds a lovely counterpoint in the theatricality of a Greek chorus of sorts — a collection of mourning parents who support the main story, along with the poetic insight delivered by an omniscient missing young lady, referred to only as “the girl” (Emily James).”

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wpid-x9.png.pagespeed.ic_.ijr6gp7skw.png“A Stunning COLONY COLLAPSE Makes For a Completely Engrossing Honey of a Production.”

“COLONY COLLAPSE opens with an intense, involving scene of seamless, overlapping lines of dialogue from the four missing children’s parents, each oh-so painfully describing the moments leading up to each of child’s disappearance. John Nobori’s moody music certainly heightens the doomed, despairing outcomes of their respective situations.”

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stagescene_wow“And then there’s The Girl, who may or may not be the teenager being searched for, a waif inhabiting a reality (or dream world?) all of her own.

As may already be evident, playwright Zadravec has bitten off a good deal in Colony Collapse, so much so that you may find yourself wondering how or if she will ever tie these disparate threads together.

Indeed questions do remain even at the end of the play’s two-hour-forty-minute running time (that’s including intermission), which is just one reason you’ll be talking and thinking about Colony Collapse long after you’ve left Boston Court.”

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stage and cinema logo“The scenes between these four characters — Mark, Julia, Jason and Nicky — positively crackle with tension, astute character-driven dialogue, and realistic conflict. And when a sheriff and an officer show up later in this 150-minute two-act drama, the fear is so palpable that I want to round up everyone I know to see how powerful theater can be.”

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Seven Spots on the Sun: video preview

Seven Spots on the Sun, by Martin Zimmerman from Boston Court on Vimeo.

Review Rundown: Seven Spots on the Sun

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wpid-x9.png.pagespeed.ic_.ijr6gp7skw.pngThe West Coast premiere of playwright Martín Zimmerman’s involving SEVEN SPOTS ON THE SUN receives a splendid, mesmerizing mounting with all the artistic elements artfully converging into one of the best and riveting theatrical experience I’ve seen in the Los Angeles theatre scene this year.

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wpid-cropped-header22.jpgNow at The Theatre at Boston Court in Pasadena, “Seven Spots” proves riveting and wrenching as it explores the motives and consequences of the terrifying conflicts, which have afflicted, in this case, an unnamed Latin American country. Here, as in the real El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru or Colombia, villages change hands multiple times, with each side punishing those who aided the other one, and brutal tests of fear which harm mostly those whose compassion drives them.

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paulmyrvoldMartín Zimmerman’s extraordinary play “Seven Spots on the Sun” draws upon some of the most ancient theatrical devices to tell a complex, profoundly emotional tale of honor and love, as well as cruelty and horror set in a small Central American village suffering through a brutal civil war. Three actors collectively called The Town (Daniel Penilla,Dianna Aguilar and Michael Uribes) call to mind a Greek chorus as they join with the rest of the cast in choral speech, dance and rhythmic drumming at critical points in the play, beating their fists on the high, curved corrugated steel wall that forms the scenic background of the production.

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wpid-latimes.gifMartín Zimmerman’s play “Seven Spots on the Sun,” now in its West Coast premiere at the Theatre @ Boston Court, dramatizes the effects of civil war on a village called San Isidro in an unidentified Latin American country. The setting is allegorical rather than naturalistic: We never learn who is fighting whom, or what either side hopes to accomplish. War is simply the environment that these characters occupy and, we learn, helplessly perpetuate.

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la_weekly_logo_265x70The atrocities of war are not confined to battlefields. It’s trite but true: War changes a man, and Seven Spots on the Sun, now playing at the Theatre@Boston Court, examines what that means, both for the men at war and those who witness the effects.

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stagescene_wowZimmerman’s script has a poetic quality too (see paragraph three) that makes it particularly apt for a stage production (with just enough español to give it sabor latino without confusing non-Spanish speakers). Bits of magical realism are scattered throughout as well, with Tom Ontiveros’s dramatically animated video design adding moments that are both magic and real. Performances could not be finer.

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SHIV: Review Rundown

wpid-latimes.gifCRITIC’S CHOICE Riffing on a modern-day incarnation of the goddess Shiva, this subtly crafted portrait of a Hindu immigrant girl’s coming-of-age in her new American homeland shapes seemingly unrelated narrative fragments into a poetic, often humorous and ultimately profound journey of self-discovery, metaphorically mapped to the wonders and terrors of space exploration.

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sangabrielvalleytribune“Shiv” is given a sensuous, mesmerizing and thoroughly thought-provoking production at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena, playing through Aug. 9. Those daring to see it should be prepared to think, feel, and reflect on whatever part of life’s path one is currently treading.

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the stage struck reviewAt a time when the entire concept of white privilege is under a microscope, it becomes especially fascinating to explore the larger concepts of European/American imperialism and what that process has done to the world we now live in. Most particularly, what has been lost as several centuries of the practice interfered with the natural self-development of the peoples of the earth. Which proves foundational to Aditi Brennan Kapil’s “Shiv,” now receiving its west coast premiere run at The Theatre @ Boston Court. As the best introspective plays often are, this tale can be approached on a number of levels, but at its core it examines what is left behind when foundational cultures clash with dominant ones. It does so through the engaging story of one immigrant family from India.

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wpid-x9.png.pagespeed.ic_.ijr6gp7skw.pngThe west coast premiere of Aditi Brennan Kapil’sShiv receives a simply gorgeous mounting at the Theatre @ Boston Court. Amazing just how far, with the proper elements, your imagination will allow you to go. Shiv relays the story of a young south asian woman transplanted from her homeland to Skoie, Illinois. Monika Jolly embodies this title character, easily convincing us that she’s in her twenties (presently) or in her teens (in the many flashbacks) as she attempts to come to grips with her puzzling relationship with her recently departed father Bapu.

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paulmyrvoldShiv, by Aditi Brennan Kapali, is a complex, fascinating, time bending fantasy that weaves in and out of conventional time and space, taking place in the present, the past, and in physical and imagined realities of Shiv and Bapu drawing inspiration from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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robstevensYou gradually come to realize that the scenes with her father, Bapu (Dileep Rao), take place when she was a child and the family had newly emigrated from India to Skokie, Illinois. Her father was a well- respected poet in his homeland but his attempts to translate his work into English and to write original poems in English only resulted in failure and disappointment. But Shiv adored her father and lovingly recalls their adventures together and his fantastical story-telling.

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awesometheatreblogAditi Brennan Kapil’s play Shiv, playing now at The Theatre @ Boston Court takes the idea of this self discovery, and places it in a surreal, post-colonial, post-modernist setting. It gently dances with the themes of loss, identity, and culture while maintaining the narrative of a beautifully nuanced relationship drama between a father and daughter.

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stage and cinema logoIn her play Shiv, the third part of an immigrant-experience trilogy first workshopped in 2013, Aditi Brennan Kapil writes of a character (played by Monika Jolly) named after a Hindu god most widely known as an agent of destruction. The girl’s troubled relationship with her poet father, and her subsequent involvement with a family that contributed to his downfall, are presented as illustrations of the post-colonial Indian diaspora in the West.

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la-weekly-logoThe play freely collapses Shiv’s idolizing childhood memories of Bapu (Dileep Rao), her beloved immigrant Punjabi-poet dad (based on Kapil’s real-life father), with scenes charting the curiously charmless romance between the adult Shiv and the grandson (James Wagner) of the patrician publisher (Leonard Kelly-Young) she blames for Bapu’s dissolute fall from grace.

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